I tried and tried to make up my own housekeeping planner and notebook and frankly, I hated it. My homemade version didn't seem to look "professional" and I did not like to use it.
After some thought I decided to go back to what I used when I was working full time: a Franklin Planner System. Yep, I forked over the money back in January to purchase planner pages that I had used in the business world and that I am now using at home. What a difference in my day.
I have used the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People planner pages for years and just as they worked for me in the office; they work equally well at home.
Last fall I needed to order new planner pages but when I was surfing the internet one day I noticed planners that women had created on their own for homemaking. At the time I felt that this would be a better option for me now that I was home full time and would also be cheaper since I would be creating the pages myself. I tried for 3 months to use my new system and I struggled with it. I finally had to admit that my homemade version just wasn't working for me and it was time to go back to what had worked in the past.
Using the planner pages that I had used for years was like partnering with an old friend again.
I have a PDA that I can use also, but for the most part I love to see things written out on paper on planner pages as it is easier for me to "see the whole picture" of what I need to get done in my day.
I didn't totally abandon the Household Notebook idea in that I have kept in it information about my houshold such as when we purchased an appliance along with the serial numbers; paint samples and their numbers for different rooms in the house; decorating ideas from magazines and so on. I find that it is a convenient place to keep bits and pieces of information that I can have at my finger tips.
In trying to save money I came up with my own planner and design and in so doing I ended up with something that I didn't want to use day to day. It was useless to me. The best way for me to explain it is to say that it just didn't look professional.
The new/old system works. Now I use my planner daily to schedule appointments, to keep me on track with housework, to track spending and most importantly to help me decide what is really important in my life and to set goals with those things in mind.