I know, you’re probably wondering why I would bother coming out of a blog break if all I’m going to do is talk about something as boring as a day planner. Believe it or not, someone requested this post! Maybe it’s because I’ve mentioned my planner obsession a few too many times and made people curious. But hopefully your inner voyeur will get a kick out of this little peek into my life.
I’ve always loved having a planner and there’s something about writing it all down that appeals to me. I use my paper planner in conjunction with my phone and Outlook calendars which builds redundancy and reinforces those crucial reminders.
Right now I use the Erin Condren Life Planner because I’m a total bandwagon-jumper-onner. I saw a bunch of friends and other bloggers using them and decided I wanted one for myself. It’s a weekly planner that you can customize with your name/monogram and, if you don’t like their designs, your own photos. Yes, those are my pictures all over the front!
Here’s what the inside looks like. There’s a monthly view, complete with notes section and inspirational quote.
And the weekly pages look like this:
As it’s currently December and I was just able to show you blank pages from March and April, that should show you exactly how well this planner in its original form worked for me. Once I got past the shimmery “my pictures are on my planner and I have the same one as everyone else” stage I realized that the way this planner breaks out the week just doesn’t work for me. I also noticed that after carrying it around the edges started to look kind of gross and that it doesn’t look super professional sitting on your desk. Maybe that’s just because I have photos of my dogs on the entire back…whatever.
But I wasn’t interested in buying a new planner partway through the year because this one was not cheap. Enter the magic of washi tape and free time. I can’t even remember now how I came across this strange collection of people who personalize the heck out of their planners this way but believe me when I say they are FAR more invested and dedicated to the art of planner hacking than I am.
My monthly view is pretty standard. I track the major events for the month and use washi tape to indicate events that span multiple days:
Then I break down the weekly pages into smaller segments. My daily activities don’t break neatly into “morning, day, and night” so I use each segment for a different topic:
It took a while to figure out how to configure the segments so they would work best for me but now I have it down. Here’s a sample of how I use the smaller sections:
If you can read through my scribbles you’ll see that’s daily reminders, that day’s cleaning task(s), exercise plans (I’ve changed this to menu planning now), financial task(s) or reminders, work notes, and then my blog post topic or task(s) for the day.
All of that said, I’m sure plenty of you are out there thinking “ain’t no one got time” and you’re right. I use this system for two reasons – I didn’t want to spend money on something I already had and 2 – tearing off washi tape doesn’t actually take up that much of my time. I sit down once a month and split up the whole month at one time, usually while I watch TV so it’s already “unproductive” time. Filling in the sections once they’re already there isn’t any more time consuming than normal.
Obviously the way you use a planner is pretty personal so I can’t sit here and say this is the best and everyone should be doing it, but it was a fun workaround for me. My 2015 planner (still bubble wrapped from when I received it months ago…) will hopefully meet my needs without all the tape but I might find myself making excuses to use it anyway.