I recently revamped the way that I store my inserts, both used and unused. I often refer back to my used inserts for goal setting, appointment scheduling, etc and I needed to quickly be able to grab the next set of unused inserts to place in my binder during my planning routine. Finding a good solution for storing them was important because I was spending way too much time trying to find something I was looking for and getting frustrated at times because I couldn’t find whatever it was. After a little research on how other people were storing their inserts I decided on the following.
An old binder to hold my inserts from last year that sits on a shelf close by my desk
A Franklin Covey Storage Binder and 3 Ring Mini Binder for my current inserts that sit on the same shelf as above
My unused inserts from previous years (2019 and older) as well as inserts that are a different sizes than my current system (personal size, discbound, etc) are being stored in scrapbook storage boxes on the floor in one of my coat closets.
Previously I had inserts all over the house tucked away wherever I had space. Now I can go right to the shelf, grab what I need and move on quickly. It is working like a charm!
I’ve included some ideas below for ways that you can store your inserts:
Old Binder that you aren’t using currently
Franklin Covey Storage Binder (7 ring planner inserts)
3 Ring Mini Binder (7 ring planner inserts)
Loose Leaf Book Rings (any planner inserts)
Scrapbook Storage Boxes (any planner inserts)
Photo Box (any planner inserts)
Expanding File Organizer (any planner inserts)
You could also use a XL large binder clip or rubber band to hold them together and put them in an old shoe box
Tell me how you store your inserts? Is it one of the ways that I listed above or do you use something different? Let me know in the comments!
Today I’m sharing my planning routine that I use daily, weekly and monthly. I do have a quarter and annual planner routine but didn’t include it here because this is already a pretty lengthy post. I like using routines to help me to stay on track with my goals and to set my planner up for the upcoming timeframe (day, week, month, quarter, year). My routine evolves as my needs change and the season of life I’m in changes as well. I use a combination of routines that I’ve seen online and read in books. So you might see some familiar tasks (hey GTD, bullet journal, and of course 7 Habits!).
Update my wellness section (blood sugar tracker, mood log, headache tracker-if applicable, and menu/workouts tracker) and add any outgoing money spent (i.e. receipts, bills paid, etc) to the daily tracker throughout the day
Review weekly page for follow-up on @waiting on items, chores to complete, and meal prep that needs to be done
Review daily notes and add tasks to the next available day, a future monthly task list, or master projects list in the project section
Forward incomplete tasks from daily task list to the next available day, a future monthly task list, or someday/maybe list in the project section
Turn to the next day and prioritize tasks on the daily task list
Add any new appointments from the daily notes to the appropriate day and month
Update finance section in home tab with information from daily tracker
Add important information from the daily notes and appointment schedule to the current months index (medicine ordered, taxes done, oil change, annual review, etc) & yearly foldout (sick time-brief description of illness, PTO, etc)
Put a check in the top left hand corner of daily page to mark as processed/complete
If daily pages have not been processed/marked as complete (see above), add important information from the daily notes and appointment schedule to the current months index (medicine ordered, taxes done, oil change, annual review, etc) & yearly foldout (sick time-brief description of illness, PTO, etc)
Add appointments and events to dailies (appointment schedule)
Review current month’s goals & create actionable steps; add to Compass card (relationships), weekly page (home), menu/workouts weekly (personal). Info in parenthesis are my focus areas that I use to create my annual goals.
Review email @action folders (work & personal) & add tasks to appropriate sections (the daily task list, a future monthly task list, or master projects list in the project section)
Review email @waiting on folders (work & personal) & add follow up tasks to weekly page under waiting on section
Add chores from current month’s master task list to weekly page
Create meal plan and add to weekly page; add any needed items to weekly grocery list in home section
Review project section for current projects & add next actions for each project to daily pages as time allows (if a day is too busy, skip it and put it on the next available day)
Complete a review of the previous week (at least twice a month, but preferably every week)
Update fridge calendar with appointments, events, holidays (use Google calendar)
Migrate incomplete tasks from previous month to appropriate sections (a future monthly task list or master projects list in the project section)
Complete the monthly budget and budget by paycheck forms in the finance section of the home tab
Update Financial Wellness Planning whiteboard with budget by paycheck amounts in finance section of home tab
In the goal notebook complete a review of the previous month using review questions
Create goal pages in my goal notebook
1 main page that has my word of the month (should be closely tied to word for the quarter), scripture to focus on this month, the theme & feel for the month
1 page for each focus area (Personal – spiritual, wellness, self-care, hobbies, education & professional development; Relationships – marriage, parenting, family (everyone except the kiddos), & friends; Home – financial wellness planning, meal planning & prep, chores/zone cleaning, & projects)
Break down goals into action items using the quarterly goal section in goal notebook
2 pages to complete a review at the beginning of the next month
Review the master projects list & the important dates list in the project tab for possible project(s) to begin this month; add them to the current months master task list and focus of the month section on monthly budget in finance section of home tab
Add monthly and quarterly chores to the current months master task list
Archive dailies, weeklies, menu/workout tracker, and monthly budget pages out of planner binder in to appropriate years storage binder
Do you use a routine in your planning system? Am I missing something that you just can’t live without. I’d love to read about them. Share your tips in the comments!
I LOVE ring bound binders! They are my favorite because I can move things around as much as I want or simply take out sections that no longer serve my current season of life. I’m also not limited to what inserts I can use. There are pre-printed inserts, I can create my own inserts, I can hole punch a cute sheet of scrapbook paper and put it in my binder, or purchase printable inserts. The possibilities are endless!
Ring bound binders can be an expensive investment so taking care of them is critical. One of the things that is vital in taking care of my binder is saving (protecting) my rings. Constantly opening and closing my rings can and will cause damage eventually. This is a problem because the damage to rings means that they won’t close all the way and your pages will snag when trying to flip through.
The solution to this issue is to grab a pair of sharp scissors and cut a small slit (on the left side) in each of the holes of the paper. This allows you to pull paper out and pop paper back in without having to open and close my rings. Once I’ve made the slits in my paper and want to take the paper back out of my planner. I will grab the top right side of the page and pull down GENTLY! I want to be able to put the paper back in the binder once I’m done. If I pull too hard I risk tearing my pages. You can fix this with hole reinforcements or by adding washi tape and punching the paper (but try to be gentle to keep from doing this step).
Creating a slit in my pages also solves another problem that I tend to have which is writing in my planner. Taking the sheet of paper out of my planner gives me plenty of room to write and flip through my planner if I need to reference information.
Today I am sharing a couple of great tips from Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons. I absolutely love her website and IG feed. Not only does she share her love of organizing her home, she is a fellow paper planner lover! One of my favorite planner related posts from her website is about how she set up her planner back in 2015. One of the things that she talks about is her color coding system. It’s a great article and you can check out the details here.
I was recently gifted a set of Franklin Covey Blooms in Compact size and the pages are gorgeous! I knew that I wanted to color code my monthlies when I started setting up my pages. In the past I have used color pens for each event and appointment but that looked too busy and it required me to keep those pens with me at all times. It had to be functional and I immediately thought of Toni’s planner.
I enjoy using color coding in my planner because I can quickly see what I have going on in a particular category. I always have a black pen with me so it’s easy to jot down an appointment, which eliminates the need for me to carry more than the pen that’s in my pen loop. I can always go back and add the color dot at a later time. The categories that I use are red for work (everything work related), purple for me (dr appts, meetups with friends, etc), orange for household (haircuts, budget meetings, etc), blue for our boys (school stuff, dr appts, etc), and pink for important dates (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries). These categories match what is in my google calendar, which is color coded as well. Like Toni, I also use highlighters to mark if something is cancelled, rescheduled or postponed. I always hated the way my calendar would look at the end of the month with things scratched out. This takes care of that. The categories that I use are blue for rescheduled, pink for cancelled, and green for postponed.