Friday, September 20, 2019

Freebie Friday: Personal Size To Do Inserts

These are rather simple but even when it is just a to-do list, I still like to make it fun. These personal-sized inserts will remind you that you should be attacking your to-do list, not watching Plan With Me YouTube videos or playing with Washi!!  😉 Three inserts on letter-sized paper.  If you would like a different size, let me know and I'll see what I can come up with.  

Monday, September 16, 2019

My Planner System and Planner Peace

My definition of planner peace is being contented with your planner's system and function - and I definitely am that.  My system has evolved over the years, but not by much, I have noticed there are components that I must have in whatever planner I am using (no matter what the size or inserts) to have that peace. Built-in reminders and reviews are key to (my) planner peace  Today I am going to share with you those different components, and hopefully, I won't be too lengthy.

My first divider is INBOX.  The front of my divider is also my dashboard.  It usually has some sort of sticky note on it with items needed at the grocery store.  My hubby either picks those up after work (we live 12 miles from town), or they're added to my grocery list at the end of the week.  Behind the divider is where I keep my Next Actions List.  This list is a to-do list with items that don't have a firm due date.  For example, I need to schedule a sports physical for my son, but it isn't due until some time in the spring, and I keep it on this list as a reminder. (My built-in review reminds me to check the list!!  Plenty of notepapers are also kept in my inbox, ready for me to scribble notes in a hurry that can be processed later.

My top three tabs are my daily, weekly, and monthly tabs

I use Franklin Covey day on 2 pages for my daily pages.  My current pages are "Her Point of View" and they have very pretty, colorful pages - does that count as decorative? ☺ My schedule and the to-do list are on the left side and the notes page is on the right side.  I absolutely love having a notes page. There are so many uses for having one - check out this post I wrote for 18 Ways to Use a Notes Page.
Franklin Covey's method of indexing important information on your daily pages is excellent.  My notes pages look different every day.  I often track my water and exercise on the notes page as well as write down information from phone calls.  On Saturdays, I write down my goals for the week ahead, and on Sundays, I often use that page for sermon notes.  If there's anything I want to reference later, I write the date and a brief description of that months' index page.

My weekly pages used to set unnoticed all week and I even wondered why I had them, but recently I
started using them in a whole different way and it has been a game-changer.  They are so, so simple! I created a folded insert that has four columns on the front of the page and four columns on the back.  They are labeled Sun - Saturday and they are undated, which makes it easy for me to grab them and start writing in my information instead of dating and printing them every week. 

The best way I know to describe them is that they are pre-planning pages.  I don't worry about making these pretty with careful handwriting.  I keep 2 or 3 of them in my planner at a time.  They are especially good when I have a question or thought about something I might need to do later.  I scribble information on them throughout the week ahead and sometimes the week of.  I slash through the information that I might have already taken care of to save time  If anyone is interested in seeing pics, let me know.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Friday Freebie: Dated Inserts!!

I've begun working on some of my 2020 inserts and I wanted to share them with you.  Click below to find 2020 monthly pages for compact and personal, and dated daily pages for compact size.


Friday, September 6, 2019

Compact 2020 Future Log for Friday Freebie

Have you thought much about the calendars you will be using in 2020?  I can't deal with that right now, but I definitely have to keep up with some 2020 dates, especially high school graduation!  I made a 2020 future log to keep up with these dates until I have my 2020 calendars.  If this is something you could use, download below.  As usual, if you have a need for a different size, leave a comment and I might be able to accommodate you.

Download Here

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Picking the Right Size Planner

I used to be a hardcore, 8.5" by 5.5" planner user and wouldn't consider any other size.  I couldn't fathom why anyone would go any smaller, LOL!

However, there are good reasons why one might change to a smaller size.

1.  Change in circumstance.

I've spent the last 12 years of my life homeschooling my sons which included weekly co-op type meetings where the moms were responsible for teaching classes, planning events and a number of other activities.  I took my half-size planner everywhere, and with homeschooling and homemaking and keeping up with health things (kidney transplant), I had plenty of information to keep up with.

A year ago our co-op part of homeschooling stopped, and so did a lot of activities.  It's one of the reasons I went to a personal-size planner.  I no longer needed all that space to keep up with my new normal.

2.   Save paper (if you print your own inserts)

I've printed my own inserts from day one (except for that one time I tried to stay faithful to Franklin Covey dated inserts).  It has to do with my creative side - I love creating them and trying new things!  I have my printing process down to a science!  My inserts are compact size:  4.25 x 6.75 and I get 3 pages from one letter-size sheet.  I pre-cut them and load up my printer.

3.  Those things can get heavy!

Well, they can!  Mine was packed full, and because I don't like carrying my purse much, I put in my debit cards and also stuffed it with whatever else I could get in there.  When I decided to try a personal size, I test-drove an inexpensive planner to see if I liked it.  At first, I thought there was no way, but I quickly learned to enjoy how light it felt.  I also liked the challenge of making new insert sizes and including the things I needed to make them the most productive.

4.  Make more productive choices

When you have a smaller planner, you have to be choosy about what you put inside.  Things that I would normally stick in the pocket of my half-size planner don't necessarily make the cut in my smaller planner.  I have to ask myself, "Do I really need to keep this?" and "Is there a better place to store this?"

What size planner do you use?
Would you ever consider going smaller?

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Notepaper Series: Flowers in a Jar

In the early years of this blog, I used a half-size planner and made lots of cute notepapers.  I am bringing these back periodically for those of you who use the same size.  I have not tried it, but maybe they can be reduced to use in other sizes.  The download includes two inserts on one letter-size sheet.


Friday, August 30, 2019

My Daily Pages for September {freebie}

I like creating just about as much as I love planners and planning - which means I change my inserts around a lot!  For September I am using a daily page with a 2 column grid with room for a schedule, tasks, and tracking.  I made up a month's worth of pages (I may change my mind for October) and I'm sharing them with you.

The size is for Compact users:  4.25 x 6.75

Download Here

Thursday, August 29, 2019

3 Uses for an Extra Column

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

1. Mini To-Do List or Project Page

I am helping put together a small, casual "Home Blessing" for my newly married BFF on Sunday, after lunch. It is a simple affair but I do have a few responsibilities to track. I used the column (in the image above) to track the things I need to do 

2. Track Anything 

Occasionally I will check my blog stats and jot down the current page hits for my blog. It's also a good place to track your current weight, a medication that needs to be refilled or outstanding checks. 

3. Recurring Tasks 

Instead of writing in "Take out the trash" every single week, or "Fill Med Box", I write a few of those tasks down on Post It Tabs (another great tip from Giftie) and move it from week to week - that column is exactly the right space for my tabs. Did you know that Giftie also has great blogging tips as well as planning tips? Thanks, Kristy for inspiring me to try something different with my blogging.

originally published in 2015

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Friday, August 23, 2019

Just Saying

Will create free inserts and blogger content for comments.

Seriously though - I would love to hear from you guys!  Do you like what you see?  What would you like to see more?

Is anyone out there!!??


Friday Freebie

Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite week on 2 page layouts that I made in 2014 or 15.  I updated it last night and punched it for my own planner.  I have a dated version, but for you, I have one that is undated for you to use over and over.  Print these on Compact or Personal size paper.

Download for Compact

Download for Personal

Thursday, August 22, 2019

5 Minute Planner Hack

Sometimes you happen upon a good hack quite by accident. In my case, this was an accident! After cutting my graph paper in half for my dashboard /capture page, I discovered that I did not cut the paper exactly in half - by about a half-inch!

I decided to use it, even though I definitely like things all lined up. With the front pages more narrow than the others, a natural divider was made, and it got me to thinking about my grocery list. I usually jot down what we need on a sticky note throughout the week and then transfer it to my shopping list before shopping. Last week I used the narrow paper to make my list after writing in the aisle categories of my store.

I enjoyed having my list front and center with room to write in what we were out of, as well as the things I knew we would be needing. I also found the natural divider made it super easy to get to the capture page to record any information I needed to process.

Simple hack - but it is working quite nicely for me.

originally published in 2016

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A to Z Tabs: a Filing Cabinet in My Planner

I bet I had 25 different divider tabs in my planner the first week I began using one.  I had a tab for shopping although I only had one insert that was tracking my online orders.  I had an "addresses" tab but only 1 page of my frequently used addresses.  Pretty soon I couldn't find anything even with all those tabs!

After looking at many systems online, and modifying them for my own tastes, I began using A to Z tabs, like a filing cabinet of sorts, in my planner.  If there is any piece of information or inserts that I need to keep up with, I file in alphabetically in my tabs.

At the very front of these tabs, I keep an index of all the inserts that are included (see above).  Periodically I will go through the tabs and see if I have added or deleted items, or need to add or delete items and update this index.  When it starts getting messy with the cros-outs or runs out of room, I make a new one.

Something that has become invaluable to me is how the tabs themselves work.  I rarely use these tabs for their intended purpose of keeping up with addresses, but using them to jot down brief information has become my favorite part.  Some examples are writing down the post office's hours (above) or the pin number to get into my laptop.

If you don't want to write on the tabs, you can do something else that I also do:  write your information on sticky notes.

I used to forget my hair color name and number, but now with MUCH use, I don't really look at that note anymore!  <grin>

Putting private or sensitive information in your planner

I know some might be opposed to putting passwords or account numbers in their planner.  Here's a little tip for you that I learned from Giftie. Make a key that helps you decode private information.  For example, say your numerical key is +2 and the account number you want to remember is 3522.  Write in your planner 1300.  You'll have to remember your numerical key though and you won't want to write it down unless you find a secure way to do that.

The above also works with "When did I last..." change the air filter, change the oil, call my Mom, etc.

Other things you can write on the inside of the tabs:
  • your children's social security number
  • passwords (easier for me than a long list of passwords)
  • door codes
  • ACT school code
  • phone passcode
  • sizes (aka info on a sticky note)
  • Vet hours
  • hair clippers guard # (I used this a lot, my boys just tell the barber what they want, now!)
The majority of my tabs hold passwords (use a key!)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Take Me Back Tuesday - Updates from the Archive

I started a planner blog in 2014 but had been creating printables for many years.  I look back at some of the pages I made that I offered on my blog and cringe a little.  What was I thinking?  Even though my old blog posts are gone, all of the inserts are backed up.  I thought it would be fun to update (and sometimes completely redesign) those old inserts and post them on the blog again.

The first insert for Take Me Back Tuesday is for half-size users - a 2-page spread with a WO1P on one side and a to-do/notes list on the other. If there is any interest in other sizes, please comment below and I will see what I can figure out!  I hope you can use it!

Download Here

Monday, August 19, 2019

Are You a Functional Planner?

There are several types of planners, and whichever one we are, we are usually set in our ways as far as how we do things.  Personally, I am a functional planner.  I like pretty as much as anyone but I don't have time for it in my planner.  Adding some pretty Mildliners to white space makes me just as happy as stickers and die-cuts would someone else.

So usually, my planner is all business and I write everything down.

"Mom, we're out of brown sugar!" I write it down on a sticky note and put it on the very first thing you see when you open my planner: my dashboard.  My dashboard is just a divider entitled "Inbox" with sheets of blank paper behind it.

If I need to remember to type a quiz for school on Monday, I write it down on my daily.  If I don't do it today, I'll transfer it to Sunday.  If I don't do it Sunday, well - I'm late!

"Honey, I can barely hear you, you need to check into getting a new phone battery.  I turn to my next actions list (no specific date, but it needs doing soon) and write it down.

If I have a question for my doctor, I better write it down because I won't remember it on the day of my doctor's appointment!  I will either write it down on a sticky note and put it on my monthly calendar near the appointment date, or write the question and put it inside my newly created health tab.

Enough examples.  What else do I consider functional planning?  For me it's all about using a planner as a workhorse, having the information I need to know close at hand without necessarily worrying if everything is color-coordinated.  Sometimes that means not having to find an insert to use before I write something down.  Earlier this month I made appointments for a January doctor's appointment, received a "Save the Date" card from my niece, and was trying to figure out school dates for our last year homeschooling.  I haven't created my 2020 monthly pages yet so I had to make space for a Future Log (pictured above).  Graph paper and a Mildliner and my log were ready 5 minutes later.  Not necessarily all that lovely, but I was able to get things out of my head and into my planner.

After all of that, I will say that a functional planner can be a pretty planner if there is enough room on the page to write down the important stuff.  I've seen planners that I couldn't possibly use just because I wouldn't be able to write anything down.  I have determined that those planners are probably scrapbook planners - making a pretty spread.  I used to scrapbook so I understand the desire to create and make something to keep memories.

Do you consider yourself to be a functional planner?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Double-Punch Planner Hack

This tip revolutionized my planning life.

 I discovered this hack from my friend Kristy at Giftie Etc. (an AWESOME functional planning resource).  The hack is to simply punch your inserts on both sides of the page.  The reason I like this so well is that I don't like writing on the left side of the page, especially since I have gone down to a smaller size planner.  Once the day is over, I take the daily page out, turn it over, and put it back in.  Easy Peasy.  I also do this with many of my other inserts as well, sometimes slitting the page to make it easier to remove and reinsert. Check out her video for more ways to use this hack.

This tip is functional planning at its best!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Friday Freebie!

Today I am sharing with you the insert that I am currently using for my daily pages.  I use Compact size (4.25 x 6.75), but I have also included personal size as well.

You'll find dated daily pages for today through next Saturday, but I have an undated page for you if you'd like to continue using them after a week.  I always cut my paper to size and then print the inserts, which is how I have formatted these.  In the future, I will figure out a more efficient way to do it.  I'd love to know what you think is the best way of getting freebies.  Two to a page?  Created on letter size with cut marks?  Download by clicking the link below.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

2 Ways to Record Information When Your Planner Isn't Nearby

That doesn't happen often, does it?  If you're a hardcore planner, you have it near almost all the time!  <grin>  Still, occasionally it's left in the other room, or you forgot and left it at home on your errand run.  What do you do? Trust yourself to remember?

Um, no!  Not me anyway.  I still go into a room and forget why I'm there!  Here are 4 ideas to help you remember that important though:

1. Your phone.  Chances are we might forget our planner, but we are attached to our phones.  If I'm driving, I will use Siri to text the important information I want to remember.  I have also sent myself an email and recorded information in a note-taking app.  Be sure to have a built-in review process so you'll remember to check your phone for the information you need to write down.

2. Sticky Notes.  What planner doesn't have plenty of sticky notes lying around?  I keep them by the bedside table, in my purse, and on the coffee table.  The notes on my bedside table get used the most, and that happens usually when I getting ready for bed and taking my meds.  The hubby will tell me something we need, or I might have to jot down a reminder to reorder a prescription.

If neither of these things are around, you can do what I do:  repeat the information over and over until you can get to your planner!  That might not work out for the ones around you if you are sitting in church or the doctor's office, but whatever works, right?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Latest News:

Planner Fun is starting over!!

I removed everything but the name.  Actually, I have all my old inserts in storage and will possibly be bringing back some of the more popular ones.  Please feel free to let me know in the comments what you would like to see on the blog or even your ideas for freebies.

For the next 9 months, I won't have a specific blog schedule.  We have started our last year of homeschooling and it is my priority.  After that, I won't know what to do with myself!  I know!  I'll blog and create lots of planner goodies!!

Updates can be found on my Facebook page.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

18 Ways to Use a Notes Page

  1. On church day, take notes in Sunday School and during the message.
  2. Instead of a separate Gratitude list, write your daily gratitude on your notes page.
  3. During your daily quiet time, take notes on the scripture you read.
  4. When someone asks for prayer, add them to a dedicated spot on your notes page.
  5. If you have a blank page from a previous day, use it to practice lettering or to improve your handwriting.
  6. Jot down your weekly menu on menu planning day.  Add a temporary page flag for quick accessibility.
  7. Use your notes page as a place to journal or write the day's events.
  8. Watching your weight?  Add your daily food journal for added accountability.
  9. Keep a log of your phone calls and details discussed.  Be sure to add this to your monthly index in case you need to find this information at a later date.
  10. Deal with medical issues?  As a transplant recipient, keeping up with health symptoms is important.  Use your notes as a place to write down unusual symptoms and how you're feeling.
  11. Jot down important information from emails you've received or at least directions on how to find that email if needed (and note it in your monthly index).
  12. Doodle!  I usually do that on a blank or hardly used page from a previous date.
  13. I have a friend who does a daily scripture writing challenge - your notes would be a perfect place for this.
  14. Are you a dreamer?  Jot down your dreams - it's a good idea to do that as soon as you remember them.  If you are like me, you forget the details quickly!
  15. Like quotes?  Write down your favorites in your notes.
  16. Meeting notes
  17. Shopping list - I do this when I have a small list.  If I am doing my weekly shopping, I use a dedicated list.
  18. Track expenses, water intake, daily exercise, medication, daily routines, mood, etc.  Track everything!
I went from thinking I would never be able to use a notes page, to wondering how in the world would I fit everything in!