If you’re a planner person, chances are you’ve already broken into your new planner, ready to tackle a year that will hopefully have lots of fun things in it. And you’ve probably already started filling out appointments and work schedules and your daily to do list. But what about those “notes” pages at the back of the planner? What do you do with those?
Here are five ways I use those notes pages to keep my life more organized.
Track family health visits.
In our family, I am in charge of doctor visits, dentists, eye care, and specialist appointments for myself and our five kids. My husband takes care of his own. That means that even if we do just the most basic appointments for the year (one doctor, two dentist, and one eye exam per person), I’m in charge of 24 appointments.
I don’t know about you, but our insurance also has stipulations about how far apart those visits need to be for them to be covered, and we also need to make sure that everyone who needs to gets additional appointments done.
I can’t remember all that.
So I use two of my notes pages to keep track of the last time each family member went to each appointment, and how often they’re supposed to go. Initially this took me a bit of time to go digging and find out when we last did everything, but once I had that down, I just had to keep it updated each time someone visited a healthcare provider.
I also make a note in the everyday part of the planner at the beginning of the month if I need to set up any appointments for the following month. So if Jonah is due to go to the doctor in September, I’ll write a reminder at the beginning of August to “schedule Jonah dr. next month”. That way we have plenty of time to find an appointment that fits with our schedule.
This is probably the most helpful note I have created for myself in my planner, and I’ll continue to do this every year.
25 Days of Christmas activities list (or any holiday things to remember).
Each December, we do an easy Christmas-related activity in the days leading up to Christmas. So I also write down our 25 Days of Christmas activity list on one of the pages in my planner. (And I actually rip the list out of my previous planner and write a few notes on it for the next year and tuck it in my new planner, so I have ideas, as well as what went over really well and what didn’t work for when I make this year’s list.)
This makes it easy for me to plan the activity for the next day, or the next week, because the list is right there in my planner that I use every day. And if I think of fun activities ahead of time, or I see there’s a special event that would totally count for a day, I can write it down ahead of time and know that it’ll be there when I’m ready for it.
This is also helpful if you host a big Thanksgiving dinner, or a Valentine’s Day party, or some other event with a lot to remember. You can write out a menu, think of themed decorations, write down activities that were a hit or a flop, or whatever you want to remember. Putting everything in one place will make next year’s even better.
Plan homeschool curriculum.
We currently have 4 kids homeschooling. We do a few subjects together, and they each have several at their own grade level. When I’m planning what to do for the coming school year, I want to make sure I have every subject covered. And then I can check each one off of that list as I make my specific lesson plans for that subject.
I wouldn’t remember all of the subjects, or what we’ve ordered already, or what I still need to type up plans for, if I didn’t have a list. This is yet another way to put my brain on paper so I don’t have to remember all the things.
Brain dump for a specific project.
I do this more in my business planner. (Yes, I have a separate business planner). But this is a way for me to come up with a list of all of the things that go into making a 30 day challenge, or a new email freebie, or a book launch, or whatever else. I use a page in the notes section to list out everything I can think of to do with that project, and then I can check things off as I get them done.
Keep track of important information.
When my daughters had some dental work done last fall, I had to call and switch their specific provider from one dentist to another, and then back again, making sure to keep track of the representatives I talked to and the reference number for each switch.
Because this was something I had to refer to multiple times, I kept everything on one of the notes pages in my planner. In the past, I’ve written it down on whatever daily page I was on, but that can be hard to find if you have to look at it again later on. Instead, keeping it on one of the notes pages makes it easy to see what you’re looking for.
This could also be useful if you’re trying to get a refund or deal with a warranty on an appliance, if you’re dealing with the estate of a loved one, or really anything that’s going to involve multiple points of contact and referring to information over and over again. It’s a lot easier if that information is all in one place.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you by now that those “notes” pages in the back of your planner are actually one of the most useful parts. Which one of these ideas will you try first?