Odds & Ends Index

iPhone with calendar


How to Make Quick & Easy Cards

Journaling: Use Your Calendar!



Sittin’ For Supper (eating dinner as a family)

11 Fun Activities to Do With Your Kids

Kids…Please Go to Sleep!

The Ring Sling!

Clever Gift Wrapping Technique for Families With Nosy Kids!

Preschooler Escape Thwarted by Clever Grandparents (safety lock for exterior doors)




Bye Bye Brown Bananas (Banana Keeper)

Aluminum Foil Frustration No More!

From One Slob to Another…. (Tide Stick)

Let Your Little Lights Shine! (Turtle Style!) (foggy headlights)

Help for Reaching High Places (stool)

Flashlights! Where Are They When You Need Them?!

Handywoman Homemakers Need Nifty Tool Kit



Running the Dryer Costs HOW MUCH???

The Proper Care and Use of a Garbage Disposal

How To Fix a Frozen Garbage Disposal

Making the Most of Your Air Conditioner

Appliances: Use With Caution!

11 Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

Smoke Alarms Don’t Last Forever

Security at Home

Monthly Checks Pay Off

Home Inventory – Do It Now!

4 Reasons These Are The Most Horrible Chairs Ever Made!

Paper Napkins No More

5 Tips for Caring for a Handmade Quilt

Fix It or Toss It – Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em (getting rid of things that are broken)

How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies



Pet Doors Allow Access

Want Dog? Need Fence? Have Solution!

Pets Can Be Messy! (Furminator, Pooper Scooper)

An Alternative Cure for Claws: Cat Claw Caps




10 Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

Less BANG for Your Buck (trimming tips if you plan to hack your own hair) Dry Shampoo – No Taboo!

Kiss and Make Up (how to care for make-up brushes)



10 Ways to Spot a Fake E-Mail

Are Your Computer Files Safe?

Got Problems? (problem solving technique)

5 Ways to Get Motivated

Establishing New Habits Requires Creativity!

It’s Veg Time! And No, I’m Not Talking About Vegetables! (relax time on the couch)

Things We Like (Pinterest)

Snack Stash

11 Ways Seniors Can Get Out of the House and Have Some Fun!

Camera Phones Aren’t Just for Pretty Pictures

How to Give Great Gifts

Uh, Oh – Need a Christmas Gift Fast?!

Remember Christmas (journaling)

Merry Christmas! (Christmas photos)

Countdown to Christmas – 7 Tips For Dealing With Difficult People

5 Bad Reasons I Don’t RSVP

How to Leave a Good Phone Message

5 Options When You Can’t Find What You’re Shopping For


Money Index

money cat image


Bringing my Sky-High Grocery Bill Back to Earth!

Bringing my Sky-High Grocery Bill Back to Earth! Part 2

Bringing My Sky High Grocery Bill Back To Earth, Part 3

Grocery Makeover Progress Report

10 Ways to Save $ at the Grocery Store Without Using Coupons

Couponing: Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers, Of Course)

Grocery Gateway – Stockpiling

Grocery Gateway: Developing a Strategy & Making a List

Grocery Gateway: Organizing Your Coupons

Grocery Gateway: Saving Money With Coupons!

Tracking Your Spending At the Grocery Store

How To Whittle Down a Grocery List That’s Too Expensive


13 Tips for Staying on Budget

Budgeting Made Simple

Set Aside $ For Future Payments Using Your Checking Account


Save Some Money & Get Some Deals With Groupon/Living Social Sites

One Less Errand to Run (on-line shopping)

Warehouse Shopping: Cost Effective or Costly?

Drugstore Shopping – Yes, There Are Great Deals!

Retail Shopping – Ways to Save


Homemade Goodness: Cheaper, Better & Not As Time Consuming As You Think!

Who Wants to Save Some Money??? (annual reviews of accounts)

Saving Accounts: Divide and Conquer

It’s Time for Some Change! (saving your change!)

Christmas Costs Money So Start Saving Now!

How I Track My Finances in My Planner

You Don’t Have to Use Cash to Stay On Budget

How to Win a Billing/Rebate Conflict


ADHD Planner Setup

This is probably going to be the strangest planner setup article you’ve ever read.  But maybe the most interesting, too?  Well, it’ll definitely be an experience.  I just hope that when you’re done you don’t think I’m a nut case.

Many of you know that I used a Franklin Covey Compact two pages per day for 20 years.

Franklin Covey Compact Planner

The first 15 years I didn’t realize there were other options so I stuck pretty faithfully with my FC (fewer options is better when you have ADHD).  My recollection is that I used it faithfully.  But my archives and my best friend say different.  My archives show gaps in use.  My best friend says I’ve always struggled with my planner.

Until about 5 years ago, I made it work.  It served me well enough that I was able to keep my ducks in a row, for the most part.  But 5 years ago life started getting crazy.  I won’t bore you with all the details but let’s just say I went from a well-ordered life (at least that’s what I remember) to a crazy one.  Life became very unpredictable and difficult to plan.  And my FC compact started driving me crazy.  I tried anything and everything to get it to work but I just couldn’t.

I started exploring other options – like upgrading to a FC classic size (5-1/2 x 8-1/2).  I liked all the space but I didn’t like carrying that giant planner and looking like a nerd.  I tried Filofax.  I bought a personal Malden and day on two pages inserts.  But it was too small. Are you seeing a pattern here?  I sounded like Goldilocks and the Three Bears – this one’s too small; this one’s too big.  It seemed like the compact was just the right size.  Only it wasn’t.  And I was tired of it.  20 years is a long time.

So I struggled.  I can’t tell you how many nights I sat on the couch with three planners on my lap.  I asked my husband’s advice so many times he can practically recite the speech while asleep:  “Just pick one. What is so hard about a planner setup? Any of them will work.”  And the rest of my family just rolled their eyes when I mentioned my planner struggle.

At the end of every year I started panicking about which planner I’d use starting January 1st.  I desperately wanted to pick one and stick with it.  But then January rolled around and I was no closer to choosing!  I just felt more pressured.  By the time February arrived I was completely depressed because I wanted this to be the year I decided.   Oh, wait.  I did decide. But then I changed my mind.  Sometimes multiple times in the same day.

And here we are again.  I have to decide because I’m driving myself (and my family) crazy and my ducks are NOT in a row!!!

So I analyzed my schedule and my needs and realized that most of what I do every day is the same.  And between my household routine and my blogging routine, I don’t have much time left.  So I created a custom page for my Filofax that included routine tasks with a few lines for extra tasks.  Those few lines were to remind me that I don’t have much extra time so I shouldn’t write much.  I also included things to do sheet on the left side for all the other stuff I think of that needs done sometime.  That sheet travels with the daily page.  Notes about my day go on the back of the page.  I also borrowed an idea from Raine of limetreefruits and added a “De-Brief” page at the end of the week where I can write a summary of my week and a few thoughts about how I can do better the next week.

Filofax personal custom pages

Filofax personal custom pages

Filofax personal custom pages

Filofax personal custom pages
De-Brief is an important part of my planner setup.

I used these pages for a couple of weeks and was very excited about them.  But then I noticed a problem (of course).  Using this planner setup I wasn’t getting the extra things done and some of them were important.  Also, I had several days that fell apart and by the time I had a chance to catch my breath, I was completely overwhelmed and had no idea what to do next (thank you, ADHD).

And that’s when I realized that as much as I love the personal Malden Filofax with my custom pages, they will not work for me.  I need a different planner setup in order to function effectively with a chaotic schedule, ADHD issues and all my responsibilities.

Drum roll please.  And the answer is . . .

Franklin Covey Classic with Two Pages Per Day

Are you disappointed?  Were you expecting something . . . well, different?!  I know.  I was disappointed, too.  But after much analysis, this is what the doctor ordered.

Here’s how I’ve been using it:

Franklin Covey Classic

I divided the to-do section into three parts.

TOP:  Must Do


BOTTOM:  House Dailies

Then when I have one of those days when I go from Plan A to Plan M and I don’t have a clue what to do next, I just look at the Must Do category and pick one.  It doesn’t even matter which one.  If I happen to get all those done, I can choose out of the other sections or not choose.  It doesn’t matter that much since the Must Do’s will be done.

The best part of having the page divided this way is that it’s easier for my ADHD mind to compartmentalize.  That’s the problem I was having with the custom pages in the Filofax – because of the small pages, all the tasks ran together and when I needed to see what to do next, I couldn’t.  That’s not necessarily going to be the case for everyone – that’s just me!

I’m also marking the schedule page so I can see at a glance when I have time to work on my Must Do’s or other tasks.  On this particular day, I was free for a little while in the morning but then I left to pick up the grandkids.  From 11:00 to 1:30 I was either traveling to get them and bring them home or feeding them lunch.  The time from 4:00 to 8:30 was when they would be up and expecting my undivided attention. With my schedule marked this way, I’m able to see exactly when I have time to work on tasks.  In this case, a little time in the morning, a few hours in the afternoon, and after 8:30 when they go to bed.

I might end up using the very bottom section for my menu but for right now I have it up at the very top. Once again this is the planner setup that works for me. It might not work for everyone.

I’ve divided the Notes page into two sections.  The section on the left is for notes – anything and everything that comes up during the day.  The right side is my food journal.  I’ve increased my activity lately and now it’s time to clean up my diet.  The most effective way to keep a food journal for me is to have it right on my planner page where I can see it every time I look at my planner.  If it’s in a section at the back, it’s easy to ignore.  But right there . . . I can’t miss it!

I’m also using the Progress Task List made by Franklin Covey.  It allows me to write all the other tasks I think of directly on the page finder and that also is in clear view so I don’t forget there are other things to do besides the ones on my list.  But they’re in a designated location so they don’t overwhelm me.

Here’s another sample:

Franklin Covey Classic Planner Setup

So this is my planner set-up for 2014.  I hope.  Wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted – unless I’m too embarrassed to admit I changed again.  And if I do change again, it’ll probably be right back to my FC Compact . . . which is actually looking pretty good right now . . . you know, just the right size.  Just kidding.  Mostly.

How about you?  Do you struggle choosing a planner setup and/or format?

 More time management/planner articles are available
in the Time Management Index.

What’s For Dinner (No. 191) & Cooking Tips, Too!


This week’s What’s For Dinner is a bit different since it includes the Thanksgiving meal. There are lots of things I want to share about some of the foods I made this year.  Plus I found a few really great recipes you might be interested in. So let’s get started. Continue reading “What’s For Dinner (No. 191) & Cooking Tips, Too!”

Mopping Made Easy

Mopping Made Easy

Mopping has always been a challenge for me because of all the traffic in my house – people and pets.  Cleaning the floors on my hands and knees was too much work but using the strip mop left the floors wet for too long.

Years ago I discovered the Swiffer Wet Jet.  I loved it because it allowed me to clean my floors easily and they dried fast.  But I didn’t like having to buy the pads and cleaning solution. Even though there are plenty of ways to make your own pads (hello tube socks) and cleaning solution refill (vinegar)

Continue reading “Mopping Made Easy”


Taking a Break

I’ve been blogging here at homemakersdaily for the past 4-1/2 years and it’s been a great experience.  But I need a break.  So I’m turning things over to Steph Caldwell who will be continuing the tradition of practical, real, homemaking related articles.  In the next day or two Steph will start sharing her experiences and ideas with you.

Thank you for your support and please continue showing that support to Steph.

And before I go, just a few more Lucy pictures.

Lucy 1 Lucy 2 Lucy 3