Planner Tips for 2016


My best planner tips are here. Wait till you see what I have come up with!

Planners have changed. Gone are the days of monochrome color schemes, and uneditable pages. Franklin Covey is no longer the only planner of note.

So if planners have changed, it goes to reason that we have changed with them. I’m a big fat failure when it comes to being able to adequately use a single planner. I have many.  Thank you ADD/ADHD. But I am using the ones I have with more consistency than ever before. I kept plugging away until I figured out what works for me.

I'm a big fat failure when it comes to using a single planner. I have many. Click To Tweet

Here are some tips for you to think about as you try to become more effective in the use of your planner(s).

Don’t try to fit your whole life into a single planner.

binder-1I tried this many times. To get it all in there I had moved up to a 4 inch binder. Keep in mind this is when I was still printing a year at a time of anything. I was not able to do the one thing I needed to. Take it with me! Your planner needs to travel with you. How else will you know when the receptionist at the doctor’s office sets your appointment for next month that you have a conflict at that time?

There are also things you need to keep on top of that you really don’t want traveling with you. Password lists and bank account information are two things that come to mind. Some things simply need to be left at home.

So what happens if you don’t feel like carrying your planner all over creation with you? When my planner got too large for me to carry around I started carrying a small notebook. I would write down what I needed to on it and then transfer it once I got home. Not so easy if you have ADD/ADHD. I more often than not forgot to transfer when I got home. That system quickly got old. I was forgetting appointments, double booking time with friends, etc.

Forget About the Pretty.

This is what happens when you google ‘cute planners’.

I am guilty of this one. I kept seeing all the pretty pages that some of the talented ladies on Facebook groups I was in would post and oh my! I just had to get the things they had to make my planner beautiful. And I did. I made a beautiful planner. I was so proud of it. It was exquisite. And empty. I didn’t use it because I wanted to write with the pretty ink joy pens I love but what if I messed up? I didn’t want to scribble on the pretty pages. So the planner didn’t get used.

I am all for pretty things but I was then left with the same problem I had in the beginning. I didn’t have a workable system in place to make sure I was able to keep track of all the things I needed to keep track of. I can do pretty all day long but it won’t help me make sure the kids get picked up from school when they should.

Stick it up.

These are just the post its that I keep with my planner supplies. This does not include the ones I have yet to open. The Avery labels are for homeschooling co-op and not planners, but they would do wonders in a planner.

As silly as it sounds I have a  few 1000 post its. I go on eBay and get the packs from Hong Kong or China that are going for less than 50 cents for 200+ sheets and use the snot out of them. They take forever to ship, but I have been able to score them for less than 10 cents on a regular basis for a while now. I have them for page makers, to do lists, phone numbers, passwords. The list goes on. Remember how I said I had multiple planners? Well there are four actually. Post it’s are how I keep them in sync. They are also how I make plain pages prettier.

As you can see from the picture above I have animals, plants, and pretty designs in all sizes. I use the finger ones to write down passwords and put it in my password section of my blog planner. Then when I am using that section next I copy the post it onto the sheet and toss the scrap of paper. This also keeps you from having a stack of papers that need to be filed. You can use a post it to stick the receipt or whatever onto the section of your planner or paper system until you are already in that section. Then it becomes natural to file the receipt as you are looking for other information in that file or section.

Biggest Planner Tips of 2016 – Evaluate Your Current System.

What works best about it? What drives you crazy? What are you not thrilled with but seems to work for now?  Then go to google. I am the Google queen. How to use a WO2P better, How to reuse a-z tabs in your planner. Those are examples of things that will give you the information you are looking for.planner tips Nail Tape

Sticking it to the printer. Avery labels are used religiously around here. Love a page but want the heading different? Print what you want on a label and cover up the printed heading. I also found these cool nail tapes. I love them for making lines and splitting up sections when I want something else in that spot.

Plan planner time. Even if you aren’t making something divalicious you still need to take time to review your planner.  Especially if you have separate planners. You will need to sync them, review anything that doesn’t seem to be working etc.

Don’t think you are done. Never think that there is nothing better out there, but don’t get swallowed up in choices either. Know the limit for you. How much looking can you do before being swallowed up and wanting to ditch your whole system? Unfortunately for us usually the only way to go about that is to get lost so that you know your threshhold.

What tips would you give me? How can I make using my planner more effective in 2016?

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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6 thoughts on “Planner Tips for 2016

  1. This is a fantastic post and had done a blog post recently on planner anxiety that harkens back to a lot you pointed out. Except for sticky notes (THANK YOU for the tip about getting those whimsical ones cheap on eBay!) and making my own clips, I don’t use decorations – especially on my pages. I have my weekly pages set up now to where my eyes are trained to look so to have anything distracting on the pages would disrupt my focus

    I don’t carry passwords, but I do carry my bank account numbers as hub and I have several accounts in two different banks so I may need to do a transaction when I don’t have pre-printed tickets on me. I did see this tip about creating a ‘pocket’ using two plain, lined pages taped together to secretly store sensitive information inside that I may try just to be more careful

    You’re right about never being done, because our lives never stop changing and thus so do our needs change right along with them. What we did without carrying in our planner we now have to – or vice versa. I say, as long as your base planning system is in place, then don’t be afraid to experiment with making your own inserts (I now just draw mine out on plain paper) and taking them for a test spin to see if they work. And know the difference between being influenced and being inspired as not to fall down that planner rabbit hole!

  2. Steph,

    First off, I have been enjoying your posts since you took over Homemakers Daily. However, I now have one problem with the feed. I use Feedly for all my rss feeds and the last two posts have come through with just snippets and a link to “read the whole entry.”

    I much prefer reading the entire post in Feedly. It saves me a lot of time. Any chance you can change back?

  3. Love this post Patty! I have made a new planner just for health and wellness. Everything about and to do with
    appointments etc, my daily meds, food log etc. This one goes with me to the Dr’s office, no more guessing
    for answers to give the doctor
    My other planner is for home projects, daily routines, meals etc. I didn’t need all this for appointments.
    I also use the dollar store for stickers, and pretties, and Target has a line of planner goodies, and yes eBay
    is a great place ( needing to keep a budget here). Things can get crazy if no careful!
    Most importantly, I love the new look of your site, very inviting and informative as always.

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