A Peek into my Planner

I’ve been asked lately how I “do it all” with the kids and starting up our fledgling family business. Which brings up a couple things:

1) I rest heavily on my Heavenly Father. God orders my days and gives me the same number of hours in a day as everyone else- it’s all about how you use them. For example, I have a routine, but make concessions on scheduling; we budget our day to include naps (a must for me and the kids) so if we don’t get to something like picking blackberries before then, oh well. It’s nap time!

2) I make a lot of lists. A LOT of lists. And then I stick to them. I’m a huge fan of the bullet journal system.

Here’s a quick peek into my planning system and how I use it.

I finally caved and purchased a traveler’s notebook. It’s leather, smells fantastic, and is durable so hopefully that lends itself to longevity

I decided to transition from spiral bound notebooks to a traveler’s notebook. My primary reason was waste. What happens when I fill up a notebook? Well unless there are important memories or information, like birth stories or appointment records, I chuck em out with the garbage. That adds up over time. Think of the resources used- paper, bindings, more paper… I get that they’re meant to be consumed and that there are digital organization apps I could use instead, but I’m a pen and paper gal so I wanted a less wasteful, more efficient way to use my distinct learning style of note taking and lists.

I currently have a standard size traveler’s notebook with 4 separate notebook inserts, a brass clip, a vinyl storage pouch, and a pen. I love this one and I ordered it here:
best value for your money!

The blue notebook in the very front I made myself (look for these to be available on Etsy this winter) and it will be a “permanent” fixture.

Inside cover: symbols used, Index

The blue notebook is a “Personal profiles” notebook. It has static information such as annual goals, important contacts, medical information, ICE information, and reading lists. This way I don’t have to redo those every time the other notebooks fill up- it just stands alone as a constant notebook resident.

Then the other 3 notebooks take on the categories of Sermon Notes and Spiritual Disciplines, Meal Planning and Grocery lists, and Calendars and Daily Logs.

Spiritual Disciplines

This notebook is so important to my daily life. I learn by writing and hearing simultaneously, and seeing. So I frequently go back through sermon notes and prayer lists to engrain spiritual principles into my heart and mind.

It’s perfect because if I ever just want to take that specific insert out and stick in in my Bible, it fits perfectly and condenses the amount of paraphernalia in my bag and car on a Sunday morning. And when it fills up, I can replace only that specific insert instead of having to start an entirely new notebook.

Contains sermon notes, prayers, praises, Scripture for memory, Bible study notes


God’s word actually has a lot to say about how we use our time. Psalm 90 says we’re supposed to let God “teach us to number our days” so that we will gain wisdom, and we’re to let God establish the work of our hands. How can that happen apart from beginning our day in His Word? (It can’t.)

Meal Planning

This notebook is the 2nd most frequently used after my spiritual disciplines one.

Lists meals, snacks, breakfasts, lunches for the entire month

When I go through my meal plan for the month, this is my preferred method. I list the date and day of the week; certain days we eat out, I mark pay days, and other special events that would cause us to not be at home for a given meal, and that helps with the Grocery budgeting later. Here’s what it looks like all filled in (in the old notebook).

Filled-in monthly meal plan for June 2018

When I meal plan, I have a list of family favorites that insert into the month first, usually on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays when my husband is home to enjoy them with us.

The main meal I plan is always dinner (or supper for you weirdos who call it that) and then I have a rotation of breakfasts, snacks, and lunches that we go through on a cycle.

So on any given month, I’m only choosing about 10-14 new recipes and filling in the blanks from there.

I go back and reference past plans if I’m feeling stuck or undecided.

I go ahead and plan for the entire month and then make my grocery lists according to our biweekly pay period. Here’s an old grocery list.

Some people don’t include “non-food” items in the grocery budget; as my husband says, “you can’t eat diapers!” Which is true, (except for our border collie- we’re trying to break her of the nasty habit) but it’s easier for me to see the numbers in terms of where I’m spending money. So, if it comes from the grocery store (i.e. Kroger, Aldi, etc.) It’s groceries.

Again- this is much easier to take ONLY the grocery insert to the store with me as opposed to the entire notebook. Less to keep up with, and then it’s only got what I need.


The final notebook is my calendar(s) and Daily logs. The first section has “Future Logs” which consists of monthly lists of events scheduled too far in advance for me to keep up with (i.e. baby showers, weddings, concerts, church events, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)

Then I have all my monthly calendars.

August 2018

I’m trying a minimalist approach this time rather than hand-drawing out all the grid squares. The jury is still out on that idea. It has a section at the bottom for notes and checklists.

The Daily logs are my fancy way of saying “to-do lists.” This is where the symbols listed at the front come in to play.

August 1 2018

And that’s it!

I keep the pen, money clip (usually more for business cards, receipts and coupons), and pvc pouch insert in at all times. And I decided to play with different styles of paper; ruled, unruled, unbleached, etc. Just for funsies.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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