When people hear that I homeschool, work from home, am in the middle of renovating a 200-year-old farmhouse, and helping my husband start a market garden farm all with 3 kids under 7 they often wonder how I manage to stay on top of ALL THE THINGS. Understandably so, that’s a lot to keep track of! Productivity for moms is SO important!
So I thought I would share two things that keep me organized and sane… mostly. Mostly sane. 😉
#1 My Calendar
The calendar on my phone is my monthly planner. It’s a very easy and streamlined way to keep track of appointments, homeschool activities, pay schedules, work deadlines, and harvest schedules. I can link my husband’s calendar to mine too so that we’re on the same page!
It’s amazing that I can be anywhere and know what I have planned so that I can book things accordingly. My phone is always with me so there aren’t any excuses to miss anything. In the past, I used to keep a paper day planner style calendar but now it would be impractical with kids added to the mix! I’m on the go too much!
But that doesn’t mean I don’t use any form of paper to keep organized. Oh no, my friends, I would be lost without my second item….
#2 My Mom Notebook
This is the mama jama of ALL THE THINGS – my notebook. I have been keeping a notebook for at least 8 years now. It contains all of the lists, goals, meal plans, seasonal clothing shopping lists, inspirational lists for work… and on and on and on!
Nothing beats an in-person view of your entire life on paper! I can cross things off when they’re completed, and my husband can easily access it to find the information he needs or can add items to lists if needed – even our 6-year-old can!
So, what’s inside?
So many lists! Whether that’s shopping lists, to-do lists, seed order lists, cleaning lists. Seeing an in-person list in front of me makes it easier to keep track of things. And the best part – physically crossing items off. SO satisfying!
Here we plan out two meals per day every day. I never thought I would be this person, really… BUT it makes my life soooo much easier. I know what we’re eating and I have all the ingredients needed. There are fewer protests by the kids since I can blame the list for what’s for dinner that night. But best of all it’s on paper and off of my mind which clears my mind for more important things.
Planning out breakfast would be a waste of time since we tend to eat the same 4 or 5 things on some sort of rotation every day. The items we need for those meals we always have on hand and they keep well.
I do my monthly budget two months ahead of time in my notebook. Our regular bills, groceries, pet care, savings, clothing expenses, extracurricular activities, and other things are all budgeted for so that nothing gets missed. I’m always two months ahead so that I’m sure about how much we have allotted to each category. When it comes time to pay bills or we need cash for an item in the categories then I can easily go to my notebook and double check!
This is a mish-mash section but my most favourite use of my notebook. On these pages are random things like that phone number you need to write down of the place you want to take your daughter to get her ears pierced, or you had a quote done to get mulch delivered and needed to write down the cost and what type it was, or you have to do some quick math and don’t want to mess up your budget page or grocery list, this is the spot for that!
By doing it this way then there aren’t a million different scrap pieces of paper kicking around the kitchen counter waiting to get lost or used as a child’s art paper by accident. I tried using a cork board to pin all these scrap pieces of paper to and I even hot glued cute buttons to thumb tacks to make it all cute! But that system just didn’t work for me! I was never by the board when I needed it, and couldn’t take it with me anywhere.
I like that my notebook can be tucked away, or put into my bag and taken with me in case I need to look at the sketch I drew of the curtains I want to sew for our newly renovated living room and dining room, or that I can take it and sit on the floor while the kids play and plan out meals for the next week.
My notebook is nothing fancy, although you could get something super cute if you’re so inclined. I just use a regular spiral kind that you can find at big box stores. Maybe I’ll switch to a small binder for ease of removing and adding pages in the future. I’ll keep you posted!
I’ve tried using more techy approaches to organizing these things but nothing tops my notebook!
What do you use to keep your life organized? Do you struggle with remembering ALL THE THINGS? What ways do you think productivity for moms is hard? Why are there so many!?
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