22 May 2011

Free PDF Download: Weekly Planning Overview

Dear Lissy,
I wrote to you some time ago about my weekly plan, but I have just put it out in a document sharing folder to make it accessible to the dear ladies who read along with me as I write these letters.  I'm going to explain each part of the template here as clearly as I can, but if you have questions, please feel free to ask me.
This beautiful oil-on-canvas is available from

This template is a visual overview of my week that I keep on the fridge door.  Even though Sunday is the first day of the week, it functions as the culmination of mine, so this template runs Monday thru Sunday.  My daily to-do list is the workhorse, but I need this overview to keep my week running smoothly.

The boxes at the top of the page allow me to list out-of-home appointments.
I grew incredibly frustrated with regular planners that devoted most or all of the page to timed lines.  I rarely have more than a couple of items scheduled in any given week, and the space is wasted.  I'd rather have a box or two reminding me of actual appointments on any given day.
Event:  Title of appointment.
"Lissy - Dentist", or "Prayer Meeting" for example.
ETA:  Estimated time for arrival
This is the actual time of the appointment or meeting.
ETD:  Estimated time for departure
This is the time I need to wrap up whatever I'm doing and get ready to go.   I don't really need this anymore -- it's left over from days when I had toddlers and babies and had to plan 15 extra minutes to make sure everyone went pottie and that I had diaper bags, blankies, sippy cups, etc.
Bring:  Often I need to return a book to someone or bring a Junior church treat.  If it's not written down, I tend to forget!

The next box is labeled "Errands and calls" for calls or errands that need to be done on a particular day.  Errands and calls that just need to be made during the week are put on my to do list.

I have a "reminder" line for my a.m. routine next on the list.  I aim to accomplish all of these items by 10 a.m.  This line is pure gold during the school year when I'm juggling lessons with morning routine.  During the summer when I complete it all in one block, I hardly need a second glance.
Devos:  Devotions.  This is first in my day, and needs to be done before 8:30 a.m.
Dressed:  This means all the way to make-up, hair and shoes. It is soooo easy to drag around with no makeup, a ponytail, and jammies or workout clothes for the whole day if I don't remind myself otherwise.   Another 8:30 a.m. deadline.
Vitamins:  I tend to forget them in the morning rush!
Tidy Kitchen/Bathrooms/Bedrooms:  These rooms need to be put back in order after everyone has completed morning routines.  I save the main living spaces for the evening.
Animals:  A  reminder to make sure all the critters have been fed/walked/watered and their cages and boxes are clean.
Kids:  Inspect what you expect!  I check to make sure my kids are dressed,that they've combed their hair, brushed their teeth, that their rooms are tidy, and that they've had their devotions.
Load of Laundry:  Another gentle reminder that a load a day keeps the chaos away.
Hot Spots:  A quick tidy of those horizontal spots that gather stuff.
Dinner Prep:  Meat defrosting?  Salads and desserts made?  Veggies picked & prepped? Bread or rolls?  A few minutes now means I can have supper on the table in half an hour this evening.  If I'm making a crock pot meal, now's the time to put it in.

Next on the template is the list of weekly chores that are assigned to each day.  I have a more detailed list in my tickler.  These are just memory joggers for the items that create a problem if I don't do them on the day I've planned.
Monday:  Kitchen Day
All Rooms Go!  This is a whizbang cleaning to get the whole house decluttered after Sunday.  It takes 30-45 minutes depending on whether or not we had company over.
Menus:  I take a few moments on Monday to jot down just the main dishes I'm planning for the week in the menu column.  This will be important when I make my...
Shopping List:  I take a few minutes to look through my master list of all the items I ever buy, and highlight the items I need this week.
Fridge/Freezer:  A quick cleaning each Monday saves me a monster cleaning session once a month and allows me to create a more accurate shopping list.
Pantry:  Quickly restoring the pantry to order and making note of any items I need on the shopping list.
Mom & Dad Laundry:  Part of my "no load left behind" plan.  By the end of the day, all of our laundry should be in our closets and drawers.  This is done in addition to or conjunction with the one load I do every day.
Tuesday:  Errand Day
Bank, Library, Shopping:  This is simply a reminder of the three places I have to go.  Other stops will be written on my daily list as needed.
Household Laundry:  Tuesday is the day all the beds (including pet beds) get stripped and all the dirty towels, dishtowels, and oven mitts get run through the laundry.  In the winter throw blankets on the sofas and chairs also get laundered.   I also rotate through the curtains, shower curtains and comforters, one room per week.

Wednesday:  Desk Day
Bills:  I pay bills due during the upcoming week, and write out a list of all the bills coming due for the next three for Dad to see.  Because our income is variable, this prevents the "Oh no!" on mortgage week.
SS Prep:  All church paperwork -- Sunday school or junior church preparation, hymn practice, etc. is planned for today.  Your Dad takes care of writing the tithe check now, but I used to write my check and put it in my purse on Wednesday so I wouldn't forget it on Sunday.
Correspondence:  This is a reminder to send Birthday cards, thank you notes, address Christmas cards, and take care of any other business correspondence.
Water Plants:  This is kind of a no-brainer, but it does insure I don't forget them.  They generally get watered during the week as I clean or pick up and notice the soil is drying out.

Thursday:  Weekly Cleaning
Dry Rooms:  This refers to the quick top down cleaning in the living room, dining room, and bedrooms.  Hopefully clutter has been dealt with on a daily basis so this is a quick in and out.
  • A quick run around the lights/ceiling fans and corners of the room for cobwebs and dust.
  • Dusting with a feather duster or microfiber rag (not polishing)
  • Vacuuming upholstered furniture and floors, including underneath furniture
  • Damp mopping wood floors
  • Emptying wastecans
  • Windexing interiors of windows only
Kids' laundry:  By the end of Thursday, all of the kids' laundry should be in their drawers and closets.

Friday:  Weekly Cleaning, part 2
Wet rooms:  This refers to the top down cleaning in the bathrooms and kitchen.  
  • A quick run around the lights/ceiling fans and corners of the room for cobwebs and dust.
  • Dusting with a feather duster or microfiber rag (not polishing)
  • Scrubbing sinks, commodes, and tub
  • Emptying wastecans
  • Windexing interiors of windows only
  • Mopping
Saturday:  Sunday Preparation
Entryways and Cars:  I remove clutter and vacuum/windex the porches, entryways, and car on Saturday.  I also check the oil, coolant, wiper fluid, and emergency kit in the car.  This is when I replace the waste bag and check the kleenex supply in the vehicle as well.  If we've used the towels in the Car kit, I replace them with fresh ones.
Manicure:  I always forget to do my nails until I'm sitting in the car riding to church if I don't have this one word reminder.  This also includes a quick pedi if I'm wearing sandals to church.
Sunday Dinner Prep:  Sunday dinner can be very stressful to prepare before church.  I do as much as I can on Saturday.
Sunday clothes:  Sunday morning goes much more smoothly if everyone's outfits and Bible school items are set out the night before.

Sunday:  Day of Rest
We don't do any housework, yard work, family trips or home improvement projects on Sundays. Period.  Sundays are days for rest, fellowship with other believers, and spiritual pursuits.

Meditating on:  I want to have a particular verse or principle to direct my thinking throughout the week.  Left to itself, my mind doesn't go good places.  I choose to fill this block in on Sunday when my heart is full to overflowing and I'm thinking with an eternal perspective.

Praying for:   These are simply time sensitive prayer requests like travel, operations, presentations, etc.  I tend to hear most of them on Thursday night and Sunday for the upcoming week.  I also add them as they come in on the prayer chain e-mails.  Because I'm in the refrigerator at least three times a day for meal prep, I have them constantly brought to mind.

The next line contains my P.M. Routine.  This begins about 4:30 and ends just before I go to bed.

Bangerang!  You kids are required to pick up your bedrooms, your classroom, and the upstairs bathroom as well as remove your things from the downstairs living areas by 4:30 p.m.  If you don't, you lose media privileges for the following day.

Breakfast Prep:  This is a reminder to set up the coffeemaker and take items out of the fridge or freezer.

Run Dishwasher:  I often have a few spots left after dinner and want to tuck in dishes or glasses from evening snacks.  This is my last ditch reminder to start the dishwasher before bed.

Jumpstart:  I like to go through my calendar and tickler and write out my to do list the night before so I can hit the ground running in the a.m.  Somehow I stay much more focused during my morning quiet time if I know that all the things swirling in my brain are on paper already.

Tidy Kitchen/Living/Dining/Bath/Entryways:  The kitchen has to be shiny-clean and living areas completely picked up before bed.  I also like to make sure there are no "surprises" in the bathroom for the morning (like Daddy's forgotten paint rollers soaking in the bathtub so I can't take a shower).

Daily Review:  This item is directly from Beautiful Girlhood.  I like to go back through my to do list and talk with God about places I stumbled and fell.  A bad attitude, a sharp tongue, or even a refusal to work diligently can quickly be recalled and confessed.  I also thank Him for the times His grace overcame the temptations and trials during the day.  If He lays something on my heart to specifically work on the next day, I jot it on my to-do list

The next four columns have already been discussed and are fairly self-explanatory.

Menu:  Just the main dishes and any baking I've committed to for the week.
To Do (Next Action):  This is a reminder to only write things I can do on my to do list!  This list runs for the entire week.
Meditating On... Passages of Scripture or lessons from books/sermons I want to think about more during the week.
Praying for... Time sensitive prayer requests that are taking place during this week and requests that come in from the prayer chain at church.

Detailed Cleaning and Projects are long term projects that I need to make headway on during the week.  This might include a closet or chest of drawers or a research project.

Margin is the space that exists between yourself and your limits.  Financially, it's an emergency fund.  In time management, it's planning enough time to sleep, taking Sundays off, and leaving pockets of unscheduled time to catch up or minister unexpectedly.  That blank box reminds me to leave margin, or to jot down how God used my "margin" time to enrich my life or someone else's.  People who are afraid of margin usually have noisy souls.  Be careful about friendships with people who have to have something going on every minute of every day...they'll drain you dry.

This template grows and changes as my life does.  I'll probably have to tweak it again soon to reflect the changes that come from having teenagers instead of toddlers.  Use it if it helps, but never let it master or control you...it is your servant.



  1. This was VERY helpful! I'm going to try it out! Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings...

  2. Thank you so much for this! I'm sure it will prove very helpful in organising my day.

  3. Is there another way to get this, the pdf is not opening when I click the link? Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is VERY helpful for me! Thanks so much for sharing. I am having trouble opening the PDF. Is there a secret?

  5. Sorry, ladies. That hosting service was working without a glitch last night. I've switched the document over to scribd.com, so it should work properly now!