I have a small confession. Over the past year or so, I’ve become a planner addict.
My addiction came out of a place of need. I desperately needed to find a way to get organized. While my hubby and I use a digital calendar for our appointments and events, I found that I was losing track of my day to day activities. Add in blogging and I was just overwhelmed. I realized that I needed to write things down. There’s something about putting pen to paper. It just helped me remember things and having a list allowed me stay focused and organized. So, I went on the search for a paper planner.
I bought a cheap, little agenda from Walmart. After a few weeks, it became apparent that it was a complete waste of $8. The tiny boxes of lines just overwhelmed me and I struggled to find a way to organize each day. I went looking for a something that would work.
I really wanted an Erin Condren Life Planner but by the time you add in the taxes, shipping and the exchange rate, it was something I just can’t afford right now. (Maybe a good birthday or Christmas gift…hint hint). After looking extensively I finally found what I was looking for, at Michaels of all places. I found the Create 365 Happy Planner. And it was good for 18 months. It was perfect. And, it’s very similar to the Erin Condren Planner, which really appealed to me.
- I loved that it is available in a vertical layout. This is huge for helping me to stay organized. It’s a layout that just works for me and is not an easy layout to find
- It has a month view as well as weekly views
- It has a month page for recording your goals, special events and what you are thankful for.
I’ve been using my Happy Planner and the biggest draw for me is the vertical layout. It’s not an easy layout to find, but I find it totally necessary to keep my daily life organized.
Each day has 3 boxes, each of which has a distinct purpose for me.
- The top box I label as People and Places. This is where I write down my appointments, playdates, and activities. Whether I’m going to the library or have a dentist appointment, it finds it’s way into this top box.
- The middle box is my To-Do list. I mark down various cleaning tasks as well as my meal planning for the week. It really helps me to stay on top of my cleaning since I can break it down to a few tasks or a room each day.
- The bottom box is for my blog. It’s a great place to keep track of publishing dates, writing goals, and social media. It also helps me stay on top on upcoming tasks and events.
Using the planner has helped me stay organized as a mom, wife and blogger. But it also serves another purpose. It’s become part of my self-care routine. We hear how important it is to take care of yourself, and for me using a planner has been part of that. I thrive on having a plan and knowing what is coming up next. But it also gives me a chance to be creative.
Every Friday I take about an hour to plan. I fill in the next week, including all my appointments, cleaning and blogging activities. Then I check my flyers, make my grocery list and plan out my meals for the week too. Once all the details are in the planner, I get creative and start decorating.
I never thought I’d be one for decorating my planner. I saw pictures online of the beautifully decorated planners and while they were pretty, it just seemed like way too much for me. But on a whim I got some washi tape to mark off holidays and vacations. A small pack from the dollar store. That was the start. Now I have a nice selection of coloured tape, planner stickers and even a little pencil case add for my pens. I tried to use coloured pens but that just wasn’t for me. I found that I love crisp black writing and I personally love the feel of the Fine tip Sharpie pen. I’m always on the lookout for a good sale on stickers and especially washi tape, because it is so versatile (and moveable).
It’s been about a year of planning and it’s been an evolution for me. I went from quick notes, to detailed entries to fully decorated planning pages. I’ve become more productive since my planner and I were introduced that fateful day at Michael’s. I can honestly say that a little planning goes a long way and I certainly get more done around the house. I love using my Happy Planner and I look forward to planning more and more each week.
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