Recently I stumbled upon the world of planning, so life planners where you get a planner and a bunch of stickers and every week you decorate. This means that when you have to look back at any tasks that need completing it’s much more exciting and just generally makes you want to get things done; now I fell in love with this idea the minute I heard about it because it is a way to be creative but organized at the same time – which is my main goal in life!
Soon I had decided that I needed to get one of these planners so I started shopping around for them, which is when I found out about Erin Condren (people had also mentioned that her planners were the planners to have) and thought I would just buy one and start right away. Unfortunately when I arrived at her website I realized straight away that currently the planners were just out of my budget zone which is a shame but hopefully, one day, I will be in a position to be able to purchase one. Luckily I am used to having to find ways round things so instead of being deterred by the money (or lack thereof) in the bank I came up with some cheap planner alternatives and thus today’s blog post!
On a day to day basis it is important that I keep on top of everything because otherwise I end up getting overwhelmed and basically just doing none of it, this is why I have a planner that sits on my desk. This only cost me a couple of pounds and used to hang on my wall where I would always forget to use it so recently I took it down and found a new way to help me schedule.
I started by creating sections for the things that I need to do on a regular basis, now these columns will be different for everyone as it really depends on your job, hobbies, etc. For me these sections were a simple ‘to do’ then the rest were focused around my online presence so ‘blogging’, ‘social media’ and ‘youtube’. I wrote these and drew the lines in red so they stand out. For the size of my planner I used columns that are 5.1 centimeters wide but again this will vary depending on the layout of your planner.
As this is a weekly planner where each week is intended to be ripped off after use I was conscious about how economical it would become, which is why I decided to use post-its to organize my tasks rather than writing them straight on the page. This way I can a) move things around on the page as and when they change and b) re-use pages over and over again. If for some reason I ever require different headings I simply flip over the page and use the one underneath for that week, then once I need my normal headings again I leave it for future use and flip back.
To make my planner easier to use in general and quicker to read I organize my tasks via color coded post-its. For example anything I need to buy or that is on my shopping list goes on a pink post-it whilst anything related to blogging goes on a yellow one etc, my schedule changes all the time so these movable post-its are perfect. I also used washi tape to divide the weekend, I just find this means my eyes are drawn straight to the correct boxes when I’m looking for Saturday or Sunday (the pink washi I have also really compliments the design of the planner in general so win-win!).
In the near future I hope to have the time to be able to design my own planner stickers, which I can then tailor to suit my space requirements but for now as I am super busy and don’t even have the time to purchase any I am saving space by drawing little icons such as the tv (pictured above on Thursday) on the sticky end of the post-its then cutting it out and sticking it down on the days I have a show to watch. The one on Thursday is actually for Suits even though it airs on Wednesdays as it is the only time I have to sit down and watch it!
Since using the planner I have found that I am able to stay on top of things more as I can refer back to it constantly. For things that are just daily tasks that might pop up on the day they need completing I refer to a list book I was given, it does what it says, helps you make lists where you can tick off things once complete. If it doesn’t already have one I suggest gluing a small magnet to the back of your list book so you can keep it on the fridge or somewhere else you are bound to often see it.
Another organizational aid I’m really liking is the whiteboard we recently hung up in our kitchen which is easy access and a good way to communicate with others in the household. For on the go I just carry a 2015 A5 diary which I personalize with stickers and washi tape.
What are your favorite ways to plan? Comment below and I’ll see you tomorrow!