My 2018 Planners - Part one

Ohhhh lovely jubbly, this is for all you planner lovers out there and those that just wonder what all the fuss is about. In this post I am going to introduce you to my new 2018 Franklin Covey planner, and she is a beauty. I will take you through how I have set it up and how I use it to keep me organised. 

This is one of three planners I use. This one I use as my personal, catch all planner. I have a specific planner for Tidying with Tania and for my full time job which I will take you through in My 2018 Planners - Part Two post

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The Planner

A planner is such a personal thing so finding the perfect planner for you can take some time. Let me tell you there is a never ending choice of planners out there. Yes, there are whole online businesses set up in this industry, I could go on but I will restrain myself today.  If you are interested to learn more about planners there are a number of You tube channels dedicated to planners, such as the planner spot , you can also just check out my Pinterest Planners board for ideas 

This year I have chosen to go with a Franklin Covey planner,  Blush Planner Love in the classic size (A5). It is a ring binder planner which gives me the ability to totally personalise it. I chose this planner for its style of binder and the inserts and dividers which were designed with My Mind's Eye who have the most gorgeous stationery. 

The Accessories 

Alongside the binder I purchased these accessories;

I use daily inserts but I did not like any of the options from Franklin Covey, as the lines are too small and I tend to write larger. I went on Etsy and found a great shop, Crossbow Printables that does nice clear and simple, and stylish printables and sourced their daily inserts.

 

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I also made a few extra inserts and dividers myself for my cleaning schedule and budget. It's very easy to create using Google Draw in Google Docs. The dividers were made from a really lovely poster freebie from a house and garden magazine. The colours and picture just went perfectly with my planner. I just used the purchased dividers as a template and then laminated and labelled them. 

 

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The Set up

I do have a very specific way that I like to set up my planner. It just makes perfect sense for me and means that I use it really effectively. How you use a planner is totally personal, however I have found seeing how others set theirs out really helpful and have taken some ideas that have worked really well for me. If you are wanting to get some ideas, just go on You tube and search for "planner set ups" . You will be there for years, just warning you.

So how do I set up mine? I start with a dashboard or in non planner speak, a front cover. It is also a place where we place stickers and the like. I also have my gratitude insert and planner title page at the front. Following on from that I have the following dividers;

  • Notes - this is my inbox 
  • Goals - one pager with our 2018 goals
  • This Month - Jan to Dec month calendars
  • This week - Jan to March weekly calendar (13 weeks)
  • Today - my daily planner - one month of dailys
  • Meal planning - weekly planner (13 weeks)
  • Cleaning schedule - one pager weekly list
  • Budget - monthly tracker
  • Projects - documents relevent  to current projects
  • TWT schedule - yearly view of my Tidying with Tania post schedule
  • Stickers envelope

 

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The Planning

I have been a planner for years and as woman of a certain age I know what works for me. Some people take years to find "planner peace", yes that may seem like a oxymoron but it just means that your planner set up is perfect for you and you use it really well. 

My planning approach is all about ensuring that I start the week feeling in control and that I know what is coming up for me and family.  It starts on a Sunday morning over a cup of tea with me reviewing the months activities, updating any new appointments, events etc.  I often just note down things in my note page and on a Sunday just check this off. I then move into the week and simply write down what's coming up. I also do my meal planning so I can include this in the weeks view. The weekly to do's are also written up and I then go through and spread these out over the week, this really helps to get everything done.

So my weeks write up will include meals for each day, cleaning schedule, exercise times, appointments and my to do's. 

Every night I will set up my daily planner for the next day. This gives me space to work out what I do during the day. As I have to pack so much into my day this is a fantastic way of blocking out time to do the tasks and it keeps you on track. 

 

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As we use a software programme for our budget, my budget pages are just for me to list out the cash that I need for each week and month, as we work off a cash system. I use the projects divider to hold anything to do with a current project. At the moment we are completing the renovations so I have all the business cards and renovation plans and budget in here, so I can easily get to the information that I need.

I hold my post schedule at the back of the planner, it's a year on a page and it simply lists out the dates that I have scheduled the posts. This is really helpful when I am planning and need to see what my week and month is going to look like. 

Due to the bulk created by inserts I only hold three months of weekly and meal planning pages. In fact that works really well for me as I am a 90 day planner. For the dailys I only hold a months worth. I just store the other pages and inserts on my planner box in my office.

As you can tell I love planners and love to plan, and yep I have three of them in use!!!  My next post I will take you through my other two planners so you can see how I use these, as they each are used in different ways.

I hope that you found this insight into my crazy planning passion interesting. Does anyone else plan like this? Are you thinking of starting a planner?  Do you want to know more about planners? I would love to hear from you, so just leave a comment below.

Have a well planned week everyone and happy planning

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Make sure you follow my on social media, links below where I have more fun and interesting information.

 

Giveaway 

Now for the most exciting news. I have a beautiful 2018 planner from Create 365 The Happy Planner, to giveaway this month to help you to plan and achieve your goals. All you need to do is to ensure that you have signed up to my newsletter below and you will go in the draw to receive this fantastic giveaway. All existing subscribers are included so you do not need to sign up again.

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My 31Days2GetOrganized challenge

I had a brain wave at the start of the year and thought that it would be a good idea to do a declutter/organising challenge. There was method to my madness as I wanted to experience what it is like to actually complete one of these organising challenges, especially as I plan to run these challenges as my audience grows. So how did I go and what did I learn?

 

No More "Later"

Pete Walsh set the new year off with his 31Days2GetOrganized challenge and so I jumped right in, thinking it's only for a month and hey I am already pretty organised.

Each day Peter would post a link on his Facebook page with a short intro and the challenge of the day. 

I loved his videos, short and funny and ended with the challenge of the day.  In his very first video he used the phrase "no more later", explained that to maintain an organised and tidy home you have to stop saying "I`ll put that away later, I`ll do that later..." so his first challenge was to stop saying "Later"  I actually found that advise, up front, really helpful and I did reflect and realised that I would often put things down with the intention to put away later. I realised that I was wasting time by not putting things away straight away, it's actually a lot less work to put away immediately.  So learnings #1 you need a mission mantra to make the mind shift. So I now find that I actually put things away first time. And yes the house is tidier more of the time now. Can`t say the same for my son's room though!!!! That is a challenge for another day, well actually just wait until he moves out, it's probably a lot easier.

The Challenges

Over the 31 days we tidied and decluttered most areas of the house. Started off with a small and "ease us into' challenge, clearing the dining table of any unwanted papers and items that have collected on the table, followed by 30 more daily challenges as below;

  • Set up two bins by the door for Hospice  (donations) and Recycle
  • Decluttering the Christmas papers and bags
  • Purging the freezer 
  • Sorting out under the Laundry sink
  • Declutter the paperwork in the study
  • Purge your Shoes
  • Sorting the electronic cords 
  • Purging the underwear draw
  • Declutter and sort Luggage storage
  • Taking time out to chat with someone
  • Clear and sort the utensil drawer 
  • Manage the snail mail
  • Clear out cleaning products 
  • Clear out under beds
  • Purge magazines
  • Pens and pencils
  • Brooms and mops
  • Recipes n Cookbooks
  • Clothes closet
  • Tackling the hidden messy place
  • Clearing Kitchen bench tops
  • The Pantry 
  • The Linen Closet
  • The car
  • Managing receipts
  • Cups and Mugs
  • Sort boxes in the garage
  • Medicine Cabinet
  • Books 
  • Kitchen Containers

It was really good to be part of the challenge, sharing your efforts and challenges with others, in fact to share was a good motivation to keep on task.

Generally most of the challenges were not time consuming for me because I already have an organised home and systems in place to keep on top of "stuff" that accumulates in the house.  There were a couple that I did really enjoy, simply because they have been a "I must sort that out" problem, but I never took the time to actually do it. It was very satisfying to finally kick those to the curb. One in particular was the boxes in the garage. We have two boxes that had been following us around through 5 house moves......ridiculous really. Boy did it feel good to finally sort and get rid of those boxes. Most of the content we donated to the hospice and I actually found the lid of one of my favourite tea tins which I lost about a year ago.

 

The Challenging Challenges

Sorting the electronics cords turned out to be a mission, only because I had to involve my son and husband.  On the day of the challenge, I wanted to just get it all sorted and done, however Pete was 1) not ready 2) not keen and 3) "could use them one day".  So there was no way that I was going to achieve that challenge that day. However it did need to be done, so Pete was happy to sort them out another time. This actually meant in his world .....never!...but in my mind that was actually a step forward. I continue to mention that we should sort them out and then on a certain weekend (which I had planned in my head) I just said hey babe lets sort out the cords. So we did, and guess what it only took about about 30 mins and we were done. Most of the gear going to technical recycling and some to donation as they still worked and are useful. 

 

The Pantry was the other challenging challenge mainly because how we were using it had changed slightly and I needed to make some changes to the storage. See my video explaining the issues. Again it was not something that I could quickly do on the day, had to plan out another weekend to tackle that one, which by the way has now been done!

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What I Learnt

This challenge was a really great experience and it gave me a lot of things to ensure that I consider and incorporate into any challenges that I what to lead with my audience, the main learnings for me were;

  • You can`t rush it- may take several goes - little steps at a time
  • Motivation and accountability is very helpful and works
  • Sharing ideas and inspiration helps with motivation
  • It's a continuous process, needs and use change over time  
  • Change of habits - identify things that distract you from your goal and eliminate, like saying "Later"
  • Celebrate wins - always give yourself a little reward after each accomplishment
  • Be realistic with challenge - it can take time and you should only take little bites at a time.

If you do have an area that you do want to tackle it's a good idea to break the job into steps to help you complete the task. I have a previous post on how I tackle my secret messy space, here, which will give you helpful steps to get you on your way...

Have you done an organising challenge?, would love to hear from you, how did you find it?, what worked for you?

Until next time my friends


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Getting ready for the new year - My Planner set up for 2017

I can not exactly tell you when I first started using planners, or what I called diaries, I think it was at High school or Varsity. It was always on my Christmas wish list and I loved filling it all out for the new year......a bit like starting over, a fresh new year ...well I think that's why I loved it...thinking of all the possibilities and adventures that were coming that year.  Now we have "life planners", "goal planners" basically whatever planner you want. They are ohhhh so much more than just the basic yearly diary, they are great for getting you and your life organised. And the choice.... oh the choice, its endless plus there is the fun of making them all pretty by jazzing them up with stickers and custom tabs and washi tap.....limited only by your imagination. 

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As it is January and my traditional time of the year for my new year planner , I thought I would take you through my personal planner set up for 2017....excited cos I am!

The planner itself is from Kikki k which I got as a Christmas present at the end of 2015. I absolutely love using it. It's not only functional but allows me to personalise it. I alway starts with the functional aspect then jazz it up, making it all pretttttyyyy ...so every time I open it I am filled with joy....wiggle bum!!!! Guys this is probably your equivalent to getting all the sports settings set up properly on your TV/Streaming device ..one stop shop for everything. 

Planner set up

For the inserts you can get the pre printed packs from Kikki K, however I can never find ones that has exactly what I want, so I go online. As there are soooo many planning choices out there on line, I'd suggest to use Pinterest to narrow the search.

This year I have purchased some planning printable bundles from the website Strange & Charmed. Aka 'Miss Trenchcoat' , she provides tools and resources to help online entrepreneurs succeed and she has great functional planning resources. 

As I purchased and downloaded the inserts I was able to use them for both my personal and business planner, so it is certainly a cheaper option (even including the printing). The great thing this year was that she provided them in A5 and A4 size, perfect for me.

Once I got all the inserts downloaded and printed, I was able to set up my planner in the following categories;

  • Monthly 
  • Weekly 
  • Daily 
  • Task list 
  • Budget 
  • Reflection

Each category is in its own section and separated by a divider, which I have personalised...sooo much fun.....and I love the look I achieved this year.

My monthly and weekly view are on two pages, this just means when I open it out it is over two pages. This gives me plenty of space to write.

The rest are all on one page with the exception of the reflection pages, which are actually from Kikki K.

 

Planning process

If you are a planner then you know that it takes a while to get the right system that works for you. 

The way I use my planner, essentially is based on a month by month view. All events, birthdays and appointments are noted firstly in the monthly view. Therefore at the start of each month I review what is coming up for the month, add in any additional appointments, events etc.

Every Sunday morning I plan up the week ahead, this means that I can see easily what is planned for the week and what I need to get done. I also run a task list, or a "to do" list, so I review this list at the same time and essentially divide up the tasks over the week depending on the priority and the time.  One thing that I do slightly differently is that I have a daily view for the weekends, one day on a page where I can time block . I actually find these really helpful for planning out things to get done in the weekend. I don`t know about you but I always have 101 things to get done in the weekend, so this works perfectly for me and ensures I get the important things done. 

Last year I started doing a weekly reflection, it is not really something that I thought I would get into ... a bit fluffy for me...however I actually found it really useful. So this year I am continuing do this.

Prettize the planner

Is there such a word? No suspect not but hey I have made it one now. This is where I have fun with my planner, as an FYI, planner embellishment is big business as is Planners in general. In short this is Scrapbooking for diaries. And yes I am a Scrapbooker from way back so it's a given that I got into planners. 

I actually make my own dividers. I take the original dividers that came with the planner and each year I cover them with updated card stock. My colour theme is gold and teal/turquoise or acqua or whatever colour you call it.  Each divider has a tab , this year I have gone all out and tried something different, just used a gold letter rather than the word on the tab, i.e m for monthly (actually it was an w upside down as I didn`t have any m`s left). I have to say I am in love with the look!!

 

So there you have it my planner for 2017. I hope this has inspired you to consider starting to use a planner....you never know it might change your life.  

If you are keen to learn more about using a planner and functional planning let me know, am happy to share the love!

Have a fantastic and productive week

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