I’ve tried different planners and tools to plan out my weeks, but none have worked as well as this super-simple spiral notebook method. It’s the simplest weekly planning strategy! It works well in almost any season of life and keeps you from having to spend money on a fancy planner.
Why plan out your week?
I’ve always been a planner. Planning out the week helps me make the most out of my days. It keeps me focused. In seasons when I’m away from the house a lot, planning helps me remember the tasks that need to be done each day that I might otherwise forget. In this season of being home with the kids most of the time, planning keeps me on track and gives me a sense of direction for the days and weeks.
When I write down most of the tasks that I want to accomplish, it also helps me visualize during which parts of the day I can best get them done. For example, computer work is usually done during nap time. But sorting clothes or vacuuming the carpet can be done during the morning when the kids are around. When each task is written down, I can easily glance at my list mid-morning with a baby on my hip and a toddler nearby and know what can be done next without using a lot of brainpower.
How planning out my week helps me stay productive
I honestly can’t think of the last time I was “bored” at home. I love getting things done and it’s very rare that I don’t know what to do next. There’s always something!
However, having kids totally does take a ton of brainpower! It’s not easy to organize your mind when someone needs a diaper change, someone’s asking for a snack, and you’re thinking about what to make for dinner. I would be sooo much less productive if I didn’t have the tasks written out in front of me!
The weekly planner also helps a ton for strategic family task planning. Garrett and I often have random conversations about what we want to get done this week. If we don’t write the tasks down (no matter how small), they can be easily forgotten. My weekly planning method allows me to remember them without assigning them to a specific hour of the week. That way, when the kids go to bed and we’re trying to figure out what to get done that evening, we can look at the list and see what would fit best in the time we have.
Is it possible to have a weekly planning strategy that works with kids?
Yes! The best part of this strategy is that every task isn’t necessarily assigned to a day or time. In addition, I can use the planner to remind myself which tasks MUST be done and which tasks I’d like to complete. Differentiating between these two sets of tasks makes it super do-able to stay productive even with littles.
The simplest weekly planning strategy (how I plan my week)
My weekly planning strategy is done with nothing but a pen and a regular, spiral-bound notebook. I usually spend just a few dollars on a 3-subject notebook. It lasts me at least a year and a half. The notebook is then basically my lifeline until it runs out and I start a new one!
Most weeks, I’ll do the majority of my planning on Saturday night or Monday morning so I can be prepared for the week. However, many tasks also get written down as the week goes on.
First, I start by writing out the days of the week throughout the page.
Next, I write down everything that I know needs to be done on specific days. For example, grocery planning on Monday, grocery shopping on Tuesday, meeting on Thursday, etc.
After that, I’ll go to the top of the page and fill in the tasks that I’d like to work on or finish but aren’t necessarily time-specific. This often includes batch food that needs to be made, errands that need to be run, or cleaning or organizing that I want to accomplish.
Once these parts are completed, it’s easy to fill in the rest of the week. I can look what NEEDS to be done each day. Then, depending on how busy that day is, add a couple of tasks from the top of the list. Other tasks tend to get added throughout the week, such as laundry or anything else that comes up.
Finding the balance between too many goals and not enough goals
I thrive on accomplishing goals and getting things done! Therefore, it’s frustrating to me when the day is done and not everything is crossed off my list.
Even so, I don’t want to be a slave to my list. My first priority is being there for my kids and my husband. Often, this means something unexpected comes up and the list has to wait. Diaper blowouts and missed naps happen sometimes. And that’s okay!
I remedy this by trying to assign a little less than I think I can accomplish for the day. This way, I have a better chance of getting it all done and feeling less frustrated. Then, if I have more time, I can go to the top of the page and start on another task that wasn’t assigned to a specific day.
Other tips and tricks for planning your week
It’s a rare week when every single item on the list is accomplished. Don’t fret if things are left over! Just roll them over to the next week.
Another strategy that helps me a ton is always prioritizing the most important tasks. Sometimes I do this on paper, and sometimes it’s just in my head. Simply put a star next to the tasks that are essential. Then, you won’t have to think hard when deciding what to do first!
My other favorite part about this notebook method is that it leaves room for any other notes or information that I need to remember. Most of the back sides of the pages of my notebook are filled with random lists or ideas or other notes that come up during the weeks. Pretty much all of the information I need to remember is somewhere in my notebook. This way, I don’t have to search around the house through piles of sticky notes when I need to remember something!
Make the simplest weekly planning strategy work for you!
I hope this simple weekly planning strategy helps you in your endeavors to stay productive and serve your family and others! I love how it helps me make the most of my time and takes the effort out of remembering all of the things.
What are your favorite ways to stay productive in your week?