FOCUS: Planning My Life

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!

Planning My Life - Passion Planner

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 missionFYI, 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.

Planning My Life - Passion Planner weekly layout

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!)

Planning My Life - Passion Planner weekly layout B

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.

Planning My Life - color coded pens

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.

Planning My Life - Space of Infinite Possibility

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.

 

  • B.

    I like how you used the tape to cover up the times! It helps add a bit of flair even if you aren’t into all the stickers and what not!

    • Kay

      Thanks! It does add in a nice bit of decoration, good point!

  • This is gorgeous, I love the use of the tape to. I finally started using a planner this week to and I feel so much more organised and together already lol xoxo

    • Kay

      Thanks! It took me ages to really figure out what I liked! I remember when I got my first planner last year the first two months were mostly blank, but eventually I fell into a rhythm with it! I hope you keep enjoying yours!

  • gamerwife

    I’m getting very tempted to jump on this whole Passion Planner bandwagon. I need my physical planners and my current calendar doesn’t have nearly enough space each day for all the different tasks that come up. And the tape tip is perfect.

    • Kay

      Thanks! I really love the Passion Planner. Part of me wishes I bought the smaller size instead of the full size, simply for easier portability, but at the same time I like space the full size one comes with. I may try out the small version for next year, who knows! I definitely recommend trying them out – a great product, with a great company, and so affordable!

  • I know what you mean about give yourself anxiety for planners, I’m using the academic agenda by A Beautiful Mess and there are some days that are completely blank, since I spend my whole time at University and it makes me feel like I’m wasting my planner not using it well! I’m going to try bullet journaling this Fall (once the planner will be over).

    • Kay

      I’m glad I’m not the only one! I definitely feel weird when I have blank days, but at least one day each week we are home all day so there’s really not much to plan! I love the idea of bullet journaling, but I need a base structure to jump off from. I may try it sometime in the future though and block out a structure before I start!

  • Danielle Knapp

    Oh I totally want to check out the Passion Planner. I actually finally started to reuse my blog planner and it’s been so helpful.

    • Kay

      I really like it! It just has SO much space, which is nice but sometimes overwhelming haha. I may try the smaller size next year.

  • I know what you mean about having anxiety about the planner!! I felt the same way when I first got mine. Honestly though, I never really got over it and don’t use my planner nearly as often as I should:/ You’ve motivated me to try again though because really, there’s no right or wrong way to fill out your planner!

    • Kay

      I hope you find a way you like! I still sometimes feel like I don’t fill it enough, but hey, clearly if I don’t have anything else to add than it’s enough!

  • Brittany Zick

    Two things: This planner is lovely and I adore how you use it. Also, I see my stamp and sticker from the swap 🙂

    • Kay

      Thanks! And I LOVED that mail sticker…had to use it display it somewhere! 😀

  • This planner is beautiful!! I really wish I was a planner person but every time I try to use one I stop after a few weeks. 🙁 I’m just more of a notepad person. I’m glad a planner is helping you stay organized and focused!
    ~Sara

    • Kay

      If it works for you, that’s what matters! I originally started out with just a notebook, but I needed more structure. When I got my first planner last year, it took a good two months before I felt like I was using it consistently. But now, I really love sitting down to plan out my weeks!

  • I like your planner! And I like how simple your decorations are. I honestly think some people totally over do it that I think they like decorating their planners more than actually writing inside of it lol! Right now I don’t really use a planner… I need to though because every day I’m like “I don’t have any time to do anything!!!” So maybe if I sat and scheduled my day I could actually get some stuff done 😝 If I do need to remind myself of something I’ll use the Alarms on my iPhone!

    • Kay

      I feel the same way! Like why fill a planner with just decorations?? Isn’t is just like a giant collage book then haha?? I definitely use alarms on my phone too…whenever I sign up for a webinar or something, I put it in my planner and my phone so I get an alarm the day of. Otherwise, I’d probably forget by the time it rolls around!

  • <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  • I love your planner! It’s so beautiful.
    I recently switched over to using an app for all of my scheduling and To Dos. It’s super convenient because I always have my phone with me & don’t have to lug around an extra book, but it lacks the personal touch you can only get with colored pens and stickers. I guess I’m still trying to find my perfect balance.

    • Kay

      Thank you! And digital is definitely SO convenient! In fact, that’s the main thing I DON’T like about this planner – it’s giant, and not super transportable. So I guess there’s always a bit of compromise somewhere – best of luck finding the perfect system for you!

  • A) I love that your planner is cute but also functional. The #1 thing that bugs me about planner culture is how most people don’t even use it to plan things! Um, what!? B) omg thank you for that shout out!!! I need to get back on my blog real bad.

    • Kay

      Yeah I don’t get non functional planners haha. Though I guess for some it’s a creative outlet? Either way, I’ll take functional thanks! And you’re most welcome!