Planner Madness

I'm sure most of you will agree that finding a planner that works for all of our quirks and obligations is a Quixotic journey. What worked for me in college (a week on two pages spread) is totally different than what worked while dissertating (mostly prayer and black magic.) Now that I have kids (four) and a job and full-time working/schooling husband, plus a few things I need to remember, my planner just isn't cutting it. 
I've stolen a few great ideas from very smart people and designed my own spread that I'll try for the next month and, hopefully, with only a few tweaks, I'll have something useful. I'm going to share my spread here, but due to the obvious issues with stealing good ideas from smart people, I don't plan on making these public. 

 The page above is the first page of my monthly spread. It's got my planning space based on Covey's rocks. Big Rocks are things that should get done first, little rocks are filler. He describes it much better than I do.

 This is the last page of my monthly spread. It's got the previous and next months' calendars. I'm probably going to change this next time because I forgot to make room for my mini-habits.

The thing about the monthly spread is it is punched on the side of an 8.5 by 11' sheet and folds over in the middle- hamburger style for you teachers. This way, I can keep my months' pages together and I can see my calendar while looking at my day and week because it's folded out. You'll recognize this from DIY Fish. I've got my weight and spending trackers on the inside fold of this page so they will be hidden when the weekly page is turned. Spending and weight don't need to be visible most of the time anyway.

The weekly page is also punched on the side and folded in the middle to keep the daily pages together. In this photo, you see the folded week and unfolded month. So, I've got 7 day pages folded up into a week, and the weekly clusters get folded into a monthly cluster. It makes it very easy to flip to the month/week/day I need. I can also add tabs if I want.
You may have also noticed that my month is turned 90 degrees, with the dates going down the page, also stolen from DIY Fish. That way it matches up to the week-at-a-glance as pictured above. All the Mondays are at the top and Sundays are at the bottom.

 On the inside of my weekly page, I've got menu planning, shopping, weekly cleaning schedule, and "to-do"s for the week. These were the least important things I needed to account for, so I put them on the inside of the weekly page where they will be hidden most of the time. I may change that if it doesn't work out. As for now, hopefully, my monthly, weekly, and daily planning will all flow from left to right with the important pages visible at all times. No flipping back and forth.

I was always very resistant to using a page-a day because I didn't think I had enough stuff to write. Now that I'm in the full swing of school and kids' activities, I realize I now need to write EVERYTHING- no matter how trivial, because I can't remember ANYTHING. Now, my daily pages are cut and punched like normal. On the left-hand side, I've got tracking. I tried to have as little writing space on that side because I don't like trying to write over the rings. I've got a food diary there, but I don't know if I'll keep it. I've also got a sprialdex for time-tracking, My Big Three items to get done for the day, a daily cleaning checklist, and a space for mood and weather for journaling. On the right-hand side is my daily agenda. I don't know what happened to 7am. It got lost in printing. I've also got a hydration checklist and a space to remember to pay equal attention to all my roles daily.
Here's where the magic happens. I wish I could take credit for thinking of this, but it was Fish so go check her out.

 You can see above, when the weekly page is folded over, the month, week, and daily schedules are all visible at once. As each day passes, the old page gets folded under the weekly flap and everything I need for planning my day is still visible without flipping. That there is GENIUS, my friends. (And for anyone freaking out about writing on that monthly page while it's hanging out there in mid-air, you just fold it backwards and, voila, it's in the same area as the daily schedule.)

This last photo shows how it looks when the 7 daily pages are folded into the week. On the back side of the weekly page is a graph-paper area for notes or whatever. Yes, my pages are hanging out. I punched them wrong and I can't find my hole reinforcers to fix it.
If you need help visualizing how any of these components work, there are tons of videos online for using Big Rocks, Sprialdex, and DIY Fish. I encourage you to go look at those if you haven't yet.
I used tables and text boxes to make almost all of my components (I found the sprialdex picture online) so they are fairly easy to move around or modify. I hope this post encourages you to play around and try to create something if you can't find the perfect spread. You just print a week or two, and try it out. Change what doesn't work, or scrap it and try again. It can be just as addicting as looking at catalogs or watching planner videos, so be careful you aren't forgetting to live out all those exciting things you have planned. ;)