Did you know what a big business planning and organizing is? I mean that in respect to actual planners and daytimers.
I had no idea. If you surf Pinterest or Instagram for Planners / Organizers you are going to come across hundreds of pages of different books, journals, leather bounds and coil, stickers, printables and even tips on how to organize your organizer.
It’s crazy! (But I totally made a Pinterest board to keep track of it all)
The reason I investigated this at all was because of a post from the guru of organizing, Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons.
She has mastered the use of a planner organizer and claims that it keeps her organized, productive and sane – all things I could certainly use – plus her planner was SOOOO pretty!
I’ve been struggling with my iPad calendar and random to-do lists lately, so I thought “I could use a bit of pretty in my life too” and picked up my own planner organizer.
Click over to my Pinterest board if you want to see more experienced planners evaluate and critique the options out there – my decision to purchase this one was three-fold:
- I wanted a 3-ring planner that would fit 8.5″x5.5″ paper (easy for printing)
- Price – I had no idea how much planners cost! This one came in at $26 US, which seemed pricey to me, but is actually pretty low on the planner price spectrum.
- It was purple. Eggplant really, but in the range of purple.
Most planners seem to come with dividers, a plastic cover page (to protect the sheets) and a few weekly calendar pages – not enough to fill out an entire year though – and a pouch to keep my highlighters and pens handy.
You can buy stickers, post-its, tapes, printable and page markers to pretty your planner up (again, check out my Pinterest board), but it all adds up very quickly so I opted for a more plain version. The plastic cover page in your planner is a great place to store washi tape strips. Just cut them down to the size of your calendar boxes and pile them one on top of the other. As you need a special marker, you can just peel one off and apply it to your page.
Because my planner organizer only had a few (boring) weekly sheets, I decided to purchase some printable pages from 505Design for $9. She offers customizable cover pages, coloured tabs and a complete 2016 calendar laid out in both month and week formats… and it’s rainbow.
Come on, we all love rainbow.
I sent the pdf files off to Staples and had them print them all for me – but they are formatted so you could easily print them on your home printer.
I printed the monthly tab labels on sticker paper and then just adhered them over top of the plain ones that came with the planner.
THIS is the real reason I wanted a planner organizer – THIS is the page that Toni at a Bowl Full of Lemons sold me on;
A menu plan!
She suggested printing off a list of your favourite family meals (in this case 31), and then placing a post-it note over/beside the meals you plan to have each week.
No writing out menu plans, no scrambling last minute to come up with an idea – it’s all here, and all you have to do is move the little arrows each week to create a new plan.
For my monthly overview pages I marked out meetings and extracurriculars and then colour-coded them for each family member. This will help me keep track of who’s where, as well as a reminder for those evenings when we need a quick bite over a full meal.
I’ve also included my editorial calendar – or a start to one – in green. By pre-planning out my blog posts (instead of flying by the seat of my pants which happened far too often in 2015) I’ll be prepared with supplies and hopefully better content going forward.
I haven’t completed all of my day planning yet – but I’ve got a start. I’d like to block off time each day to exercise a bit – whether it be walking the dog or just watching Netflix while on the treadmill. I’m hoping that having a set block of time will help me to keep at it.
My to-do list is far too long to include on the day pages, so I have a running to-do list in the back of the book. I can transfer over an item or two to each day and slowly whittle it down.
There were a lot of articles about writing instruments for your planner. I hadn’t put much thought into it until I saw the posts on finding pens and highlighters that won’t bleed through your pages. The Sharpie Gel Highlighters are fantastic! They don’t smear, don’t bleed through the page and roll on like a soft crayon. You can’t easily write over these highlighters though, so input your tasks and then highlight afterwards instead of vice versa.
These Sanford Sharpie Fine Point Pens came highly recommended, and if you want a bazillion colours in your planner, they come in larger 12 packs. I’m not entirely sold on writing out each task in different colours (seems time consuming), but it’s only Day 1 with my planner, so my opinion could change.
The page markers and arrows are both from post-it and an inexpensive option if you don’t want to fork out big bucks for the fancy planner kits.
The page markers are great for dividing up your planner organizer into sections; I have my menu plan sheet at the front for quick reference, and I plan on adding a budgeting and possibly a cleaning plan in later on.
Look at all that rainbow goodness!
This afternoon I’ll enter all of the kids school holidays and Hubby’s conferences.
I’m feeling organized.
Do I look organized?
2016 is going to be a pre-planned, blog-building, stress-free year.
I know, my planner expectations are set WAAAAY to high. lol
Have a great one!
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