Friday, April 29, 2016

Simple Thank You Note [printable]

I wanted something simple to send some thank you notes out, so I came up with this.  Print it on letter size paper and cut it up the middle - two to a page.  Click the image below to download.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tags & Future Pags - a Simple Hack

I use tags like the one in the image below to remind myself of recurring tasks.  Once the task has past, I move it forward to the next week - simple, yes?

So, where do you put your yearly tasks tags?  In your future pages! 

This works fine, but what if I just finished a yearly task in April, where do I put that tag (because I don't have my 2017 future pages yet)?  

This hack comes to you from Giftie Etcetera:  behind your future pages, insert a sheet of paper that says "2017 and Beyond."  You can park your tags there (be sure to write the date beside it) until you set up your future pages for the following year.

When you check your future pages for the new month, remove any tags waiting and put them on the appropriate daily or weekly page.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

No Spend May [printable]

Have you ever done a "No Spend" Challenge?  Some try going all month without buying Starbucks, while other may go the whole month buying only Gas and Groceries, and Bills.  A new month is beginning soon, so there's no time like the present.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Week on 2 Pages with Time Block [printable]

This is practically identical to the layout I am using now with the exception of the schedule bar down the middle.  I'm not sure how this will work for everyone but in my head, it works.  I saw a layout on Pinterest with the time scheduling and thought I would like to try it since sometimes the tasks fill up the page, a schedule would block out my busy times.  Here's how I plan to use it:

Appointments or scheduled tasks are written on the appropriate time side and I circle the time.  I blocked the time two ways:  drew a box around the busy times (Tuesday) and I circled the time I would be busy and drew a line down when I would be through (Thursday)  Maybe this one would be a good one to send to Giftie so she could show us different ways to use it!

This layout is undated and formatted for a half-page insert.  Print on letter-size paper, flip and print the other side.  Cut down the middle and punch your holes!

Monday, April 25, 2016

50th Birthday Celebration and Giveaway!

Today I am 50 years old!  To celebrate making it this far, I am giving away a custom, dated, daily page!!  The winner will have the option of custom designing their own page or they may take one of my current undated daily pages and have it customized and dated.  How awesome is that?

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Different Type of Planner

When I was in college, I had my first encounter with a planner.  My friend Beth carried around a thick spiral notebook (about 8.5 x 5.5) where she wrote down everything.  I wasn't overly responsible (LOL) at the time and I never used a to-do list, much less a planner - but I was intrigued.

At the top of each page, she wrote the date and if I remember correctly, she just started writing the things she had to do, places she had to go, calls she had to make, etc.  Every time she finished something, she crossed through it.  I don't remember what she did if the list wasn't completed but I am assuming she moved it forward to the next day.  I don't remember questioning her about it but I would like to now!  I'm guessing she used a to-do list and a calendar.

Isn't that basically what your planner is?  My weekly pages double as my to-do list and my monthly calendar schedules my appointments.  I like my planner because it gives me flexibility and more space to plan in detail, but this method would work for many of those for whom the idea of choosing and using a planner makes them a little crazy.

At the opposite end of that crazy, ~grin~ it's at least a beginning place for those who like the idea of using a planner but don't know where to start.

  1. Buy a spiral-bound notebook, one with pockets would work even better.
  2. Buy a monthly calendar, where it being a pocket or wall type. 
  3. Write the date at the top of the first page and list the tasks that need to be done (wash the comforter, call the vet, pack up the winter clothes, etc).
  4. As they come up, write down appointments and date-specific items on your calendar (change air filter, dentist appointment, graduation, homeschool picnic, etc).
  5. Everyday consult your monthly calendar and add the day's appointments (and the tasks they may create) to your notebook.  You may have "3pm Graduation" at the top of the page, and "wrap gift" and "get directions" as related to-dos.
  6. Cross throw completed items and start a fresh page the next day
  7. Check the previous day for uncompleted tasks and add it to your new list.

After awhile, I would think you would begin to get an idea of how to expand that to a planner.  You might discover you need a dedicated section to keep a task list, or a place to keep notes you need for a later date.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

New Dashboard Set Up

Yesterday I mentioned that I like to use blank paper behind the zippered pouch as part of my dashboard, and just since then I've made a small change.

I've moved my list of bills all around my planner - from a bookmark in between my weekly pages to filed in my notes section.  The truth is, I want need it up front and center so I don't ever forget a bill!

So, I listed our bills along the right side of the page, printed it, and put it in my planner.  I put some note paper, that was trimmed to show the list, right on top of it.  When April is over, I'll tear out the month and start over with the next.  I can also use the space to the left of the list for notes as well.  The paper that I trimmed off is the perfect size for bookmarks for reminders in my planner.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

3 Things I Use the Most in my Planner

Dashboard:  Ask 3 different people what a planner dashboard looks like and you might get 3 different answers.  I consider the very first page of my planner my dashboard.  I've used thick card stock covered in stickies as a dashboard, graph paper only, and even my first divider.  Currently I am using a clear, zipper pouch as my dashboard.  I have a couple of pics of my boys inside, and sometimes I thrown in various things, such as a check that needs depositing or even a hair tie to pull my hair up.  I often use sticky notes on the outside for various reminders - something I need to see when I open my planner.

Weekly Pages:  When I first started using a planner, I had a week-at-a-glance page (on one page) inside but I never used it.  I didn't see the need when I had a monthly calendar - but then I began learning how to use a planner - now it's my most used section.

Homeschool Lesson Plans:  For the past 8 years or so, I have kept my lesson plans in a letter-sized binder.  When I started using a planner in 2014, I experimented with using an 8.5 x 5.5 planner (but not my planner) to keep my lesson plans.  I liked it okay but I found I didn't like keeping two separate planners.  This year I culled my planner and made room to host my lesson plans along with all my other everyday calendars and lists.

I love it.  Every few weeks I pull out the previous plans archive them in another planner/binder and this works well.  It just makes sense keeping up with dates and appointments, both home and homeschool together.

A Close Fourth would be my monthly pages.  I don't refer to them daily but several times a week.  At the first of the month I put all my monthly items into my weekly pages.  If something needs to be added in the middle of the month, I add it to both my monthly and weekly pages so nothing gets missed.

What is you number one, most used section of your planner?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I Also Like to Crochet!

When I was in the third grade, a family friend taught me how to crochet.  I made a few little things here and there (lots and lots of granny squares), but it wasn't until I was an adult that I started exploring more options.

Earlier this year, my friend Barb, and I started getting together to crochet and this baby blanket is one of the projects we worked on together.

It was a bit of challenge for me as we used a technique that I had never tried before.  I don't think either of us are raring to do another project like this for awhile but we were pleased with the way it turned out.

Tuesday's To-Do's [printable]

Years ago I was part of a email group made up of about 12 women who met online.  Our conversations were wide and varied, and also practical.  One day I emailed, "I have so much to do I don't know where to start.  I feel overwhelmed!"  That's when I learned a great technique (which was so very simple):  Make a list of 5 things you need to do (just five!) and then report back on your progress.

Listing only five things kind of took away the overwhelming part, and reporting back to my friends helped with the accountability.

Have you "liked" Planner Fun's Facebook page?  Next week I'll start a "List Five" post and we can try the technique out together.

Here's a Five-at-a-Time To Do List to get you started:

Monday, April 18, 2016

April Collaboration with Giftie Etcetera [printable]

Every month, Giftie Etcetera (aka Kristy) and I team up to bring you something special:  a new (free!) printable from me, and 6 ways to use it from Giftie.  This month, Kristy shows you some unique ways to use a 12 month tracker. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Task You Put Off - You Know the One

There it is.  The task that has been staring me in the face for several weeks now.  Reclast  is an IV treatment for osteoporosis that I am supposed to have once a year. That entry in my planner means  I have to call Vanderbilt and remind them that they have not called me to set up an appointment for July.  I've put it off because I've been dreading trying to coordinate it on the same day as another appointment (my doctor is 3 hours away from where I live).  It is going to be a long day and I'm dreading the day itself!

So everyday I am looking at this in my planner, moving it week to week until I actually do it.  That makes no sense at all!  The longer I wait, the bigger the chance is I can't make the appointment for the same day.  Do you have tasks like this?  Any tips?

For me, I finally decided I must do it and then tell someone else to make myself accountable.  Like now, I'm going to take care of this task today and then I am going to edit this post and tell you that I did it!  Keep me accountable!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What's the Big Deal About Kittens?

I have never been what I would call a "cat person."  I don't spend time looking at kittens online,  nor do I buy "I Love Cats" mugs and t-shirts.  They're okay, you see, I just never invested a lot of time pursuing them, but when a stray cat adopted us, my heart started to warm...

and then our cat had kittens.

They're so darn cute!  They are 4 weeks old and a ton of fun.  I'm not looking forward to finding them homes - I'm becoming somewhat attached.  Out of 5 kittens, we are keeping one and my mom is taking one.  I'd keep them all, but I truly do not want to become "the crazy cat lady".

Monday, April 11, 2016

Did You Notice the New Blog Name?

It's only a small change in the name but a slightly bigger change for the blog.  As the new byline says, my personal blog and my planner blog are merging together into one blog. 

As far as a blogging schedule, I don't know how that is going to go yet.  I did not blog much at all in March and I seem to be on the same path this month.  It didn't seem like it but then I looked at the calendar and realized that April is almost half-way gone already!

I won't bomb you with hundreds of pictures of the men in my life (hubby and two teen sons), but maybe one or two, here and there!  Really, I'm sure it will be a potpourri of the things I'm interested and/or involved in:  plant-based food, homeschooling, family, planners, internet life - things like that!  I'll still be making inserts when I can/want to/have time/want something new.  You can still submit suggestions and requests, but I you should know that I have absolutely no timeline for when I can get to them.  I hope you will still want to interact with the blog - thanks for sticking with me!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

5 Things Your Planner Can't Do

I love my technology, my gadgets, my apps, my get the picture.  There was  a time that I was all about that and I didn't use a paper and pencil planner  AT ALL!  <gasp>  Can you even imagine?

Now I don't add appointments to, or make to-do lists on, my phone.  I carry my planner everywhere.  It fits in my purse (I make sure of that) and sometimes I just leave the house with my planner and my keys.  It hangs out beside my desk, the coffee table, the corner table in the kitchen, and my bedside table.  I depend on it.  I never imagined that would be me.

Still, let me tell you, I depend on my phone because there are 3 things a paper planner can't do.

1.  It can't remind you in one hour to make sure your blood sugar isn't too low (usually because, like a dork, you took too much insulin or the wrong insulin before bed).

2.  It can't wake you up at 5am to take your antibiotic premed before your 11am peridontist appointment.

3.  It can remind you, but you still can't use it to pay your utility bill.

4.  It can't tell you your bank balance.

5.  It can't message your sister so you can vent about your stressful day.

I converted to using a paper planner in the middle of 2014 and haven't looked back.  I can't see how I could manage my life, as well, without it and I hope I never have to do without my smartphone as well!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Schedules on Post It's

Monday I am having oral surgery and because of things I need to do to prepare, simply writing "oral surgery" in my planner was not going to work for me.

I made a schedule of events on a post it note and put it on my planner pages to look at over the weekend. Even though all the tasks need to be done ON Monday, I'm not going to be looking at Monday events until that day, so the weekend/notes section was the best place.

I normally wake up pretty early (bleh), so 4am doesn't seem so daunting to me.  Just in case, though, I am setting my alarm for 4am so I can take my antibiotic 6 hours before the procedure.  I will also eat a little something and take my insulin.  At 8am I have meds to take that will make me very drowsy - and then my appointment is at 10 am.  I will have to take my antibiotic again 6 hours after the procedure - and that reminder will go on my phone, because I don't trust myself to remember - especially if drugs are involved!

Having all this lined up has relieved me of a lot of anxiety.  Do you make detailed notes on post it notes?