ny time in the past that I have ever started a DIY planner, I have always added 10 gazillion dividers to cover every area of my life. I just didn't want to leave anything out that I might need to cover! I never did use a planner like that longer than a few weeks - I found it to be extremely overwhelming. It was a year ago this month that I started thinking about using a planner again and I did the same thing - probably at least 12 dividers.
Thankfully, I discovered Kristy's blog before I got too deep into this time. She blogs at Giftie, etc. and shares in detail how she plans - so check it out. After a year of planning and only a couple of tweaks, I still use my planner the same way she shares with us on her blog and Facebook group.
I have 5 dividers in my planner: Weekly, Monthly, Future, Blog, and Files. I previously had Projects but combined it with my Files section (after culling the files and archiving pages I rarely used).
Weekly: It is in the front of my planner and I use these week on 2 pages inserts the most frequently. I list appointments (taken from my Monthly tab), day specific tasks and day specific reminders. I do not have a section for daily pages because I rarely use them, but when I do I put the page in the middle of my week on 2 pages spread.
Monthly: I use these page less frequently. I list all appointments and bill due dates and at the first of the month write these in my weekly pages. My weekly pages are printed out for a month at a time but if I make an appointment in the middle of the month, they still get written down in my monthly pages first. At the beginning of the week I also glance over the monthly spread to make sure nothing was forgotten.
Future: I really like the concept of future pages. I don't have a year's worth of monthly pages in my planner at one time and I certainly don't have next years pages. Future pages give me a way to record events that will happen in the future. At the first of the month, or when I put new monthly pages in my planner, I check my future pages for items to transfer to my monthly pages. For me, it is usually homeschool events that are planned a year ahead of time, bills that are due every 3 or 6 months (like insurance), and I have been known to write down the premiere of a television show I am following.
Blog: I don't use this as frequently as I thought I might but I still like to have this divider. I have a blog calendar as well as topics and ideas for future blog posts.
Files: My last section is files with A-Z dividers. This is where a lot of the things go that I would have previously made a divider for. For example, instead of having a divider for health or medical, I have a OTC Medication List field under "M". Instead of pets, I have a page named Claire (our dog) where I have listed her vet's number, as well as the prices for her heart med and flea med supply. How do I keep up with what is where? This is another tip from Gifte! I have an index page behind my File divider where I list everything I add. If I take something out of files and add it to my archive planner, I just cross it off my index page. After so many items have been crossed off, I just make a new index page.
hat's it. That's what has worked for me this past year. If I had not discovered this way of planning, I seriously doubt I would have kept it up. I am amazed at how well this system works and how much it has changed my life in little ways. Be sure to visit Kristy's blog and Facebook page - you'll be glad you did!