Monday, April 3, 2017

Simple Planning

In 2014 when I started using a planner, I went out and bought washi tape, colored pencils and pens, clips, sticky notes and more.  Since creating printables was sort of my thing, I also made all of my calendars and inserts.  I spent hours on Pinterest, Facebook groups and web looking at all the colorful planners.

After awhile, I stumbled across the Giftie Etcetera blog and everything changed for me.  I like all the colors and the pretty, but apparently I am a functional planner at heart. At that time, I went from having a dozen tabs in my planner and a gazillion inserts, to having about 5 tabs and fewer inserts.  Since then, my style has changed a little, but I always go back to the core system I learned from Giftie (aka Kristy). Here's what I include in my planner:

Weekly Section:  I use a week on 2 pages layout to keep up with all the things that are going on in my week.  I almost always use these inserts (download link included).  It's definitely my work space because on it I jot down my menu, my day specific tasks, bills due, and sometimes daily tracking (such as water or exercise).  I also put appointments in my weekly section, but they go on my monthly calendar first.



Monthly section:  there's not much explanation needed here. I put all my appointments here as well as due dates for bills, and prescription refills.

Projects:  getting rid of extra tabs made my system work better for me; Instead of a "holiday" tab, I create a project page {wish list, family party prep, etc}.  Before putting something in your planner, ask yourself if you need a dedicated tab or if a single project page will do.  Here's a lot more on the subject.


Future Planning:  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.  Here's a link to undated future pages.

My future pages in 2015


Files:   This is like an archive for my projects.  I don't refer to these files regularly but I want them nearby when I need them (info on a software program I bought and use regularly, birthday list, etc.).  I have a to z tabs in this section since there is so much information.  The tabs I use are actually for an address book so the back of them have lines.  I keep up with little bits of information here and it has been so helpful.  For example:  behind A I have my Amazon pin number and my Air filter size.  Under H, I have my hair color name and number.  On my M tab I have a sticky note with a diagram of which way we turned our mattress last.  Cool.

Simple Planning

Does this sound simple to you?  It has worked well for me.  Lately, my planner has become more simple.  Currently I'm not using my favorite week on 2 pages, but the inserts that came with my new Filofax.  I will go back to them but for now I am content just scribbling down the information I need.  I also haven't printed out my Future pages for the year.  Instead, I wrote the months, 3 to each side, on two sheets of paper.  It really helps me get things done instead of being enslaved to my perfectionist (only with paper) tendencies.

I looked back at some of my early writing to write this blog post.  It was fun seeing how I had changed, and it also made me want to try somethings again.  Check out the archives!

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