Ha! So nothing is “perfect.” I’m not crazy. If you’ve been following this blog at all, you know that I’m a huge planner, Type A, itinerary-loving girl – but things very rarely work according to plan. And that’s okay! I can only do my best.
Today I’m sharing with y’all how I manage my life. And it’s all thanks to my planner, how I’ve changed it, how I use it, and how obsessed I am with it. Seriously.
- Research Planners, Styles
This was the first step, mainly because originally I was going to make a planner from scratch. I kid you not. I was creating layouts and comparing prices at places like Office Max. Then I realized it would be a lot of time, money, and effort to make it as cute as some of the ones I was running into at places like Barnes & Noble. I started realizing a lot of the planners had what I wanted in terms of style, I would just have to make it into my ideal.
- Figuring Out What You Need
So I purchased the Rifle Paper Co. 17 Month Planner (with stickers!) in Juliet Rose pattern. It was a little pinker than I prefer, but it’s bright and floral and I love the inside. Part of figuring out what I needed, was to immediately cut out all the unnecessary pages I knew I would never use (like the Contacts section). I’m a list maker, so part of getting this planner was to stop me from making daily lists (and weekly, monthly, yearly, etc) that was creating a bunch of trash for the environment or getting thrown away because I couldn’t organize them. I love the Bullet Journal style of crossing things off or moving them to a different day, so I needed my planner to have the boxes next to the line item.
- Stick with a Style
A planner should have organization – duh. So I created a system of how to do my weekly spread’s “list” and stick to it. I use an ‘x’ if the item is complete, a ‘-‘ if I have moved the item to another week, and cross it completely out if I’m no longer going to do it. I will put items under the day where I think I will do them, but I use those more as guidelines because you never know how busy you’ll get.
- Highlighting Based on Category
Gotta love a good color code! Since my layout is setup in a list setting, I like to highlight my items so my eye can easily find what I’m looking for. Green is used for events, which are most important and set up under the day. I use pink for blog items and orange for travel. (That way it’s easy to see when I’m out of town.) I’m still toying with purple and blue, because I have goals of vlogging and starting a podcast, so we’ll see how much those get used.
- Bookmark Trackers
This is my most recent update and I love it! Part of the “BuJo” style is tracking what’s important. Since it’s not exactly easy to add pages to this planner (plus they were small ongoing lists) I decided to make little bookmarks that could double as trackers. I have one for my monthly budget, one for my yearly goals, and one for the pictures I need (mainly for blogs). I have a weekly tracker for my most important habits (writing, working out, side income) but it isn’t pictured because I’m still perfecting it. I use it to make sure I hit certain amounts for the week.
- Monthly Spread Set Up
I know I’m not utilizing the monthly section to it’s full potential yet, but for the moment I’m using it as a sort of organized at-a-glance. It’s got important events, out of town weekends, and blog post scheduling – all using my highlighter code of course! I also started using the Notes section (found under my little bookmark) for really happy moments of the month. I like tracking this gratitude. I also have a little coffee sticky note so I can keep a close eye on my coffee budget. Ha!
- Big Project Organization
For those big projects, I want to keep ideas and checklists with my planner, so I gather (and simplify) them first, then put them in the colored envelopes located in the back pocket. These big projects are usually temporary or don’t have a permanent home yet (like parties or events I’m planning). I have them color-coded and I try to go into the envelopes to clear out whatever is no longer useful.
- Stickers & Personalization
This is the fun part! It’s obviously not necessary to have ghost stickers or cute little binder clips – but that’s what makes it fun! My planner came with a few sheets of cute stickers, but I’m guilty of buying special monthly sticker sheets as well. My binder clips hold my bookmarks in a more organized way, so if they’re cute that’s only a bonus, right?
- Sticky Notes
I try not to use sticky notes for quick lists, but sometimes it can’t be helped. If I have a busy day or a bigger than the norm grocery list, I will put it all down on a temporary stick note that I can grab from my planner. And then recycle! Otherwise these lists are defeating the whole main purpose of my planner.
There will probably be even more improvements in the future – but it’s on an as needed basis! Leave me a comment with any suggestions or ways you organize your own life. I live for this Type A nonsense.