The Only Daily Planner That Works

One thing I’ve discovered over the years is that my life doesn’t fit into little boxes, and so all of my little computer created calendars ended up in the trash. Oh, I’m still a planner, always have been. In fact, lesson planning was my favorite part of teaching.  

I think it’s because I spent 18 years in a classroom that my year starts with the school calendar. Back to School season still puts me in nesting mode; working to find a place for everything and put everything in its place.

I imagine ‘papers to sign’ having a designated spot in a Pinterest worthy mail sorter made from cereal boxes that are decorated so that no one would ever know they were cereal boxes.


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While those projects may never happen, I have been putting together my own version of the Planner Perfect planner, and I have to tell you that I feel like I’m in control of my schedule instead of it controlling me.

At the beginning of each month, I write down my monthly goals. Then on Sunday evenings (or Monday mornings), I write down everything that needs to be accomplished during that week.


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Each morning, I look at the list and decide what to tackle based on my schedule. Sometimes I get it all done, sometimes I don’t. (Some mounds I feel like a nut, some mounds I don’t.) If not, I just include those things on next week’s to-do list.  And if I accomplish something that wasn’t on the list, I add it so I can scratch it off.


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I let May and June get away from me without using my daily planner, and it was stressful (as in those were the times I felt like a nut…see above reference.)

I actually started putting this planner together back in October (finishing what I start is not my gift).  December is missing and I want to add a notepad (it took me a few minutes to remember the word notepad.  I kept thinking Big Chief  tablet…remember those?) for brainstorming and jotting down ideas.

One day I might get pretty dividers and a cute binder, and I might even add cover sheets to separate the daily to-do list from the monthly goals, but for now this will do.


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My planner is not perfect; it’s not even pretty.  It doesn’t need to be because the only planner that works is a planner that you use. {Tweet this}


See you in class,

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  1. “It doesn’t need to be because the only planner that works is a planner that you use.”

  2. Thank you, Tina. I so appreciate your support and encouragement!

  3. Love your Planner Perfect…<3 Thank you for sharing!

  4. My pleasure! Your design is such a breath of fresh air!!

  5. Pat Toler says:

    I love your blog! I was a Home Economics major and taught it for 17 years, along with kindergarten, computer
    skills for the NC 8th grade Computer competency exam, Industrial coop training, job training, and special populations over my 30 years. Any vocational teacher needs to be able to roll with the punches!
    Like you, I yearn for a new planning book this time of year! I have made my own too, but this week I have the
    desire to go to Staples and find one with a green cover!
    The most important part of any planner for me is exactly what you do, goal setting! If I don’t do that first it’s
    too easy to let life get in the way!
    PS I also loved your chalk painting project! I have several pieces waiting for attention so maybe now I can get
    it done. 🙂
    Thanks again for a great blog!

  6. Hi Pat, welcome to Mrs. Hines’ Class. I’m so glad to have you hear. I bet there are lots of teachers like us who plan and live by the school year. And you’re right…using the planner for goal planning has made a big difference in my productivity.

    Good luck on your chalk paint pieces and thanks so much for visiting!

  7. I totally agree. I love all the pretty ones at the store, but in the end, they didn’t work for me. I use a spiral grid notebook that I use like a bullet journal, and I get a sense of accomplishment when the things get crossed off the list. It takes some time to write in the dates before the first of the year, but is worth the efficiency and order it gives my life.

  8. I am going to be trying bullet journaling this year. I feel like it combines my DIY planner with journaling which seems more efficient to me.

    There’s nothing like a sense of accomplishment!

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