I've got a problem. I cannot keep my planner straight between my work items, home items, and personal business items! It's a mess! How do you have a home and work planner that is organized and useful? You need a work and home planner. Here are three ideas for separating and organizing your work and home tasks and to-dos in your printable planner.
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I find that when I've encountered a problem, I'm most likely not the only one that has experienced it. I searched high and low for specific home and work planner printables that I could insert into my Happy Planner. Most inserts I found were specific to either home or work and didn't lay them out side by side.
I have used many planners over the years. When I say many, I truly mean MANY! However, at my ripe ole' age of 30 I've narrowed it down to my three favorite planners. I think these three planners are especially good for busy moms. Regardless if you are a stay-at-home mom, working mom, or a combination of both, these three planners can be tailored to your needs.
Because I'm a combination of stay at stay-at-home mom and working mom, I have found that separating my planner is particularly frustrating. The following will focus mostly on the Happy Planner as that is what I use most of the time, but many of these principles can be used with a variety of favorite planners.
Your Home and Work Planner Just Got Messy
Don't be afraid of the mess! It won't last forever! The conundrum of separating my work and home tasks became quite frustrating as my planner plummeted into a growing mess. I would try this system, and then the next, and then the next. My planner sheets would be jimmied into every crevice of my planner. A planner is supposed to organize not destruct!
Yet that is what it took to create a system that finally worked! Isn't that one of the great things about using a planner? You don't have to get it right. Some of the most beautiful planners I've ever seen are an organized mess!
There is freedom in exploring what works for you. Enjoy the journey of your planner.
The Three Top Resources
Do you know what I finally realized? My hope in sharing this is that for someone else it will be a light bulb moment.
I realized that every week looks different at work and at home. Therefore, every week my planner might need different resources. One week I may just need a task list to accompany my regular weekly layout. Maybe the next I need a FULL daily planner sheet that will walk through my tasks. Not one planner resource will be a one size fits all, because my week doesn't fit into a one size fit all schedules!
1. Use Half Sheet Task Lists
For weeks that are a little lighter on the tasks, appointments, and meetings try using a half sheet to accompany your normal planner layout. This one lays your work and home tasks out side by side so throughout the day or week you can easily reference your tending list. This reduces the cluttered planner but allows for a detailed task list. I specifically like the feature of a daily goal.
Another idea is using two separate task lists for home and work. This one has beautiful watercolor designs with 24 total pages of work and home task lists. I think this one ultimately is my favorite because of the beautiful designs and it just allows for a little bit more flexibility in adding more tasks at a time. I also like it for days that I don't want to see both home and work tasks at the same time.
I don't pretend that my planner downloads fit everyone's needs! This one is always a cute download by Stremlined Living.
2. Separate Vertical Columns into Work, Home, and To-Do
If you are using the Happy Planner, you already know that the most popular layout is the vertical layout with 3 vertical boxes. Many users divide these into three categories. I've seen many creative uses such as morning, noon, evening; kids, me, family; or budget, to-do- appointments.
Consider using these columns to separate your various work and home situations. Some ideas that come to mind are work, home, blogging; work. appointments, home; personal appointments, kid appointments, work appointments, etc.
Vertical Column Daily Planner Insert
Using a Daily Planner Insert that did the pre-work and divided my life into three separate columns might have been the most sanity-saving thing I've ever done for my weekly organization and planning. The vertical columns are already labeled Work and Home with a final blank one for extra room. They are divided up into the days of the week with a note section, top priorities definition, and a box for things that can wait for tomorrow for each category. Truly a lifesaver for those weeks when there is an overwhelming amount to do at both work and home.
The Week at Glance first page is by far my favorite as it is a perfect place to get an overview of what type of week it will be. A far column is a great place to meal plan and the encouraging word section helps keep brain space centered on positive things.
3. Use Work Planner Inserts
When all else fails, maybe you need a planner specific to work. That is what I discovered not to long ago. There was a particularly busy week and I needed something to separate my work life and home life. Although I have not had a chance to use these yet, these were specifically made to help during the more busy weeks.
Note: When I printed these my printer was going wonky (isn't that just like printers), so the pictures are not the best reflection of the quality.
Other Helpful Strategies for Home and Work Planners
- Use Color Coordination Pens like these .
- Use stickers to organize your thoughts, appointments, and work/home tasks.
- Buy a mini planner for work items.
- Use page dividers to organize tasks, projects, or home and work life.
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