Planning and organizing a busy life doesn’t have to be complicated. I’m sharing some simple ideas and tips to using a planner to help you achieve more in the same time or less.
I am a planner addict. There I said it. I admit I feel almost just as lost when I don’t have my planner as you feel when you don’t have your phone. I feel like something or a piece of me is missing.
I have been asked several times how do I do all that do? I’m sharing with you my intentions of “doing it all” but the truth is I don’t. But what I do manage to get done, is simple… I plan it out first!
In all reality, I have probably been a planner girl my entire life. I remember my early planner girl days in school when I had all of my Lisa Frank folders and notebooks in all bright colors. Any 80s girl out there would know what I am talking about? I distinctly remember also having a “decorated” binder, of course made by yours truly. I remember making them for friends too, you know the kind where you take cardboard and hot glue with quilters batting and fabric to a 3 ring binder to make it girly and puffy like a pillow, only to add some rick rack ribbon as accent trim.
LOL – those were the days, I tell ya.
Later on, into high school and college, I always had the prettiest At-A-Glance planner. Every year I would get a new one just before school started even though I didn’t really need to. My current one would still have four months left in it, but the new ones were prettier for some reason, and the feeling of being freshly organized in a new planner really just got me excited about the days to come. I’d get all motivated!!! What can I say, other than the fact that I am a sucker for stationery and planner girl supplies, even to this day. The beginning of the new year creates this same feeling!! However, over the years, I’ve perfected it, without realizing it and have actually become much more organized by using a planner.
Yes, okay, I know there is a calendar on my phone, but folks, there’s just something to be said about actually crossing off that item from my checklist on actual paper, or my case in my planner.
I can’t explain it.
And if you think that this method is ridiculous or outdated, to do the things I do, and you find yourself unorganized, then I invite you, even triple dog dare you, to just try a paper planner, to see just how organized you might be. Who knows you might surprise yourself!
Planning And Organizing Your Life
When you manage a family and the household, three kiddos, work, and whatever else fun life events are thrown your way, it is not easy to keep it all on track. And by planning it out in my paper spiral-bound planner, there’s a sense of calm.
Some people think that it is too much, but to each his own, right? Having my lists in front of me, all written down ready to tackle the day makes me more comfortable and ready for my day, ready to conquer the world. Okay, maybe not the world, but at least my life and day.
Tips for Planning and Organizing Your To-Do List
My secret: I take 15-20 minutes to plan each week ahead Sunday afternoon. I make a to-do for everything I need or want to get done, and as I do them I cross or check them off in my planner.
There is something very satisfying about crossing it off. I think there are even studies out there that prove this simple habit contributes to higher productivity.
You don’t have to take my word for it, just try it and do your own personal research with yourself to see if it doesn’t motivate you further.
If things on my list just don’t get done, for whatever reason, they get moved to the next day. And I don’t sweat it. I don’t allow myself to feel overwhelmed by myself because I over-scheduled my to-do list.
Planning for Your Family or Household
I keep everyone’s schedule, appointments, my business tasks, and blogging to-dos all in one planner. Sometimes, I pull my content plans out, but for the most part I try to stick in one book.
I’m always tweaking it, to make it work for me. I’m involved so much with my schedule, it is always on my mind and therefore subconsciously I am making mental notes to complete little tasks I can here and there.
It is productivity in the margin of life. And its those margins that help us to stay consistent.
So now that I’ve sold you on the idea of using a paper planner… you need to find one to use yourself.
There are several planners to choose from, but for me, I am an Erin Condren Vertical layout planner girl. I have used her planner for 4 years now. I will warn you, it is quite pricey to get a custom one made with a custom cover, however, if you are looking to become better organized, it is definitely a good investment. I’ve tried and reviewed several other planners out there, and hands down, this one is the best choice for me. It offers flexibility.
I was less productive. I was only so-so on getting all that I wanted to get done, actually done. Until I went to this planner and here lately this method of planning.
Do you have a similar system? Would you like to see me actually plan a week from start to finish? Leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to share exactly how I plan a typical week.
Want $10 off an Erin Condren life planner? Use this link to get $10 off!
Comments & Reviews
I would like to see how you plan out your week. I am new to the creative planning. I have always had a planner of some sort. I like having the planner, just most of the time not using it. It was more of a security blanket to me and my life.
Hi Andi! I actually have some planning tips and videos coming at the beginning of the year so stay tuned!!!
Brandee Mikker says
I am so incredibly not creative when it comes to my planner, but I’m trying.
I have the same problem in August- buying a new planner, and this year I got a $10 full size Blue Sky from Walmart. I’ve never used full size, but it helps me a lot!
Keep posting these! I’ll join the bandwagon! 🙂
Brandee Mikler says
I grew up Loving Lisa Frank, too!!!
I LOVE planners– definitely a must in my life! I used to be obsessed with Lisa Frank when I was younger too! I thought about trying the Erin Condren planners but they were so expensive, and the style I liked was sold out. Boo. Maybe next year I’ll give it a whirl!
Oh, and I just read your post about coconut sugar– I’m going to pick some up the next time I’m at the store!
Planners! I love doodling in them, hahahahah. I suck at planning. :/ I can rarely stick to plan… and I tend to be more spontaneous. Funny enough, I still make some plans, but I rarely manage to respect more than half of them. Or even 25%. ._.
I love this post. I have recently started to use my planner for everything and I find myself never putting it down sometimes. The design of your planner is beautiful.
Petra | Living In An Online World says
Hi Layne, it’s so nice to meet a fellow planner addict! 🙂 I like to buy a plain notebook and make everything from scratch. Some people like to meditate, I make my own planner haha. Great post! I’d like to learn more about your planning process.
Yes! Post more of this planner goodness. I don’t use one but I want to, seeing more detail will help me decide!