My 2020 Planner

Over the years I’ve used everything from a cheap weekly planner from dollar tree, to a time intensive bullet journal in a Leuchtturm 1917 notebook, to a recollections planner from Michaels. This year I wanted, and needed, something different.

Since becoming a widow last year I’m pretty scatterbrained. I forget simple things like my age or what day of the week it is. I also needed an outlet for writing out some of my thoughts having to do with my grief work and I didn’t want to have to carry two notebooks with me to do that. So for my planner this year I chose the Moleskine Classic 12 Month daily planner in Snappy Pink.


I added a sticker to the front from Redbubble. My word for the year is laugh. This notebook is quite like the Leuchtturm I used for my bullet journals. It has a very similar cover, a ribbon bookmark, a pocket in the back, and an elastic band to hold it closed. It is the same height, but is half an inch thinner than the A5 Leuchtturm. It has one full lined page for every single day of the year.


Coming from a vertical Recollections planner, this is a whole lot of space for each day and I love it. One of my hobbies over the years has been decorating my planners. I have washi tape and stickers filling one large file drawer and one full shelf on my desk.

This planner gives me lots of space to decorate as well as a space each day for my to do list, a small section for gratitude, and a journaling space where I usually write to my dead husband.

I was finding I have times throughout each day where I turn to tell him something important, or funny, or just something that he would have found interesting. It was so hard to not be able to tell him any of these things. My grief counselor suggested I write to him, even though as an atheist I don’t believe he gets these messages, my counselor still said I should try it and it helps.

In this planner I reserve a space each day for those things that come up that I wish I could tell him. Some days that is about the nightmares I have about his seizures, some days it’s something funny or touching Pepper said about him. Some days it’s a dirty joke we both would have laughed at. And some days it’s just I hate you for leaving me here to try and deal with everything by myself. Whatever I need to tell him that day I have a space to write it.

I’ve blurred out my actual tasks and any writing to my husband, but here are a few pages from this year so far.

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The date in the top corner, my tasks for the day on the top left, a space to write to my husband on the bottom somewhere, a small space for gratitude wherever it fits, and decor on the rest of the page. Some I add before that day and some I add after the day is over and I see where I have blank spaces to fill.

So far it’s working out great for me and I am getting everything I need from my planner. It’s also small enough I can slip it in my bag to bring with me to grief counseling or anywhere else I might need it. I save all of my planners because there are so many memories inside, even just within the daily task list. This has been a wonderful addition to my planner journey and my life.

Do you use a physical planner?

Gratitude Lists

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. My daughter is so excited. She’s going to have her Grandma and Grandpa, her Mom and Dad, and her Piano Grandpa (her other grandfather is a pianist and organist and this is how she differentiated her two grandfathers) all together to play and have dinner. She is excited and grateful for so many things every single day. I’m constantly hearing “Mommy I’m so excited!” or “This is my favorite favorite favorite!”

Meanwhile I have been having struggling through a heavy bout of depression and anxiety. Life has been kicking us pretty hard for the past seven months and it’s been really hard to be excited about anything, though there are still obvious highs to most of my days.

Back when I was using a bullet journal I kept a gratitude list as part of every monthly set up. Sometimes just a list of numbers that I could fill something I was grateful in for each day. Sometimes a blank sheet of paper so I could write or draw something every day or whenever I thought of something.

I wanted to get back to feeling grateful for things intentionally and having a place to remember them so I took the monthly spread in my Recollections Planner for a gratitude log. I don’t use my monthly pages for anything at all. They are always entirely blank. So I decided to try and fill all of the squares with one thing I was grateful for that day.

I haven’t exactly succeeded, but many of them are filled. I began this in September and filled 14 out of 30 days. In October I filled 17 out of 31 days. And so far in November I have filled only 7 out of 21 days. It’s a struggle for me. Some days I just forget, but other days I beat my head against it on and off all day and come up with only bad things. Those days I think of starting a separate list of things that are pissing me off or that are going terribly.

On hard days though I like to go back and look at my boxes filled with things that I love or that make me happy. Some of the boxes are just text, some have been decorated fully with stickers and washi tape, and many are blank.

Today I wanted to share a list of a lot of the things that have been on my gratitude lists the past couple of months.

  • Squeezing my kiddo
  • Yummy coffee
  • A math lesson with no fighting
  • Being able to read, even just a little (this was after my iritis was finally starting to clear up and I could see the pages again)
  • The library
  • Hot showers
  • Reading a physical book with no extra light needed
  • A quote from my daughter when I was crying “We are squishing you my dear. What’s the matter? And then a kiss. We take care of each other” (seriously though, how sweet is that little girl?)
  • Kindness
  • My eye Doctor
  • An easy morning with the kiddo
  • Cuddles with my kiddo while she reads me book after book
  • Early morning sticker time with my kiddo
  • Another quote from my daughter, this time when she was giggling herself awake in the morning “Mommy I saw a doggy. He hid two times and I found him” followed by lots of giggling
  • Planner time with my sweet girl
  • Wiggle Time (my daughter had been sick for a couple days and this was the first time she had willingly moved from the chair or bed
  • The excitement of a trip to the library
  • Not being pregnant (my cycle is highly irregular and I was just happy that it was late due to normal issues)
  • Cuddles with my sweet girl
  • Another quote from my daughter, this time while reading and not being able to quite sound out a new big word “Mommy a word is going wrong, help”
  • Watching my husband and Daughter playing restaurant in her toy kitchen
  • Books!
  • Hyland’s tablets when my baby is sick. She takes them happily and they work great for her
  • Reading
  • Yoga with my little girl
  • The best holiday I’ve ever had (Halloween of this year)
  • Pretty washi tape
  • Cinnamon rolls and coffee with the hubby
  • Another quote from my daughter who is still not potty trained “I was walking along and suddenly my butt was wet. Can I have a dry tushie?”
  • My daughter calls the garland on the Christmas Tree, Garlic
  • My daughter saying “A sticker for my friend Mommy” and giving me a sticker of Earth for my planner
  • A warm, safe, home

The quotes from my daughter especially make me smile. I’m working hard to focus on the things I’m grateful for. I hope you can find something you’re grateful for too. Share it in the comments if you’re so inclined.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Homeschool Planner for 2018-2019

Homeschool Planner for 2018-2019

Last year was the first year I was homeschooling my daughter. I was excited and bought more things that we ended up using. That was fine, she uses the extra workbooks in her fun time. She loves worksheets!

I also bought a recollections family planner for our lesson plans. Instead of writing the names of the family members down the left hand side, I wrote the names of the subjects. It worked great! But it is so big and way too expensive for what I actually ended up using it for. I’m the crazy person that plans out our whole year in advance.

I bought the last of our curriculum for the upcoming school year in February. And I have just a few books to finish putting in to my planner. This year I’ve written everything in pencil so that I can go over it in pen when we complete it.

We like to keep things flexible here, my daughter is only 3 1/2 after all. This way, when she gets excited about science and wants to do three days worth of science in one day I can just change the page numbers when I write what we actually did. It will still give me a general idea of what we’re behind or ahead on though.


The pages are simple and undated. They have room for 7 subjects and five days in the week. That was the biggest reason I didn’t just pick up a standard teacher planner for our preschool year. Monday through Friday didn’t work for us. I needed the ability to do school on non-standard days. With my only writing in pencil approach though I can adjust dates as needed and if we school on Saturday I’ll just cross off Friday and write the new day or date.

At $6 this was a far better deal than the $30 I paid for last year’s planner. Next year I plan to try the cute teacher planner I see dollar tree is carrying now. I would much rather spend the money on more craft supplies or books to read then on the planner.

Last year’s planner feels like a lot of wasted money and potential for what I needed to use it for. I think this year’s planner will be the best of both worlds.

Do you use a digital or paper planner for your lessons?

Current Planning System

Current Planning System

I was a hardcore bullet journal junkie last time I posted a planner update and I was for about 2 years. Then, this past February I received a Recollections planner from Michael’s for my birthday. And I fell in love. I have used it very heavily ever since. If it’s not written in my planner it doesn’t get done.

I’m still able to use all of the washi tape, stickers, and pens that I love and have collected over my bullet journal years and it works very well for me at this time in my life. Especially with the current chaos. It’s very easy to just open and go. That’s just what I need right now.

Recently my 3 year old decided she really wanted to have a planner like mommy so we wiggled a little bit of room in our currently very tight budget to get her one. They were on sale at Michael’s for just under $10. And my little girl was in heaven.


She now constantly asks me to play planning with her. She also, tells everyone that her planner says Let’s be Mermaids. Totally worth every sacrifice it will take for that $10 purchase. I’ve supplied her with some of my stickers, washi tape, and pens and she keeps her own “planner goodie box ” as she calls it available for use at any moment.

Right now, she doesn’t actually have much to plan, but we sometimes use it to make a list of what she might like to do that day. Usually we use it journal a bit about what she liked or didn’t like in a particular day.

I am so in love with this extra special time together.