Routines? (Especially for household work)

I started my journey of organization with flylady, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one since there are planner pages out there specifically for her! I can't say I've followed her system perfectly, but it works very well.

From there I found this site to print out my own calendars, and gradually got interested in GTD - particularly for my job as a customer service rep tracking lots of short-and-long-term issues. I've since moved into more of an IT job, but no matter what I'm doing, it works GREAT, almost like magic!

However, one of the first things I did when I started flylady was create routines. They help enormously, particularly with housework. I have a morning, afternoon, and evening housework routine, a morning and just-before leaving routine at work, and even weekly, monthly, and once-a-year routines (for those things that are easy to forget but need to be done, like flipping the mattress). As a bonus, if I'm sick or on vacation, I hand a list to hubby and he knows what to do.

I now use a combination of routines for everyday, a calendar for scheduled appointments and tasks, and the GTD projects/actions list for other items. But reading through GTD, I didn't really see any mention of how to handle these reoccurring necessities of life - doing the dishes, finishing the laundry, etc - and I'm not sure how they fit in to the GTD framework.

I like my current system, but I'm always on the lookout for something better. I'd be interested in your thoughts on how to handle these kinds of tasks. To be frank, it seems a lot of the GTD proponents are men, and I don't see much on blogs about how it fits into domestic bliss and raising kids.


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Weekly Grid

I don't know if this is exactly what you are looking for, but I use the weekly grid form from the hPDA (index card) forms. I write in tasks, like dishes and laundry, then get a check mark for each day. I don't always have to do every task every day, but I do have to check to see if it needs done. Reading your post I thought it would be nice if I sectioned off the list into morning, afternoon, and evening -- which I think I will do next week. So that how I handle daily reoccurring tasks because I don't feel like writing the same thing in a task list every day. Hope that helps.


On the same type of idea... I make a grid like this in excel so that I can highlight the days I need to do something and I can print it out weekly or monthly - however you would set it up. So the dates go across the top (left to right 1-31), the chores are listed down along the left hand side and that is it!

I do this same thing....I

I do this same thing....I can't say it's making a huge impact yet, I'm usually too exhausted by the end of the day to get much done, but it is helping a bit. :)



Another way to do it is 'SHE' style, by making lists for the tickler. My tickler was in a 3x5 card box for a while, now I keep it in a software tool (for the moment). Anyway, in the SHE book, you make up cards for the tasks. Each card says what the task is, how to do it, how often it recurs, and sometimes when it was last done (if it's an item you like to skip).

So, in your tickler file for today, you'd have your three "Routine" cards, plus any other tasks you need to get done today. As you finish each "Routine" you'd file it in tomorrow's tickler. If you finish a once-a-week task today, then you'd file that card under the same day next week. Same same for one/month and one/year, etc.

It works very well for making sure you remember what you're supposed to do, as long as you have the habit of checking your tickler first thing each morning.


Reminder cards

Hi Courtney,

I found that GTD really didn't suit me - mainly due to my ability to over-plan and most of my work committments are immediate and not long term projects.

But I did find it useful for ideas.

I use a Fobster (a collection of business card sized cards) which includes routine lists I follow.

As I'm a fan of making things as simple as possible, I have one card for Monday to Friday, one for Saturday and Sunday, and one for each week of the month. So, at the start of each week I put the weekly card on top of the pile and check it for any big events. Then each day I check the daily card to remind me of what I planned to do that day.

I've been using the same Monday to Friday card, Saturday and Sunday card, and 4 Weekly cards for over 6 months.

Things like washing the dishes don't go on the lists as they're automatic things I have to do. I used to list the 'automatics' but then discovered I was getting silly about it - like making a note to 'get out of bed' or 'drink coffee'. lol.

The only items that go into my 'planner' (small Moleskine diary) are the one-off events that happen once through the year, like Spring cleaning. I keep a master list of those things in last year's planner.


There are a couple of forms here if you search under flylady, I've just started using her system too myself. They are a good launching point, but I have found awesome forms on
organized and

Sorry for suggesting other sites, but a lot of the content here IS very male oriented....

Have fun flying!


male oriented? DIY planner a gendered experience?

I'm NOT trying to start any flame war. But I am curious.

What is it that makes you say the content on DIY planner is male oriented?
Is it the content that it does have?
The content that it doesn't have?
The way content is presented?

I'm curious. I am female and I havent' found the site to be overly gendered. In ftf encounters, I'm fairly sensitive to gender, and often find myself to be sexist if I'm honestly assessing. (some people prefer to use the term reverse-sexism, but I prefer to just use the term sexism. reverse-sexism seems to let me off the hook for behaviour for which I really should be hold myself accountable.)

I know we have a fair number of contributors that are identifiably male, a fair number that are identifiably female, and a fair number that are not identifiable.

Like I said, not starting a flame war, and not at all saying your experience is 'wrong'. Just curious as to what it is that contributes to that experience. And anybody else that finds DIYplanner a gendered experience.

the ever curious one
(both meanings intended!)

types of tasks versus gender

My guess is that it has very little to do with gender per se and a lot to do with the types of tasks involved. I think the day to day and week to week routine of housework lends itself to Flylady and perhaps some repetitious office jobs with recurring tasks. While project oriented occupations lend themselves more to GTD as a way of keeping track of loose ends and preventing "endless loops".

If I'm correct then gender comes up primarily because homemaking is traditionally a female occupation.


Yes, I guess it is a little

Yes, I guess it is a little sexist for me to call a lack of forms with relation to homemaking something that affects women. I think most families find that much of the housekeeping and child-related tasks fall to the female elder of the household (and of course, most single-parent households are headed by women).

I've searched through diyplanner and found so, so many templates that are in my planner, but I have also found that when I try to "organize" my housekeeping I usually end up having to make my own forms because I can't find an adequate one here.

Maybe I should just shut up and submit my own forms as templates, eh!

Form submissions welcome

New forms are always welcome. I don't know how many Stay At Home Parents drop in but they may visit more often if there were forms tailored to them.

Unfortunately surveys show that in general a disproportionate amount of housework falls on women. Even when both spouses (or both parents as the case may be) have a job outside of the home. In that sense your observation merely reflects the world we live in.


Please do...

If you feel there are not enough "housekeeping and chore listing" templates here, then please do make your own and submit them for others. Obviously those here on the site have not found a need so they are currently not present or used other forms for this purpose (as described in many of the posts). That is why this is DIY so we can make our own and share them with others - pretty much the whole point to this site!

We look forward to your submissions!
nay nay

yeah, what CathMac said

I don't think YOUR comment was sexist at all. And it very true that not having content about a given issue that falls more often to women does indeed make it a gendered experience.

I too would love to see more routine's and home/social/personal forms. I'm trying to get away from work being my life.

So, shut up? no way! Submit forms? Yes please!!

On the issue of planners being gendered:
I used to use Franklin Covey systems. The last time I purchased a set, I very much wanted that gave me time slots beyond 7am to 6pm. The ONLY ones that did that were the ones that were very obviously targeted to women. I found that very interesting. Was FC sexist for assuming that the women were the ones responsible for scheduling all the evening activities with the kids and what not? Maybe. Were women overwhelming asking for place to schedule evening activities with the kids and what not? Very likely. I don't think it meant that FC was being sexist, just that it was reflecting a reality where division of labor still falls very much along gender lines.


Haha! That comment about

Haha! That comment about how Franklin Covey's planners go into the evening only for women makes me think "girl just wants to party all the time, party all the time, party all the tiiiime"!

FYI, I do work outside the home...just tend to find that I'm more interested in housework than my husband.

I hate planners that only go until 6 because I do martial arts and other classes in the evening and they often go to 10:30 or later. I don't really think, in this 24-7 world, that planners that only go til 6 are useful for either men OR women...?

That being said, my husband (who is a college student) has a tiny one-month-per-page calendar and I have a big one-week-per-page one. Maybe women do schedule themselves into more activities.

used to live in the schedule

I used to use the 2 pages per day Monarch size. I tried to schedule in working out, reading time, real appointments, housework, playtime, study time.... I did kind of like flipping through the pages and seeing the checkmarks next to positive habits I was trying to establish. Didn't like so much seeing Xes next to the positive habits I was trying to establish. But, now I just use color coded plus symbols when I do the routine stuff, and don't use the negative re-inforcement. With that, and no longer using my planner as a journal, I'm down to the junior size 2 pages per week. I still type in in shorthand the recurring chores I'm likely to forget.

what I love about DIYPlanner is I can experiment non-stop with the formats that work well for me. I'm about to change cities and jobs, so I bet it all changes again soon!



Was FC sexist for assuming

Considering how big FC is, I doubt they ever "assumed" anything. I'm sure it was based on experience and research. The fact that it was consistent says something to me--it was no accident. However, I would be very curious what went into such a decision! My wife does not work outside the home, but she home-schools three, and does many things. But oddly, ;-) both of us use our evening hours for various things. I'm glad my Palm calendar doesn't end at 6pm. ;-) (and when I was a student, neither did my classes!)


Time slots beyond the norm

While I most highly recommend DIYPlanner Kits, most of us seem to use purchased planners occasionally. For those, I like Day-Timers ( Their timelines have more variety (8am-8pm, 7am-10pm, 7am-8pm, etc) They also seem more "home" and "kid" oriented with organizational tools for tracking family schedules, chores, etc. And their Community Forum even has a section for "Home Office".

I don't work for Day-Timers nor receive any remuneration from them. I've just been a loyal customer of their day planners for over twenty years. Right now I'm using their undated 2pg/wk pages in my DIY-made Rollabind planner! :-)


Not so much gender as thought processes

GTD is a good planning tool for people who are working on a project with a beginning, middle and end. But I've found the thought processes around the-chores-that-never-end are quite different to the GTD planning ideas.

I think some of the GTD-based templates highlight that gap in thought process.

So, to me, it's not so much a gender issue as it is an issue between "project managers" and "life managers" - who have very different world views.

I have to say this turned

I have to say this turned into a far more interesting conversation that I originally intended. Never really thought about the "gender" of planning.


to previous discussion that I think relates...

maybe this one??

and here MEN actually want a daily planner that goes past normal work hours! Oh my gosh what has this world come to?? (this is my sarcastic tone)

Anyway, there are also a ton of other templates here that I think have been overlooked - they are not necessarily "women driven", but you will see there is a great variety here... Garden planning and tracking, ADHD specialized planners, hand-drawn templates, Dog/Pet care and journals, weight watchers, check registers, budgeting, medication trackers, and so much more. I don't know about you, but to me I think we have covered ALOT of things. Not to mention the above articles that talk about routines and chores and are not just posted by women, but men too!

have fun checking out all of the templates and the tons and tons of posts throughout the site!

ta ta for now,
nay nay

"and here MEN actually want

"and here MEN actually want a daily planner that goes past normal work hours!"

Perhaps they come here when they can't find a suitable one from the market? :P

Hmm.... help with post

I posted a comment with a link to a flickr pic of how I've set up my planner/todo's/routines, etc. but it hasn't shown up yet. It's been a couple of days. Maybe because it had a link it got caught in the spam filter?

spam procedure


The admins have given the spam procedure at

Editor's Note from innowen: For those of you interested in switching over to the notaspammer account, you NEED to tell us via email. Also, if you've lost posts to the spam filter, let us KNOW right away (as in the day you post it) and if you can, the URL that got eaten, so we can look it up and immediately unlock it. The longer you wait, the harder it is to locate that needle in the haystack. We have dayjobs and are fairly busy, so if you can help us troubleshoot your issues when you have them, the faster we can help make your stay here on the forums happier.

It would be good if they could put this info Under the Article Topics so it is easy for everyone to find at the point of need. Don't know if it is possible though.