Rock your to-do list: 10 ways daily action planning can get you there

#1—Sit down on Sundays to schedule your whole week out, from meals to workouts to errands.

Rock your to-do list: 10 ways daily action planning can get you there

I created the Daily Action Planner was designed with entrepreneurs in mind, but I’ve found that it’s the perfect tool to organize my family and home life too. It’s an extremely portable, affordable, command center for my crazy, gorgeous chaos!

The Daily Action Planner Story from Angela Jia Kim on Vimeo.

Here’s how I make it work best for my life:

1. Sit down on Sundays to schedule your week out ✍

My week starts on Sunday evening after the kids are in bed. I light a candle, have a glass of wine and open my Daily Action Planner. In the Weekly Pilot Plan, I plan out meals for the week, schedule my workouts, do a Brain Dump of everything on my mind, and set my top priorities for the week.


2. Meal plan ?

After planning meals for the week, I use the Scribbles + Notes page across from the Weekly Pilot Plan to make my grocery list. I strategically plan meals based on what I have on hand, and then everything else I need I put on my shopping list. By planning it all out on Sunday, I can usually limit my grocery trips to just once a week.

3. Insert “me time” here ?

I plan my workouts for the week on Sunday evening, put them on my weekly schedule and commit to this as non-negotiable “me time.” Every night when I plan out the next day’s schedule, I recommit to that workout by carving out that “me time” amongst all my other appointments and to-dos. I used to be very good at making excuses to not workout—but not anymore.

4. Plan a little each night before bed?

I have to hit the ground running in the morning, so every night I carve out a little time to plan out the next day. I sleep better getting all my to-dos out of my head and into my Daily Action Planner. Waking up with a plan for the day makes me more productive, organized, and present.

5. Take time to savor your successes ?

As a mom, my mind is always thinking about everything that needs to be done. I used to have a hard time slowing down and savoring what I’ve actually accomplished. Now, part of my daily ritual is making space for me and honoring my successes. It might be a date with my husband, a long walk or a hot bath—whatever it is, I slow down and remind myself that I’m pretty awesome and deserve to take care of my needs too!

6. Put things into perspective ?

When I feel overwhelmed by my work/life gorgeous chaos, I refer back to my Weekly Pilot Plan. Reminding myself about the week’s Top 3 Priorities puts my crazy life back into perspective. Even if these are the only things I check off my list that week, I’ve feel like I’ve accomplished something.

7. Check mark = celebrate ✔️

As I get things done, I always cross them off or put a checkmark in the box next to the item in my Daily Action Planner. Whenever I need a quick pick me up or feel like I’m spinning my wheels, I can flip through the pages to see all the to-dos I’ve tackled. Then, I pat myself on the back and find a way to celebrate everything I’ve done.

8. Be proactive instead of reactive ?

The Weeds section in my Daily Action Planner helps me be proactive instead of reactive to the gorgeous chaos I call my life. I always try to tackle my unsavory tasks (Weeds) first: laundry, paying bills, scheduling doctor appointments, backing up my computer, grocery shopping—you get the picture. By getting all these necessary evils taken care of early in the day, I don’t have to overthink or stress over them all day long.

9. Plant the seeds and make them grow ?

As a busy working mom, the Seeds section in my Daily Action Planner usually revolves around planning ahead, making life easier down the line or creating new opportunities. Connecting and networking, setting up playdates, working in my garden, sending out thank you notes, crafting press pitches—not all my Seeds will sprout immediately, but planting the seeds today will ensure a bountiful garden in the future.

10. Mark moments of gratitude ?

I love to record moments of gratitude. Every night I quickly reflect on my day, and there is always something I’m grateful for! Keeping these memories in the same book as my planner allows me to revisit those moments over and over, giving me something to smile about.

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After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.


Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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