My fresh new plum-colored Moleskine is just waiting for me to start littering it up with plans, but in the meantime I thought I'd share what a workhorse my lemon-yellow Moleskine has been this year.
As a "lefty" I love Moleskine because there's no spiral spine to get in the way of my left hand! But I also love the minimalism of the Moleskine look, the size (fits perfectly into my purse), and the font on each page.
Here's how I use it!
First, I use these re-stickable tabs so that I can easily reference any section in the planner--this year my tabs are: month, week, create, cleaning, to-do, and pray. I keep a lot more than this in the planner, but I only use six tabs.
The month layout is one page per month. Frankly, until now, I've always used a two-page per month layout and I was not inclined to like this one. But I've discovered that it's nice to see two months on one page! So I can live with it.
The weekly layout contains all the days of the week on the left page and a blank page on the right. I didn't think I'd love this, but I have come to adore it. I can jot down all my random things on that right page (phone numbers, vague things I should do during the week that aren't assigned a day, menus, etc!). The left side of the page always get cluttered and crowded, but it works. I put anything we do in the evenings in the lower right corner. I cross things off as I go and sometimes circle something that needs to be shifted or moved. It's not pretty but it's effective.
Under the "Create" tab I have a running list of my ideas--stuff I want to create (sewing projects, knitting ideas, etc). This is the second page of 2016--the first is full. I also will sometimes jot down ideas for writing projects here as well.
And I like to keep a little list of homemade stuff I want to try--like vanilla sugar or apple butter.
The "Cleaning" tab is pretty unimpressive, and I'm probably going to ditch it in 2017. I just have a list of my daily routine tasks, but I keep that on the fridge anyhow. I use a rotating cleaning system (also on the fridge) for my non-daily cleaning tasks.
The "To-Do" tab is where I keep the long, long, long list of Stuff I Need to Do. This is like the spot for the brain dump. If I think of something, it goes on this list. The list becomes pages and pages long, and many, many things are crossed off during the course of the year. When I'm planning my week, I like to glance through the list to see what I can tackle during the course of that week. It's so handy!
The To-Do list is actually on the address book insert. I don't need an address book in my planner, but I didn't want to waste all those precious pages. So I just ignore the "ABC" tabs and use the lined pages for my lists and plans.
Later in the "To-Do" section I have a "To Buy" list. You know--stuff you might forget, like snow pants. A floor lamp. Leggings. That stuff.
Not pictured, but also in the to-do list section, is my handwritten comprehensive Christmas list.
I also have a page for interesting homeschooling-related ideas I see. As you can tell, I tend to stick with my plans and not really use these 'other ideas,' but I like having this list in case I want to bring something fresh into our day. Pinterest scares me, so a simple list is best for me.
Another random list: my shopping plans for Operation Christmas Child.
I also have a personal goals list here--things I'd like to do in the next 1-5 years.
The "pray" tab: I keep my prayer requests on post-it notes. They change and shift and morph and this allows some flexibility.
And I reserve the last couple of pages for "Funny Things the Children Say"--all the stuff I think I should write down, and then forget....I now try to jot it down as soon as I can so I don't forget it!
I will say that I do not put homeschool plans in the planner. I use index cards.
As I mentioned, my chores are on the fridge. (A list for the rotating chores and a chart for the daily chores.)
And I have a daily routine/schedule I loosely follow, along with an exercise plan and my own meals, that I keep on a different chart as well.
That's it! My approach is very simple and straightforward. I love my Moleskine!