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Planners are everywhere these days. How do you pick the perfect one for you? I give my tips and tricks to cut through the clutter and figure out which planner system is right for you so you can stay organized year round.
The Fail Safe method to pick the right planner for you!
I had no idea that “Planner Obsession” was a thing nor did I know about the crazy ‘mom-planner cults” out there…until this past December when I stumbled across some planner related scopes on Periscope. O-M-G. I watched, in amazement and sheer awe, scope after scope as these women would share and swoon over planner after planner. (And I’m not just talking a couple girls chit chatting over coffee-these were scopes with hundreds of woman, so many woman that the comment boxes were closes due to sheer volume of participants!).
And then I found myself swooning planner after planner. That sounds a little crazy.
How can one swoon over a planner?
It’s a binder or notebook with lines and calendar boxes!
But, Friends, I kid you not, some of these crafty women out there have literally found the holy grail to organization. You combine mom-ingenuity and good ole Etsy craftsmanship and you have a whole new world of creative cult-dom!!!
Then I started noticing the planners on Instagram. Many of the bloggers I follow had them and were using super cute stickers to organize everything.
But still–I dug in my heels.
I was not going to succumb to this planner cult unless….(that’s right unless–I gave myself an out to my imaginary ultimatum)…I could figure out a way that I would make the most of it. (I didn’t want it to just collect dust on my desk).
Step 1: Analyze your work behavior
So I spent the next few weeks analyzing my work behavior. I categorized what it is that I actually do.
Side bar tangent:
Sorry, Office Space scene started running through my head….
OK, back to “planners.”
So I started by writing down everything I’m responsible for, ie: what areas of my life need organizing, what do I manage everyday?
I came up with the following:
- My Blog as a business
- Board Member duties for International Bloggers’ Association
- Girl Scout co-leader
- Family Schedule and kids’ activities
- Entrepreneurship class assignments
- Self-health and wellness Remember: We all need this on our list of responsibilities. We are nothing without our health and well-being. And for all the moms out there-this is especially hard because we put everything and everyone before ourselves but we have to remember that we’re the captain of this ship and if the captain goes down–well….we all saw Mr. Mom, right?
OK, seriously this time—back to planners!
I made a list of how I currently keep track of everything by creating an Organizational Assessment.
And I was honest. It’s a little embarrassing to see the words “notebooks and sticky notes” as your organization system. But it was true.
- Blog Business: Blog Success Planner from Tabitha Philen
- International Bloggers’ Association: random notebooks, sticky notes, and some forms from the Blog Success Planner
- Gym: results go on my calendar
- Diet: my Weight Watcher journal (that I bought 2 years ago–hmm, maybe I should actually use it?)
- Girl Scouts: random notebooks and sticky notes
- Family Schedule: pocket planner that fits in my purse
- Entrepreneurship classes: school notebook
I looked at my Organizational Assessment, and I realized that I wrote “notebooks and sticky notes” waay too many times. I needed a Master Plan journal to put everything in, so I could see how to better fit all of my work, committees, gym, all the girls’ pickups/dropoffs, errands, etc. into a less chaos-driven day.
The solution that worked well for me was the Erin Condren Life Planner.
I bought the hourly layout because I like that chronological structure. I love the inspirational messages, the fun colors, the quality, etc. And (confession), I love looking at all the inspirational pictures on Instagram from fabulous planner moms that seem to have it all together by using the planner and stickers and pizazz.I recently showed off all the features of my snazzy new planner in a Periscope video. You can catch the replay here.
So, let’s take a look at a snapshot of the week of February 8. That was a crazy week with double activities on Tuesday and the school Valentine parties.
You can see I wrote some of my top goals that I wanted to accomplish on the side. Then I have stickers and text for all the Big Meetings/Appointments/Activities that were previously written repeatedly on sticky notes in multiple notebooks.
Being a work-from-home mom, my afternoons are shared with my daughters, so this layout really helps me keep all that multi-tasking chaos in order. For example: Monday, you’ll see I wrote a reminder to take the girls to pick out their valentine’s and class goodies as well as some important homework reminders for my older daughter. Tuesday was a busy double after-school-activity day, and Wednesday we had after school activities plus we had to finish my younger daughter’s valentines. I also try to keep up with my Periscope videos while my girls are in their activities. So I need to be sure to have those topics planned out ahead of time.
(BTW–if you decide you’d like to order one too, use my referral link and you’ll get $10 off! woohoo! I’ll get $10 and you’ll get $10. Love it!).
So to summarize, make a list of everything you do, all of the areas that you manage, then record how you keep track of them. Finally, determine if you need a master plan style planner, or a task driven planner, or a scrapbook style planner. The sky is the limit! So I hope this helps you narrow it down a bit.
Please leave me a comment with your thoughts below.
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HI! I’m a Shana, self-proclaimed Media Mixologist, wife, and mom to two little girls. I love to mix up cocktails of crafts, recipes, wellness, family and business with just the right amount of sparkle to help you shine everyday. So, grab a glass, and let’s celebrate the cocktail of life!