My list of cards for my Sidetracked Home Executives card file

Several of you commented on this post about my Sidetracked Home Executives card file, asking for my list of tasks each day.

(You can click here to read my very first post about this system where I explain it in more detail.)

So far, I have tried to keep it simple, because the more I try to micromanage my day, the more out of control it feels.


Well, because I simple cannot manage my day down to the nth detail. I have four small kids. I live a normal, hectic life like most of y'all. This morning I'm cleaning up pee off of my couch. There's not a card that is regularly scheduled for that.

So you'll see that there's some flexibility in them. ;)

Here's my daily list (and I'm still adding to it and taking away, as I see what works for us right now):

-get Em ready for school (dressed, hair, breakfast, teeth, backpack)

-kids' breakfast

-get kids dressed


-shower/hair/makeup/get dressed

-breakfast (this card moves around for me, just whenever it fits best. I usually try to grab a granola bar when the kids are eating breakfast, but I still have a card just in case I've gotten too crazy in the morning to remind myself to go eat something!)

-start laundry (wash, fold, put away)

-internet (30 minutes!! email, blog, Noelmignon message board, facebook, bills)

-dishes (wash & put away)

-Bible study (another card that moves around based on how early I wake up... usually by this time in the morning, the kids are happily involved in a pretend game, so I can have a little time to do this)

-Clean one (1) room. (The reason why I do this, and don't have it more specific, is because it just depends on which room is the grossest. Sometimes they all are, and I just need to pick one to get done to make me feel better. This way, every day, there is at least one room that gets cleaned- and by clean, I usually mean, picked up, dusted, vacuumed.)


-pack lunch(es) for tomorrow (depends on who is going to need lunch)

Ariana: nap/ Sabriel & Atticus: quiet play in rooms

-scrapbook time for me (yeah, right... I suspect this one isn't going to happen all that often... but one can dream!)

-3:00 pick up Em!

-Sabriel: nap

-start dinner

-Em: homework

-Em: pick out clothes & pack bag for tomorrow
-Atticus: pick out clothes & pack bag for tomorrow (this card rotates depending on the day)
Sabby: pick out clothes & pack bag for tomorrow (this card rotates depending on the day)

pick up playroom/bedrooms


-bathtime (I'm trying to come up with a good schedule for bathtimes still... I think I may get some of the kids to bathe earlier in the day because we only have one bathroom, and four kids that need to bathe...and one mom to do it all!)

storytime (This is also when we read a Bible story to the kids)

bedtime for the kiddos

-pack diaper bag

I also have cards for my design team work; one for each team, and I've got the cards on certain days of the week so I can stay focused on what needs to be worked on in the evenings.

So there you have it! Obviously, we don't stay home every day, so there are some days that this all goes out the window, but it helps for me to have a least some goals & structure to each day. :)

I hope this helps y'all out. I would love to see you guys' lists and the way you structure your days! Leave me your links if you do.

(P.S. Read this post this morning from Simple Mom about our priorities... loved what she had to say and thought it was very timely, in thinking about all these things!)


  1. I'm exhausted just reading this! Four kids is a lot of work! Pat yourself on the back for getting through these kinds of days! :)

  2. I have a weekly schedule around here but it is always very flexible. Laundry is done Mondays and Tuesdays only -unless emergency and that way I avoid doing it constantly. Sunday evenings is meal planning and grocery shopping for the week. I pack lunches when cleaning up dinner. I clean or pick up one are of the home often with the help of the kids at least once a day. We try to do the same and layout clothes, backpacks, homework the night before. Sometimes I even cook on Mondays extra pancakes or french toast that can be reheated the rest of the mornings for breakfast. This seems to make mornings less rushed around here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts...it certainly helps to know I am not alone with the juggling. The thing I am having a hard time finding time to do is scrapbook regularly!!

  3. oh i totally have a card for cleaning up pee off the couch...poor Lee!

  4. It took me a long time to search on the web, only your site explain the fully details, bookmarked and thanks again.

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  6. Thank you for writing (and scheduling time) to share your thoughts. I also have four children under 8 and I just discovered that i am a micro manager. this has been hard to swallow for me. and I go back and forth with feeling i have everything under control to OMGosh what do i do now! so thank you for giving me some more direction.

  7. I an the mom of 12. My oldest is 28 and youngest is 6. I started this system in 1985 when I had 2 kids and it has kept our house cleaner than most.I have to focus on 1 task at a time or become overwhelmed and accomplish nothing. Now that my kids are in school and I am a sahm, I have cards for flute (20 min), scrapbooking (Friday...all day), sewing...Tues afternoon, crocheting (at library 12 to 2pm).When school is out so is the free time,but for 180 days I can have some "me time." It took 28 years to get to any scheduled free time. Gayle

  8. I love this!!! My house seems just as busy and there’s just me and my fiancĂ©e!! Our days are super hectic. We both work full time and he renovates our house part time and I run a cosmetics business out of the partially renovated house part time, I also go to night school. Then we squeeze in time for our own extra activities, soccer, blog, family, wine drinking with the ladies, ect. The poor house gets neglected just because there’s no time and with renovations going on I have given up just on the fact that as soon as its clean its messy again in few hours. I am crazy list maker and live my life by them. I will be assembling my own card system this weekend!! I have added to my to do list...lol

  9. This is soo cool! BTW I love your signature!

  10. Absolutely amazing! I love the creativity that you poured into your personal S.H.E.; I plan to begin in the next week or two. You wouldn't even believe my insanely chaotic schedule if I told you, and very sadly in about two weeks I'm having neck surgery and will have to trust my husband. HA! Scary...

    1. Recently i've been having a strange sharp pain in my right side abdomen. Having had serious kidney/kidney tube problems and surgery 2 yrs ago, i suspect i may be heading down that road again. . . . but the very thought of going thru all that again; the tremendous expenses involved; the worry about who's dependable enough to look after my 87 yr old disabled husband, our two dogs and house cat; the thought that all my to-do's keep dragging on undone; the kitchen being in such a gosh awful mess; the thought of someone having to come in to make sense of it all and actually be of some help ... it has brought me to tears in front of my husband and i never ever let him see me that way since he has enough of his own issues to deal with. "scary"? damn right it is absolutely terrifying to me. The one person i thought i could trust my household to for just 4 hrs this summer while i went to town for business, closed our precious one yr old cat in our unused non air conditioned den and left him there. When i came home i couldn't find him and when i finally did he was almost dead from the heat & no water. . . . now i am heartsick because there is NO ONE i can trust with my tiny family & household.. . . So i do deep breathing until the pain in my ab subsides and/or lie down with a heat pad on it. I refuse to give in to it until they have to drag me away. In the meantime i have doubled up my focus on getting things in order around here if it ever comes down to that. . . . So I am following Virginia's tips and setting up my S.H.E. card file so i can get my act together and hopefully it can help whoever does end up here taking my place.
      This is 3 years since your surgery i hope it all went well for you.

  11. Absolutely love this idea. I have a problem with time management. Before I know it half the day is gone and I haven't got anything I actually needed to get done. I kept my list fairly general but wrote times on them. These are exact times but it keeps me somewhat on track. If its already 10am and I haven't done any of my daily to-do's then I know I am running very behind.

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