Happy Monday friends! I hope you all had a great weekend. I thought I’d start this week off with some organizational eye candy. Almost two weeks into the New Year, and I think I have finally nailed down my planner organization setup for 2015. Or at least the first few months of 2015, because knowing me I’ll get bored and ready for a change in a few months! But for now, this setup it exactly what I need.
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This first major change I made for 2015 was switching from my personal sized Filofax Original into this junior sized Martha Stewart for Avery discbound planner. While I love my Filofax, I had really started to feel the space restriction of the personal size, and was ready for something slightly bigger. This discbound planner fits A5 inserts, so it gives me the extra space I needed, while still being easily portable when necessary.
When you first open up my planner it’s pretty basic. On the left I have a few pockets for storing stuff that I’ve currently left empty. This is because I’m waiting until I’ve used my planner a bit more to really know what I want to keep handy.
The first thing in my planner on the right is a clear divider sleeve. I use this pocket to store things I’d like to keep in my planner, but don’t really need a permanent place (like this dentist appointment card, which will stay here until I plan out March and can write the appointment into my monthly calendar). I can also slip in receipts, notes I written on scrap paper or any number of other random tidbits I’d like to temporarily hold in my planner.
Behind the divider sleeve is my dashboard. I made this dashboard myself by trimming down a thick piece of cardstock, and sticking on a few post-its and page flags. It is super convenient having these always ready in the front of my planner for spur of the moment planning. I believe the larger square post-its are from the Target dollar spot years ago, and you can find those colorful page flags here.
I also again opted to use my favorite dividers ever in this planner, and labeled them using my trusty label maker and clear label tape. The sections I decided to include are month, week, day, tasks and notes.
On the back of my dashboard, I made my own year at a glance page to help me remember important dates that happen throughout the year. First, I stamped 12 decorative circles around the page and then I labeled each with the months. To finish things off I simply wrote in major holidays and birthdays I want to remember.
The first section in this planner is my monthly calendar. This section exclusively holds my month on two pages calendars. At the end of each month, I sit down and plan out the upcoming month. I only include larger plans on my monthly calendars, such as appointments, vacations, and any previously made plans. This gives me a nice clear overview of my schedule for the upcoming month.
The next section holds my weekly planner. In my previous planner, I was using a week on two pages system, but decided to switch to week per page for this year. The reason is I found that I really didn’t need two full pages to plan out my weeks. I was already planning on including daily inserts in my planner to plan out my days in detail. All these pages really need to do was give me a slightly more detailed overview of my week than the month at a glance provided.
I plan out each week the Sunday before it starts. The first thing I do is look at my month at a glance, and see if I have anything previously planned. Then I’ll add in other little things that I want to accomplish during the week. This can be anything from errands to chores to scheduling in a date night. I also leave myself extra space so I can do some more planning throughout the week as things come up.
The third section in my planner holds my daily inserts. I resisted for so long using a day per page inserts, but I finally caved this year. I like having a set list of things I needed to accomplish each day written down. This gives my days direction and structure, reducing time wasted on unnecessary tasks or figuring out what needs to be done.
Previously, I was using a daily to-do list system to plan out my days. However, that system just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Since my days are quickly filling up with to do lists between running things here at Label Me Merrit and over at the Merrit Elizabeth Shop, not to mention my home responsibilities, it was time for me to start using daily inserts. And I just love it!! My days have never felt more organized.
I don’t bother to decorate these pages, since I just use them for the one day. I use these inserts, and love their flexibility with just the perfect amount of structure to help me plan my days. Each day I list my top priorities at the top of the page. These are the three things I absolutely must accomplish before anything else that day. Below my top three tasks, I have a simple hourly planner where I can outline my schedule for the day.
Filling up the rest of the daily pages are 5 blank boxes, which can be used for anything under the sun. I have personally been using the squares to split up my tasks by category (blog, Etsy, general, etc.). Then I have been using the space at the bottom of the page to jot down quick notes throughout the day. This daily section and these inserts are really the meat of my planner, and what I truly use to organize my time each day.
Next up is my tasks section. This is one that honestly hasn’t gotten much use thus far, but I plan to start really working it into my routine soon. Until then, I have it setup and ready to go whenever I am.
The first page in this section (shown above on the left) is my routines checklist, which does exactly what it sounds like. By listing out the tasks I do (or want to do) on a daily or regular basis, I can check off the box each day I get it done! I designed these pages to help both with completing everyday regular chores (making sure nothing gets forgotten) and with forming new routines or habits! I will be using these pages to help track my progress on several of 15 in 2015 goals.
The insert shown on the right in this section is a basic to do list. I will be using these pages as my ‘master to do list’ inserts. This is where I can write down all the larger tasks I need to get done, that are not necessarily time sensitive. Then when I am planning out my days, I can pull in some of these tasks as I can fit them it.
The last set of inserts in the tasks section is my multi-sectioned shopping list pages. These pages are to write down and remember things I need to pick up the next time I go to a certain store. This is not what I use for grocery shopping, but a couple other stores I regularly shop at.
The main one being Target. I always find myself say “I’ll pick that up next time I’m at Target”, then when it’s actually the next time I’m at Target, I can’t remember a single thing I had needed. With this insert, whenever I think of an item I will need at Target (or any other store) I simply write it in the appropriate square. So when I’m at Target thinking “what the heck did I need?” I can just pull out this page!
The last section in my planner is for notes, and I currently just have the basic Martha Stewart lined paper that came with this planner. And obviously, this section’s purpose is being a place I can write down notes or lists or whatever else I need to get out of my head.
So that finishes up my 2015 planner tour! What do you think of my planner organization? Are you also switching things up for 2015, maybe trying a daily insert for the first time too? Tell me all about your planning system in the comments below!
If you liked taking a peak into my planner, I’d love it if you’d share with your friends! Here are some other posts you may also be interested in: