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Can’t Keep Up? 5 Ways To Simplify Your Home And Teaching Schedule

Is anyone else having trouble finding their organisational mojo so far this year?

This seems to be happening to me all the time – I just can’t seem to find a scheduling system that works for me.  I know what I need to do, and I have the mental list going, but I’m becoming forgetful and need to implement some new systems.

If you’re suffering from scheduling woes like me, then I hope these ideas help you.

Work out what you need a schedule for

First, I think it’s important you work out exactly what scheduling help you need.  I wear a number of different hats and I felt like I was dropping the bundle in all areas, so I needed a scheduling system for each of these different hats.

I’m a blogger, so I wanted help with managing all of my blogging ideas.  I’m also a Mum and manage all aspects of the home, so needed a system for this.  And like most of you I’m also a teacher, so wanted a system to help me with scheduling my time during the day.  What I found is that not one system worked for my various roles, so I’ve found a few different ways to help organise my time.  And they’re all FREE!

Blogging Organisation

I have so many ideas floating around in my head when it comes to blogging.  So I have 2 main systems I’ve implemented to stay on top of what needs to be done with my blog.

1. Trello

Have you heard of Trello?  Oh my gosh I love this organisational tool.  Currently, I’m using this to track my ‘To Dos’ for each blog post that I write.  I have the different stages of blog post development across the top, and then under each category I have different blog post ideas.  As I complete one stage of the blog post, I move it to the next category.  Have a look at the screen shot below.

Simplify Your Home And Teaching Schedule | topnotchteaching.com
Tracking my To Do’s using Trello

When I click on the note, I can then see the information that I’ve started to collect about the blog post.  I also have a checklist to remind me of all the parts that I need to think about for the blog.  Again have a look at the picture below to get an idea of the types of things I organise for each blog post.

Simplify Your Home And Teaching Schedule | topnotchteaching.com
A detailed look at my To Do’s

What is also great about Trello is that they have an App for your iPhone and iPad.  So now when I’m out and a great idea comes to me, I just add it straight to my Blog Post Management Folder.

2. My blog planner 2014

I’m still a bit of an old fashioned girl and I like to have pen and paper resources as well.  After some searching I found just what I was looking for from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Erica has designed two versions of a blogging planner:

2014 Monthly Blog Planner; and

2014 Weekly Blog Planner.

I thought the monthly design was best for me so I downloaded and printed the planner.  The colourful nature of the planner is very inviting and I really do enjoy using it.  This is a great overview tool for me to see what blogging posts I publish during the month as well as a place to record my blogging statistics and any other ideas that I have.

There are sections for recording giveaways and reviews, blog advertising, monthly overview & extra information and brainstorming and notes.

Check out how I’ve already started using the planner below.

Simplify Your Home And Teaching Schedule | topnotchteaching.com
Planning my blog posts

Home Organisation

There are just so many things to remember around the home.  When do I need to place my online grocery order, when are my bills due, what kids’ parties do we need to attend, what will we have for dinner….and the list goes on.

In the past I’ve just used a monthly calendar and written what I needed to remember in each square.  But what I found was that some days were so busy that there just wasn’t enough room in that little square.

Then I came across The Confident Mum and her 2014 Weekly Household Planner.  Wowee this is just what I was looking for.

Rather than having a monthly view, each page is a weekly view.  There are sections for Daily Tasks, Menu Planning, Notes, This Week in Review.  And of course a section for each day in the week.

There are also two versions available, a blank version that is an editable PDF so you can enter your own information.  There is also a completed version that already has weekly tasks included.  I also downloaded the ‘How to use this planner’ PDF just to get some further ideas.

I have been using the blank version and enlarged it to A3.  I have this hanging on my wall in the kitchen so it’s easy to see and remind me of what needs to be done.  I have some pictures below of how I use the planner.

Simplify Your Home And Teaching Schedule | topnotchteaching.com
Weekly planner hanging in my kitchen
Simplify Your Home And Teaching Schedule | topnotchteaching.com
Weekly planner

Teaching Organisation

Now when it comes to lesson planning and organising myself as a teacher…. I’ve tried it all!  I’ve used the mass produced planners, designed my own and just bought yearly diaries.  At different stages of my teaching career they have worked and served me well.

But now that I’m tutoring from home, blogging and creating resources I also wanted something to work in with that.

I know it’s boring but I purchased a 2014 Week to an opening diary.  It’s nice and small so I can take it with me.  It also includes the whole week when open, with time slots.  I like to schedule my full day when I’m working at home, including any tutoring, tutor prep, product development, blog writing and resource making.

See below for a peek into my week!

Simplify Your Home And Teaching Schedule | topnotchteaching.com
My weekly teacher planner

But, I also found a cool weekly planner that I think is great for teachers.  A Peek at the Week would be great to add to your planning documents as an overview of what’s happening for the week. There are 2 versions available, one that includes your weekly schedule and the other that includes your priorities and To Do’s.  Have a look below to see how I used it for last week.

Simplify Your Home And Teaching Schedule | topnotchteaching.com
Overview of the week

I hope these ideas have inspired you to take charge and get organised for this year.

If you have any planners that you’re currently using, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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12 Responses to Can’t Keep Up? 5 Ways To Simplify Your Home And Teaching Schedule

  1. Hi melinda…a great tips and strategies… I from malaysia..Actually i not a good in writing but as a teacher…i need to do something new and need to find a new friend to improve myself…
    Hopefully you can give me support to me to increase myself to good in teaching and good as a mother…bye

    • Hi Angela,

      Thanks for you comment and following along :-). I found the peek at the week at another website. You’ll need to click on the link in the post titled ‘A Peek at the Week’. That will take you to the blog post where you’ll be able to download it. Happy planning!

      Mel

      • Thank you so much!! I found it and can’t wait to use it! I also love the weekly layout calendar you’re using. What kind is it? It’s hard to tell from the picture you have posted. I like the layout of the weeks! It’s hard to find one with that layout and would like to get one for myself. Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Hey Julie,

      I’m so pleased you liked the suggestions….I thought they were pretty cool organisational tools as well. And I’m glad you’re liking the posts, it’s great to hear 🙂

      Mel

  2. I love a peek at the week! Thanks for sharing.

    I don’t know how you find the time to actually do what is on your lists. Your lists are so detailed and pretty, they would become a procrastination technique for me for sure 😉

    Good job, Melinda!

    • Hey Donna,

      Glad you like some of the tools and yes it is challenging ticking off my list 😉 I do also like pretty lists with lots of colour….much more fun. I find if I don’t have lists that’s when I procrastinate and jump from this to that and don’t really achieve too much. I’m much more productive with my lists 😀

      Mel

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