Sunday, July 20, 2014

How I Use my Planner

One of the things I love to do besides play with makeup and read is organize.  I like to organize cabinets, closets, other people's lives:)  Since I spent some time changing up my planner last week I thought I would update what I am using now.

Back in January, I posted about what planners I started using at the beginning of the year.  I was using the Erin Condren Life Planner and a smaller one from May Designs.  You can find that post here.   Let me explain why I am totally changing things up.  For me, the Erin Condren planner is rather large and bulky and the spaces for the days are too narrow for the way I use my planner (I'll show how I use mine further down in the post).  I had the same issue with the May Designs planner, just not enough room for what I needed on each day.

I do not carry my planner to work, I use it primarily for lists and reminders around the house and it sits on my desk at home.  I am a big list maker and I like them to be included in my planner.  I felt the Erin Condren planner did not give me enough room for my lists.  My husband and I use iCal on our phones so our schedules sync and we know if things are being scheduled at the same time or if one of us needs to get our daughter to an activity.

I recently saw Danielle at Sew Much Crafting post some of the inserts she has created and uses in her planner.  Her weekly view was what caught my eye and I purchased the digital file from her Etsy store.  You can visit her website which I linked above, Etsy store, or Instagram (SewMuchCrafting) to see the types of inserts she offers.

I had an Arc notebook from Staples already at home and I had the punch for the pages as well.  I have a few of these notebooks so I invested in the punch a long time ago.  I decided to use the Arc since I had it and purchased the A5 size inserts that fit in it.  I also had some dividers from the Martha Stewart line and a pocket I could use as well.

It took a little playing to get them to print back to back on my printer. I also originally printed on paper and the pages kept pulling out of the Arc disc rings.  After playing on Instagram, I found another user who suggested using card stock so the pages don't pull out.  So, I reprinted the pages on card stock and it made a huge difference.  I am much less frustrated now.

However, since I am on summer vacation from teaching and my daughter was at gymnastics, I had some free time the other day to change up my planner a bit.  I didn't like the solid colors of the plastic dividers and wanted something fun at the front of the planner so I created them out of scrapbook paper I already had at home.

I traced the outline of the Martha Stewart dividers I had onto the scrapbook paper and cut them out.  Then I laminated them on my Scotch Laminator I have at home and cut them out again, leaving a little edge.  I then punched the dividers and labeled them using my label maker (I have the Dymo brand from Amazon).

The sections of my planner are monthly, weekly, info, lists, and blog.  The monthly has the monthly inserts from Danielle.  I use these to keep track of pay days and important dates each month such as days off school.  The week section contains the weekly inserts you will see below.  Info contains important numbers or information I need to keep in my planner.  Lists is where I keep ongoing lists such as when I think of gift ideas for upcoming holidays or projects around the house I want to complete.  The final section is for this blog and any notes or ideas for posts I may come up with.  I also created a cute front page for my planner.  I had seen this quote on Pinterest so I typed it up, taped it onto some scrapbook paper, laminated and punch it as well, and put it in front.

This is what the inside of my planner looks like for this past week.  The page facing that isn't shown has Sunday thru Tuesday and a box for notes also.  I put any important activities along the left side of each page.  Then the right side is where I put my to do lists and things I need to complete that day.  I hand write boxes to check off the items.  I saw Danielle do this and liked the idea.  Some items that don't need to be taken care of immediately will get moved to the next week's lists if needed.  

To mark where I am in the planner, I tied a piece of ribbon on a colored paper clip.  It isn't pictured but I can see it stick up out of the planner and know where I need to turn to for the current week.

My planner tends to be a work in progress that changes depending on my needs.  During the majority of the year, I am at school during the day and have a meeting calendar that I keep posted at school for any before or during school meetings.  Therefore, I do not need a daily breakdown in my planner but that is something that she offers if you prefer to break down your day into smaller sections.

Happy Planning!

*All items shown were paid for with my own money.  I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are my own.


  1. Looks great!! Thanks for all of the shout outs! I love the Arc system you use... I may have to think about investing in it. Hmmm... Hope you have a great week!

    1. Thanks Danielle! I love the Arc system because they have lots of different sizes with different size rings to expand. And they all use the same size punch.

  2. This is so impressive! I love how it has the calendar and space for blog posts and other things all in one binder! Have you ever seen Organized Like Jen on YouTube?? She posts a ton of organization videos and has done some planner ones, which reminded me of in this post!

    1. Thanks Carly! I haven't watched those but I love my Youtube videos so I'll have to check her out. Thanks for the recommendation!