I like to live in the illusion that my life is highly organized and the home is running like a well oiled machine. Truth is the family room is strewn with toys, an average of three pieces of tupperware fall on me each time I open the cabinet, and I cannot possibly cram one more thing into the laundry basket.
I feel like I’m headed into organizational nirvana when I sit down with a blank notepad and download my brain. Here are a few of my favorites and how I use them:
This notepad is my favorite for one major reason; balance. Usually notepads are filled up with reminders and to-do’s that revolve around stress and limited time (clean this, call and sit on hold for that, etc) but this one reminds me to focus on my whole self and surroundings. I sit down weekly and fill each area with my goals for the week. What I want to clean and handle as well as how I plan to get some exercise, family time, and personal things accomplished. Here’s a photo of a typical sheet for me:
I’ll apologize now because this notepad is currently out of stock but you could easily use a blank notepad to add in these categories (or ones that fit you better).
My cookbook collection is one of my most prized things and I use these notes everywhere. They are super helpful to remember when and for whom I made that dish. I also love the section to add tweaks so I can remember what parts of my creative license really paid off (and which ones didn’t!). I keep this little pad in the junk drawer in the kitchen so it’s always close by.
Weekly List Notepad
A weekly grid notepad is where all the meal planning happens. I start by looking at the calendar and filling in anything that would mean we aren’t at home for a meal (work meeting, vacation, date night, etc.) and fill in the rest with our meal plan for the week. I use the note section to jot down items we already have in the pantry or freezer that can be a backup in case the toddler is throwing epic tantrums when it’s a more labor heavy meal or chasing her around means I forgot to check on something and it’s now burned to a crisp. Having those backup options/reminders helps my sanity and stress level.
I try to eliminate “one use” items from our home (ya know, the whole Marie Kondo/magic of tidying up movement) but this notepad has been a lifesaver. I only pull it out around the holidays or for parties but it helps my brain from getting jumbled and forgetting that container of cranberry sauce in the back of the fridge. The column on the far left gets filled with the food, drinks, decorations, or other party to-dos and I work my way across filling in all the details. I use the last blank column to list which serving pieces I’ll need. It’s a great way to visualize the whole game plan and utilize your time the best i.e. baking all the dishes that need a 350° oven at one time.
Do you get Shutterfly emails/coupons all the time like I do? I got one for a free notepad earlier this year and it hit me. Why does it need to have a photo? I found this design, skipped uploading a photo, and now I have the perfect size to take notes when on the phone. This one also camps out in the junk drawer next to the pens so I can quickly jot a note with the phone propped on my shoulder.
I love looking down and seeing this little greeting. Makes me smile. This lovely pad is most often used for blogging ideas and plans but I do think it’s necessary to have one that makes you smile, chuckle, or look forward to using. Search for “Funny Notepad” on Etsy and have at it. I just spent the last 30 minutes laughing and distracted from finishing this post.
Do you have a favorite notepad that gets the job done? I’m always looking to add to the paper family!