Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Week on a Clipboard : Part I

Before you go any further, know that this home management/organizing thing has become a hobby of mine. So, please excuse all the type-a-ness of this post. It's embarrassing, really. (but I. love. it.)

After reading Organized Simplicity, I was inspired to change a few things around here, mainly our family calendar and home school lesson planning.

Our Calendar:
For years, I have had a paper, notebook-style calendar and it worked well for me. I think and organize best with pencil to paper, so it was a good fit. Then I got an iPhone and everything changed. I had this super-powered tool in my pocket and a bulky planner in my bag. As much as I liked how my planner joined our family calendar with home school planning, it contained so much I didn't need and was proving to be rather bulky. Also, the school planning sheets were not customized to our subjects and schedule. So, I decided leave the paper family calendar in 2010 and move to Google Calendar (which already held my birthday calendar). Then I went on to create our own weekly lesson planning sheets. No more extra bulk.

What I am loving about Google Calendar vs. Paper:
(which leaves me wondering what took me so long to do this...)
  • The ability to repeat an event. This works especially well with meal planning because really we don't have more than two weeks worth of Sunday-Friday meals. So, every other Tuesday we have stir fry, etc. Saturday evenings are left open for new recipes and going out. And it's all there waiting for me when I make the weekly grocery list.
  • No space constraints. I don't have a pencil and a little box, so I can be as detailed about my day as I like. Because of this, I have added my weekly exercise schedule to my calendar - that is a huge motivator for me.
  • Reminders. This is a life saver for me with birthdays and orthodontist appointments.
  • Sharing. Even though my husband doesn't use Google Calendar, if he needs to check my calendar he can.
  • And I always take my phone, so now I have my calendar, too. I know I am late to this way of life, but letting go of paper was a big deal for me.
Home School Lesson Plans:
Before our school year begins, I create a spreadsheet with each subject and what lessons need to be completed each week to get it all done in about 34 weeks. For instance, I know that in week 20 Will needs to do math lessons 76-79. With all that work completed ahead of time, I spend about an hour every weekend planning for the next week. That includes filling our file box and gathering books. Our file box has a folder for each school day filled with worksheets and papers needed for each day. Hannah (red) and Will (blue) keep things moving to the next day's folder if they are needed every day.

Before each week begins, I print out our lesson planning sheet, a grocery list, and a to do list/weekly chore sheet (I will post about this soon). It all goes on my clipboard. Along with any other papers I may need (like right now I have Peter's birthday party planning sheet in there, too). When the week is over, the lesson plans are transferred to my home management notebook.

Our lesson planning sheet:
(if anyone would like me to email them any of these documents just let me know)

My grocery list (with spaces for our weekly dinner schedule):
(the week begins on Thursday because I go to the store with the boys on Thursdays while Hannah is at piano)


  1. Jen, I applaud your type-a-ness! I am very attached to my paper calendar...still love the paper. Interested to know that you made the leap! But also, I don't have the Jesus phone (as John calls it). :)

  2. This is so helpful, Jennifer... thank you!! I, too, purchased the Well-Planned Day (back at the VA convention), and I've struggled to use it all year long. The spaces don't coordinate well with our subjects (and the space I need), and I tend to skip all the extras b/c I have resources in other places to meet that need. Your system seems like the perfect solution! I will surely revisit this post regularly as I'm now motivated to make a few changes (i.e.-- letting go of all that's not working!). SO thank you, my friend, for sharing... please know that it (and you) is/are so, so much appreciated!!

  3. ahhhh....this post looks much like my life at the beginning of the school year. I won't say what it looks like right now! We have very similar grocery lists :)

  4. LOVE IT!!! I am still holding on to my paper calendar and really wish I could just make the switch!! I am so bad with change, but you have certainly inspired me!!

  5. Wow, that looks great! I used to love these types of lists, and now they make me feel exhausted! But I love that you have found something that works so well for your family! very exciting!



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