Remember how I mentioned that one of my New Year’s resolutions was using a planner? Well, I have been using one…and I LOVE it!! I can’t believe I have gone so many years without using one. It goes with me everywhere now! So….ready for a tour? 🙂
Before we start our tour, I should say that I got many of my ideas, if not most, from the Giftie Etcetera blog. She has some super ideas and I highly recommend reading through her planner posts!
I bought a pretty red Franklin Covey 3 ring planner. It’s hard to see in the picture but it has a pretty floral design along the side.
There is a pocket with several slots on the inside of the front cover. Anything waiting to be processed, or papers I need for later (like directions to someone’s house or a party), are tucked into the back pocket. I call this my inbox. I use post it notes a lot so I keep a small stack of post it notes in one of the slots so they are easy to get to whenever I need them.
The first thing in the binder part is a semi clear plastic divider. This is my dashboard where I leave little notes to myself….things I want to looks up, shopping lists, etc. I see it every time I open my binder and I change them out regularly.
I made dividers using a piece of printed scrapbook paper for the front and a piece of solid cardstock for the back. The two were laminated together and then I added tabs to them.
The first section in my planner is a month on two pages. I used planner pages from a Day Timer (because they are pretty 🙂 and then I added some color using washi tape and my label maker…this also serves to cover the extra boxes in my calender. 😉 To make it easy to flip to the month I am currently in, I use a pretty magnetic bookmark. To keep things organized I color code as much as possible. That way I can see at a glance what I have scheduled for school, family, appointments, ect. When writing in my calendar I usually use erasable frixion pens. I LOVE these pens! Do yourself a huge favor and buy a set; you will not regret it. I only have one pen holder in my planner however, so when I’m out and about I only keep the black pen with me. When I enter something into my calender with a black pen I try to add a colored mark-it dot next to it so it’s still color coded. When something is rescheduled, I cross it out and write the date it was rescheduled to next to it. To make it easier to write the information needed in the boxes, I use codes to abbreviate things. For example, when writing in things for family members I use the first initial of their name.
The next section in my planner is the weekly section. It took me a while to settle on something that worked for me so until recently this section was fairly unused. I have figured out what works for me now so this is my current set up. At the beginning of the week I fill in the dates, my workouts (on the right hand side of each day’s section) and write 1 2 3 4 below it since that is how many of my 24 oz. cups of water I am trying to drink each day. Each night I try to take a minute to fill in the To Do section of the next day. If there is something that I was supposed to do that day and it didn’t get done, I copy it into the next day and place a check mark next to it. This lets me know that it’s already been carried over. If it gets carried over a second time it will have two check marks. If it ends up with a few check marks I know I need to either plan on doing it at a later date or make it a priority. During the day, as I complete things I cross them off. The top corner of the page on the right isn’t for any day of the week…it’s just a blank box…so I have begun writing task that I want to get done soon in that section of my weekly pages so I see them as I plan my days during the week. And again I have a pretty magnetic bookmark in place to make it easy to find the page I’m on.
After my weekly pages I have a section called “Future”. Because I only keep a few months in my planner at a time, anything that I need to plan beyond that gets written on this page. Then as I add those months into the planner and transfer those notes onto the monthly pages. When possible I color code them, otherwise they get dots next to them 🙂
Next comes my projects section. These are things I am currently working on…fitness, blog posts, work projects, reading lists, prayer lists, etc. In order to make these easy to find I write a-z down the side of the page. As new projects come up I write them in the front page and then on a sticky tab that I place next to the corresponding letter. This enables me to just add more projects as they come up and still be able to find everything easily.
Below is an example of what a project page might look like. While I do color code my list on the front page, I don’t color code the actual projects pages. I use whatever color I feel like using or have handy at the moment 🙂
Next comes the Files sections. This is where I put stuff that I want to have on me, but that’s isn’t actually a project – just information. I have our routines in here, a page of inspirational stuff, personal goals, etc. This is set up the same way as the projects section:
One of the things I am keeping track of in my files section are the paint colors I use in my house. That way if I need more paint or want to match something , I have the paint swatch and information with me.
The next section I have is Contacts. I am keeping important phone numbers in here….doctor, dentist, insurance…anything I might need while out or filling out papers for field trips, etc.
Then I have a section for Finances. I plan on creating a separate planner specifically for our finances and budget stuff so there isn’t a ton of stuff in here. I have a page for keeping track of our children’s accounts. (I cannot count the number of times they have asked me how much they have in their accounts while we are out shopping and they are trying to decide whether or not to purchase something. Now I can easily let them know. I also have a page for my Christmas money where I can keep track of how much I am setting aside throughout the year for Christmas gifts. Anything I am saving up for gets added here.
The last section of my planner is Supplies. I have a zipper pocket holding my stickies, dots and bookmarks. Then I have a velcro envelope with a post it note pad inside and my color code posted on the outside. I also have a velcro envelope holding my post it notes. And last of all the back cover of my planner holds a note pad, which I use to keep a running list of things I want to get done at some point.
So that’s my planner. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed the tour and if you use a planner or are beginning to use one I would love to see it!