How I Use My Planner & Daily Routine Printable Together

posted by Andrea | 09/17/2012

Last month, I shared my new, updated and customizable free Daily Routine Printable. It was a big hit and they are still being downloaded like crazy… so glad you like them!!

However, what I didn’t mention (and what many of you asked about) is how I use my Daily Routine Printable along WITH my beloved Invite.L planner.

And I most definitely DO use them together!

You will probably never catch me without one or both of these items at any given moment.

Maybe when I’m sleeping… but even then, I’ve been known to leave my planner sitting on the floor next to my bed for all those ideas I have in the middle of my sleepless nights with Nora 🙂

Nope, not joking! 

Anyway, as you might expect, my system for using both of these handy tools is VERY SIMPLE. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, nothing difficult… so bear with me; you might be thinking “DUH” when you get to the bottom of this post.


First Things First:

I print my double daily planner on both sides of an 8 1/2 x 11″ piece of paper. This means I get a total of 4 individual planner pages per sheet of paper (and I usually print about 15-20 sheets of paper at one time). I cut the pages in half and keep a small stack in my office cabinet right above my computer.

Please note that the double planner is NOT customizable via the computer, if you want to type your own routine in, you’ll have to use the full-page planner (technical stuff that I can’t figure out how to change!) Otherwise, you can print off the double planner and just make photo copies.

Daily Stuff:

Every night before I go to bed, I look at my Agenda/Planner to see what’s happening the next day (and only the next day). Do we have any meetings, Drs. appointments, important to-dos etc.?

I then take these items and put them on my daily routine printable for the following day. I list out the “Top 5” most important tasks, I list out appointments, to-do’s, anything I need to buy, etc. I write out a tentative menu for the next day (based on my weekly menu plans), as well as any house hold chores I want to accomplish the next day. (not next week or next year… just tomorrow)

I put my daily routine printable on top of my planner and set it right next to my computer (or next to my bed!) so I’m ready to go in the morning.

Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Stuff:

As I make more appointments, schedule meetings, sign up to bring food for a church potluck, receive wedding invitations, etc. etc. I write all of those reminders, to-dos, events, etc. in my planner. And if I need to schedule something more than a year in advance, I just write the details on the blank pages at the end of the planner.

I write EVERYTHING down — and if I run out of room in my planner, I’ll wedge a sticky note or small piece of paper  inside the pages of my planner to remind me when I get to that page in my planner.

This is my way of making sure I don’t forget anything… and yes, my life would come to a screeching halt if I lost my planner!

The Perfect Pair:

So as you can see, I use my daily routine printable for DAILY stuff, and my planner for more LONG TERM stuff. 

My planner is my “life”, organized in one small notebook that is easy to carry around and add to (or refer back to) when needed.

My daily routine printable is my day, organized on one sheet of paper that can be put by my computer, posted on the fridge, or shoved inside my planner (or wallet) if I’m out and about.

They work together splendidly and both pieces are crucial in helping me stay organized!

For example, one of my sisters got married in July, the other one is getting married in October, and you probably can imagine all the showers, parties, and events that we had/have due to those weddings. So, I wrote all the dates, times, and events down in my planner right away.

Then as the events got closer, I wrote more specific details on my daily routine printable — like buy or wrap the gift, make food, arrive at my dress fitting appointment, pick up Dave’s tux, etc.

This way, I can look at my planner for a general overview of the week or month, but I can look to my daily routine printable to get the specific details of the current day (and let’s face it, lately, I haven’t been thinking much past the current day!)

Is it worth it?

I can already guess that some of you are thinking — that’s too much work to transfer stuff over from the planner to the daily routine printable every single day… is it really worth it?

Yes! It most definitely is. At least for me 🙂

Obviously, this system won’t work for every single person (just like any of my organizing tips), but it’s honestly not that much work — and it makes my life SO SIMPLE!

Since I write out a daily to-do list every night anyway, it just make sense to keep it neat and organized using my daily routine printable. Plus, this alleviates the need to write EVERY SINGLE DETAIL down in one small box of my planner.

So while I know my system isn’t perfect or fool-proof, it has been working for me for almost 2 years — which definitely says something! 

If you’d like to give my system a try, you can download my free daily routine printable here (or the double version here).

You can also look at the different planners they have over at Invite.L. I use the Agenda (which is out of stock right now) but any planner should work.

How do you keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly to-dos?


Filed under: LifeDaily Life

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  2. Shelley


    Hi Andrea. I was just looking at the post of your new planner and I would like to know the size of planner that you use. What size do you recommend?


    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Shelley,
    My planner (both old and new planners) are 6″ wide by 8″ tall. It’s the perfect size for me at this point. If you order from Personal Planner, you would select the “A5” option — that’s the size I use and love.



    Shelley Reply:


    Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it. I love your web, blogs and all your recomendations/tips. You always have a solution for everything :). I would like muy house to look like yours.
    Since I found you I read all your post 🙂

    Take care an happy holidays



    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Shelley!! Glad you’re such a loyal reader 🙂


  3. Janie


    I do something very similar, for my daily schedule and to do list. . I like the format of your daily planner.
    And I never could organize the many post it notes of ideas I jot down every day.. (i watch tv with a pad of post its next to me!!!) I like the idea of using the planner for that, and post its for excess when you run out of space keeping everything together…

    Us paper and pen people have to stick together!


  4. Luīze


    Hey. i looked at your printable planner, and i wanted something like that for me too. But im latvian, and i made my planner ir latvian language.
    Will it be ok that i coppy your site in to my blog? 🙂


  5. Pam


    I looked on invite.L and can’t find the planner you posted a picture of. Help! I love it ! Its exactly what I need.


    Andrea Reply:

    here you go pam:


  6. Nora


    Hello! Will be purchasing this Agenda! Just wanted to know if you use any other items from the site for your organization tools. I have always been organized, but after being a stay at home mom for 2 years, my office is a danger zone of clutter making life very stressful.


    Nora Reply:

    And now I am about to read the thread, so I imagine I may find my answer. 🙂


    Andrea Reply:

    Besides post-it notes, the Agenda and my Daily Routine Printables, there really isn’t anything else I use!


  7. Joy


    I use a combination of a few things that are all, more or less tied together, since I can be so forgetful. The primary controller is Outlook. My iPhone, iPad, and laptop are all linked together. So when I need to put a task in, I just pull out whatever I have closest to me. Give it a few minutes and my other devices have it too. More and more I’m switching to that. However, I keep a “Together Teacher” system that I have adapated for my itinerant job. 1″ binder. First section Weekly Calendar (which I print off of Outlook after I’ve done my schedule), then the To-Do list, which I put in to the computer anything that I’ve added in print to my binder, purged the ones I have done off of the computer, then print out the new task list. Next is the comprehensive calendar, which is a basic outline of my schedule for a couple of moths. Each month is printed on long paper, which I fold in half to fit in the binder (just do not punch holes on both sides). There are places for my caseload and for meeting notes in my binder as well. Very handy-being able to make it all work out. .


  8. Michelle


    I love this daily to do sheet so far. I heard about it from a you tube video and I love that I can personalize the list, but the “customizeable” sheet does not have the option for the “double planner” you created. I like the lines to write on and like the option to personalize all the spots for my life. Is there any chance that you might make this “customizeable” sheet one that is set up like the “double planner” print format? I’d love to use this in my planner but mine is a personal – desk sized planner (2 on a 8 1/5 x 11″ sheet of paper). I really like this site. Everything is right at your fingertips and as I discover more here, it is one of my new “go to” sites! Thank you for the work you have done to help other work at home moms and moms of every situation! God bless!


  9. Kristy


    No matter how much I drool when I hear about Evernote, I am a paper planner person. Something about writing a task down makes me do it!


  10. Robi Murray


    Hi Debbie!!!

    This is the second article, or blog rather, that I have read of yours. I must say I am so excited to have found you and especially this blog. My life is so unorganized when it comes to daily routine and keeping track of long them events. I’ve tried everything from buying a planner to using a “great must have app” on my phone. I’ve come to realize that I am just a pen and paper kind of gal. I have been praying that God show me some way to get organized because a lot is moving in my life. Reading this really gives me hope and is GOD SEND for me. It seems this practice can even carry me after I start to have little ones. I’ll be back to definitely let you know how this worked out for me. God Bless You!!!

    Mrs. Murray


    Robi Murray Reply:

    I’m sorry this is for Andrea!!! I was reviewing Bab’s note to Debbie… guess her name stuck, lol. 😉


    Andrea Reply:

    Haha — no big deal!
    Glad you’re trying my planner system — I hope it works as well for you as it does for me!


  11. Babs


    Hi Debbie…
    You NEED EVERNOTE!!!!!!!!

    1. All of your Scribbled,handwritten notes and jots can be either SCANNED into it in a notebook or just randomly and tagged Scribbles or whatever name you like. You can also snap a PICTURE of your note with your IPhone and send it directly to Evernote(EN). Evernote recognizes handwriting and searches text…AND you can EMAIL FROM your scribble if you wish.

    2. You can create TO DO lists in any imaginable form and save those, too if you wish.

    3. If you download the app REMINDERS, you can send yourself a time alert and also SEE all of your to do’s on your IPhone.

    4.Google Calendar imports to IPhone

    5**You can create a Gazillion Folders under NORA and save everythnig she EVER does and recall it instantly,send it to anyone . You can photograph to your heart’s content…and KEEP ALL of them in EN FOREVER in any way you wish. You can save her first everything and when she marries GIVE her her COPY of her life….all in EVERNOTE!

    6. NOTES- you can create them in any way that makes sense to YOU. You can add a photo or import a spreadsheet . You can have a SHARED folder with others working on the SAME folder. You can edit a project and others can add to it but the ORIGINAL remains unchanged.

    7. YOUR customizable budget and Planner can be used within EN, too.The program can seem LARGE at first, but you just dive in. Learn a little as you go….you may not totally give up your planner…but I bet you will put the filled in planners in EN and then you can refer to them FOREVER….AND you GET RID OF a LOT of PAPER CLUTTER!

    8. Can you tell I LOVE Evernote?! One of the reasons is that it’s mission is to be a 100 year company and it operates like your second brain…hence the logo..REMEMBER EVERYTHING…! Many schools are using it and it teaches organization and creativity. There is a program(app) called SKITCH, which lets you doodle and draw. There is also a great app called MY JOURNAL…SIMPLE…you just write. You can add pictures and send it all to evernote.
    ALL of your remodeling efforts could go there along with pics, plans and costs…AMAZING!
    You get the idea….so hope you will consider using it. Try it for 6 mos….you’ll be changed!

    Really enjoy your site….seldom am interested enough to use many sites. Yours is one that I find to be delightful! Keep up the good work!!:)


    Andrea Reply:

    WOW… WOW… WOW — sounds like you really DO love Evernote 🙂
    I’ve actually tried it before but just never got the hand of it — and I just love my handwritten notes.

    I suppose I should give it a longer try. After all, I already have the App installed on my phone 🙂


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  13. Lisa


    Thank you so much for this! I’ve always just used a monthly planner, thinking that would work for me. But lately, I’m needing so much more. And after you explained how they work together and gave us a printable, I’m trying it. And it’s working! And I’m saving up my pennies to order The Agenda when they get the 2013 in stock. Love your website.


  14. Debbie


    This is a great post. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and learning how you stay organized and on task! I do have one question though. When you put an event in your planner that requires advanced preparation, where do you write those details? For example, I am in charge of our church’s monthly newsletter. I know that it is due the first sunday of every month, so if using your system, I would write that it is due on that day in the planner. But there are a number of smaller tasks that I need to do ahead of time, and each of these tasks has a very flexible range of days that they could be done on. Do you record this type of information on a specific day in your planner or a general To Do list? Thanks!


    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Debbie — I usually just pick a specific day to do these types of tasks and actually “schedule” them. Even if it’s a flexible activity, I’m more likely to get it done if it’s scheduled and planned for a specific date.

    Since I run my own business and work from home, my entire life is flexible — so I’ve found that unless I schedule everything, it’s really easy to push it back to “some day”! I even schedule cleaning and household chores because otherwise I forget or just don’t get around to it!


    Debbie Reply:

    Thanks so much for answering my question! I think your system that you described above using a planner and a daily planning sheet together might just be the perfect task-management solution for me! I’ve been looking for and trying different systems for a long time, but have never found anything that really seems to suit my needs and personality. But the last few days since I read this post, I’ve been trying you method and so far I am very happy with it! I share in common with you that my whole life is flexible, and I think that has been part of my time-management problem. There is always PLENTY that needs to be done, but not enough structure to keep me focused and on task. So I can see how just scheduling tasks for a specific day could really help with that. I am so thrilled to have found your site! You have lots of great tips and insights for people like me! Thanks again!


  15. Sara


    I found this post to be especially great. I love the planning pages you and others have available to print or customize, but I’ve never known how to best combine them with my daily planner. This helped a ton! Thanks!


  16. Starla


    I use my own planner, The Time Keeper. A few years ago I was so tired of searching for a planner every year that WORKED for me. So I brainstormed for a solution and created my own planner! I incorporated all my favorite features of the planners I had used:
    monthly & weekly layouts
    menu planning
    to do lists
    tear-out grocery lists and more.

    Andrea, I know you’ve seen The Time Keeper before, but I’ll include a link for your readers. You can find the 2013 edition here:


  17. Sandy


    I am with you, my life would come to a very BAD site if I lost my planner since I am a true believer of planners. I plan to start to use your printable daily planning system in addition to my large planner.
    Again Thanks For All the wonderful posts, they are a bright spot to my day!!!!


  18. Julie


    Hi, I just wondered what you did with your daily routine papers once the day is over? Do you keep them as reference or do you throw them out? I don’t keep mine, but I do keep my monthly meal planner sheets. Handy for future meal planning. Thanks


  19. Jen


    I’m a total paper planner person. I’ve tried to use Outlook but I always go back to my planner. I have to be able to see my calendar and my to do lists. There’s just something about seeing a completed list that makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. I make lists every night on scrap pieces of paper for the following day. I’m now switching to your daily routine printable 🙂


  20. Susan


    Yup. This is me. But I keep my calendar on my laptop using Outlook. I also keep a master list of “chores to do” on Outlook, which are set up to cycle around every few days after I click when they are done. Works great. However, I still transfer to a “Daily To Do” list very similar to yours each and every day. It keeps me focused on the day.


  21. Robin


    I’m wondering if anyone has found success with Google calendar? I’ve been thinking of switching. I have the ability to use Outlooks calendar, but don’t like the fax it’s not sinking with my phone. This would be my preferred method! I’m trying to get away from my day planner and paper!


    Lily Reply:

    I love using Google calendar. Especially since you can have so many categories that you can look at independently, you can share access to parts of your calendar with others, and you can copy from posted calendars (the school uses Google Calendar – just copy those events right over). What I don’t like is if I need a hard copy of what is on my calendar, I can only get either too little info or too much. Nothing readable & compact like a standard wall calendar.


  22. Cherie


    I will try your way and see if it works for me. Thanks


  23. Cherie


    I am going to try your way and see if it works for me. Thanks


  24. Stel


    I tried using a similar printable, but failed miserably agter 3 weeks 🙁 Now I just try to utilise my tiny diary better It’s a moleskin, with the 7 days on the left, and notepaper on the right…I must just remember to check regularly! Might just give your printable a try, though.


  25. Katie


    I do something very similar but instead of using a printable daily page, I just use a notebook. I also put my grocery lists in there and any other random thoughts that come to mind! But I do transfer from my planner to the list and I think it’s helpful and worth the effort!