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!
Today I’m sharing my 5 questions that I use during my monthly, quarterly and annual reviews. These questions help me to check in with my goal progress to see if I’m on track or if I need to pivot.
What victories or accomplishments did I achieve in the previous month? These can be goals or projects successfully completed, life events or milestones, and of course happy memories.
What was planned that I failed to start or were left incomplete? Think goals, projects, scheduled events, habits or routines.
What roadblocks to productivity did I face last month? For my Franklin Planner peeps think quadrants 3 and 4. Things like external interruptions or other people’s priorities, lack of self-accountability, or fire drills. Stephen Covey goes in to detail about this in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
What insight can I take away from these roadblocks to learn how to plan better for the future? Refer to what was written in question 3.
What in progress or new projects do I want to work on this month? For me this includes house projects, annual chores, birthdays, holidays and our anniversary. Anything that requires multiple steps becomes a project. David Allen goes in to detail about this in his book Getting Things Done.
It’s never too early to review your goals. I sat down this year and set goals on my birthday (Jan. 1) for the year. I chose six areas of my life that I wanted to focus on this year and wrote why I wanted to focus on these areas (I did add one more area later on). Since I started late I went ahead and wrote goals for the first quarter and broke them down for the month of Jan. I just finished writing my third quarter goals, reviewing second quarter and reviewing June.
When I completed my recent reviews I went back and reviewed what I had wrote down during the 1st quarter review. I was shocked that I had let some really important things slip through the cracks during the second quarter. This was primarily because I didn’t go back and review my notes from the 1st quarter review when I wrote my second quarter goals. Argh! This is so important because it helps me to see where my roadblocks were so I can make adjustments. Otherwise I’m just repeating the same behaviors and getting the same results. So, yes I need to review my notes from my most recent review. It sounds silly but it will save me time and keep me accountable.
This week’s tip – Check in with your goals by reviewing your goals at least monthly but as often as weekly to make necessary adjustments as needed. Bonus tip – Keep all of your goals in one place (binder, notebook, etc) for easy retrieval and review.