The Best Planner for Moms (and Dads!) November 24, 2016 05:00
This blog post is a part of the series "The Best Planner for..." which provides suggestions for ways in which you can use the UPstudio Planner. Each post in this series will focus on a different way to utilize the planner layout. The UPstudio Planner is designed for versatility, and is suited for many uses and not limited to the featured suggestions. Show us how you use your planner by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tagging us on social media (all handles can be found on our website).
Mom brain is a real thing. So is Dad brain. If you have kids, then you know what I'm talking about. My husband likes to describe his Dad brain as functioning at the same level as our kids - a 3 year old and a 7 month old. Because we hold a lot of conversations with a baby and a preschooler, our own minds naturally tend to think in a way that they can understand things. Also, there's that whole lack of sleep thing... it's just a fact of life that having kids = less sleep, no matter what age they are. You have to keep going and functioning, sometimes on little to no sleep, and sometimes your brain just can't handle keeping up with the plethora of information it needs to after hearing "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" a thousand times a day - hence, Mom or Dad brain.
Having the right planner can be a lifesaver when you're juggling a lot of things and need to keep them straight (aka not forget when picture day is and accidentally let your kids wear pajamas to school). In my daily life I manage: the responsibilities and schedule of my day job, the responsibilities and schedule of my side job (UPstudio), my husband's schedule, my 2 daughters schedules, keeping a relatively put together house, and keeping us all fed - including our 2 dogs (working with my husband on all of these things). That's a lot to keep track of.
The UPstudio Planner is perfect for me to manage my family and my jobs. The flexibility is essential, because the items I need to highlight the most change from week to week. With the UPstudio Planner, the weekly layout allows for me to use the top section as a schedule for my appointments and meetings (although it's just as easy to use this section as a daily to-do list, etc), and the middle sections can vary based on what's going on that week. My 3-year-old has a theme at school every month, and each day she brings in something to school, or we talk about a particular item or idea that relates to that theme. In the example below, I'm able to see what she has planned for each day so I can prepare it the night before. My 7-month-old is branching out in what foods she is eating, and I can easily track what she has each day. If she has any allergic reactions, I can look to see what might have been the cause. I can also take notes on what foods she likes and what she didn't like. The remaining row in the middle section of the layout was used in this example to plan meals for the week. It's amazing what a difference it makes when I come home with a meal that is already planned instead of blankly staring into the fridge for 10 minutes before cooking a frozen pizza (for more on this, check out The Best Planner for Meal Planning).
The bottom section in this example is shown as a to-do list. I also like to use this space to write down funny things that my 3-year-old says: "Would you like a brownie? They're really brown!"
The best part is that the next week I can change this up completely or leave it exactly the same. It's truly the most versatile layout you can use, and if there's one thing I've learned as a parent, it's that things are constantly changing, so having a planner that can adapt to my needs is crucial. I foresee this layout being extremely useful as more after-school activities are added to our schedules as my daughters grow up as well.
The graph pages of the UPstudio Planner can also double as a coloring book (at home, at the DMV, in the car, etc) - mom tested, kid approved (and no bleed through!)