Ok, so as I told you guys at the beginning of the month, I treated myself and splurged on my very first Filofax. I am super excited about my new baby planner, and have been working on getting it all set up this last week. It will be ready to show you guys shortly, and I just cannot wait!
Until then, I thought I’d show you the planner I’ve been using up until now. I starting using this planner at the beginning of 2013, and have consistently been using it since. Let me tell you, that is a small miracle. Usually I’ll get sick of a planner and stop using it (#truthtime) or I’ll find another shiny new one that I just can’t wait until the new year to try out. But for some reason, this planner has just stuck.
It’s nothing fancy, just a plain spiral bound planner I picked up at Target for around $10, but this little guy has treated me well. Up until now it has done everything I needed it to do. This is my personal planner (I also have the same planner in teal for the blog) so I plan and record all of Melissa and my various plans and commitments in here.
To make things easier on myself, I use a color coding system. I am a long time fan of color coding, and don’t think I’ll ever stop color coding whatever I can get my hands on. Color coding in my planner makes it super easy to see at a glance who needs to be where and when.
As you can see I have colors for Melissa and myself separately, as well as for both of us together. I also have (very subtly different) colors for plans with each of our families. My work and school hours each get their own color. And finally I have a color for plans with friends. Having these separate types of plans mapped out really makes it easy to distinguish what types of plans we have for the day. I keep my color coding “key” on the inside of the front cover, secured with a giant paper clip.
This planner is broken down into tabbed monthly sections. At the beginning of each section, is a month on two pages calendar. This is where I mostly plan out pre-scheduled and larger events. Both Melissa and my school and work schedules get put in at the beginning of the month. I’ll also record any plans we’ve already made for the upcoming month. I also like to mark any special events or days I really need to remember (like my sister’s birthday on the 28th) with a Martha Stewart teardrop sticker, just so they stand out extra well.
If either Melissa or I have any commitments that are a few days long, I mark off those days with washi tape. This month, Melissa is traveling up to New Jersey to go to her cousins wedding, so I marked off those days in washi tape. This way it is super easy for me to glance at my monthly calendar and see when she will be out of town.
After the monthly calendars, are the weekly pages. Every Sunday I sit down and plan out the upcoming week. I check my monthly calendar and write down anything that’s happening that week, and add times to scheduled plans (like work/classes/appointments). I will also add in any more unofficial plans Melissa and I have made, like if we want to run errands on a certain day. This gives me a nice view of what my week will be, and when I’ll have free time.
So like I said, it’s nothing earth shattering, but this little planner really gets the job done. I have found that with the right systems in place, you can make any planner work for your needs. And while this planner has worked really well for me, I still can’t wait to move into my pretty new Filofax. I’m hoping to have it all set up and ready to share sometime next week!
Until then, I’d love to hear how you guys use your planners. Are you a color-coding fiend like me? Do you prefer pre-bound planners like this one, or binder style planners like the Filofax? I’d love to hear anything and everything about how you use your planners, share it all in the comments!