One of my favourite things to kick off the new year is setting up my fresh, new planner.  Honestly, I get giddy.  I’m not a terribly organised person, so it carries with it the zeitgeist of “this year’s the year!”  I also love going through last year’s planner and thinking through all our wee family did.  Sometimes I see the densely marked calendar and think, “No wonder I was overwhelmed!”  Sometimes I’m filled with so much joy seeing friends’ names laced throughout the months denoting coffee catch-ups and celebrations.  This post is a look at what my annual planning session includes.  Things I add, tips for improving your effectiveness, and a bit of mom advice to boot.

Planner from Scurry Home & Paper


This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but more to help jog your own brain with what your particular periodic events that always seem to sneak up on you are.


  • Someone to thank, someone to affirm, someone to affirm– I saw this somewhere and desperately wish I could remember where, but I absolutely love it.  Having three people to hold in mind, actively and intentionally reaching out to, gets me out of my head and my “stuff.”  That is a form of self-care no one talks about, but is one of the most powerful I know of.


  • Scheduling appointments– It’s so easy to forget to schedule those recommended biannual dentist visits.  It’s also so easy to remember to schedule them when at the beginning of the year you make a note to your future self to do so.  Same goes for annual check-ups.
  • Savings contributions– Not to be a mom, but really, this should be direct debit.  Also, sit up straight.
  • Changing the air filters–  And you wonder why you’re so sniffly…
  • Pet care– Did I give Ted his flea medication four weeks ago or six?  Write your reminder with a wee checkbox and never be in doubt.


  • Birthdays– well, duh.  BUT, here’s a helpful tip.  Instead of just writing “Dave’s birthday,” write “Dave’s 33rd.”  As you fill out your new planners each year, it can be helpful to see if a big birthday is coming up you really should make a bigger deal of.
  • Anniversaries– another, duh.  But, as I said above, write which one.  You’d hate to see your parent’s 40th wedding anniversary go by with just a crummy card.
  • UK holidaysI’ve compiled a list here so you can write them into the American-made planners.
  • Kid’s school holidays– You do not want to be caught without childcare (or wishing you had asked for that day off)
  • Bills due– Car tax due, income taxes, insurances, TV license.  If it’s not already on a direct debit (or even if it is), this can be really helpful to make a note of.
  • House maintenance–  Boiler maintenance, washer maintenance, warranty expirations.  Boring, but helpful!
  • Car Maintenance–  This can be especially tricky to remember if you have more than one car and they aren’t on the same schedule.

things to add to your plannerI’m sure over the years this will grow, but hopefully this list of things to add to your planner gives you some helpful ideas for now.  Happy planning, my hopeful Type Bs (let’s be honest- the Type As do this in their sleep)!


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