Thursday, December 31, 2015

Flowers in a Jar Notes [printable]

Click Image to Download

Custom Tracker for Special Weeks [printable]

For the past 5 or 6 years, my boys have played basketball in the winter - a few years with Upward and the last several with our city league. Most of the years they have been on the same team, but this year they are on two separate teams with two different practice schedules and two different game schedules!  This is going to take some special planning to coordinate all of this and still have family sit-down dinners, if at all possible, which is a top priority for us.

So, as I like to do, I sat down to create something that might help and came up with this custom weekly tracker.  My main goals for these weeks are schooling (we homeschool), maintain the chores, and have dinner together as much as possible.  My games are written in beside the menu planner so I can see what time we can eat and what kind of dinner we need to have - I think my crockpot will be very active on game nights!

Here's a blank version of the tracker

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Columns - Undated Week on 2 Pages [printable]

This is the first Week on 2 Pages I tried in the last couple of weeks.  I like the layout and it has a cute font, but I can't make columns work for me!  If you would like an undated version of this layout, you can download it HERE

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Undated Half Size Week on 2 Pages [printable]

In that last couple of weeks, I created 2 new week on 2 pages layouts, hoping to find something new in 2016.  You might be surprised to know that I ended up staying with the pages I created last year.  I guess the old saying applies:  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"  You can find these dated pages HERE.

The pages I tried last week were similar to what I use and they almost made the cut but I went with what I was most comfortable with.  Here is an undated version of the pages I created.

Chances are that I will have more Week on 2 Pages layouts for you to try in the new year so please visit again.  You never know what I might come up with next.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Planner Fun's Best Kept Secret

Planner Fun offers tons of inserts and every single one of them are free.  I have often asked for suggestions for inserts you would like to see on the blog.  If you think about it, "suggestions" is almost code for "free custom orders."

After making so many inserts, sometimes the mind runs dry for new ideas.  If there's something you would like to see on the blog, if you will just send me a suggestion, chances are pretty high that I will be able to make it for you.  FREE.

Suggestions for dated inserts are usually considered on a case by case basis because of how long they take to create - but be sure to never know what I might be able to pull off!

Just click the "contact" tab at the top of the blog.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week on 2 Pages - Test Drive #2 [printable]

I don't think I'm jiving well with the column-style of week on 2 pages that I posted on Friday.  I think they are cute but half size pages just might not be wide enough for them.

Today I am sharing with you Test Drive #2.  They are similar to the style I usually use but instead of a narrow inside column, I've divided the days up in half.  The outside of the page has check circles and the inside column is blank - except for a line to write in bills due.  I've used this column for prayer requests, today's menu, and like I mentioned, bills due.  I also use it to make notes to myself

I like this one best so far and plan to test it out over the next few days.  Maybe this will be the one that I create for an entire year.  If you want to download the next two weeks, you can do so HERE.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Off Topic Sunday: The Quickest Meal I Make

The church I attend often does not let out at the traditional 12:00 noon.  With us living 20+ minutes away, my guys are often starving by the time we get home.  I have a couple of meals that I can fix quickly, and I often use my crock pot as well.

One our favorite quick meals is Black Beans & Couscous.  We eat it "nacho style" - topping the couscous with different toppings.  Here's a play-by-play how I make it:

When arriving home I get out the pan for my couscous and add 2 cups of hot water per box.  I do not boil the water yet because couscous cooks very quickly - I wait until everything else is ready to eat and then start the water.  Adding the hot water just helps it boil faster.

Chop your tomatoes and onions and place in small bowls.  Open the black beans and pour into a microwave bowl and microwave.  Open the guacamole and put in small bowls as well (we love the guacamole from Aldi - all natural ingredients).  Put all the topping on the table and start your water.  By the time you get the drinks for your meal, you will be ready to add the couscous to the pan.

When the water is boiling, I pour in the couscous, stir, cover, and remove from the stove eye.  I immediately fluff up the couscous and serve it before it gets thick.  At this point, the toppings start passing around the the table and we're ready to eat.  I probably spend no more than 25 minutes on this meal and often it's less, cause every one is ready to eat and more than willing to pitch in!

Do you have a favorite quick meal?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Inserts I'm Currently Using [printable]

Today I worked on a new week on 2 pages to test drive in my planner. I say "test drive" because I'm using the columns format and I don't know if I will continue using them into the next year.  They are dated pages through January 6th of next year.  If I continue to use them, I'll share the rest of them once I create them; if not, I'll share an undated version that you can add your own dates.

Download it HERE

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Solution to Printing Personal Size Inserts

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know two things about me:

  1. I use half-size (8.5" x 5.5") inserts in my planner.
  2. I have been on a quest to create quality personal-size inserts and learn how to print them properly
A couple of weeks ago, I thought I had found the solution to printing dated personal size inserts on any size paper.  Nope, I was wrong.  There are two solutions to printing them and only one of them is efficient:
  1. Print dated personal size inserts on personal size paper which should have been a no-brainer from the start (the efficient method).
  2. Print dated person size inserts on any size paper, but they must be centered and cut down.
So, I'm embarrassed that it has taken me so long to figure this out.  If I used personal sized inserts, I probably would have discovered this way before now.  I'll have to re-do the personal sized 2016 monthly inserts already on this blog but I'll get them up soon.

If I was a personal-sized planner user and wanted to print my own inserts, I would ask for paper for Christmas.  I would buy a ream of paper and take it to Office Depot or the like, and ask them to cut it down to personal- size (you can get three sheets from one 8.5 x 11 page).  It would last you forever!!

Thanks for putting up with my ignorance.  You should see some change in my personal sized inserts soon!

Seriously, my inserts need an overhaul with all the things I've learned in the past year - but one step at a time, right!?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Giftie Etcetera and Planner Fun Begin a New Monthly Series! [printable]

I am so excited about today's post!

Shortly after I began using a planner, about 18 months ago, I found Kristy's blog at Giftie Etcetera.  I felt like a kid in a candy shop when I discovered post after post that focusing on planners and organization.  Since then I have set up my planner according to the method she uses because - it works!

Giftie and I are working together on a fun series that I think you'll like.  Every month, Kristy will take an insert, that I made just for the occasion, and show her readers different ways that she might use it.

Friday, December 11, 2015

3 Day Menu Planner [printable]

This insert is not one of mine but it look exactly like something I would make.  Sometimes I do not get groceries for a week at a time - sometimes I just buy for the weekend and go again later in the week.  Regardless, I need to have a plan (menu and list) if I don't want my spending to get out of hand.

This insert has a column for you to list 2-3 meals, plus spaces to jot down lunches, snacks and breakfast.  The far 2 columns are for you to list your groceries.  Sometimes it is exactly what I need.

Visit DIY Planners to download your own copy.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Top Three List [printable]

Nearly all my inserts are developed from some sort of need of my own.  This "top three" insert popped in my head yesterday as I was contemplating all the things I'm behind on due to sickness.  There is really so much to do and eventually there comes a time where I am so overwhelmed that I just stopd and nothing gets done.

That's when the top three idea is usually started.  I make a list of just three things to do - and then I do them.  Add three more things and do them.  Calm returns and a plan develops

This insert was made for a more involved top 3 list.  There's 3 areas of my life that needs some constraining.  On this insert I listed them and then jotted down some notes on the graph paper of steps that I could take to show improvement  It's already helping.  You can download a copy HERE

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Using Your Planner on Sick Days

ast week I spent from Monday afternoon through Sunday evening on the couch.  I left the house once to pick up my guys, only to come back home and head for the couch.  What illness caused me to be so incapacitated?  A cold.  Seriously - it wasn't the flu or pneumonia - just a cold.  In my defense let me say this, as a transplant patient without an immune system, things affect me differently than they used to.  I am glad I got a flu shot - I would hate to know what the flu feels like.

Okay, enough whining.

I didn't think that I would do any planning, but I kept it close just in case.  The blank pages started filling up with:

  • a reminder to send an email to the Recreation Center
  • a note to wrap presents for the boys school Christmas party
  • another reminder to take my monthly vitamin D
  • instructions from my doctor to increase a medication and repeat blood work in a month
  • a post it note with instructions to crochet a hot pad holder to use with the wood heater
The only new appointment that was added was the reschedule of an orthodontist appointment that I canceled because of sickness.

I felt really rotten and I didn't need the stress of trying to remember all these things to do, even if I could put them off for later.  I simply reached for my planner to jot down notes.

Do you keep your planner near at all times?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Undated Daily Page in Personal Size [printable]

If you're looking for a personal sized daily page, maybe this undated insert will work for you.  This page has a timed schedule down the right side and sections for "to-do's" and "notes" down the left.  You can download it HERE.

As always, I welcome your feedback: ideas, suggestions, constructive criticism - let me know what you think and need for your planner.

Monday, December 7, 2015

2016 Personal Sized Future Pages

I love Future Pages!  You can read about them here and print them out undated HERE.  OR you can follow THIS LINK and download personal size dated pages for 2016.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Personal Size 2016 Monthly Calendar with a Monday Start [printable]

I'm branching out a little and hope to be offering more personal-sized inserts in the future.  I'll kick that goal off with these personal-sized monthly calendars for 2016.  These have a Monday start, plus a column for notes.

These calendars need to be printed on personal sized paper..  Download it HERE.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Grids and Lines Notepaper [printable]

I have a new note paper for you to try.  I enjoy writing on graph paper the best, so I went with grids and lines for this one.  Use this as your dashboard if you like - for tracking, notes, etc.  Be creative!

You can download it HERE.

2016 Dated Daily Pages [printable]

I have added so many inserts to this blog that sometimes I forget what I have. I was about to start a set of daily pages for 2016 when I decided to check if I had anything similar. Well d'oh, I do! Check out the post from this summer HERE.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Fold Out Monthly Calendar for December [printable]

Thought I had forgotten the folded calendar for December, didn't you?  Well, the truth is, I almost did.  It will be a small wonder if I don't forget everything I know in the next month.  December is especially a good month to use a fold out calendar.  Write in your Christmas plans and activities and keep it nearby.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

2016 Monthly Calendars with a Monday Start [printable]

It's odd - I use a Monday start on my weekly pages but my monthly calendars always start with Sunday.  That might be confusing to some but it works for me.

One of my readers requested monthly calendars with a Monday a few weeks ago and I finally found some time to get them finished.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Christmas Note Paper [printable]

It's the day after Thanksgiving and (for me) officially Christmas time!  I made some note paper for your planner and you can download it HERE.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Having Trouble Downloading Our Inserts?

If you are having trouble downloading the inserts on this blog, I'd like to encourage you to join the Facebook page. It's the easiest place to ask questions and get answers.  Many times readers will leave questions in the comments and it is difficult to know if they come back to get their replies.

Planner Fun Facebook Page

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pardon My Dust

I am currently giving my blog a little makeover, so if you visit and see something wonky, that's just me, moving things around a little bit.  I am working on an uncluttered, minimalist design that will be in place soon.  A longer-term goal is to make inserts easier to find (and make sure all have working links).  Any comments or suggestions are welcomed.  Hopefully the dust will settle soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Recent Inserts Converted to Dropbox

Many of the inserts I made and uploaded to Scribd, when I first started offering them on this blog, are no longer accessible because of the changes they have made to their site.  As already mentioned, I am working on converting them to Dropbox.  Below you'll find the inserts I have most recently transferred over.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Short Week Menu Planner [printable]

For the most part I plan my menus for a week at a time, but under special circumstances, especially long weekends, I'll grab this insert to plan for a few days at a time.  I write in the days at the top and then turn the page sideways to write in my meals.  It works for me - maybe some of you might like it as well.  Click HERE to download

Monday, November 9, 2015

Converting Unaccessible Inserts and a Habit Tracker [printable]

When I first began this blog, I used Scribd to upload and share my inserts. Since that time, they have changed the way they work, and many of my inserts have been unaccessible. I have begun working on trying to get them downloaded and switched over to Dropbox. In the next few weeks, I will begin sharing them again and trying to get the links all worked out.

I'm starting with this habit tracker that a reader tried to download last week.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Looking Ahead - 2016 Future Pages [printable]

If you haven't already, now is a good time to get your Future Pages ready for 2016. Future pages were an important addition to my planner last year when I started this planning journey. You would think weekly, daily, and yearly pages would take care of all your planning needs, and they almost are but you have to remember those annual doctor's, dentist, and other appointments. Future pages allow you to plan beyond the current year.

I use my future pages for more than appointments: a reminder in July that car tag registrations are coming up, a note to research vacation locations, and even a reminder when a certain television premiere airs. You might find them useful yourself.

I just printed up my 2016 pages and you can download them as well if you are interested.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

{WAVES} Hey Newbies!!

If this is your first visit to the blog, I want to encourage you to check out and "like" our Facebook Page.  That's the place to be for blog announcements, links to new posts and a potpourri of things - please join us.

I seem to have my days and nights turned around lately (drat you time change!) and I've been blogging and posting in the afternoon.  That's not my favorite way to do it so today's post (a new daily page printable) will be posted first thing in the morning - don't miss it!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

3 Ways To Use an Extra Column (or note space) in Your Planner

My weekly inserts hardly ever change. I am currently using one of my Giftie Inspired layouts.

There's plenty of space for what I need and it has a column on the inside that I have discovered (over time) that is a very valuable space

Monday, November 2, 2015

November's Here - Christmas Approaches!!

I adore Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they are my favorite times to blog!  Last year I came up with some fun answers that I really until late and I'm looking forward to making some more!

So, what would you like to see Planner Fun?  Another series? A particular insert? More guest posts?

Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

[31 Days #31] Wrapping Up 31 Days of Blogging

Well, I made it!  I am so glad I decided to participate, even though it was right on the heels of my proclamation that I was going to take a new, relaxed approached to blogging.  As it turned out, I was able to manage my time, get my school work finished, and blog daily (sometimes with the help of scheduling my posts in advance).

It was fun!

It is obvious that I love blogging.  I appreciate the ones of you that took the time and effort to comment on some of my posts.  It is always motivation to bloggers when they get feed back from their followers, and I am pretty sure I speak for the majority of them when I say they welcome your suggestions and even your constructive criticism.

What did I gain from 31 days?

I ended up creating an insert, The Mini Daily Page, that I like a lot and has been quite useful.  That doesn't always happen, so I am happy about that!

I also won a prize!  The host of the 31 Days in October apparently were giving away weekly prizes to random participants and I won a journal.

What did you gain?

If you are new to my blog, did you find something that you absolutely love?  Did you find a new link, tip, idea?  I would love your feedback, and as always, I would love to know your ideas and suggestions for the blog and for new inserts!  Thanks for following along with me in October - I hope you'll come back!

You can find a complete list of all 31 Days here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

[31 Days #29] Simple Planner Hack using Binder Clips

I have a "Today" clear bookmark in my weekly pages but I use it more as a mini-dashboard for post it notes than I do to mark my place.  To go directly to my current weekly spread, I clip all my previous pages (and the left side of my current spread) to my divider.

I used to use a paperclip to do this but recently I received some colorful binder clips as a gift so I am using those.  It has worked out perfectly, and that is the hack part.

Binder clips are perfect for holding your pages together, as mentioned above.

Binder clips are good bookmarks, just flip up one of the side clips. The side clips don't get in the way of writing because you can flip the sides up.

Binder clips can hold extra information, especially if you don't have much pocket space, and this is what got me thinking about all the great uses of using these clips.  Over the weekend I got a letter from my doctor, rescheduling an appointment.  I couldn't process it in my planner at the time so I clipped it to my current spread so I wouldn't lose it.  It worked perfectly!

Binder clips!

(I have heard that some have even used binder clips to hold their pens when a pen loop wasn't available)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

[31 Days #28] Don't Forget This - Thanksgiving Daily Page [printable]

I made this insert last year and because I knew I only needed one, I made one for both 2014 and 2015.  This came in quite handy last year - I was always added to the to-do list and in the time slots I wrote what time to put the turkey in, what time to take it out so I could put the dressing in, etc.  Hope you can use it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

[31 Days #27] Track Everything [printable]

You can use this half-size tracker in several ways.  If you only want to track how many days you exercise, write exercise on the line and at the end of the week, write it down again.  Or, if you want to track several different things, it is good for that as well.  Use it as a daily reminder to encourage your child or to take the trash out on Thursdays (circle Thursday with a red pen).  Write all your weekly chores you need to complete.  Be creative!

Monday, October 26, 2015

[31 Days #26] The Daily Mini Page Revisited

Last week I shared a mini-insert that I whipped up to help me manage a list of tasks that were longer than usual. I've mentioned numerous times that I don't use a regular daily page - only when super-busy, but even then I don't need the full insert.  I am finding that this mini page - a little larger than a bookmark - is working very well for me.

As my day started to fill up this past Thursday, I pulled one of Giftie's planner hacks out of the hat and used my highlighter to draw an arrow indicating that the tasks for that day were on a daily page.  I referred to the page often during the morning as I was running my errands, and when I returned home, I had not forgotten one single task.  Thank goodness!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

[31 Days #25] Why the Half Size Planner Is My Favorite

Although I hope to try different sizes in the future, a half size will probably always be my favorite.  It is not so large that I can't carry it with me, nor is it too small to hold the information that I like to have close at hand.  For someone who loves to make her own inserts, a half-size planner is the perfect size because you can always get two inserts on one letter-size page.

I have never been a big purse person; as a matter of fact, when I get a new purse, I often wonder what I can put in it other than a wallet, keys, and lipstick.  Now that I carry a planner, I make sure that it is at least big enough to hold the planner and then .fit the other items around it.  A small planner would not work for me at this time during my life because there are a number of things that I need to keep near.

Probably one of the reasons that I have put off trying any other size planner is the fact that creating the inserts would require more work on my part - namely in the cutting of the pages.  The personal size planner is what I would like to try next.  I have made some inserts for others and have cut them to test them out - it isn't too bad but of course it didn't go as fast as I wanted.

So, room to carry all the things I want is the reason I carry a half-size planner - and let's not forget the fact that half-size inserts allow you to write bigger and more than you would on a smaller size planner - and that's important to me.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

[31 Days #24] The Post Where I Express My Love For Planners

I have long been a fan of paper products, stationary, post it notes, etc.  It is only natural that I would love planners.  Since I am geeky about creating planner inserts (and other printables), it's like I have the best of both worlds.  I get to spend time creating and designing inserts, and then I get to turn around and use them!

As I look at my weekly planner spread, such as the one for this week, pictured above, I feel very content.  Maybe that's because I know there is a plan in place.  As long as I look at my plan, I'm not going to forget that I have an 8am appointment tomorrow or that one of the boys needs to put the trash on the street before Friday morning.

There's appointments on Thursday, Friday school coming up, a wedding on Saturday as well as a trip to the airport and one to see my family.  Those are not big, major deals but there are a lot of details flying around and I have corralled them nicely in my planner.  That is what I call planner peace.

Share with me!  What do you love the most about your planner?

Friday, October 23, 2015

[31 Days #23] It's Back! The One Page Minimalist Thanksgiving Planner [printable]

Last year my One Page Minimalist Thanksgiving Planner was popular with a lot of my readers and since Thanksgiving is pressing in on us, today is the perfect day to share it again with you. Click the picture below to download.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

[31 Days #21] November Folded Calendar

For those of you who print out my fold out monthly calendar, you will be glad to know that I did not forget November!  This file is two pages; I print out the first page, flip it over and print the second page.  Lines have been added to the back of the page for extra notes, if needed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

[31 Days #20] Using Your Planner to Track Your Finances

I suppose there are a dozen different ways to use your planner to track your finances but I today I am going to share with you the way my husband and I track ours.

First of all, all of our bills are entered into Google Calendar and are set up to repeat as they are due (weekly, monthly, etc.).  I do this to print out a current calendar for my husband every month so he has his own copy to refer to, and if (heaven forbid) I am every out and about without my planner and I need to know when something is due (sometimes I forget), I almost always have my phone with me and I can refer to my calendar that way.

Not only do I list appointments on my monthly calendars, I always list the bills that are due and pretty much for the same reason:  so I have a dedicated place for them to land.  I guess I am triple-protected because I also have a master list of bills in my project pages.

Every first of the month I transfer appointments and bills due to my weekly pages.  I glance at the week to come and plan accordingly how to pay those bills (automatic withdrawal, online, during errands, etc.)  I like having them on my weekly pages the best, and even though I don't really color code, I often write the bills in red on my weekly pages.  Once they are paid, I highlight them.

Paying the bills is a joint venture in our household and my husband really appreciates the fact that I am so organized with my planner.  It's a worthy tool in his opinion and he even asks me to make notes in it that helps him (such as a reminder to call a client on a specific day later in the week)

Do you use your planner to track finances?

Monday, October 19, 2015

[31 Days #19] Planner Fun is a Winner!

This is my third year participating in the Write 31 Days series.  Have you visited the website to see who else is participating and what they are writing about?  You might find several series you want to follow.

Today I opened my email to find that I was one of the winners in their giveaway for participants.  I didn't even know they were having a giveaway!  Want to know what I won?  A beautiful leather journal.  Here's a picture:

Thank you Write 31 Days and DaySpring!

More planner stuff tomorrow...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

[31 Days #18] Pumpkin Notes [printable]

I almost didn't make it today, did I?  I have been enthralled with all things pumpkin lately - especially Pumpkin Spice Creamer!  Today I made some more note paper for my planner...with pumpkins!

Click the Pumpkin to Download

Saturday, October 17, 2015

[31 Days #17] Using Your Planner as a Wallet or to Replace Your Purse

On any given day you will find these items in my purse:  my planner (always), keys, lip balm, mints ,(sometimes), and a small makeup bag with insulin supplies if I'm eating away from home.  I've heard planners talk about using their planner as a wallet, but what about using it to replace your purse?  I don't carry a lot, so that might work for me but I know some of you can fill a bag up (not mentioning any names of course, Giftie)!

Last week I experimented with doing this as I headed out on an errand.  I carry an 8.5 x 5.5" and it has card slots on both the front and back inside pockets.  I put in my debit card, drivers license, insurance cards and library cards.  Numerous pockets to tuck in some cash - I even popped my phone into one of the oversized pockets.  I often put my keys in my front pocket but this time I looped it through the magnetic strap closure and fastened it.

It worked quite well for me but I think I will feel safer if I carry the keys in my pocket or clip them to my planner rings somehow.  When I need to take my makeup bag, I will probably just put it and my planner into my purse because I don't want to be carrying multiple things in my hands.

I love the idea of using my planner as a wallet.  Someday, I think I would like to experiment with using a personal size, especially since it is about the size of a normal wallet.

Have you ever used your planner as a wallet or to replace your Purse?

Friday, October 16, 2015

[31 Days #16] Mini Daily Page Insert [printable]

Yesterday I needed a daily page but didn't really want a full page so I threw together this mini daily page.  I have to admit up front that I purposefully did not create even margins all around.  The left side is .05" to allow for ing clearance, and because it is half of a half page, I barely have a margin at all on the right side so I have plenty of space to write.  My goal here was function and even though the uneven margins make me a wee bit crazy, I've decided I can live with it!

This insert comes with 4 mini-pages on letter-size paper.  You can download it HERE.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

[31 Days 15] Favorite Giftie Posts and Tips

Before you read on, if you haven't visited Giftie's blog, you need to go there right away and bookmark it or add it to your favorite news reader.  Let's just jump on in:

Write down appointments in one dedicated place.  I write down my appointments on my weekly pages and my monthly pages but my monthly pages is my dedicated to place.  New appointments get written down there first and are then transferred to weekly pages later.  If I don't get through with the transferring, that's okay because I know where I can always find them for sure.

Future Pages are one of my favorite discoveries!  I only keep 3-6 months of monthly pages in my planner - so what if I make an appointment 7 months out?  Future Pages!!  Check out Giftie's YouTube video on this subject.  #Genuis       Handling Future Pages in a Planner

What Can I Put in My Planner?  This is the article you want to read because it has lots of great ideas on the different ways you can use your planner.  Beyond the Calendar - New Ways to Use Your Planner

A to Z files - both the Projects section and the Files or Notes section use the idea of A to Z files.  This is how I finally learned how to not create a new divider for everything I needed to keep in my planner.  Both use an index to show what is included in the section and they are filled alphabetically, which makes them easy to find.

Double Punched Planner Inserts [video] - Another genius idea, in my opinion!  This hack works well with daily pages, future pages, and any other information you always want facing you (right side) when you open your planner.

Seriously, her blog is full of so. many. wonderful tips for your planning process.  It is a must read.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

[31 Days #14] The Importance of a System for Successful Planning by Giftie Etcetera

Peeking at someone else’s planner is a lot like digging through her closet. You see it all – the mess, the chaos, and the shameful “fat clothes” tucked behind the rain boots. So why would anyone invite you in to see her planner?

For me, it’s an acknowledgement that everyone has “fat clothes” - even the skinniest among us. We have something somewhere that is embarrassing and shows our lack of faith in ourselves. By sharing a picture of the insides of my planner (or my closet), I remind others that no one is perfect, but we still survive.

One look at a picture of the inside on my planner will make you question how I even make something so messy and convoluted work for me.

The answer is simple.

I have a system.

The “Giftie System,” as the Planner Fun blog often refers to it, is pretty simple.

The Giftie System

I have a dashboard, projects, a calendar section with a monthly and weekly calendar, a future section, and a notes/ABC files section.

Projects are for active planning, while the notes section is for filed stuff that needs to leave the house with me (like lists of passwords, clothing sizes, or medications).

The monthly calendar is for appointments, while the weekly calendar is for tasks.

Why the Giftie System Works

Beyond the basic bones of my system, my planner can be a beautiful picture of organized information, or a devastating mess of chaos, depending on the week or the day. It doesn’t matter!

Either way, I can always fall back on my system. My system means that I am in control of my planner and always know where to find information. My system is like a good diet of lean proteins, fruits, and veggies combined with regular exercise; it keeps my planner healthy.

You don’t even need to follow my system!

That’s right. Your system can be designed to mirror mine (as the one at Planner Fun is currently done) or can be completely different.

What matters is that you know your own system and you work the system.

Want to use more post-its? Just keep your use consistent with your system. Notice, for example, that my post-its are lists of tasks, so they go in the weekly section of the calendar, along with all other tasks.

Want to brainstorm and draw a mind map? If it’s for a work project that is due in the near future, it goes in projects. If it is a long-term goal list, and inactive and just for reference, it goes in notes.

Take a few minutes, think about how your planner is set-up, and create a system that works for you. If you need help creating your perfect system, feel free to visit me at for some great ideas!

Once your planner works, it’s like a closet containing only clothes that look good on your body. It’s freedom! It’s no longer being embarrassed if your planner is a mess, because it is a hard-working, effective mess, that leaves you time and space to actually live your life.

A huge thank you to Becky, from Planner Fun, for inviting me to do this guest post.


Thank you Kristy for another wonderful blog post!  I am so thankful you share your knowledge and ideas with us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

[31 Days #13] Giftie Etcetera (Guest Posts Tomorrow!)

Did your heart skip a beat when you saw a series called "31 Days of Planner Fun"?  The first thing I did when I decided to participate in 31 Days was to check out the organization section to see if anyone else was going to blog about planners.

Want to know a secret?  I know where you can get 365 days of planning and organization (give or take a few days because you never know what life is going to throw at you).  Kristy, creator of the Giftie System and the owner of the Giftie Etcetera, writes almost everyday on the topic of planners, systems, organization and order.  Everyday I check my news reader first thing to see if her blog has posted anything new.

When I first got started using a planner, I was somewhat overwhelmed.  I created inserts and dividers (lost of dividers) and posted information that was thrown all over my planner.  I got a peek at the planners that were decorated like scrapbooks and tried to use some washi tape to give my pages some color, but knew right away that wasn't going to be for me.

What to do?  Fortunately I came across Giftie's blog and knew right away that her system would work best for me.  I let go of decorating expectations, and the idea that I needed a divider for all 749 areas of my life.  I read back posts and videos and set up my planner as closely as I could to match Kristy's system.  It's been over a year and I haven't deviated very far from th e plan since that time.

Guess what!?  Tomorrow Kristy is guest blogging on Planner Fun!  The title of her post is, "The Importance of a System for Successful Planning" and it is awesome!  I can't wait for you to read about the basics of her system - and remember you can read about it in detail on her blog!

So be sure to visit Wednesday, and stay tuned on Thursday when I share with you my favorite Giftie Etcetera blog posts and tips.