[This post is sponsored by Greenstory]A few weeks ago, I had an appointment with the dentist, so I arranged for my parents to take Max, and then Terry and I drove to Glasgow, parked up, and, realising I was running horribly late, I ended up running for about half a mile – mostly uphill – through the city, finally arriving at the reception desk a hot, sweaty mess … only to be told by the bemused receptionist that, actually, I wasn’t late at all: in fact I was a whole TWO DAYS early.
I’d turned up on a Tuesday.
My appointment was on Thursday.
I have never felt so stupid as I slunk out of the office … or, at least, not until about two weeks later, when I turned up to have my eyelashes done four hours before my actual appointment. D’OH.
From this, you’ll probably have deduced that I’m not exactly bringing my A-game right now: and neither is Terry, to be honest, because he was the one who’d written down the wrong time for the dental appointment, although I suspect he’d rather eat his own feet than admit it.
The thing is, though, it turns out that parenting – while simultaneously trying to run a business from home – is a little bit of an organisational nightmare, really. I know: WHO KNEW?! Hell, just getting out of the house with the baby, and all of his assorted paraphernalia, is a logistical nightmare most days: and while I’d love to be able to say that we’ve been coping with it all just fiiiiiine, the reality is that both of our heads are so filled with STUFF right now that we’ve been dropping balls all over the place – and then totally forgetting to pick them all up again, too.
This is re-usable in that the pages are a bit like a whiteboard: so, you write on them using an erasable pen (Or pens, plural: because you gotta have ALL the colours, right?), and then, when you’re done with the page, you just use the cloth you get free with the book to wipe it clean (For smaller mistakes, the pens have an eraser on the end…), and you can use it again. So, just a little bit more environmentally friendly than the approximately 786 notebooks I have stashed away in my desk drawer, then. (Oh, and if there’s something you particularly want to keep, you can just scan it with your phone – iOs Notes or the free app Camscanner will work – and keep a copy for posterity.)
The other good thing about this system is that the books are totally customisable, so, rather than buying a pre-printed planner, and then not actually using half of the sections, you can order exactly what you need – graph paper, calendar pages, to do lists, etc – then insert the sections into the planner in whichever order you prefer. And if you change your mind? You can just take them out again, and switch them around. (Warning: if you’re anything like me, you will spend a LOT of time trying to figure out the perfect order for your planner. That’s half the fun, though, isn’t?
Here’s how I’ve been using mine:
As a calendar…
So, in order to at least TRY to avoid any more incidents where I turn up at the right place, but on the wrong day, I’ve found it absolutely essential this year to write things down in as many places as possible. As you can see, I like to colour-code everything as far as possible (So, purple is for appointments, orange is for work-related stuff, green is for social events… er, not too many of those, obviously…), and I also frequently end up having to swap things around, or change times etc, so I like the fact that I can just wipe the slate clean, as it were, rather than having to score everything out, and make a giant mess.
As a to-do list…
I’m a huge fan of the bulleted list, and Terry’s a big fan of planning things as far in advance as possible, so we’ve started using the list section to plan our upcoming trip to Florida. This notebook will now come with us on the trip itself – and will probably come to my parents’ house every time we go there, so we can add to it – so I’d say this section is getting the heaviest use right now, for sure.
As a meal planner for Max…
Meal-planning is something that’s totally alien to me: I mean, left to my own devices, “meal-planning” would basically just amount to, “Which flavour of Pot Noodle will I have today?” (I’m joking, obviously. Because chicken and mushroom is the ONLY possible choice, amiright?) Now that Max is eating “real” food, though, we’ve found the only way we can make sure we have something to feed him every day – and don’t just repeat the same thing over and over again – is to do a bit of basic meal-planning. So, every few days, we’ll jot down a few ideas for meals, and then, once we’re done, we just erase that section, and start again. It doesn’t make it any easier for a non-foodie like myself to come up with meal ideas, unfortunately, but it does stop me stumbling into the kitchen first thing in the morning and having absolutely no idea what to give him with his milk.
There are numerous other pages and add-ons you can buy, from habit trackers to sheet music, but these are the three I’ve been finding most useful right now. Add a vegan leather notebook cover, and as many differently coloured pens as I can find, and this little book is basically my brain at the moment. Which, OK, is a much creepier analogy than I meant it to be, but you get what I mean, right? Please say you get what I mean…
Will it stop me turning up at appointments at totally the wrong time, though? Well, it obviously didn’t stop Terry and I driving halfway home before remembering we had a baby to pick up earlier this week, so the signs aren’t great, to be honest, but that’s just the lack of sleep clouding our brains, isn’t it?