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OK so i’m spilling a secret.
I just spent a crazy amount of money on a planner. (Don’t tell my husband, please!)
I admit it, I got sucked in. Its pretty, it’s the perfect size, its got everything I could want, I could personalise it, it’s even got STICKERS! (the 10 yr old in me is loving it!)
I have not had a paper diary for a long time. I love my phone and I use it for everything. I’m someone who really has embraced the “carry everything with you everywhere” technological philosophy. My phone is my calendar (which is shared with himself), my shopping list, my notepad, my library, my reference books, my radio, my computer and my TV.
Before on onset of “apps for everything” I had a leather bound Filofax that I used as a diary, notes holder, calendar etc. Over the years as technology become more user friendly it got discarded as it was big, bulky, had little space to write and was continually stuffed with business cards, papers and bills. I hated having to carry it everywhere.
However I’ve found that I really do miss having a paper planner. Its so much easier to look at, flip pages & quickly scan what’s upcoming etc. So much easier than scanning my phone calendar. Kind of the same as having my written to do list at work. I still have an electronic version with everything on it, but I always end the day by hand writing out the most important things to be done.
This is how I see having a paper planner is important. I love being able to sit down prior to a new month and carve out goals for myself. I can think, scribble, draw, thrash out ideas and figure out not just what I want to do but what I think I actually CAN do, given work, kids and all the other things that come with having a busy life. I take my planner to work with me as I like to be able to reference it as things come to light, I seriously doubt I would remember to add it all in when I came home! You may prefer to dedicate a special place on your kitchen bench or desk at home, if that’s where you spend most of your time.
I do however, still use my phone calendar. Himself and I share one on iCal and we have a rule that if something is not in the calendar, it doesn’t exist. This has worked really well as we can both see it and update it and then we don’t have to waste time calling each other to book things in – one glance at the calendar and you can see easily. First in best dressed – you forgot to put your boys night in the calendar, haven’t told me about it and I booked mum’s birthday that same night? Too bad buddy – you lose. We also use it to flag upcoming bills, which is great as when doing my monthly plan I can flip though & see what bills are due when and if we are having a big month with car insurance due or whatever.
How I use my planner
At the beginning of the month I sit down and plan out what’s happening for the month ahead. I have a planning page at the start of each month which I use as such:
Never forget a call! Super handy if you need to remember to order a gift.
No more than 3 or 4 – Keep it simple, you do not want to feel overwhelmed!
For instance, this month I have things like revisit all insurances, create a legal lock box and clear out the cupboard under the stairs.
Another 3 or 4 things specific for the site that I need to do during the month. It could be blog posts, creating freebies, Advertising etc.
Next I look at the monthly calendar view (double page).
I enter all the deductions for my site here so i can quickly keep on track. (I did start doing this for our home budget also but found that there were just too many payments and it just didn’t work!)
I have a vertical view for each day which is broken into three segments. I like this as it allows me to have the top section for Home (Kids activities, personal appointments etc), middle for Web (what has to be done each day) and bottom for events (mum’s at the gym, family events we have on) The small notes section at the bottom of each day I use for 2 things: a reminder of which shift Himself is working (morning or afternoon) and a space to do the meal plan for the week. (That’s normally done weekly, not monthly).
As I go through and fill out each week like this, you can see extra things to make your life much easier. For Instance, if you know you have a birthday party to attend on the 30th August, then you can flip back a few weeks and add in a note for yourself to get online and order a gift. This way you won’t forget to buy one AND you can save time walking around the shops buy picking out a gift in your PJ’s and having it delivered.
The biggest thing that helps me stay on track using the planner is to make sure I look at it every day. If you use it well it can become the ultimate time saver!
If you would like to buy the super funky planner I have you can order online from Erin Condren here. However, if forking out that much seems a bit OTT at the moment, you simply MUST head over to The Handmade Home and print out one of these beautiful ones for free. Upload it to office works and get them to print and bind it for you. Bingo!
Just Be You, Everyday