Managing your Time and More Organizational Tools

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If you read our post a few months ago about changes that were coming up here at 11 Magnolia Lane, I mentioned I was creating our new line of Organizational Tools–so far we’ve launched The Calendar Pad and the Student Planner Printable and today, the printable version of The Calendar Pad in 8.5×11 is available, and that there was a story behind why I did this. Today I want to share what my motivation for these products was with you all. This is kind of a big story to tell, I hope you’ll stay with me.





You may already know that I left my full-time job last spring and when I was juggling working, parenting, blogging and oh yeah, I was also sick, my life was pretty much daily chaos. While I admit I was proud of myself for “doing it all” in some ways {even when I felt horrible} I knew I really wasn’t doing any of it very well and my health and my family were suffering. I finally made the decision to stop working and my health has improved in many ways since that time. I now get to spend my days working with Christy on this blog, something I admittedly love and that has been a wonderful thing too.




As I prepared to stop working last spring I had a brain full of ideas about what I would do “next”. Rest is apparently not a word in my vocabulary, but I also knew I couldn’t just sit around thinking about how bad I felt, and of course, there was that loss of a full-time income issue hanging out there. I had all sorts of ideas in my head {I drive Christy crazy with my frequent “we should do this!” emails, my brain is just wired that way, bless her heart} but literally the week after I stopped working I sat in church on Sunday and listened to hands down one of the most relevant sermons I have ever heard and was inspired. The topic was on managing your time.

My future plans became clear during that half-hour sermon. Like many of you, I have trouble NOT raising my hand {I have mentioned that before in these posts here and when I was in Working Mother Magazine here} to volunteer, to help out, to just do ALL THE THINGS. I fall victim to needing {wanting} a Pinterest-perfect birthday party for my daughter, somehow find myself in charge of Teacher Appreciation week, put pressure on myself to have a nightly proper balanced family dinner made of “real” organic foods {and fail regularly}. I could go on…I imagine some of you out there can relate.

But here is what I learned sitting in Church that Sunday:

Jesus never rushed–if anything, he stopped when he was too busy and instead sought time alone with God.

Where ever he went, people clamored for his attention. He didn’t heal every sick person {though, of course, he must have wanted to} or speak God’s word to every village. He had his plan and he followed it faithfully. He stopped, he rested and he sought God’s counsel when he was overwhelmed.

And when his time came, he had finished his “To-Do” list.

These thoughts changed my perspective.  I realized I wasn’t serving God by saying yes to everything even when I could consider it sacrificial on my part. I wasn’t spending enough time thinking about what my priorities were {Him, my family, my health} when I said yes to things and instead let the demands of the world {being a “good” Mother {friend, daughter…}, volunteering, adding more activities etc burden my life. If Jesus couldn’t and didn’t meet every need, why would I possibly have the same expectation of myself?





So, realizing it was OK to say NO essentially led to my creation of The Calendar Pad. I discuss in the video all about these pads as a time management tool {you can see it HERE} that we all have the same amount of hours in the week.  #Truth.




On this planner there is a section on the Pad for you to list your priorities; you can use it for your overall priorities {the big ones like mine above–Him, my family, my health} or your smaller weekly priorities like finding time to spend with one child who needs attention, reading your Bible more, resting even, whichever way you need to define them they are clearly there as your guideline.





Our time is a gift from God since none of us know how many days we have here on earth. Like all his blessings we are expected to use it wisely, being good stewards of what he has given to us. Before I switched to using the weekly Calendar Pad my daily planner always had a long to-do list and 99% of the time I never completed it. Now, by focusing on the week as a whole, I can plan things efficiently {more on how to do that is in the video} and see what is ahead. Of course the “large view” pays dividends in being more organized by planning ahead, limiting extra shopping trips and having a game plan.





In honor of this message, I have created a printable version of The Calendar Pad. It is 8.5×11 so you can put it on a clipboard or hang it on your fridge and print as many as you need.  I still love the printed pad version {available HERE} because I like the luxury of the quality paper and having the larger {11×14″} size to plan everything out. If you prefer a printable, of course the benefit is that it’s immediate gratification 🙂 as it is emailed right out, you can order via the button below.





The best part?  Like with all my products it is designed so you can snap a photo and have your weekly plan on hand at all times. Thank you

Thank you friends, for sticking through this with me. In many ways I admit this post seems a bit disingenuous after all, it’s mainly us bloggers promoting “perfection” on Pinterest and I suppose I can be considered a part of this recent trend. I can’t promise I’ll never host another themed birthday party, I find joy in it, but I have taken this message to heart as I have begun viewing my time as a blessing, something to be used thoughtfully and deliberately.


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Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky! Please see our full disclosure policy here.

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  1. I love the space! Where did you get the leopard print chair?

  2. I’m glad you found “relief!!!”

  3. Beautifully written, Amy! Our time here is truly a huge gift and blessing from God. This organizational tool would have been a lifesaver when my kids were young, I was working and trying to “do it all”. I hope a lot of mom’s will use this. Since I’m retired now, I can pretty much schedule my time pretty easily. 🙂


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