Time Management

My Secret To Homemaking Success: A Paper Planner

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I would be lost without my Happy Planner. I reference it multiple times each day and it helps me to keep up with homemaking tasks, meal planning, bill payments, school events, blogging tasks, and doctor appointments.

My weekly planning sessions each Friday night take about 30 minutes, but they set me up for a productive week. Here’s what I do:

  1. Start with a color palette and lay down basic stickers and washi in my usual pattern. I try not to spend too much time with this, but I’ve really found that stickers help things to stand out – and it’s fun! šŸ™‚
  2. Look at my Google calendar and add in appointments, birthdays or other events. Paul and I use shared Google calendars to keep track of each other’s calendars. I write down things that affect meal planning, like nights that we need a quick supper or days that Paul will be out later with sports.
  3. Look ahead on my Google calendar to plan for birthdays or holidays. I put a sticky note on any upcoming weeks to remind myself what day I need to have cards or packages in the mail for on-time arrival.
  4. Fill in weekly recurring tasks: each day has at least three tasks I strive to complete before supper
  5. Write each day’s blog post title with accompanying tasks (sharing on social media, linking up to blog hops, etc.)
  6. After I grocery shop, I fill in the week’s menu plan and add daily reminders for meat that needs to be thawed or any other prep work I need to accomplish.

Each day I reference my planner multiple times, adding in tasks and crossing things off as I finish them. Leaving it open on the kitchen counter helps me to stay on task and motivates me to get things done.

If you’re looking for a simple way to increase your productivity at home (no matter if you are a stay at home wife or a full time working mom), try planning ahead with a weekly planning session!

My planner of choice is always a Happy Planner with a vertical layout. I try to grab one during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales when they are priced under $20. The last several years I’ve been able to find the best deal at JoAnn.

Here is an undated version of the planner (which takes a while to set up), but you could grab one like this for the rest of 2023. I’ve even seen these marked much cheaper at TJ Maxx or Ross this time of year.

My stickers and planner decorating supplies usually come from the Dollar Tree, but I love having a book of Happy Planner stickers on hand as well.

Read More: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Planner

11 thoughts on “My Secret To Homemaking Success: A Paper Planner

  1. You always have great ideas on how to stay on top of tasks. With a grown daughter, I don’t have a full calendar. I can think of ways I could use a planner to be more efficient and organized tho. Do you use your planner to help you with the Bible Recap readings? Do you write down your God shots in it?

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    1. Thanks, Helen! I write my God shots in a note on my phone. Last year I also wrote them on the corresponding page of The Bible Recap book,. Sometimes I write a verse or encouraging quote in my planner to help me meditate on it, but I don’t use my planner for TBR plan.

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  2. I got started with a HP years ago after seeing yours, and I have not looked back. It keeps me on task for all the mom-homemaking-work activities in my life. I also love stickers, so decorating my planner every week keeps me motivated to stick with it. Thanks!

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  3. I love this! You’ve got a great system going. I love my horizontal layout planner because it gives me room to write a to do list plus schedule stuff every day. I color code our family events, write in birthdays and keep track of gift lists and Christmas lists in the back of my planner. We do our schedule sync on Sundays to get things squared away for the week. I’ll never understand how people function without a paper planner. And I’m with you – my Hobby Lobby seems to only have broken things or leftovers that no one wants. But I will say that I don’t go to Hobby Lobby regularly so maybe that’s the secret to finding good clearance šŸ™‚

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  4. Just a quick question: What do you like about the vertical design of HP? I started out, years ago, with the dashboard one but it didn’t give me enough space for daily to do. I’ve been using the horizontal layout the past couple of years, but have been curious about the vertical.

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    1. I think it’s my love of lists. The vertical spread gives me space to write anywhere from 1-3 to-do lists per day, Going across the page just doesn’t work in my brain, I like each day being its own column.

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  5. Hobby Lobby has Happy Planners on their clearance aisles right now. They also have Happy Planner sticker books for less than $5 on the clearance shelves!

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    1. I think I need to visit Hob Lob more frequently to check out their clearance. I seem to always find clearance aisles full of broken and damaged decor at my store! Maybe I’m just not looking often enough. Thanks for the tip!

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