I’m going to share how I get organized using a personal planner. I will show how I assemble my planner as well as how I use it in my daily life to keep me at the top of my game. My planner serves as my personal assistant and I would be utterly lost without it. I use it to keep track of all my thoughts that continually cloud my mind, and the 101 things I wish to accomplish. It saves me from being forgetful, unreliable and unproductive. Putting pen to paper is a very sensible method to make your tasks seem more achievable. I feel that digital forms are helpful, but do not give me the same satisfaction.
This is a planner similar to the one I have. I advise you to get yourself a planner that you like a lot because you will look at it each and every day. Your planner will seem more approachable to use and less daunting if it looks cute. However, if you already have the usual black or brown planner, try decorating it with beautiful stickers or decals of your choice, because it really will make a difference!
I usually choose an 8.5′ x 5.5′ size planner because it isn’t too small or too large to fit it in my handbag if needed. There are many sizes available on the market, so use the size that’s most convenient for you. Most planners come with these standard pages:
- A clear Insert Page
- A Personal Details Page
- Special Days to Remember Page
I purchase additional blank tab dividers which I use to customize my planner. I label these tabs with a permanent marker, so it does not wipe off. Rubbing alcohol will remove any permanent marker writing on tabs that you want to change. Label your tabs to suit your needs. My tabs are:
It has sub-tabs from January to December and a two-year calendar. I write down my appointments here. The Calendar page has a two-page view of my month ahead so on this page; I add my appointments. This enables me to look ahead at an entire month and see which days and times I have appointments. As soon as I make a commitment, I immediately write it down on the date as well as the time. It gives me an idea of my availability for a month or more, and avoid double booking or being unreliable.
I write down my general list of things to do. On the To-do’s page, I list everything that I have to do. I write everything under specific labels. My labels are:
Under ‘Calls’ I will list all people and places I need to contact. Under ‘Online’ I will list all things I need to do on my computer. Under ‘Home’ I will list all stuff I need to do in the house, and under ‘Errands’ I will list all things I need to do outside my home. I use one separate page for each heading. Depending on how much you have to do in one particular area, use a half or a whole page for your needs. Dividing one’s ‘To-do’s’ into categories make it even easier to get the job done and saves time by organizing one area that may require more attention.
The Budget page is the page where I write down all my spending. I accomplish this by keeping all my receipts together in the planner pocket after every shopping trip. I use my receipts to write down what I have spent for each day and then I store it in a small storage box for three months in case I need it for a return or a dispute. This is an excellent method to mainly keep a track of your debit or credit card purchases. By comparing your page log with your monthly statement, you are able to catch any over-charge as well. The Budget page is also where I have my master list of the items I purchase most often. I write down the item, weight and price and this keeps me updated on how much I pay for an item I buy often. Great for comparison shopping!
The Education page is used mainly for keeping up with anything school-related. So whether your kids go to school or are home educated it is a way to separate that area from the home to-do’s and write down things such as relevant links, websites, books, school supplies, classes, homework, etc.
My Contacts page is where I keep a copy of phone numbers, addresses, emails, websites and account detail info at my fingertips. I have most of this on my cell phone, but I do not rely on technology solely to store this information – ever lose your phone contacts?
Lastly, I add one or two plastic zippered pouches to store library cards, a highlighter, rewards cards, sticky notes, or important papers and cards. This seals shut and nothing falls out, so it helps me keep in tow all the little things that would otherwise fall out in my purse.
See how organized your life can be when you invest in a simple planner? You will need to make a point of looking at your planner every morning so you know what your day or week looks like and prepare accordingly.
I know some women who constantly forget important dates, are stressed-out by their many to-do’s, and act haphazard in their lives. The beauty of having a planner will eliminate all this and guarantee a more organized and less overwhelmed life. I hope this post convinces a few moms to try it and see the difference!
All pictures in this post is courtesy of Amazon