Weekly planning is a topic I’m passionate about because 1) it helps me immensely in all areas of my life when I do it, and do it well, and 2) if I don’t do it, I find things spiraling out of control and extremely hectic during the week. These simple weekly planning tips help me every day. I run a business and have 4 kids. I’m a wife. I’m a friend and sister and have a lot going on with activities, family commitments, church commitments, and so forth. These are the reasons I created our Plum Street Planner, but today I’m offering this weekly planner version as a free printable. Everyone has their own kind of hectic going on, and yours may look a little different, but it’s safe to say most people I know are pretty busy. Setting up a good weekly planning session by following these simple weekly planning tips can help you so much. It won’t change all that you have going on, but it will help you tackle it better. You can’t plan for everything, but when you plan for what you can control, it helps everything run more smoothly.
My Sunday weekly planning session looks like this (I use my Plum Street Planner but this free printable is modeled after its design for you):
First I spend some time alone going over my calendar. I look through emails and calendar items to create lists of different areas I have tasks to accomplish. I write out my tasks and put all events and activities into my calendar. I even put reminders of who to call, text, and email. Without a reminder I often forget!
- Individual time planning:
- Every mom/wife/family task I need to get done for the week (errands for my husband, volunteering at the school, kids’ parties, etc.)
- Every home task I need to get done for the week (cleaning, replacing anything at home, organization projects, etc.)
- Every extracurricular task I need to get done for the week (coordinating rides or trips to kids’ games and events, church tasks, snacks for a baseball game, etc.)
- Meal planning (including planning actual meals and grocery shopping trips and lists)
- Business tasks for the week
- Business goals and longer planning for events and tasks coming up
- Communication + planning:
- People I need to call, text, or email (could vary from a business call to a call to the kids’ school, a birthday text to a friend, or even a note to call my grandma)
- Review of monthly goals (at the beginning of each month, in my planner, I set monthly goals)
- Other important events that come up, as needed
After I go through my own weekly calendar, each Sunday night my husband and I sit down and review our calendars together. We review big things we each have going on (a work trip or big meeting for him, an important deadline for me, carpooling our kids around, meals on days when we are out over dinnertime, etc.).
- Couple time planning:
- Review home calendar items
- Review business calendar items
- Plan some time for ourselves
- Discuss our personal goals for the week and family long-term goals
If needed, we will also do a family planning chat where we discuss with the kids big things we have coming up in the week. Just chatting about these things, chatting about our goals, and planning our time not only helps our weeks run more smoothly but it helps our relationship too. We stay on top of each other’s concerns, hopes, and goals.
Beyond this format, here are some simple tips that help me stay on top of things.
- Use your phone to alert you for important calls or actions (i.e. Siri, remind me to call my doctor’s office at 9am tomorrow to schedule an appointment)
- In your paper planner (or phone), write important to-do tasks at specific times (i.e. write that at 10-11am is your blocked off time to work on new product design or to clean your kitchen) – this helps you plan the flow of your day and stay on task
- At the beginning of every year (or now!) go through your year and add important events (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). For people or events you really need to plan for, add a reminder a couple weeks before their event and remind yourself to get a gift or send a card.
- Create specific and separate plans for important events (i.e. a work project, a birthday party, a house project)
- Create separate planning pages for travel details (errands to run before, packing list, accommodation and transportation details, restaurant recommendations, etc.)
All of these simple weekly planning tips probably seem basic but I’m telling you, these tips help my weeks run more smoothly. When we don’t make time for this planning session or cut it short, my weeks are always more hectic. With a husband who travels a lot for business, my own business to run, 4 kids with tons of activities, school, friends, family, and church, I couldn’t do even an ounce of it without some preparation. Sometimes, even talking about a busy day for 2 minutes before it happens can save so many communication mishaps (“oh you have to work late Tuesday so you can’t take the kids to swim practice? I’d thought you could do that and dinner so I scheduled a girls’ night out. I’ll try to arrange a carpool for them or reschedule my girls’ night so they don’t have to miss swim” or something like that). Of course plans can always change but preparing for each day helps things run more smoothly and give you a sense of purpose.
As a little gift to all my followers, I’m offering this free weekly planning printable here. It’s modeled after our popular Plum Street Planner and Plum Street Planning notepads . If you’d rather snag some planning products of your own, feel free to use the code PLAN25 to get 25% of your planning purchase in our shop this week. Otherwise, click the image below to download your 8.5″ x 11″ weekly planner.
I use my Plum Street Planner, but I’ve replicated the layout here in a simple printable for you – it’s sized to an 8.5″ x 11″ paper so you can easily print at home too. Just click any of the images or click here, to download and print. I love my Plum Street Planner though, if you’re looking for more than a printable! Our new line will be available this summer.
We also sell a weekly notepad planner which is perfect for quickly mapping out your week.
Print as many as you’d like!
I hope these simple weekly planning tips help you!