Today, I’m sharing with you the calendar and planner system I chose for 2018 – The Organized Life Planner.
Is one of your goals this year to be more organized? If so, you’re in good company! As most of you know, I’m a total organization nerd. Nothing gets me more excited than planning, decluttering, containing and simplifying messes. They’re some of my favorite projects to work on.
That being said, late last year I found myself in desperate need of a planner system that better fit my busy lifestyle and travel schedule.
I can honestly say I NEVER thought I would be one of those people that had a binder for a planner. But as the projects we were taking on increased in scale, I realized I couldn’t keep all of the balls in the air anymore and I started doing crazy things because my mind was constantly cluttered with “lists and to-dos.”
Things like putting away the coffee creamer in the pantry instead of the refrigerator, forgetting to bring business cards to our home makeover reveals, or waking up in the middle of the night panicked I had forgotten something important.
I know there is someone out there that can relate to this, right? The reason I’m able to give myself grace and I hope you’re able to give yourself grace too is because NO ONE CAN REMEMBER EVERYTHING. We just have too many thoughts running through our brains each day!
So, I set out to find a planner system that encompassed virtually every part of our daily life – in one place – and I found The Organized Life Planner.
I’ve only been using this planner for a few weeks but so far, I really like it. There are parts of it that feel a little overwhelming in the beginning (just keeping it honest) because there are so many spaces to fill out. Once you start using it on a regular basis though, it gets so much easier.
For the sake of this post, I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite features of this planner (some of which I’ve intentionally left blank so you can see it without all my notes) and also show you what a typical work~life week looks like for us.
Here are a few tips to get you started in case you decide to use this planner system too…(Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
Tip 1: Buy the Binder or Notebook that Best Meets Your Needs
I shared earlier, I never set out to have a binder for a planner system but this gold glitter one stole my heart the minute I saw it. You can find a similar one here. I love it because it’s so easy to use.
I have blog content and social media sheets, client’s makeover plans, meal plans, financial goals, monthly calendars, gratitude notes, and daily/weekly tasks lists all in the same binder now so I’m not having to keep track of multiple books. The drawback is that it’s huge and definitely heavy because I printed out the entire year at once.
You don’t have to do that though! You can print out 3 months at a time or even 6 months at a time whatever suits your needs best. You also don’t have to use a binder. This planner also seems to be popular one.
Tip 2: Make Sure You’re Using Cardstock or Quality Paper
You’re going to be putting/pulling the weekly task sheets in/out of the binder on a regular basis so make sure you print this calendar out on cardstock or quality paper. I used this paper which you can also find at office supply stores based on Kayse’s recommendation.
Tip 3: Just Press Print
The Organized Life Planner has a dated and an undated version. I chose to print this planner out at home so I could start using it immediately. It was also the most recommended option due to the price of having it printed at an office supply store. We use this printer if you’re interested.
I mistakenly thought I could skip a few pages (like the name page and the intro pages just to name a few) to save time and ink but it messed up the entire layout by skipping around like that.
Printing all the pages in sequence is vital to how your calendar and planner will ultimately fit together, so, just press print.
Tip 4: Purchase Monthly Dividers or Keep Calendar Tabs Organized with Washi Tape
With all that inspirational gold glitter on the outside cover, I knew I needed to keep it pretty simple on the inside so I chose this numbered tab system to help keep each month organized. There are lots of different kinds of tab dividers available at office supply stores though and washi tape is an inexpensive option if you need to make your own monthly tabs.
Tip 5: Write with Quality Pens
Pen bleed through especially on the pages of planners and calendars is the worst, am I right? I was excited to find these erasable pens right around the same time I started using The Organized Life Planner.
I loved them so much I bought them for my mom to use as well! I bought her a completely different planner so I’ll be sharing a review of the planner she chose soon too.
Tip 6: Give Yourself Uninterrupted Time to Plan
On almost every page there are subheadings, questions and check boxes that make using this planner super simple. These are just a few examples:
- The Look Back Page asks… What went well? What did not go well? Best memory of the week
- The Look Ahead Page organizes…Meal ideas, grocery shopping list, and multiple to do lists
- The Weekly Pages are comprised of…Priorities list, prayer list, weekly goal tracker with check boxes, daily to do list, notes, daily chore, daily rest, meal plan, water consumption tracker and health tracker
I know this seems like a lot to keep track of but once you get into the groove of things it’s really easy. Plus, giving myself a non-negotiable block of time on Sunday afternoons to really think about what needed to be tackled during the following week was a BIG game changer.
This uninterrupted time will allow you to look at the days in the week ahead so you can carefully plan and assess the needs of your work life, family life and personal life. It usually only takes about an hour each week so light some candles, cozy up in your favorite chair or with your favorite blanket, make a cup of hot cocoa and give yourself the gift of quiet time. It makes such a huge difference.
Tip 7: Keep Your Planner Visible
This is going to sound super obvious so consider this more of a gentle reminder…planners don’t work unless you consistently work your plans.
Having a to-do list in your head or on a scrap of paper in the bottom of your purse or a notebook in your desk drawer is not enough to help you reach your long-term and short-term goals. You need a realistic, plan of action.
Keep your planner visible so you can use it every day.
I know at the beginning of the year a fresh planner or calendar can seem like empty boxes waiting to be filled with dates and events. But the truth is how you filled those empty boxes will determine how you spend your time and how you spend your time will determine how you spend your days and how you spend your days will determine how you spent your life.
Let this year be the year, you spend your days making your goals no matter how big or small actually come true!
Did you guys get a new planner this year? Which one did you choose?
See you guys back here tomorrow. We’re putting a new emphasis on reaching our goals this year and I’ve found the most awesome tool to help make that happen. I can’t wait to share it with you! Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.