I am not an organized person by nature, my bathroom counter is always a mess and I sometimes outsmart myself by putting items in that ‘perfect spot I’ll never forget about’…until the following week when I need it and can’t remember where I put it because it really never had a place to go. I also am usually late. It is something I’ve had to work on especially in 2016 with a job that requires me to be at certain places at specific times with not a whole lot of room for error. I really needed to hop on the planning bandwagon and commit.
I cannot tell you how many planners I had bought before this, I think I bought a new one every 6 months thinking “Oh man I already have a planner but THIS one is going to make me use them” and then I never would. But Christmas 2015 changed that, I did a bunch of ‘research’ before starting my new job and wanted to make sure I had something that would work for me. I went with a Corrie Clark Purposeful Planner, it lays everything out in time slots to help you manage your entire day. It is also the first planner I have used for a whole year pretty consistently (there was a week or so it got lost in my car…) and I actually liked planning with it. The downfall for me was that it is BIG. Every day had its own page which meant for work I wasn’t using the Saturday/Sunday and as much as I love the timed slots, I would end up writing my appointments on a smaller piece of paper so that way I wouldn’t have to grab the whole thing out every time. What I loved about it was how well it held up. I mean I beat this thing to pulp considering it got shoved into a backpack daily and would be flying around in the passengers seat of my car on my many road trips. It was a little pricier at around $60, but that was something I told Joe I wanted for Christmas and helped me start to organize things a little bit better so I can’t complain about that too much.
Fast forward to 2017 and there are a few things I am changing on how I go about planning things.
- I’m separating work and my new little side projects: Ellie in her Element and e.beads. I want to make sure I am able to keep track of orders a little bit better and blog more consistently because as my friend Staci has been telling me “Just do it, or don’t do it”. And my gosh I’ve always got a lot to say, so I better lean more towards “Do it”.
- I am including a couple of little ‘add on’ helper items to keep me more organized, like a portfolio to write down orders for e.beads of who I’ve invoiced, what amount, etc.
- I am adding in a fitness planner, which I won’t touch on today but most likely in an upcoming post. This is something very new for me. I usually just email a friend what I eat in a day to keep me accountable (we are both lucky enough to be connected to our emails 24/7 so this works out for us).
So if you want to know what I’m using this year…stay with me!
This year I did a bunch of searching around (read: Youtube and Pinterest reviews) to find another style that I would want to use and came across The Happy Planner from Me and My Big Ideas (available at Hobby Lobby and Michaels). I purchased mine from Michaels and I decided on the largest version. I don’t know what it is, but I have this inability to write small sometimes and I wanted something that I could keep on my desk at home. What I liked about the planner so far is that it doesn’t have specific time slots (which I really don’t need when I’m at work 9 hours a day) but divides your day up into 3 sections that you can organize however you choose! Want to do a rough sketch of your day using morning, afternoon, and night? Go for it! I divided mine up with e.bead orders or projects, errands or plans I have with family and friends, and posts that I need to work on and complete.
Here are a few of my favorites features of it:
- It has a spot at the beginning of the month for birthdays, appointments, goals, notes…whatever you need to remember.
- It is laid out by weeks, 1 week spread across 2 pages. I can use Saturday and Sunday as a reference, but I’m not leaving 2 whole pages blank like I would with a daily layout.
- It doesn’t have time slots, which means I don’t feel bad if I didn’t ‘take photos for planning 2017 blog post‘ at 11 AM. Just get it done by the end of the day. Perfect!
- I personally think it’s really cute. That’s important. I have to look at it for a whole year, I better love it.
Not much to say about this one, its a faux leather covered notepad with a slot for additional papers. It’s cute. I can organize my orders and kind of brain dump how e.beads is going. It is by Sugar Paper L.A. and from Target, also available in black…which was really hard for me to pass up, but I love the blush color and bought it without realizing everything was matching very nicely.
The Accordion Folder
This was not something I purchased specifically for this year I had bought it a few years ago in an attempt to get organized (which not surprisingly failed) and pulled it out again this year to help me with organizing receipts. Not a new idea at all, but it fits perfectly in my desk next to my portfolio that has all of my expenses listed out. Boom.
Now this is how I am doing things this year and by no means how you have to do your planning. But trust me, I’ve struggled with it a lot and I have spent time looking into planners that are going to work for me. That is the key part. If you are not someone that will spend time writing down appointments or goals in specific hour by hour time slots, don’t buy that planner. If you’ll be lucky to write down an outline of what you have to do this week, get a planner that can support that. Some are extremely expensive, some are cheap (Well hello 50% off coupon at Michaels), others are huge and some are so small I couldn’t even read the days of the week.
How will you be planning in 2017?