Mom of 4 needs planner help!
I've been a member of this site (and loving it!) for quite some time, but this is my first time posting. I'm a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of 4 and I am in desperate need of a "planner" that will fit everything.
When I was expecting baby #2, I used a cardfile system (i.e. Sidetracked Home Executives) for housecleaning and paying the bills, etc. It worked really well and stuff got done! Baby #2 was a handful and I "fell out of the box", so to speak. LOL!
Since then, I feel I have tried everything under the sun and read every book on the subject. I now have 4 kids (ages 8, 6, 5, & 3), and we homeschool. I need something where I can track all the necessary information for our household to run, as well as our homeschool lessons.
I've tried FlyLady (www.flyday.com), but I tended to get carried away with the routines.
I've tried GTD, but it doesn't really address the issue of recurring tasks, which most of my list items are. Plus, I had a problem with larger tasks that couldn't really be broken down into smaller tasks.
I've tried separating my household planning from my homeschool planning, but I just didn't feel like it was working. Basically, the more I try to compartmentalize my life, the worse things work out. :)
I've also tried some of the teacher forms here on this site, but they just don't fit in with the kind of information I need for our homeschool.
My biggest problem, I think, is that I hate flipping back & forth between sections, or switching back & forth between planners. I have a software program I use for our homeschool records, but the forms & reports I can print from it don't really work in a classic size that's easily portable and it doesn't sync with anything. I have had some success using Outlook and syncing with my old "smartphone", but I have trained myself to ignore the reminder chimes. LOL! Plus, there is still the issue of including the homeschool lessons. I hate to turn on my phone only to discover that I had 173 active tasks! :)
Many of these issues can easily be solved by using a cardfile system, similar to a hipster. The cards can be re-filed and reused once they're done (that also solves the recurring tasks problem & hassle of rewriting them). No problem. However, we tackle so many things on a daily basis that I need 10" deep box for all my cards. Of course, I don't need all of them everyday, so I thought about using an index card binder for carrying just what I need today.
That worked well for a little while, but I got stressed about using index cards for regular notetaking & inbox items. I guess that's the only kink that needs to be worked out at this time. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this better, I'd greatly appreciate it.