As I mentioned last week, we are full swing into the New Year. I've never been a big fan of writing things down or tracking things on paper - it's much easier to carry my phone around with me than a giant planner - BUT! Last year Nicole and I each purchased paper planners so that we could plan out our blog content for the year. It worked so well that I decided it might be time to invest in a good planner and track everything in it.
After doing my research and deciding what was most important to me from a planner (horizontal days, enough room for blog and life, room for goal setting and habit tracking...) it was easy to pick one and order away. Then it sat on my dining room table for two months until it was close enough to 2017 for me to start planning and PLAN I DID!
Today I'm going to break down how I'm organizing my planner, as of now. It's only January so this could totally change as the year goes on and I figure out what does and does not work, but so far this seems to be a pretty good system for me.
The very first thing I did, because I liked it so much when I used it last year was write out categories by different color pen (for example, work emails, work events, work travel vs. personal travel, Justin stuff, household, etc.) and then designate colored washi tape for each of our blog categories. We have food, lifestyle, baby time, girl boss, etc. and we try to multiple in any given week. Having my week color coded by blog post category has been so valuable. It's easy to see at a glance that we're hitting different topics and categories regularly.
One thing I really loved about InkWELL Press (not a post sponsor) was that they allow for goal setting, not only annually but quarterly and even monthly - they also make it easy to track your goals. Some of the goals I set for the year include eating 4 healthy meals a week, saving a certain amount of money - and learning Spanish - which I admit is not off to a great start.
Once I wrote out my annual goals I was able to really easily break it down into quarterly goals. I was able to take that savings goal and split it into 4 quarters and it made it seem so much more manageable to write out the amount I wanted to save in chunks.
I'm a big fan of the "month at a glance" pages in this planner and I LOVED that InkWELL made videos with ideas on how to use all the different pages in the planner. One thing I'd never figured out was what to put on these monthly pages. Birthdays? Okay - but is that really helpful? I have them all in my outlook calendar.
The videos gave me some ideas on creating an actual schedule that could help me achieve my larger goals and also reach some of the things that I value most and that bring me the most joy. For example, it's important to both Justin and I to live in a clean house so after talking, we decided that it made sense to break out chores and set aside days to tackle certain things. Now ever Saturday morning we sweep/swiffer/vacuum and wipe down all the counter surfaces in our house. We both love that it's clean and it's such an easy thing to do in 20 minutes or so.
I also laid out date nights, Justin and I want to actively date and planning to go out and do something fun together every other Wednesday was easy enough. Of course I also added grocery shopping, when I'm washing our towels and sheets (every Friday), and birthdays!
I'm not a huge "goal" person. I don't like to set New Years resolutions or come up with these lofty things I hope to achieve in a year... but I DO love tracking progress towards smaller goals. One thing this planner does well is break out goals into achievable bite size pieces. Each month I'm able to put together a Mission Board like the below and write out some of my smaller goals.
The page adjacent to the Mission Board is one where I can do some planning, notes of things to focus on and actually track some of my goals every day. In January I'm tracking days that I exercise and days that I don't consume any sugar. I love being able to quickly look and think "oh, I really didn't do so bad" even when I feel like all I've done is eat sugar.
FINALLY - the weekly pages. It's important to me to have horizontal days because that's how I visualize my week and it gives me more room for my blog posts and washi tape. You can see in the below image that I have my blog posts scheduled and categorized for Monday-Thursday and then I have notes about what's due, what I'm doing, appointments, etc. on the yellow bars on the right.
I try to use stickers for appointments so I can hypothetically peel them off and add new ones if they appointments move. Things like my nail appointments or when my car needs to go into the shop. The same goes for the Washi Tape - I love it because I can take it off and put it somewhere else or write a new one easily.
There is a ton more that this planner has to offer but I'm tracking everything from when shipments are supposed to arrive to my travel dates, hotel accommodations and appointments.
Do you have any suggestions about organizing a planner? OR a whole post on it? Share the link in the comments. I've read several posts but as a newb I'd love to get other ideas!