I’m pretty new to the world of planners. I originally got a planner to help keep my blog post schedule organized, but quickly discovered that I loved having the areas to record my life plans as well. It was so incredibly soothing to have one central book to record all that was happening with me, both on and offline. Plus, as a serial lister, I learned to really enjoy the act of sitting down each Sunday and planning out my week. It’s incredibly relaxing, and definitely helps me start my week out stress free. Sidebar: My awesome blog friend Meagan recently had an incredible post about how planning benefits her mentally, and I really suggest you pop over and read it at some point!
To start 2016 I ordered myself a Passion Planner. I got lucky and saw their Kickstarter for this beauty with only ONE DAY left before it ended. Talk about good timing! I’d heard nothing but good things about them and, after reading a bit about the company, really feel in love with their mission. FYI, not a sponsored post at all. I just love sharing awesome products and companies I think rock! I wanted to start this year with a fresh planner to help me focus, as I knew that my personal goals were going to be playing front and center for the whole year. I’m still figuring out the planning methods that work best for me, but here’s what I’ve learned so far.
I started by covering up the daily times with washi tape. Honestly, the time chunks just weren’t working for me. As a SAHM, my days are basically wide open in terms of scheduling. And on the rare day I have an appointment, I prefer to write the time in underneath…it’s just easier for me. Also, I’ve discovered that I don’t really like to adorn my days with decorations like so many gorgeous layouts you see online. I like a bit of cute, but I prefer it to be practical so I’m working on incorporating some planner-specific stickers to help me with that (check out my Treat Yo Self post for the stickers I’m eyeing to buy this month!)
With the times gone, I can plan out my day how I like! I’ve created a section at the bottom of each day for planning my daily Top 3 tasks, and the rest is doled out appropriately. I’m learning to love using the upper area as a combination of daily task tracker (water, exercise, etc) and also as a bit of a mini daily journaling area. I like to jot down a bit about each day. I know I’ll be able to appreciate flipping through it over the years and reading little tid-bits from my life.
The one thing I’ve consistently done with any planner I’ve had is color code. I have different color pens, which mean different things. (For example, blue things are tasks/appointments that are just for me, pink is my daughter, purple is my daughter & myself together, etc.) I have corresponding highlighters to use when the task is completed, though I often forget to go back and highlight things! Point is, I know the system and find it really helpful to just glance at a day and see what’s in store based on the color. It keeps my brain calm.
Passion Planners have the added perk of having a ton of blank space to be used for whatever you want: The Space of Infinite Possibility. I just love that! At this point in time, I haven’t actually given a huge amount of thought for what goes into them. But now that I’m figuring out what works best for me in the planner, I intend to use them as both a place for writing quotes that inspire me and a scrapbooking area. I have the tendency to save little things (stamps from snail mail, ticket stubs) and I think that area would be the perfect place to make a little scrapbook section if the week calls for it.
Believe it or not, when I first flipped through my blank planner I gave myself a ton of anxiety about it. Yes, I’m aware of how ridiculous that sounds. But there was so much lovely space to be used, and all I could focus on was what if I’m using it wrong?! (Poring over glorious planner accounts on Instagram didn’t help that train of thought.) But towards the middle of January, I realized how stupid that was. There is no right way to use a planner. There’s just the way that works for you. For me, that means blacking out all the times, and using it as a goal motivator and journal/scrapbook combo. For some people, it’s bullet journal style where they make their own structure. So how about you?
What method of planning works best for you?
FOCUS is my One Little Word for 2016. This series shares the ways that I’m applying it each aspect of my life, personal and professional.