Today, I’m sharing with you how I effectively use my three planners. This blog is called “I Heart Planners” for a reason! I love all things organizing and planning, and although I love to create my own planners, I also love all sorts of other planners out there. I enjoy trying out new planners and new methods, and that works well for me. Therefore, what I’m showing you today is the system I’ve been using for the the past several weeks with great success, but it’s likely to change some as I find new things and enter a new stage of life.
We’ll start with a video where I take you along on my weekly planning session:
First, I use the planner that I created myself using the discbound system from Staples. I really love the discbound systems, and here’s a post and video where I explain all about how they work. I use this planner to coral all the loose notes and sheets that would otherwise be floating around cluttering up my office. It’s so nice to have everything in one place and to be able to move things around within the planner easily. The main part of this planner is my list system where I keep master lists of all the tasks I’d like to complete. I can easily refer to it as I’m planning out my week. This is one of the reasons I like having it in a separate planner rather than having to flip back and forth in the same planner. Here’s a post with a detailed explanation of what my lists system looks like:
This inside of this planner is exactly the same as it has been, but I changed out the cover from the bright pink Arc to the aqua Martha Stewart with the silver discs, because I wanted to use the silver monogram decal:
Next, I use the very popular Erin Condren Life Planner:
I’m using last year’s version (2013), because I was able to get it very affordably when it was on sale recently. It only has April through December of this year, so it’s fairly thin and light. If you’re interested in this planner, you can get $10 off by using this link. (And I’ll also receive a referral credit.) I’ve been pretty happy with this planner. It’s bright, colorful, and fairly lightweight, although in general these planners aren’t cheap.
I wouldn’t be able to use it as my only planner, because there just isn’t enough space in it to write a daily plan or keep track of my master lists. The columns are fairly narrow so it’s tough to write too much in each.
I like the space at the bottom where I keep track of my blog posts, social media for them, and my newsletters. I created my own removable stickers to track this, and I hope to create more stickers soon. I’m not a huge fan of the stickers that come with the planner. First, they’re not removable (although I was happy to hear that they’ve changed that for the current version), which is awful if you need to move things around. Also, the pre made ones don’t fit too well with my lifestyle. I need more of some and would never use others. She does offer the option to purchase additional customized stickers, but they only print on one line (even though there is plenty of space on the sticker to have two lines), so you are limited to 15 characters. That just doesn’t cut it! I’ve been really happy with the stickers I made myself. I use a different color of each type of post, I have space to write the post title, and then boxes to check off when I’ve shared each post on social media.
This is where I make a rough plan for each week. The top section (that says morning, but I don’t use it like that), is for anything scheduled like an appt or meeting so I can easily see it. The bottom two sections are for to do’s I’d like to accomplish that day. I also use the goals and notes section to the left to write the things I’d like to accomplish that week. I can refer to the weekly plan when I make my daily plan.
Next, I usually make a more detailed plan at the beginning of each day. This really helps me to stay on track and motivated. I generally use my Day Designer planner for this, but occasionally I use just a loose piece of paper or another daily printable just to mix things up or have even more room for an even more detailed plan. If any planner were to go, it would be this one, just because I could easily use something else to plan for each day and throw it away when I’m done. However, it is nice to have it all bound together in a nice planner. I usually put a lot of details into each daily plan (housework, e-mail, etc). The more detailed the plan, the easier it is to accomplish.
I rarely check everything off my list each day, but that’s okay. I’ll just move the things I didn’t get done to the next day.
How do you plan? What planners do you use? Leave a comment below and let us know.