When I used to buy planners completely made up for me from the office supply store, I never really had a good handle on those week-at-glance pages. I found the clock ones, those with half an hour increments of time down the page, to be very unhelpful to me as a homeschooling mom. Now I still find them equally unusable as a work-at-home mom. I simply don’t have those appointments every thirty minutes.
I know some homeschooling moms do like to plan their school day out in thirty minute increments, but you still wouldn’t need one of those every single week. Hopefully you have a master schedule for that whether you use the hour by hour planning method or the block scheduling method that I talk about here.
Likewise, I never even found the week-at-a-glance pages with each day listed in columns to be that helpful. I usually put the things that were happening each day on the monthly calendar. But in recent years I have found great uses for those week-at-a-glance pages. I now call these pages my Weekly Worksheets.
Once again, I categorize. I think as moms we have a tendency to think in categories more than we even do time or date. Thus, my weekly planning pages are set up in categories. For example, I list the category topics at the top of each square or column, and then I have spaces beneath each one to write down the things that I need to do in that category. For me now, as a nearly-empty-nester, I have categories each week as follows: cottage classes, podcast episodes, blog posts, Meaningful Composition, downloadable products, freebies, family, home, meals, recipe/cooking. All of these categories are areas in which I have ongoing to-do lists!
Obviously, those of you with young children would have different categories than mine. Twenty years ago my categories would’ve been very different. But whatever categories of life that you have a lot of things to do in will make up the categories on your Weeklies Worksheet pages.
(Keep in mind that the this worksheet is for a to do list for the week. Thus, I do not put things I automatically do on these pages. When I was homeschooling several children, those types of “repeating activities” were written on my block schedule homeschool plan for each week–and my children’s to do lists were written on their Independent Work Lists.)
So back to the Weeklies Worksheet page. This two-page spread follows each Monthly Memos sheet in my planner and is for one week. Before I made my own Weeklies Worksheet page, I would just use the week-at-a-glance sheets that came with my planner and re-label those with my categories – already to create my to do list or the week.
So each Weeklies Worksheet double page spread has that week’s date and all of my categories listed in boxes or columns. Then I simply fill in under each category what I need to do that week. I add to this throughout the week and even start next week’s pages this week if I have anything to put on next week’s to do list.
The real secret to success on my Weeklies Worksheet is the prioritizing system that I use on it. Every to do item that gets listed under a category gets a letter before it – either A, B, or C. In a perfect world, A means priority one; B means to do after A; and C means to do last of all. In reality, A means that I really need to get to that this week. B means that I would like to get to that. And C usually means to move it to next week! (See my blog post As Easy As ABC…)
This set up for a Weeklies Worksheet has worked best for me for a few reasons. First of all, each weekly page follows the next and they all follow that monthly calendar page. Thus, it is close in proximity to the monthly calendar. Secondly, my to do list is divided by categories. This is really important to me with deadlines etc. Third, by prioritizing each task with letters, I can see at a glance the importance of each one under each category. Finally, by having it all set up ahead of time, I can flip over to future weeks and jot things down.
Oftentimes, we have loose pieces of paper, sticky notes, index cards, and even restaurant napkins with to do lists jotted down here and there. With the Weeklies Worksheet, everything is in one place. If I do not have my planner at any given time, I make a note on the sticky pad that I keep with me at all times or in my Notes section of my phone. If I don’t have time to transfer that all over to my planner, the sticky note gets put in the planner, and the next time I work on my calendar, I transfer the information from the sticky note to wherever it goes in my planner. Having everything in one place is really helpful.
Watch in the next day or two for what is probably the most important part of planning and truly getting things done – the Dailies Duties page. You won’t want to miss it!
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Listen to detailed instructions on how to set up a simple planner/calendar at my Wondering Wednesday podcast here.