Holy shmaholy, a 24-hour trip back to the states, reconnecting with everyone and getting baby things in place took a lot out of me. BUT I'M STILL HERE!!! So much for that blog-planning binder, huh? (Actually, it's super-useful in getting me back on track, right now).
Last time I featured 3 of my favorite keep-me-on-top-of-things printables created by other bloggers. The really remarkable thing about those printables is that they work fantastically for me, without any changes or tweaks. This hardly ever happens! Usually even the best printables are almost-but-not-quite what I need. Or they’re perfect and just waaaaaaaaay too pink and cutesy. That’s been known to happen as well. In these cases, I usually just wind up making my own.
So here are a couple of my own recent printables for you to download, use or be inspired by. I’d be thrilled if these worked well enough for you to adopt seamlessly into your routine. If not, feel free to riff on the ideas to make your own printables (but give me a shout-out if you do, and maybe I can share your printables back – there’s plenty of love to go around here). And if these are almost-but-not-quite perfect for you, please let me know! I can make versions of these available with small tweaks as well, or in different colors, if there’s interest.
First up is my List of Doing (direct PDF download)! I was inspired by this almost-but-not-quite-perfect-for-me to-do list printable from Mommy Tracked (click for even more great printables). While it’s a cute, solid printable, I found I didn’t use the “score-card” section much, and I really needed a running list of longer-term to-dos to help me keep track of things.
So my list is divided into three columns – this week, next week and beyond! I pretty much concentrate on “this week,” tackle some “next weeks” if I find myself with some time to kill and ignore (without losing track of!) “beyond.” As the weeks tick by, I cross things off of “beyond” and “next week” and move them to the left as needed. If I complete a recurring task, I’ll immediately jot it down with its next due-date in the appropriate column, to keep things trucking along.
Next up is my List of Shopping and Eating (also a direct PDF download). Meal planning has been a life-saver for me. We eat out a LOT less when I’ve got a plan for the week, and we eat better at home too. Sitting down on a certain day of the week with some cookbooks helps me actually get around to USING the cookbooks and trying out some new recipes, keeping us out of ruts and night after night of hotdogs and frozen spinach (my go-to "screw it, I'm pregnant!" meal). I put my big, involved meals on the weekends and leftovers or crockpot meals on days I know we’ll have a lot to do. I also will make-ahead some breakfast and lunch items during the weekend, if I’m feeling on top of things (big pots of oatmeal, things like ants on a log, pre-cut veggies and dips like pesto, sauces to slap on some meat for a quick, easy dinner). And, of course, I always stay flexible and alter the meal plan to fit our week as it happens, not the other way around. Kids, I could do a whole post on meal-planning ideas!
I love the idea of having a meal plan and shopping list on one printable. I typically do my meal planning on Wednesday and my shopping on Thursday, so that’s how the days of the week are laid out here. I could easily rework this printable to start on different days of the week, though, if there’s interest.
So there ya go! Two of my most-used printables. Feel free to use them, share them, make them yours. I hope you find them as helpful as I do. And stay tuned for the next and final post in this series of sanity-saving printables – my vacation packing lists!