Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Planner Use and Organization

This is the long-awaited post on how I use my planner.  I've shown my planner in my mobile office post and it was requested that I show what the inside of my planner looks like and how I use it.  Before that, let me take a step back to say that I have used pretty much every type of agenda book or daily planner on the planet.  I started with the pocket-sized agendas to keep in my purse or backpack when I was in school.  When I graduated from high school, my parents bought me a beautiful personal size leather DayRunner with all the accoutrements.  I used that to keep track of my assignments in classes and my work schedule and it worked great.  I liked this type of planner so much that I purchased the classic Franklin Covey planner (compares to Filofax A5), providing more space so I could keep track of my business that I'd started along with my regular time management needs.

The reason I decided to go back to the regular spiral bound agenda is because I found that when I had the larger planner with the multiple tabs, I wouldn't use all of the sections or if I did, I would forget about them.  I know many love the functionality of the tabs and get tons of use out of them, but I enjoy having everything I need to do in any given week on one page.

It's taken me quite a while to get this post together.  The planner I had been using was from Greenroom Eco, which was sold at Target until early 2014, however the manufacturer has since stopped making them.  :(   So sad.  Mine was an academic planner ending in June, so I needed to replace it this summer.

I loved the gold and cream cover of this planner and nothing I've seen in the same price range has come close to being this sturdy or beautiful.  So, I went a little DIY crazy.  I picked up a planner that had a similar layout - a month on two pages separated by the week on two pages - and I disassembled it.  I did have to trim the top and bottom of the new pages before I was able to reassemble it in between the gold and cream covers that I've grown to love.  The great thing about these thick and sturdy covers is that they reassemble like a dream.  It took about an hour for the whole project.

Tearing apart the old planner...

The new planner before it was disassembled, trimmed and re-homed...
I spent the last couple of months applying different ideas to my planner, specifically with how to get all the info I needed in my planner on these pages.  I used them for a few weeks and changed a lot of things.  I finally have a system that seems to be working well for me.  I am now able to track the following things in the limited space I have available:

A look at the month on 2 pages...
  • Daily fitness routines
  • Daily brain training activities
  • Daily housekeeping duties
  • Personal health tracking (like drinking water)
  • My well-being projects (like journaling)
  • My creative projects I'm working on (organization, photography, etc)
  • Blog posts and maintenance reminders
  • Link parties I frequent
  • Blog posts and tasks associated with our photography business
  • Tasks associated with my jewelry business and the Etsy shop
  • Book club reminders and review due dates
  • Writing prompts for my non-fiction book
  • Writing prompts for the short stories I like to write
  • Reminders to sneak in some time for my hobbies  :)
  • Family/friend birthdays and anniversaries
  • Appointment reminders
  • Travel dates for me and hubby
  • Pay dates and bill pay due dates
  • Countdowns for certain special events or holidays (78 days until Christmas!!)
...a look at the week on two pages

Here are some fun facts about my planner:  (*asterisk denotes affiliate link*)

I do color code.  I do not use a pencil anymore (although sometimes I regret it).  I will break out some colored pencils to "highlight" certain things.  I do not use washi tape....yet.  My pens of choice are the *Sharpie Colored Ink Pens in black, blue, green and red.  I use lots of *Post-it Notes Neon Colors and *Post-it Binder Tabs Bright Colors in the planner.

Finished products with all the accessories
I would love to know if you use a daily planner and if so, what type?  Is there a planner accessory that you just can't live without?  Don't forget to tag me in your #plannerlove photos on Facebook!

The post Planner Use and Organization first appeared on A Simpler Grace.  *This post does contain affiliate links, but it was not sponsored.  All opinions are my own.  For more info on affiliate links, please click the Terms of Use tab above.*  If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!

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