Planners 101: How I Use My Planner Through The Week

Everyone has a different way to plan their days, weeks and months. A million different kinds of planners, digital and non digital, to do lists and much more. But it’s what you do with them and the time you have to make a plan that counts. There’s a few things I do to be my most productive and scheduled self during the week. Here’s a peek into the strategies I use through the week…

First of all, knowing what you need in a planner and how you’re going to use it is the starting point. Do your research and look through as many as you can. Also waiting for sales periods like end of the year or spring when they tend to go out a second time with shorter amounts of time in them but still useable for 6-10 months out of the year! A student is going to need something much different than a mom on the go or someone who has an online business or blog (like me). Brands have all sorts of layouts (and some are fully customizable) and can be really fun to decorate like the one I used last year, The Happy Planner. Before that I used Erin Condren, Panda Planner and now I’m currently using the Peacefully Productive Planner from Hustle Sanely.

My VA and I have set weekly and monthly planning sessions and we assess when and if we need more. This includes a virtual Sunday planning session that is held online in two apps called Zoom and Voxer (walkie talkie and messaging app). Sunday planning always happens every week around the same time 5-6pm PST, we jump on Zoom to do this and talk through everything while we problem solve and plan/work. In a way to stay on track with goals and checkpoints, we message through the day sometimes so I can stay on track. We hold each other accountable by planning our weeks in our calendars, co working on projects, social media and writing we need to do. Checking in on goals and progress is what makes this so beneficial for all of us. We also all keep in touch this way through the week because we live all over the country and this app makes it so simple and convenient. Every quarter, we have a longer meeting online through zoom- about an hour or more, sometimes we get sucked into chatting and dreaming about how to reach our goals best.

I am a big supporter of using Trello (app) for organizing thoughts, planning and keeping all the things that you need to remember or list out in one place. It’s been a great way to keep strategy and planning accessible to those who help me with my blog and my VA who is the one I plan with most.

Leaving your planner or to do list out where you can see it to use and it’ll be handy is the best way to set yourself up for successful. Because after all, if it’s not written down and planned then nothing gets done and forgetfulness creeps in.

When things get frustrating or at times when I get stuck writing something or creating new ideas, checking in is helpful. I text or email a friend and usually and that really helps to re-motivate and inspire me. When my VA, Pam, recently had a baby I consulted with another friend of mine who also works in an online consulting space- she helped me find new topics and flush out some outlines so I could stick to my posting days. Leaning on each other for brainstorming and inspiration or just a simple opinion is one of the greatest parts to using Voxer with my friends.

When I am feeling chaotic I use to-do lists or make a brain dump to get it all out of my brain and sort everything. My mind gets bogged down with all the “open loops” of things that I’ll do someday or need to remember at a certain place or time. Consistently I use my notes app to jot down all kinds of random things, a recipe, a password, a website or things to remember to buy or something to do or watch. Also it’s a place where I logged all my donations which made that easier for me.

I constantly love using reminders and notes app in my phone. I check them multiple times a day and having alarms for appointments and important things helps me very much. It’s great to easily date and set a time of events, appointments and more so they don’t slip my mind.

Recently I’ve been reading books to help achieve goals and be super productive while you’re working on each step. “Eat That Frog” is a great book to help you with techniques to be your most efficient self and get more done with less effort. It’s a book that I highly recommend checking out. It’s an easy read with big rewards.

Well I hope that some of the ways I use my planner and make myself most productive and efficient resonated with you. You just have to find what works and what you enjoy using the most. If you’d like some advice or to see what my planner looks like- I have a few posts on it here in the blog.

Thanks and I hope you all have a great week!


You may or may not be a person who spends a lot of time on their phone. But I feel like a lot of us do whether its in a waiting room or yes, in the bathroom- we are on our phones a lot in this generation. I know a lot of people do not have disposable time.I am in a very unique situation I know- but I have downtime to excel and play these mobile games (some of which I’ve had leveling for years now). I find when I need some quick stimulation- fun, easy, mindless mobile games are there. All games I mention here will also be available for download on both Android and Apple devices. So here’s what I have to share that I really enjoy and you might too:

Township- a farming, manufacturing sort of game I think I’ve been playing since like 2013- so uh a really long time. I’m level 77. You build factories and create goods for the townspeoples’ orders. Then you gather the needed ingredients from farm, ships or factories. In the meantime you build out your town and customize it the very way you want. It’s very addicting!

Kim K Hollywood- Yes I know it’s Kim Kardashian but they used to have a bunch of fun fashion and modeling games and now they are all stupid and boring. This is the only one I’ve found that has “missions” and does keep my attention. Also been playing this for a long time!

DragonCity- A dragon breeding and building game. There are a few like it but I feel this one excels in the options of gameplay you have and are not just one action repeating. I’ve been playing this since 2015 and I really enjoy it, it’s one I check in often with.

World Chef- The only cooking game worth it anymore. We used to have a game on Facebook called Chefville (oh my was I addicted to that game). It got shutdown and removed from the platform but if you like cooking games and not timed or rushed ones this may be a good one to try!

Horse Haven- Simply because I like horses, it’s a bit childish and easy to play but the animations are fun and it’s a pretty game as well. You feed, breed and take care of horses while up-leveling them in events and rarity.

Harry Potter the Hogwarts Mystery-Who doesn’t love this series?! Not many. Well this is as if you’re in the movies and right along with Hagrid and Ginny and Hermoine, and Ron. The characters have some other names but it’s realistic and has LOTS of gameplay and seasonal challenges too.

Best Fiends- The one is SO highly rated that it’s often in commercials or been sponsored by some popular figure in web or media. It’s a fun but challenging matching game with these bugs that do different things! Hard to explain but oh so fun! They have HUNDREDS of levels and also some special limited time content. Great game to play while you’re waiting for your kids or late at night when you can’t sleep.

The Sims (mobile)-Similar to the Sims online; you create characters, dress and get them jobs. You work on singular missions and achieving them grants you rewards and money to spend in game. I’ve been playing this for quite awhile so I took a break and changed some houses. I need to sort stuff out again before I move on.

Slotomania- This is my LONGEST running game and to be honest I don’t touch it as much anymore because it can be a money sucker. It’s easy to drop 1$ here or 5$ there or soon you’re adding 20-50$ like it’s nothing. However; if you can resist the urge to get ahead, this has HUNDREDS of levels is never ending and hold your attention for a long time. Also I think it’s the best slot game in the mobile marketplace!

Homescapes and Gardenscapes- Playing a puzzle type game, with a storyline gets you rewards to achieve objectives in game. You are remodeling a house and guiding the characters day to day life. One is a home setting and the other is garden, both like the other they are fun mindless games much like Best Fiends.

I know I’m not the only one who uses their phone for more than just calls, texts and reminders. The empty time while waiting in line or sitting on hold, I often turn my phone to games to hold my attention or keep me awake. Mobile games are more fun with friends so let me know if you download any and we can play together and help each other.

20 romantic movies you might not have seen

I’m not a person who love LOVES movies- but give me a rom-com or chick flick and I’m good anyday. Grab some popcorn, a glass of your favorite (fill in the blank) and a cozy blanket and make a night of it with your sig other or just your girlfriends! As I was trying to think of other things you could do before the month of loooove is over this came across my mind. Some of these are more popular than others and a few are just classics, but even the underrated ones I would recommend. Give any one of these a chance or have a binge night (currently on my lady time and I’m kinda feeling that right now). Leave your favorite rom com/chick flick in the comments below and maybe some of us haven’t seen it yet! Thanks for sticking around and I hope you enjoy!

The Holiday
Love Actually
The Prince and Me
Kate and Leopold
Princess Bride
Leap Year
Friends with Kids
Much Ado about Nothing
About Time
Just like Heaven
Made of Honor
From Prada to Nada
The Wedding Date
Music and Lyrics
The Last Song
Nights in Rodanthe
Definitely Maybe
Always Be My Maybe
In Her Shoes

And with that I hope you liked my suggestions and if you have any that you love or that I maybe haven’t seen be sure to drop it below and I’ll be sure to check it out and tell you what I think. Now I’m gonna go have myself a night considering what kind of mood I’m in right now. I hope you have a great weekend!!!!!

20 things that make me HAPPY

Sometimes we all get in our feels down in the dumps and maybe you have been (after Valentines Day) although I hope not. I’ve been feeling some kind of way and finding myself trying to be more thankful lately, find the good moments and simply feel happier. I’ve been talking my therapist more about ways to control my worries and everyday anxiety and well I thought that this might be a great exercise for us all. Go take out a piece of paper and a pen and do this with me. Write down 2-0 things organically without duplicating things/people/places etc that make you happy.

Here’s my list:

-puppy kisses (those three are my pride and joy)
-a good music jam sesh (loud in the car is the best)
-a clean house (when you literally see the counters sparkle and those vacuum lines)
-a laugh with friends that hurts it’s so good (or cry)
-looking at old pics and memories (memories will always be what they are)
-snowfall (rare in certain parts of the PNW so we treasure it)
-a favorite meal (chicken divan- look it up, it’s good and better with hollandaise sauce)
-geese honking in flocks overhead (a special time of my evening when they fly right over my house)
-a long slow kiss (isn’t that romantic?!)
-a fancy cocktail (on occasion a mojito or daquiri please)
-being creative in any medium (new crafts are FUN)
-oversized cozy sweatshirts (ones my BFF makes for me)
-traveling *need to do this more post C-19)
-playing a game with a loved one
-low key holiday celebrations (nothing fancy- just a cheese plate, dinner at home and a dog show)
-improving our home (one project or renovation at a time, making our house our own) or *read this post*
-realizing I’m so so blessed
-a perfect hair day (move over farrah fawcett, I need a blowout)
-making new friends (online pals are the best in times when you are quarantined especially)
-writing this blog (thank you for sticking around)

I’d love to hear your list and your comments about whatever you want to share. I know this is a super short post but still has substance and it’s a look into the real me behind the invisible curtain. I think we get so caught up in daily life that we forget how to make ourselves happy, that we can change our mood/mindset-simple as that. Honestly I could have gone on and on, it’s so healthy to know these things as part of our self care practices.

Hi! I'm Nora

I’m a stay-at-home wife & dog-mom. I began this blog ten years ago,  I couldn’t ignore that I felt a calling to help people find comfort, a sense of belonging or a place of community whenever they really needed it. » Read more about me here on my About page!

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