Stay Focused with a Daily Plan

Most people that would be reading my blog would likely be those that also write lists and strive to be more organized in their daily life, so I'm hopeful this post will have some major impact on the sanity-level you currently possess. I'm a list-maker by nature (as I've mentioned in previous posts) but nothing is worse than having a million sticky notes of things you need to do, trying to remember who you need to call, which errands you need to run and what time that doctor's appointment is. I use a family calendar, but it lacks the space for everything I need on a daily basis.

I used to live by my day-planner (back in 1996) but have made several evolutions since then. It too never seemed to have space for everything I needed to remember. Last night, I created a Daily Plan Document to keep be from being too scatter-brained.

Here's what I came up with:

On one side...
  • I've got the hours of the day from 6am until 10pm and a space to jot appointments or reminders. I'll put in things such as babysitters arrival time, time to leave the house for swim lessons or the typical doctors appointments or Gymboree Classes. I've also listed reminders of when to do things. If I don't make those meatballs before my one year old wakes up from her nap, well, I can forget the meal plan for that night! If you're a woman working outside the home, by all means you can list important meetings, workouts, grocery shopping, etc.
On the other...
  • I listed meals for the day. What's worse than wondering at 5pm what's for dinner and everything is frozen?!. You may snicker at this now, but knowing in advance what you're feeding yourself or your family will save you time, money and your sanity. (More on this passionate topic soon!)
  • To Do List. These are things you can do without having to leave your home (or office). Create birthday party guest list, return pending emails, balance checkbook, upload pictures, etc. You may choose to incorporate housework that needs to get done for the day. In my case, if it's written down, I'm much more likely to do it.
  • People (or Businesses) to Call. There is always someone to call in a given day, usually a half-dozen or so, whether it be returning mom's phone call, calling a medical center to get clarity on a bill or the salon to schedule that much-needed appointment. Having all the phone numbers listed right there is helpful too - to prevent the "oh, I don't have the number handy, I'll just call later" excuse.
  • Errands to run. These are To Do items outside the home. Shopping for a birthday gift, grocery shopping, dropping off clothing donations to Good Will, etc.
  • Websites to visit. I added this section last minute after thinking that nearly everyday I say to myself, "I'll need to look that up online tonight." Weather it be checking the yoga schedule online or finding new Halloween costume ideas for the little guys - there's usually somewhere on the world wide web you need to go (i.e. "Check out Well Planned Woman Blog today ;-)
Here's my 1st attempt at getting closer to becoming a Well Planned Woman. It's nothing fancy, but does the trick.

By keeping it stored in my computer, I'm able to change the date on the file and easily transfer any items that didn't get done (there are always some, right?) to the next day's Daily Plan. I can also use it as reference if I ever wonder when I made that call to Verizon or how long those meatballs have been sitting in the fridge. (We've all wondered that, haven't we?). Of course, you could also print out a week or two's worth of blank pages at once and fill them in the old fashioned way.

By doing a brain-dump every evening before bed, I can remind myself of daily commitments and appointments, things that need to get done and what's on the menu for dinner the following night. I simply print it out and I reference it throughout the day. Today, I folded it up and brought it with me to Whole Foods to make sure I got everything on my list. By the end of the day today, it was pretty tattered (I like to cross things off my list - it makes me feel good), but I can always reference the electronic copy if I feel so compelled. Thanks to my handy Daily Plan... today, I felt totally spot-on and am looking forward to tomorrow already.

If you'd like a copy of my Daily Plan template (created in Excel), click here. If you'd like to share this with your readers on your blog, please link to this posting. Thanks!


  1. elizabeth flaim10/20/2009 11:45 PM

    I really like that daily plan.. would you mind pls emailing a copy to me- thanks! Betsy

  2. Sure Elizabeth! Shoot me your email address at wellplannedwoman@gmail.com and I'll send it off to you!

  3. elizabethflaim@yahoo.com10/21/2009 10:41 PM

    thanks Janelle! my email address is..

  4. This is a great idea! can you please email it to me at nonsensebyn@gmail.com thank you!


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