Planning Day | How to Plan + Printable Daily Planner

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Today I’m talking about how you can set aside time each week and each season to plan your days. Having a clear plan of action – even if you’re a stay at home mom like me – can really help you stay focused and productive. I love my planning day each week because it sets me up for success the rest of the week!

Planning Day | How to Plan + Free Printable Daily Planner @ AVirtuousWoman.org

I know you’re busy. This crazy life can really trip us up can’t it? Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and I know it’s because this summer I haven’t had a plan. I got busy. Stopped taking the time each week for planning. And it’s left me feeling out of sorts.

Like, I don’t even know where to start. Should I clean the bathroom? Should I work on my next article? Should I deep clean the attic?

Those are the kinds of questions that run through my mind when I don’t have plan for my day. I wake up with this overwhelming feeling that there’s so much to do {and let’s face it, I pretty much focused on just the fun stuff this summer} and how do I get back on track?

The good news is, I’ve been here before and I know what works. I know how to get back on track and get rid of that feeling of overwhelm. And y’all, it’s really not hard at all.

Fall has arrived and with it comes a sense of routine – or the sense that a good routine will get everything back to normal. The fun and freedom of summer was great – we had some glorious days! But nothing beats a good old fashioned routine.

That’s where my planning day comes into play. I love having a planning day at the beginning of each season to think about bigger goals and I love having a planning day each week to simply prepare for the next week.

Are you ready to ditch the overwhelm and find your groove? Get back into a routine with me and let’s feel like today was a success.

Taking Time to Plan | Planning Day

We’ve been on the road for the last four weeks. We finally arrived home a few days ago and I’ve been trying to get back into a rhythm which isn’t the easiest! The girls started back to school last week and trying to get back into a routine has been a challenge after so much time away from home.

But, y’all, we had an amazing family road trip/ vacation.

We took off at the beginning of August and headed to Wisconsin for a week of church youth meetings. When the meetings ended, we drove through Michigan and up to Canada where we visited Niagara Falls, Montreal, and so much more.

After leaving Montreal we visited Portland, Maine and drove along the coast and spent a couple days on the beach in Connecticut, saw the Statue of Liberty, visited Washington, DC and saw so much in between the different destinations. Just really a great vacation.

It’s nice to be home, though. By the time we were on our last leg of the trip the girls were starting to talk wistfully about getting back to our old routine, going to the gym, ice skating, and horses.

So, today I’ve been working on coming up with a plan, getting a new mindset, and finding my groove again. One major thing that has changed is that I was hired to do on-going project work/ freelance writing and I know I need to have a good plan for our days if I’m going to get it all done. I’m so excited about this new freelance job. Really a dream come true for me!

Creating a New Routine

I’m working on our new schedule/ routine for the fall. This probably my biggest hurdle to cross right now. We’ve fallen into a pretty laid back routine over the last few months – before summer even began, so we have a lot of work to do to get ready for a more serious routine.

In fact, last week getting up at 4:00 am to get to the ice rink was really hard. I’m not gonna lie. I’ve enjoyed sleeping in until 7 or 8 most all summer long.

Hannah has skated some this summer but only averaged once a week or so and we didn’t have those early morning hours. Not easy! I feel like I’ve been spoiled this summer and so lazy. But it was good.

So for now, we’re going to ease into a form of our old routine. And we’ll be working toward a steady routine.

My children are getting older – Laura, my youngest, is sixteen already and Hannah is almost nineteen! Crazy how quickly the time has passed.  My time is spent a lot differently now than when I had five children at home and babies.

If you remember, I talked about being burn out in the past and I no longer allow myself to over-commit. Part of recovering from burn out was doing way less and not stressing over things. But I’m ready to get back into more of a routine with my household chores, homeschool, and other activities. It’s exciting, if not a little overwhelming!

Freezer Cooking

One thing I really want to implement this year more is batch cooking and freezer cooking. Over the last year I’ve done some freezer cooking and have loved the recipes I’ve tried so far. And I want to do more!!

Freezer cooking is a great way to spend less time over all in the kitchen, so I’m excited to try new recipes.

As I mentioned before, this morning I made two batches of Orange Cranberry Muffins – one batch for today and a second batch for later in the week.

This evening I’ll be making a pot pie with a biscuit topping. I’m planning to make a second batch of biscuits and fry up some vegetarian “sausage” patties {while the pot pie bakes} for tomorrow morning.

We’ll be headed out early in the morning for a day at the ice rink and having breakfast already made will definitely help out – and it’ll also mean we can eat something better than cold cereal before running out the door.

Here are a few freezer recipes you can try:

And if I’m still feeling energetic when I get in the kitchen later today, I may make a third batch of biscuits to put in the freezer for later. We’ll see.

I hope to share more ideas for batch cooking and freezer cooking soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, be sure to check out Once a Month Meals – I’ve been a member there for a while now and love how easy they make freezer cooking.

Meal Prepping

And while I want to incorporate more freezer meals into my routine, I have been meal prepping for almost a year now and it’s a life saver when it comes to busy days – especially when the girls are so busy with their equestrian and figure skating activities.

I love being able to grab a ready to eat, homemade meal that just needs heating up for those days when it seems like we’re in the car a whole lot!

How to Plan Your Time

1. Choose a day to set aside time just for planning. You could do this seasonally and even weekly. Seasonal planning is more about overall goals and plans.

  • Weekly planning is about day in and day out stuff – menu planning, socials, outside activities, household chores. I like to do my weekly planning on Sunday.
  • Seasonal planning can be anytime that works for your current lifestyle.

2. Gather your planner, a notebook, pen, computer, etc. You want all the tools you need to help you plan. I use my computer for somethings, but I’m really a paper and pen kind of girl.

That’s one of the reasons I love my Purpose 31 Planners so much! Instead of printing my homemaking planner and using it in a notebook, the past year I’ve been hanging the pages on my fridge and I love this system so much that’s what I’m sticking with again this season.

Purpose 31 Planner | Weekly Planning @ AVirtuousWoman.org

3. Ask yourself some questions. For example, seasonal questions could be:

  • What has been working for me? What do I love about this past season that worked?
  • What has not been working? What do I want to change?
  • Where would I like to see myself/ our family in three months time?
  • What are some goals for this time of the year I want to accomplish?

When planning your day or your week, ask a few different questions: 

  • What outside activities or appointments do I need to schedule into my day?
  • What meals would be best to make on my busiest day? i.e. meals in the slow cooker
  • What household chores do I need to make sure get done this week?

4. Write down your thoughts and goals. I like to print our routine and laminate it and put it up on the refrigerator for everyone to see. I used my Purpose 31 Planner to organize my daily goals and weekly menu and it’s a life saver! You can see how I use my planner notebook here.

5. If serious changes need to be made to your normal routine, it may be important to have a “family meeting” or at the very least let the kids know what changes will be made and any new rules you’ll be implementing!

At the beginning of each new season, I like to sit down with my kids and talk about important topics like who will be responsible for what in maintaining the household and what I expect as far as our homeschool days go. It’s important to not be critical, but do address areas that need improvement.

The Purpose 31 Homemaking Planner Printable New Layout @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Should You Use a Weekly Planner or Daily Planner?

In order for me to be at my most productive during the day I need to be able to wrap my mind around how I organize my time and feel good about my plan. In fact, I struggle to know what to do next when I don’t have a plan.

It’s a terrible feeling. I find myself feeling overwhelmed like, what should I do next? 

For the last few years I’ve really enjoyed using my weekly planner pages and I’m still using them each week to keep track of all of my homemaking efforts and menu planning.

This season I’ve added in a new Daily Planner page to my planning. I print several at once and keep the stack in my simple clipboard. And for a limited time, you can grab this free printable in my Free Resource Library. Just fill out the form below and you’ll be sent the link right away to your email box.

Purpose 31 Daily Planner | Free Printable @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Here’s what I know: When I don’t have a plan, I waste valuable time thinking and stressing over what I need to do. But when I have a plan, I know what I need to do and when I need to do it. Give it a try!

Remember, it’s important that we use our time wisely. Otherwise, before we know it, life has passed up by and we’ve just floated from one moment to the next without really living life with purpose. Taking the time to set aside a planning day can be a great way to stay on track with family and life goals.

Be intentional about how you spend your days because days turn into weeks and weeks turn into years. You only get this one life!

And remember, being a Proverbs 31 Woman isn’t about being perfect. It’s about living life with purpose!

Here’s some other posts I’ve written along these lines that you may enjoy:

How Long Does Planning Take?

When I sit down to make plans for my week, it typically takes me less than an hour. This includes meal planning all of our meals, finding recipes, etc. It also includes thinking about the things I’d like to accomplish in the coming week and getting those ideas down on paper.

Planning doesn’t – and really shouldn’t – take very long. If you get into a good routine of planning your week you may find that it only takes about half an hour.

Should I use a notebook or clipboard or something else?

Using a clipboard system or a notebook system or even just jotting down a plan on a sheet of paper is really just about your preferences and what your goals are.

  • Would you like to be able to grab your notebook or binder and take it with you everywhere?
  • Do you mainly want to use your planning pages in the house?
  • Do you want to be able to add other pages to a notebook or binder and have them all in one place?

Over the years I’ve wanted all those things at different times. There is no one right way to organize your thoughts. The main thing is to simply get your brain dumped out onto paper so you can visualize your goals better.

Free Printable Daily Planner

Free for a limited time! Download my brand new Daily Planner below. The file includes both color and black & white versions. I hope you enjoy it!

Purpose 31 Daily Planner | Free Printable @ AVirtuousWoman.org

How to Download

  1. Fill out the form below and you’ll receive an email giving you instant access to my Free Resource Library.
  2. If you’re already a subscriber you’ll find this resource along with lots more printables in the Library!
  3. If you don’t want to subscribe below you can still grab this printable daily planner in my shop for just $2.97.
  4. If you are a blogger, you can grab my free printable planner for bloggers here.

Having a plan for your day can help you find a sense of peace that you just don’t have when you have no idea what to do next or what’s important and what’s not important. Stop the busy work and just get to work!

Let me know if you have any questions and be sure to follow me on Instagram where I’ll be sharing more about creating a daily plan of action in my stories!


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  1. Found this on Pinterest on the most perfect day ! Planning day for the year myself !!! Like you , I am bit more laid back and so " starting the engine " of planning and follow through takes a bit of pep :) Thank you for this Post . I look forward to receiving your emails . We also home school and my youngest is turning 10 in a few days . It's always nice to find a Kindred spirit . Leticia from King Maker blog
  2. Hi Melissa! Just wanted to say hello and tell you I am in the same boat. I am sitting in my van in the college parking lot, waiting for one "child" while my 3-year old is asleep in the car seat, and it is a good time for planning. I have my notebook open with YOUR planner pages inside. We just started school on Tuesday as well, after a long summer full of calamities. I just had everyone on a slow-start schedule while I try to carve out time for planning the rest. I found your post to be very encouraging, and just wanted to thank you for the blessing.
    1. Hi Christi! It's nice to know I'm not the only one! Actually even though I spent a day planning, this week was hectic and nothing really went that well, so I'm focusing on planning again today - hoping for a better start to next week. We had a "family meeting" this morning to lay down new rules about things {our schedule} will go from now on {hopefully}! I hope you enjoy the planning pages!

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