I can’t believe I’m already talking about heading back to school, but the season is lit-ra-ly right around the corner (my kiddo starts Kindergarten at the end of August!). Seems like the best time to share some awesome planners and tips I use to keep parenting, personal and work stuff organized.
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While I organize a lot of my work stuff digitally (I use google calendars and spreadsheets to keep all of that together), I’m still a pen and paper girl at heart.
Planners are such an addiction for me and truly are one of the only ways I can keep it all together. Here are the top things I need from a planner:
- Tabbed monthly calendars so I can quickly jump around to see when I’m free and when I’m not
- Daily Pages so I can keep track of appointments and deadlines by the hour
- To-Do sections so I can track my daily action items for home and work
- Notes sections for…notes
- I also like a small space on each day where I can record that day’s dinner and workout
- Bonus if I can personalize sections!
3 PLANNERS I LOVE
Right now, I’m using two different planners. The only reason I’m using two is because each have unique features I absolutely need in my life, but neither of them have all of these unique features.
Day Designer: The Day Designer is my main planner. I use this every day to keep track of my meetings, family appointments, my daughters camp, class and playdate schedules, work deadlines, things I need to do for others, for my home, etc. I love this planner because it runs from July through June, covering the entire school year when we are most busy.
It does come with stickers, although I almost always forget to use them and has a few nice pockets to hold important papers, reminders or documents. It also includes goal setting (which I don’t use) and a few notes pages. That’s it.
It’s HUGE because it has a page for each day, but I love the size (10″ x 9″) because it allows me to write things nice and big and leaves plenty of room to load up days (which mine typically are). GET IT HERE
Personalized Weekly Planner (Plum Paper): I was STOKED when I got this planner from Plum Paper to try and know that many of you will love ALL the customization this planner offers. As someone who has used paper planners for years, I have never found one with so many options for customizing work, parenting, life, etc.
If you are a small business owner, the social media planners and blog planning pages are awesome. In fact, that’s why I use two planners because I love the tabbed blog planning pages (by month) and tabbed social media section (which I added via customization) where you can set social media goals, monthly overviews, monthly planning, and campaign audits.
And, BONUS – when you order the planner you choose your dates. So, you can have it run for any time period you’d like (mind blown yet?). One more thing! You can customize how you want your pages to look – vertical, horizontal, add habit trackers, priority to do sections, etc. Really, an amazing planner you can totally customize for pretty much every need you have. GET IT HERE and get $10 off your order of $30 or more
Daily and Monthly Planner (Blue Sky): Before I was using the above planners, I was using my Blue Sky Daily and Monthly. Love this planner and only really switched things up because it was going to end in December and I needed something that would span the entire school year.
Loves include the tabbed monthly sections, daily pages with appointment times, to dos, goals and deadlines and notes pages at the end of each month. It also came with a few magnet page markers which are AWESOME for jumping to specific sections. Dislikes? Size. It was 8 x 9, so not too small, but small enough that I would run out of space on the full calender pages here and there.
Definately recommend this one! GET IT HERE
HOW I USE THEM
As mentioned above, my Day Designer is my right-hand gal and I will forget ALL THE THINGS if I don’t look at it every single morning before I turn my laptop on. My monthly spreads include all appointments, activities, trips and time off. I color code things with highlighters, necessary for my brain to process.
PINK represents classes, playdates + fun things for my daughter, YELLOW represents any family or business appointment or meeting, GREEN represents travel (either our travel or people traveling/staying with us) and BLUE represents days off from work or school.
I record everything in the monthly spreads until I’m one week out from the new month beginning. So, for example, at the end of July, I go to my August monthly spread and then add all of the color-coded items into my daily pages for the entire month of August. Then, as I’m working each week, I add individual action items and to-dos as they come up. I use an ORANGE highligher to mark off tasks that are complete.
Since I almost never complete all of my action items in a week (who’s got time for that?), I always make the habit of adding anything not completed to the NOTES section on the first day of the following week. So, Monday morning, I go to the previous week, assess what hasn’t been done, cross it off and re-write it on the notes page for that day. Then, I work at checking off those items when I can throughout the week.
I update daily pages and monthly pages as new items arise or are canceled, as needed.
Has your brain exploded yet?
WHERE DO I PLAN MY BLOG CONTENT?
I plan all of my blog content electronically through google calenders. I love google calender because you can create a bunch of individual calenders (color-coding to keep them organized) and check off which ones you want to see in your dashboard view. So, for example, I have a content calender, email calender and instagram calender created. I can view all at once to make sure I’m not overlapping certain topics, etc. or I can view calenders by topic only, so I can check off the box to see all the emails I have scheduled. The only work topics in my desktop planners are meetings, appointments and daily blog tasks + to-dos.
Dropping in a few other planners I love below! Hopefully, you find this helpful as you plan all of life’s goodies this school season. I feel like a juggler at this point. I’ve got like 50k “things” circling the air over my head at any given time. Rock Star status achieved. OMG.
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*I received the Plum Paper Planner as a gift from Plum Paper. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Post may contain affiliate or referral links. I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, which helps me continue on this fabulous journey of blogging! Full disclaimers avail. here.