How I set up My DAILY Planner


Last week I released my brand new DAILY planner – did you hear the news (here’s the announcement)? I am so excited for this tool and thought I’d share a couple tips and tricks for how I’m using it myself with the hope that it will help you too! If you’re using a different planner, my tips can still help you get it set up 🙂  Like a video format?  I shared a video on my YouTube channel here.

Let’s get started…..

First things first, think a little bit about how you want your planner to look – this is a tool that you’ll be using for a year so it’s important to put a little thought into it first.  Do you want to use color?  Black + white?  Choose a writing implement or two and a small stack of sticky notes and/or a notepad get started.

Here are my must-have planner tools:

  • pens
  • colored pencils
  • paper clips
  • large bulldog clip
  • sticky notes
  • notepads
  • stickers
  • eraser

Start by filling out the month you’re starting with and as many other months you’d like to start with – I recommend filling in months as you need them.

The Clean Mama DAILY Planner includes 2018 and 2019 at-a-glance and holiday calendars perfect for referring to as you’re setting up the year.

Put the DAILY planner where you’ll use it.  I keep mine in my office on my desk open to the current day and then at the end of my work day I turn it to the next day.

Choose a time of day to fill it out for the day ahead.  You might want to fill it out the evening before or in the morning or maybe a little bit all day long 🙂

I start with the TOP 3 TASKS and frame my day around that.  These are the three things that I need to get done.  It might be work related, family related, or home related – these are the must-dos.

PRODUCTIVITY TIP: On days where I have a lot going on or I feel overwhelmed, or in preparation for the weekend/week ahead, I’ll do a little brain dump and write down all the things that are swirling around in my head.  Then I prioritize them and put them into the next day.  If they’re on paper and one of my TOP 3, I know I’ll get them done.

When using other planners I have always struggled with 4 things:

  • not enough space to write
  • time slots that made me feel constricted
  • feeling like the planner was lost when I didn’t keep up with the pre-printed days, weeks, and/or months
  • the prompts were irrelevant or non-existent

I set out to create a planner that was different and encourages just the right amount of productivity in a beautiful and simple way.  I love having a spot for all those little things that I think about during the day in my planner.  Money, homekeeping, menu planning, errands, health – these categories all have a spot to jot down a reminder or a whole list.

Here are a few little things I do that help me keep things organized.

  • I use a paper clip on the current day and move it as I go.
  • I use a little color coding with colored pencils to keep things together.
  • I separate work and home.  By keeping these two things separate, I find that I get more done in each category per day.
  • I keep receipts, stamps, stickers, and notes in the back pocket so they’re handy.


  1. Thank you so much for these posts, sharing your experience and your insights! I also like how it works well for a more advanced home organizer or a beginner.

  2. Does this have a section with a month at a glance? I think that would be the only other thing I need. The constraints you mentioned about traditionslotger planners is my problem!! I so want to try yours but I love, & find I need, to be able to glance at month in one to plan out bigger things, like appointments etc.
    Thank you for sharing your system!

  3. Hi,

    I live is South Africa, and love your planner, but it will be so expensive of I order it due to the value of the Rand.

    Just wanted to let you know that it looks awesome!

  4. Already ordered mine, I can’t wait! I love that the day isn’t broken down hourly… as a stay at home Mom who works at home, I don’t have a lot of time commitments, just a lot to do! I really like the idea of separating work and home tasks.

  5. Fran Philip says:

    I would love to own one of these however I live in Australia and you don’t ship here. Please reconsider sending here. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

  6. Lisa Hudson says:

    Thank you for the close up pages! I wish I had seen these when I was making a decision on a new planner last week. I pulled the trigger on something else, because I couldn’t find a big enough image. I like yours much better than what I ended up with 🙁

  7. I too ordered another planner but I fell in love with this when I saw it! So, of course, I ordered it!! It’s not pre-dated so I can always use later…and I ordered a weekly planner not a daily so maybe 2 planners might be the ticket for me LOL. And I like getting it discounted. So winner winner chicken dinner… I can’t wait for it to get here!!!!!!

  8. Hi.

    I have bought some of your printables in the past and it works great. I would love to buy your daily planner, but you do not ship out to Australia. Is it possible to make it available as a printable?

    Thank you

    • Hi Maggie! I am working on International shipping but in the meantime, there are companies (ShopMate + Borderlinx are two examples) that will ship to a US address and then ship to you. I have had quite a few customers use them 🙂

  9. How do you use the goal section? I don’t think I am utilizing that section well. Would love to hear your thoughts!

    • I use it for an over-reaching accomplishment or as a gentle reminder for myself. It might be salad for lunch or it might be walk the dog or read for 15 minutes. 🙂

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