Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Almost a Year: Using a Planner vs Not

Before I started using a planner, things actually got done around my house.  I never missed my quarterly appointment with my nephrologist, I got the boys to the dentist to have their teeth cleaned twice a year, I remembered my homeschool responsibilities and activities and I also kept up (fairly well) with my menu planning and daily tasks.  I did function without a planner, but I still experienced a fair amount of stress and worry.

My appointments were added to Google calendar and I tried to set it all up so that I would get alerts a day or two before such activities occurred, but inadvertently sometimes things didn't get added, alerts did not go off and I was always worried that I was forgetting something.

Using a planner has changed that.  Whether you use a full, half, personal or compact size planner, bullet journal or 3x5 cards, having a place to write things down and refer back to will ease your mind in ways you didn't think possible.

Beyond appointments and due dates, the thing that has helped me most is being able to write myself notes for the future.  I've had my nephrologist appointment in my planner for the past four months for today and when I reviewed my weekly page, I saw the note I also added:  "Have a light breakfast around 6am".  I'm glad I wrote that down!  No heavy meals before my CT!  Write yourself lots of notes - you'll be glad you did.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekly Chart in Personal Size [printable]

This is a simple chart for listing your daily chores, tasks, or routines.  You can also use it to track habits you are wanting to develop such as drinking more water or working out.  There's also lots of white space so you can add your own stickers or Washi tape if you wish.

Save Your Appointment Cards!

I am sure I first read this suggestion on Giftie's blog and thought I didn't need to follow this tip because I always remember to write things down in my calendar.  Ha!

My mom and I schedule our appointments together (we're both transplant patients) and last night I called to talk to her about what time I would pick her up and other plans.  When we were about to hang up, I said "I'll see you tomorrow".  She asked why and I was a bit confused - because we're going to Vanderbilt I told her and she responded, but that's Tuesday (forgive my lack of quotes).

Right there on my calendar, on the 29th, I had all the details of our appointments.  She had it down on the 30th. Hmmm.  I started looking through the cards in my planner and found the above appointment card; notice it says "mom" on this one,  threw mine away but kept hers in case she wanted it.  Looks like she was right, my appointment isn't until the 30th.  I am so thankful I had that card so I could confirm the correct date.  As it turns out, I had the correct date in my future pages but transferred it to the wrong date on my weekly pages.  A good case for confirming your appointment a few days before!

Those appointment cards don't take up much space, go ahead and keep them - stick them in a planner pocket or clip them to your monthly calendar - one day you might be glad you did.

Personal Size Graph Paper [printable]

Click to Download

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Do Your Planner Review on the First

I try to plan on the first - the first of the year, the first of the month, the first of the week, the first of the day...do you get the picture?

If you don't look at your planner, and often, it doesn't matter when you do your planning - if you don't see it you are going to forget something.

Sure, it is wise to do some planning at the first of the month.  I spend some time dating my weekly pages if needed, filling in recurring events such as bills, adding appointments from my future pages, taking out old pages and adding new ones.

At the first of the week I look at my monthly pages and make sure I have everything covered and transferred to my weekly pages.  I might also write in the main dishes for dinner that week.  During the first part of the day, I check all the activities for the day to make sure I know what's going on.  After lunch is a good time for me to look over my pages again as my day progresses.

Remember your firsts!  Look at your planner often.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Fun Notes for Personal Size Planners [printable]

After printing page one, flip the paper over (it doesn't matter which direction) and print the second page.  Page one has the sun clip art and lines for taking notes, the second page is just lines.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Must See Planner Blog: Philofaxy

Philofaxy is a resource that all planners should tap into!  Whether you're just a simple, functional planner or like to plan with detailed decorated pages, you will be thrilled at all this blog has to offer.

If you are in need of calendar inserts for 2016, Philofaxy already has them ready to go in a variety of sizes and layouts.  You can also find information on how to print these inserts with your printer.  Their Files link also has a ton of inserts for you to delve in to!

Want to know more about Filofax?  Check out their FAQ for a comprehensive reference for everything you can think of for this popular planner, and if you are looking for more planner blogs to read (and who isn't?), click on their links page - all these links are available in their link tabs, right under their blog header.

But wait, there's more!  I am personally a fan of their Web Finds and, having been featured on this weekly post a few times, I credit them for sending blog traffic my way.  Web Finds is a collection of current blog posts and videos from around the internet and you'll enjoy visiting the different blogs and finding out what's new.

There are also regular Planner in the Spotlight feature, as well as a weekly Free For All Friday where you are allowed to discuss anything planner-related in the comments.

I visit this blog several times a week and if you haven't been, it is quite possible it will become one of your new favorites!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Simple Tweak I Like

As a self-proclaimed "functional planner", I keep a tight reign on what I allow myself buy to accessorize my planner.  I could probably go as crazy as the next planNerd, but I hate buying excess when I know I won't use it all.  Sticky notes, clips and a small amount of Washi tape is where I try to draw the line.

So, I found I liked this little tweak - it actually made me smile - even though it is so simple!  I had to add a note to my Vanderbilt entry (doctor visit) and I didn't want to mess up the page by scribbling it in.  I wrote it on a small sticky note, cut it down even smaller and then used my corner rounder on the corners.  It looks nice and neat - almost like I bought a tab or sticker

Additionally, a corner rounder is a good thing to use on your DIY pages - makes it look neater and maybe even a bit professional.

I'd love you to share your own little tips and tweaks - they don't have to be big ones at all.  Most of us will probably end up saying "Why didn't I think of that"!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Half Size Week on One Page [printable]

This was a fun insert to make.  I do like more room to write but it looks like I could almost get everything down on this page. Please ignore the margins in this picture - I have both right and left side pages and put the wrong one in my planner - so if you print one, the rings won't be cutting into the design.


Monday, June 22, 2015

My 2nd Most Popular Post

Last October, after I had been using a planner for only 3 months, I participated in a blog series called "31 Days in October" where I blogged for 31 days straight on the subject of planners.  If you're new to my blog, I invite you to take a look at this series.  The way I plan has changed only a small bit since that time.  Click the image below to go to the index page where links to all 31 days are posted.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Filofax Inspired WO2P with Schedule [printable]

Click for larger image.
This insert was made for a reader who liked her Filofax page, but wanted it less business-like and less cluttered.  A fun font was added and this weekly page was created. In the note section at the bottom of the page, she had a "Must See TV" category on the first page and a "This Week" section on the second.  I left it blank for you to add whatever you wish.  There's also room to add Washi tape if that is your think.  You can download it here.

If you have an idea for an insert that you would like for me to create, please feel free to email me at becky@plannerfun.com and if it is something I can do, I will put you on my waiting list (which is relatively short at the moment).  Please note:  I am currently not taking requests for dated inserts.

Oops, I almost forgot!  These weekly planner pages are not dated but I did put the year on the top of each page.  I also included a page for 2016 and 2017, just in case you wanted to use them beyond 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Food Journal and Health Tracking [printable]

I made this printable specifically for me so not everything included on the printable will necessarily be useful to you.  I am sharing it with you just in case it might apply - perhaps you can modify some fields with washi or correction tape.  Take a look though; maybe you can use it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mixing Things up on My Planner

I know, I know - my post image is a bit flashy, right?!  :)  I was having fun so I just went with it.  I've had some ideas rumbling around in my head and today I decided to try them out and share them with you.

The first thing I did was go through my "Files" section.  I have A-Z files in my old planner where I have been archiving some things.  I decided to archive everything that I didn't need to have close to me.  I also went through my "Project " section and did the same thing.  Now, in my current planner, I only have a Files section of current and frequently used pages.  

I still have an index as the first page in the files section but I now just use A-Z tabs and only the occasional sticky page tab.  We'll see how that goes - I can always change my mind!  Since eliminating my project section, I now have an extra divider that I am using to keep up with my blog

The dashboard has been changed up as well.  Now it is a single piece of paper with some sticky notes.  I've printed my tab names down the right side as an index for my tabs.  I like the way it looks but I am thinking about printing it on cardstock - it would hold up much better that way.

Lastly, I ran out of my weekly pages and decided to use another one of the formats that I created some time back.  I tweaked them a bit and added new categories:  scheduled, today's tasks, blog, misc., and finances.

It's been a long time since I've made several changes at one time so I am looking forward to seeing how these work for me.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Fridge Weekly Planner [printable]

Click Above to Download

If you need help keeping up with things but have no desire to carry or work in a planner - this printable for your fridge might work for you.  List all the things you need to do by the check boxes.  Write in events with a date in the right column.  I suggest a monthly wall calendar near your fridge to keep up with future dates.

Your whole family can even use this printable!  I wouldn't want anyone else to use it but hey, that's me!    Sometimes husbands think it is okay to write on if it is posted on the fridge.  Color code it if you want, or have other family members use their initials if it is something they want to remember to do.  Chances are, they will all want YOU to do it!  :D

PS - This it totally NOT an original idea.  I saw something similar on Pinterest and tweaked it for my own use.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Planners on Vacation: Yes or No?

The week before last, I had many questions regarding whether or not I would need to bring my planner on vacation.  I also inquired of other planners did they think I should leave it at home or bring it with me.

I used it up until the last minute before I left and then stuck it in my suitcase.  I thought it was better to be safe than sorry  When we got to our rental house for the week, I unpacked it and laid it on my beside table.  You know what?  My planner stayed there, unopened, for the rest of the week.

My planning was done beforehand and then, while I was with my sisters, all the planning was done by others and I followed along.  As a matter of fact, even though I got back late Thursday night, I am just now unpacking it (yes, I am one of those people)!

Despite all of this, I would still take it with me on vacation again.  If I needed to look up a date, event, phone number, or other details - having it with me is much more convenient to me than having to find the information without it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

You Need Sticky Notes!!

Well, possibly you don't need sticky notes but they are well-used item in my planner!  Here's a few ways I used them:
Used here as a reminder to take care of a specific chore daily until it becomes habit.

A homemade dashboard full of sticky notes - always ready to grab!

In the beginning (of using a planner), I used small notes to help with my weekly menu planning. 

These meal ideas followed the menu pictured above.

Extra chores that aren't an everyday occasion.  I grabbed a few to put on my to do list and some for my boys chore list

A plastic sleeve (made from packaging) with more sticky notes!

This sticky note functioned as a "someday we need to..." list - placed in my future pages.

We live 20 minutes out of town so my hubby often calls me after work to ask if we need anything.  This list gets my brain started.

A middle of the week grocery list (things I probably forgot on my weekly run!)

Things I needed to contribute to a picnic  When I get to the store, I pull the list out of my planner and grab what I need.  I don't put these sort of items on my weekly run unless I know way ahead of time they are needed.

My current dashboard of sticky notes.

A sticky note covering up a mistake (I recently wrote about this on Friday).

Do you use sticky notes?  I'd be interested in knowing how many don't use sticky notes - and how you cope!!  [grin]

Monday, June 8, 2015

An Interesting A to Z Idea

I think probably all of us have obsessed over our dividers at least once. When I first started planning, I was always on the lookout for the perfect dividers and was never truly happy until recently when I settle down five unmarked dividers.

Today I had some thoughts rolling around in my head and I wondered, what would it be like to have only A to Z dividers?  Monthly pages? They go under M. Weekly pages go under W and future pages just go under F. The printer warranty could be filed under P or W; I would use Giftie's index method (see sidebar) to keep up with it all. 

At the very least, I could see myself using this method in a supplemental planner, or an archives planner of sorts.  Wild idea -  do you think it would work?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Share a Picture of Your Workspace Today

Today I am going on a road trip with my 3 sisters!  We are celebrating the birthday of the oldest of our bunch (and only 10½ months older than me) - she turns 50 today!!  Our younger sisters (identical twins) are 2½ years younger than me.  So, my blogging will be sparse this week but I will still be around.

Today I thought it would be cool if we all shared a picture of our work spaces.  If you want to participate, headed over to our Facebook page and share your picture!  Here's mine:

Friday, June 5, 2015

Hacks For When You Make "Typo" Mistakes in Your Planner

From time to time I will write things in my planner on the wrong date and it drives me crazy!  I don't want to scribble it out because I don't like it looking messy - I don't even like the way correction tape or White Out looks - so what to do (besides using erasable pens because I prefer felt felt tip)?

Here's what I started doing that works for me:  I take care of the mistake as if it was an appointment or task that I have competed.  For me, that means I check it completed and highlight it and then I make sure I write it again on the correct date.  Sure I know that it was a mistake, but seeing it follow the same layout of all my other tasks makes it not bug me as much.

If I have misspelled a word or some other mistake, sometimes I will cover it with a narrow post it note and just write it again.  Since post it notes are a common sight in planners, it too doesn't bother me to disguise my mistake in that way.

How do you cover up mistakes in your planner?  Please share them with us in the comments below.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Share Your Decorated Planner Pages

I am definitely not a planner page decorator.  I have nothing against it, it's just not me, I suppose.  I spent a few years scrapbooking in the 90's and enjoyed it but once my 2nd child was born in 2002, I was just relieved to finish his baby book so I could finally put it all away.  I tried digital scrapping for awhile but faced the reality that out of all the "free time" I had while mothering two small boys, scrapbooking wasn't going to make the cut on my list of me-time activities.

It occurred to me though that even though I don't decorate my pages, plenty of the people who read my blog do - and that topic certainly belongs on a planner blog!  So, my question is:  Would you like some of your pages featured on my blog?

If so, please send me an email here:  becky@plannerfun.com and attach pictures of your pages.  You can attach as many as you want and I will pick some (or all) to use.  Please add any commentary regarding your pages that you might want to relay, and include your webpage if you have one.  Also, you might want to add a little "about you" paragraph - but that's completely up to you.

Please participate!!  This can be lots of fun and if you are looking for traffic for your blog or Facebook page - this is a good way to go!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Using Backward Planning to Remember "Big Things"

I do a lot of backward planning, but didn't know until recently that it was actually a "thing".  Maybe you do, too.

I faithfully write down bills due in my monthly calendar and even transfer them to my weekly pages but that doesn't always prepare me fully for bigger bills that are only due 2x year.

For example:  insurance payments.  They are usually larger and need more time to plan for them than monthly bill that would simply come out of the monthly budget.  That's where I plan backwards.

As noted in the image above, I go 1 week (or more) back from a due date and write in a reminder that a bill is coming soon.

You can also due this with other things such as projects, gatherings or holiday prep.  How do you use backward planning?  Do you call it something else?