3 things you need in your planner system

My current planner stack!
  1. Capture
  2. Plan
  3. Retrieve

I really enjoy researching different planning systems. There is no shortage of them out there and they all fit different needs for different people at different stages of their lives. Some of the most popular include the Franklin planner system, David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, the Bullet Journal method, Tonya Dalton’s Inkwell Press productivity system, Jenny Penton’s Planner Perfect method and Lara Casey’s Powersheets just to name a few. There are also a plethora of planning systems and calendars, both digital and paper.

Now you might be wondering what’s the difference between a planning system and a calendar. A planning system is a tool used to be productive in accomplishing your goals and completing long term projects. A calendar simply holds your events/appointments and due dates for projects/tasks. For the longest time I’ve used my planner as a calendar. It wasn’t until recently when I decided that I wanted to increase my productivity and accomplish my goals that I switched my planner to an actual planning system.

There are three common themes that I have found after researching the most popular planning systems and that is you need a place to capture information, a place to plan the information you capture and a easy and quick way to retrieve the important information that you captured. Each of the above planning systems have their own way of completing all three but I use a combination of the Franklin Planner system and GTD. It’s what makes the most sense for the way my brain works and is perfect for this season in my life. There are several other parts to my planning system but the capture, plan and retrieve are vital to my planning system. It’s whats helping me crushing my goals this year.

What are you using to crush your goals? What are some planning systems that I didn’t mention above?

The How of It All

A couple of days ago I wrote about my new goals for the last 90 days of this decade and entering into the new decade aka 2020 and beyond. If you haven’t read it you can find the post here. With such lofty goals I knew that I would need to write down my goals and not just anywhere but somewhere that I would want to come back to and use often.

I absolutely love stationary, planners, office supplies, books, etc. With that said I had several options to choose from. I was tempted to go out and buy something new but I am working on breaking old habits. One of them is to stop buying the same thing over and over again and I didn’t use the last one. Especially when I don’t have a savings. I dug into my plethora of planners. I have all types and kinds (ring bound, traveler notebooks, discbound, spiral, etc) and just plain notebooks of all sizes. Yep, there was no need to go to the store. I realized that I needed to focus and pick a system quickly before I lost momentum.

I chose the Happy Planner because I had two brand new 2019 planners (that hadn’t been touched all year, crazy I know), undated extension packs, and blank filler paper. Plus I really like Happy Planner for the ease of being able to move paper around, take things out, and put things in when I need it. Sort of like my beloved ring bound planners. I grabbed the planners (both classic size), the wellness extension pack, the home extension pack, filler paper and got to work.

I separated the two planners, one for my personal goals and health/wellness tracking/goals that has a calendar (monthly/daily list) and the wellness extension pack. The other has the other calendar and home extension pack. It’s basically for household management (budget, projects, holiday planning, cleaning, meal planning/master grocery list, and the calendar (monthly/weekly) to break down projects and holiday planning into small sections.

I know it’s only day 3 but I have been using both planners everyday. I still have several things to get out of my head and on to paper but it’s about progress not perfection at this point. Now the tempting thing is that I want to buy the new 2020 Happy Planner but I have refrained so far. Right now I’ve convinced myself to use the pages I have and I can redate the unused pages and use them for next year. It wont be that bad and I still have 9 blank months from this year. I just can’t justify the cost at this point.

Look for another post coming soon with pics of my put together goal & life planners.

Sending you positive vibes, love and light!

3 Tips to start holiday planning

Hello loves! It’s the last two days of October, which mean the holiday season is quickly approaching. I’ve already started planning for the holidays, but thought I would share a couple of things that have helped me so far. 

My first tip is to create a plan. This can be done digital or on paper. I prefer paper, and currently use the Happy Planner by MAMBI. One of the things I like most about this system are the moveable discs. Meaning I can put things in my planner and take things out as needed. This is helpful when I need to add a menu, grocery list, interesting articles from a magazine or something on the internet, etc. And when the holiday season is over I can move it all out of my planner (and archive it for next year) so it’s not taking up room. If you prefer a digital calendar, you can set tasks in your calendar with reminders for what needs to be done by a specific date. For example, create guest list for Thanksgiving due 10/01/17, create menu for Thanksgiving 10/08/17, etc.

My second tip is to ask for help. I know if you’re like me then you hate asking for help, because you think you can do it faster than the time it takes to explain it to someone who may or may not get it right. BUT asking for help when planning an event is not only smart, it will save you time in the long run. The more tasks you can delegate to someone else (within reason of course), the more time you will have to spend enjoying family and friends. More Mary and less Martha is my goal this holiday season. 

My last tip is to go with the flow. Don’t stress out over every little thing. Again, if you’re like me then I know how hard this can be. I like for things to be perfect, but perfectionism is a myth that has stolen joy from some of the most important moments in my life. Thanks to my husband I’m learning to worry and stress less about things that I have no control over (and the ones that I do). He’s amazing like that! So, don’t worry about every detail to the point that your so stressed out that your yelling at your kids because they (insert typical kiddo behavior here), or your sweating in the kitchen and side eyeing your husband as he walks through and snags a piece of turkey off the platter you just neatly prepared, instead stop and go see what everyone is laughing about in the family room. You’ll thank yourself later. 

Okay, those are the three that I have so far. I’m sure I’ll gather more as the season goes on. Tell me, what are some of your tips for preparing for the holidays?

7 tips to staying organized for back to school

Hi Loves! Today I want to share with you seven tips that I will be using to stay organized for back to school. Every year I say, this year will be different, I will be more organized! The first week or so goes fairly well, but before I know it I am overwhelmed and not much is getting done. In looking at years before I realized that I haven’t followed through, because I didn’t create a plan. Somehow I thought that by me saying I would be more organized it would magically happen. Nope! The same way that I have to manage my money by telling it where to go, I have to do the same with my time.

Here are seven tips that I will be using to stay organized this school year:

  1. I created a routine for me and one for our youngest son. It’s not a long list, just the basics (i.e. mines-pray, morning affirmations, check bg, lunch bag out of fridge, etc.; his-wash face, brush teeth, brush hair, make bed, lunch bag out of fridge, etc). It’s something that he can visually see and check off. It worked very well this summer with his chore list.
  2. I started using my calendar to plan ahead. I use google calendar for scheduling and a traveler’s notebook for tasks.  I’ve added all of the school events for both boys in google. I am using my traveler’s notebook to manage daily tasks and future planning ideas. I’m thinking of getting rid of the calendar in my TN since it’s a duplicate of what’s in google. The thought scares me a little to only have my calendar in one place. Maybe…
  3. I will be over communicating with my family. There is a wall calendar that hangs in our kitchen with appointments and events, I will be sending our oldest invites via google that has reminders attached to them and I will verbally remind my hubby, because he won’t check the wall calendar or google.
  4. I will sit down every two weeks and create a meal plan. I just started back meal planning, and it has helped tremendously to keep us within budget and it is one less thing for me to worry about during the week.
  5. I try to get enough sleep. Now this may sound funny to you, but sometimes I go to bed at 7:30 pm. It depends on the day I’ve had. If it was rough, I will need more sleep. No matter what, I try to get in bed no later than 10 pm during the week, because I am not a morning person.
  6. I will try my hardest to stay consistent. Our youngest son performs at his highest level during school when we are on task at home. I also stress less when I have a routine, because my mind doesn’t need to think of a bazillion things that I need to do.
  7. I will do what works best for my family. While I would like to think I will hit all six of the above tips, reality is that life will happen. I will fall short at times. I also know that these tips might look different once the school year gets going. My overall goal is to do what is best for my family, so if something (or everything) needs to change I am okay with that.

That’s it, do you have any tips to stay organized for back to school? Share them in the comments below.