Thursday, November 19, 2015

Personally: Joining Planner Nation at Level 0

Planners, planners, planners. Bullet journals. All the planning we're doing, y'all. I poo-pooed the planner and bullet journaling craze until recently when practical family matters slapped me in the face.

Since I've been doing iron infusions, and since Greyson has started kindergarten, and with holidays coming up, and ALL OF THE THINGS, there is always something or other to remember. It's far too easy to let things slip through the cracks, so a'hunting I went for a planner to fit our family's needs.

Found it! Amy Knapp's Family Organizer!

As I was perusing at Barnes and Noble, this one jumped out at me for the simplicity of the layout. Across any given spread, there is a large to-do list, the week broken down by days, a place for a grocery list, and a place for meal planning. These are major things that come into play for us each week, and because the grocery list space and meal planning spaces are longer than we usually need, I can see converting the bottoms of those columns into a blog planning space or other mish-mash of things. 

Image credit. 
So far I haven't jumped in at the level of stickers, washi tape, and decorative elements. I'm lucky if I remember to carry the planner around at this point, but maybe one day. I have plenty of scrapbooking materials around the house that aren't being used at the moment, and I'm lusting after all the cute things in Jenn's Bookshelves' Etsy shop. Also, Jenn offers a discount to bloggers! Use the code BLOGGER15 for 15% off!

So, tell do you plan and keep track of things? To this point it's been a running to-do list in a notebook and my work Outlook calendar. And at the end of the day, I may find that that works better for me, but now I'm trying this. 


  1. Ohhhh another planner addict!! ;)
    I have a "normal" planner, filofax-like (but not filofax, which is very expensive) , and I use it for everything except for the blog. I mean, I write down work tast and housework task in the same page, because I read that you should have everthing in the same place, because it's how it works best, and for me it does.
    I'm not much into decorating, and I feel sorry for it, because I LOVE to see what other girls do with the washi tape, stamps and so on. But I've decided I don't have time for that and, besides, I throw away the pages afer I use them, so...

  2. I've used a paper planner for as long as I can remember (I feel lost without it!), but can't get into the stickers and what not either. My work schedule and plans change so often, my planner is filled with arrows and x's - it will never look pretty. I love that everyone can keep their planners looking so nice, but it seems like another thing to schedule into your week to me ;)

  3. I made a list of my organizing tools on the list app. I'm mostly a paper and pen person and I use a fairly simple planner. I love the look of the decorated planners but I know I'd never keep it up.

  4. I'm a bit obsessed with organization, so I use several different methods and can geek out about this all day.

    I use a moleskin weekly planner, and use it similar to how the Family Planner you've bought is set up - one side is weekly agenda / events, and the other side is a blank page for a to do list. I divide that page up into to dos (the least important part, because I mainly use Teux Deux online/app for a to do list), a list of blog posts I'd like to write/post that week, and a list of meals. I also pencil the meals on each day I think we'll eat them, but use pencil so we can change based on mood.

    So that's my basic planner - in terms of keep track of dates/commitments/meals.

    Then I use Teux Deux (which I think you tried? Didn't work out then?) for my daily lists of things to do, and my grocery list and long term to do list and planning.

    On top of all that - I use evernote for my blog (and other info). I have a running list of post ideas in checklist form, and can start new notes to jot ideas down for those posts.

    So.... I'm a bit of a crazy person with my methods, but they seem to keep me in line, mostly. :)

  5. I've always used a planner type calendar to keep organized and then I print a monthly calendar that I keep on the refrigerator. I do have a "planner" for next year but don't think I'll decorate it with anything.

  6. I've been searching for the right tools for this exact same thing lately and have temporarily, at least, settled on:

    Omnifocus for work-related tasks (I use a Mac for work, and since I work from home, I find it incredibly helpful and necessary to keep my work tasks and my everything-else tasks separated or else it all bleeds together)

    Asana for blog schedules, review deadlines, other writing pieces (this is the weakest link in my system and I'm hoping to check out your Evernote links from Twitter for something that might work better...)

    A basic journal (very similar to the one you found, I got mine on Etsy from Plum Paper) planner set-up for the household--this lives in the kitchen so the hubs and I can share it and both see to-dos. We share a Google calendar for individual scheduled events, but the planner helps see things at a glance by week (especially since we share a car, so we generally need to let each other know if/when we're taking the car for a day...).

    Like you and other commenters, I haven't gone for the stickers and decorations. I'm impressed that folks can keep their planners so pretty and organized, but I'm still struggling with just the organization part!

  7. I'm not much of one for paper calendars. I prefer digital. I use Google Calendar for my work and personal schedules, and the app TickTick for my day-to-day activities, mostly at work, and mostly on my phone since I have that with me most of the day. I've tried other apps and sites, but this one seems to work the best for the price: free. My wife does keep a weekly calendar for both of us on a whiteboard in the kitchen, but I still prefer digital and constantly am asking her to update her digital calendar so I know what's going on.

  8. I have a small spiral notebook that I keep in my purse, another for meal planning, a magnetic pad on the fridge for grocery lists, and I use the notes app on my phone. I guess I could replace them with a single planner but honestly I never thought of doing that! Too busy making a gazillion lists, I guess. ;)

  9. I have been a planner gal for a long, long time but strictly monthly planners. They've worked for me up until this year. I like seeing everything for the month but now that I have ten things on one day they no longer fit. I just broke down and bought this planner for 2016. It's not quite as large as I wanted it to be but I can't wait to get those 2016 dates in there!

  10. It's nice to see so many planner geeks in the comments. It's always reassuring to know I'm not alone.

    I'm a big fan of stationery, so it's a little bit surprising to me that my planners are almost entirely electronic. I use Google Calendar to keep track of my personal and work/blogging schedules and ToodleDo to contain my monstrous To Do list. I also keep a paper journal for dumping notes of all kinds. These seem to work well for me, so I've been resisting the urge to tinker.

  11. Oh I like the family planner. I would rather be on paper but got lazy and started using Google for everything. But now that the kid has activities of her own I need more. I think the look of the stickers and washi tape is so fun - but I don't think I quite get it. I think that looks like it you need to plan the time to have a planner then!

  12. If it's not in my Google calendar, it doesn't exist. So that's all I use, plus a to-do list as necessary.

  13. This is a great planner! I recently bought a new Day Runner to keep track of both my work schedule (I work from home) and family matters. It's 8.5 x 11 and crammed full of pages, because I use a single page per day. My older daughter calls it my BFP (Big F**king Planner). :-) I got some washi tape and stickers too, because ... why not?

  14. So, what do you think? Are you using it more often? I found that the decorations - at least some - really make me want to use my planner more. Yours is a lot like mine with the big to-do list and daily breakdown. I need the daily calendar by hour. I can keep electronic calendars all I want, but the minute I write it down, I tend to remember things much more easily. In the working world, it means I can prepare for meetings instead of being surprised by them. I am not a huge advocate for putting on so many stickers and washi to the point where it becomes something unrecognizable. However, a little is enough to make you excited to use it while allowing you to customize the format a bit. Those are my two cents anyway.

  15. Since office parties are few and far between, it would be a good idea to get out of the office for a holiday party. This may not always be an option, but if it is - you should definitely exercise it as people associates the boring walls of the office with the monotonous daily grind.


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