Wednesday, April 4, 2018

My Planner

Or How I'm Attempting to Be Organized This Year...

I will be the first to admit that me and organized are not normally used in the same sentence. It does not come naturally to me, and it's something I really have to work at. I'm generally more of a willy-nilly kind-of lady who spends her days putting out whatever fire pops up, and am reacting to things instead of setting my own pace and plan. It is something I am trying to work on. But since it is now April, and I've actually been consistently using my planner all year...I figured I could finally write a blog post about it without feeling like a fraud.

I previously had been doing some bullet journaling, but moved into a beautiful Filofax A5 ringed planner mid-January (you know, after I'd spent days making spreads in my bujo) and am in love. The draw to bullet journaling was just how customizable it is...and the idea that I could make any spread I might need, therefore making the ultimate planner. I think my head hadn't quite caught up with the times because between Etsy, and the computers we all have at our disposal, a ringed planner can do the exact same thing really. And I would sometimes find I'd spent so much time setting up my bullet journal, I would be too exhausted to use it. But really, I think the switch had more to do with coveting the duck egg blue filofax than anything else, if we're being truly honest.

So, I realize that truly going over my planner and how I use it would probably work best in a video and not a blog post. I plan on filming one soon, as I'm participating in #SSSVEDA this year on YouTube. What that means, for those who don't spend all of their spare time watching videos over there like I do, is that I'll be posting a video every day in April! (or at least that's the goal) I'll be sure to let y'all know when the planner video goes live, but I thought I'd write the basics of how I'm using it, and where I bought my supplies in a post to go along with any video I made.

I purchased my beautiful Filofax off of Amazon. The original version that I selected comes in an array of colors. I was torn between the blush and blue, as those are my COLORS, but the duck egg blue totally won out. They come with the regular Filofax inserts, but I knew they weren't going to fit the bill for what I wanted out of my planner, so I headed over to Etsy to see if I could find any that were exactly that I was looking for (or close to).

Now this is where the whole customizable thing comes in. What I want and need from my planner is probably going to be different than what you want and need from YOUR planner. The good thing about a ringed planner is if something isn't working for you, you can just take those pages out! more pages you don't need! If you decide you need something different, you just open those rings up, and toss some different pages in there and TADA, your setup is working again! Here's a list of the sections I have, or am working on adding, in my planner:

  • Future Calendar and Holidays
  • Month at a glance
  • Monthly habit trackers (one of my most used pages!!)
  • Week on 2 pages
  • Daily pages (I find the ones I have aren't working for me, need to find new ones or make my own)
  • Finances/Bill Tracker (moved from computer file to paper)
  • Lists Section (books to read, movies to watch, stuff to buy, gifts, groceries, etc)
  • My B's Pages (a section with goals, priorities, brainstorming, etc)
  • Bible Reading Tracker
  • Contacts (because sometimes it's nice to not have it all digital)
  • Running To Do List
  • Quotes List
  • Blog/Business Pages and trackers
  • Recipes, Meal Planning
As you can see, the choices are endless really. I chose to buy the bulk of my pages from ptpaper on Etsy because I am a fan of the style of the pages and font the shop uses. I love the Habit Trackers from there, and they are probably my favorite pages in my planner. I am also a fan of the Dated Weekly Inserts  and the Checklists (which I use in my list section).

Then, because I'm a girly girl who wants to be happy every time I open my planner, I have an extensive colored pen collection...but the ones I'm using the most at the moment are my Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pens that I purchased from Amazon, because a) they are colored, and b) they are erasable. Are they perfect, will they last forever in your planner, and have you thrown away every other pen you've ever purchased Christina?!?? No, but last month I used the pretty blue one...and this month I'm using the pretty purple one...and I'm happy. Also...I'm not afraid to admit that I play with stickers and washi tape sometimes. If I could doodle, I would me. I am a frustrated stick-figure drawer. So therefore I have to rely on people more artistic than I to bring the pretty to my black and white planner pages. Do you have to embellish your planner? Heck no. This is all about you doing you, we all need to remember that. But I have been known to spend a bad day placing happy llamas in various places on my planner pages just because. 😛 I have bought both good and iffy quality planner stickers from Etsy, but honestly my favorites have been from Michaels and Hobby Lobby (SALES!!). I purchased some truly STUNNING flowery ones a few weeks ago from the Michaels clearance section that made my heart SING. 

OH, the other thing I actually purchased for my planner were a few dashboards from JeePapeterieShop again for the pretty/happiness aspect, but also to add a couple distinct sections to the planner. And this elephant makes me happy.

I realize that this blog post is all over the place, and I could really use a thesaurus to find some new words to use in replacement of I said it WAY too many times. But I really wanted to express how I've taken something I have always been horrible at...namely planning my time, and being organized and intentional about how I'm living day to day...and am finding a way to work on improving at it, while also keeping my enthusiasm up and enjoying the process. Because if I told myself that I had to use a boring and restrictive planning regime, it wouldn't work for me. I think that's why digital planners have never kept me interested for very long. If planning and organizing is something that you also need to work on, my advice is to try and find a system that you will ENJOY looking at multiple times every day. Because if it doesn't make your heart sing, you aren't going to use it. Or at the very least, it's not going to be something you look forward to. And right now, I need to look forward to my planning time. And by golly, if that means I have to stick hot pictures of Michael Fassbender on the dividers for my finance section, just to get me to spend time there...then I should do it! 😂

So, my question for you today is...are you a naturally born organized individual? Do you use a planner? If so, what type are you using?? Inquiring minds want to know, y'all!! 

Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow, April 5th at 9 pm EST on my Facebook Page for our Virtual Book Club to discuss The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah!! 

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