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Spring time usually arrives with me seriously rethinking some aspect of the way I organize my life and hitting the rest button on it.

This year, I decided to consider the usefulness/effectiveness of my current planner, because there have been numerous (as in, more than say…5?) times since the birth of my daughter that I have completely forgotten major events and screwed up big time. After consulting my Dr. about this, she lovingly referred to the phenomenon as “Baby Brain”- new baby thoughts pretty much push out a bunch of pertinent information for Mommy, resulting in some boneheaded forgetfulness.

ANYWAY- My current planner was a simple hard bound book that I used to scribble notes down in. I rarely consulted it and would usually forget what I wrote down anyway. I often forgot where I even PUT the damn thing.

After spending a few hours looking at photos of people’s planners online, I decided that Filofaxes covered in Kawaii and San-X cartoons along with tiny, delicate and colorful handwriting- although SUPER FUN to look at- just wasn’t for me. I wanted my planner to be uber organized, customized only to me and the things that I care about, while being totally functional. I decided to borrow some basic templates I found online (often through simple google image searches) and modify them with Microsoft Paint, depending on what I wanted to use them for.

*Side Note- some of these template are downloadable from their creator’s websites or blogs or whatever, but since these are all modified and are only for personal use, it would be annoying and tedious to try and hunt down the maker of each one, so….my bad. Don’t worry, I’m not selling them. They’re just ideas for others to go on.

ONWARD!

I chose to use a 7 x 9 1/8 inch, 1" binder.  My handwriting is relatively small and I was totally against lugging around a full size binder. This one is in a black and white Chevron pattern, by Mead, that I got from Office Max.  The front now only has my initials in 3 pink letter stickers, but it will probably end up covered in random decals.  I'm messy like that.

I chose to use a 7 x 9 1/8 inch, 1″ binder. My handwriting is relatively small and I was totally against lugging around a full size binder. This one is in a black and white Chevron pattern, by Mead, that I got from Office Max. The front now only has my initials in 3 pink letter stickers, but it will probably end up covered in random decals. I’m messy like that.

Some basic materials I started with- stickers to use as labels, a vellum envelope I can attach to the back inside cover to store loose stuff, some photo corners, stamps with letters and number on them for dates and headings, and most importantly for me, dividers to separate the sections and page protectors.

Some basic materials I started with- stickers to use as labels, a vellum envelope I can attach to the back inside cover to store loose stuff, some photo corners, stamps with letters and number on them for dates and headings, and most importantly for me, dividers to separate the sections and page protectors.

The first section of my planner is labeled "calendar" and that for a month and week @ a glace, where I put major dates, appointments, things I can't forget, etc....  These are filled out and in a page protector back to back so its easy to flip to and easy to see.

The first section of my planner is labeled “calendar” and that for a month and week @ a glace, where I put major dates, appointments, things I can’t forget, etc…. These are filled out and in a page protector back to back so its easy to flip to and easy to see.

I use a set of these for each one of my classes.  They are stored in the order the classes go in during the day, and allow me to both jot stuff down while in class and go back later to organize what I need to do in my off days.  The priority section is important for me, cuz I often get stuck on minor details and lose sight of what is the most urgent.

I use a set of these for each one of my classes. They are stored in the order the classes go in during the day, and allow me to both jot stuff down while in class and go back later to organize what I need to do in my off days. The priority section is important for me, cuz I often get stuck on minor details and lose sight of what is the most urgent.

The month calendar, under my "health" section, is for recording my weight and tracking ups and downs.  The right is my daily food diary.

The month calendar, under my “health” section, is for recording my weight and tracking ups and downs. The right is my daily food diary.

This is my daily to do sheet. I like it because it helps me first identify priorities and then put them in the order in which I'd like to complete them.  I like having a quote on there too. :)

This is my daily to do sheet. I like it because it helps me first identify priorities and then put them in the order in which I’d like to complete them. I like having a quote on there too. 🙂

Family grocery list and cleaning sched are both under the "work" heading-  things I don't necessarily enjoy, but must do.  I have a tendency to overbuy and overclean, so these help keep me in line.

Family grocery list and cleaning sched are both under the “work” heading- things I don’t necessarily enjoy, but must do. I have a tendency to overbuy and overclean, so these help keep me in line.

These are both under the "beauty" section.  The beauty checklist is keep track of my skin care rountines, manis, pedis, facials, teeth whitening treatments and such.  The outfit planner, I like.  What am I going to wear today? is a question I struggle with.  This also helps me avoid those annoying situations where I want to wear something that SURPRISE, is in the dirty clothes, and keeps items I forget about but like in rotation.

These are both under the “beauty” section. The beauty checklist is keep track of my skin care rountines, manis, pedis, facials, teeth whitening treatments and such. The outfit planner, I like. What am I going to wear today? is a question I struggle with. This also helps me avoid those annoying situations where I want to wear something that SURPRISE, is in the dirty clothes, and keeps items I forget about but like in rotation.

As an English major, I have a lot or reading- for fun and fun school.  This tells me how much I have to read of what each day to stay on track.  Gift Idea list is the last pages, just for jotting down ideas for ppl as I see them.

As an English major, I have a lot or reading- for fun and fun school. This tells me how much I have to read of what each day to stay on track. Gift Idea list is the last pages, just for jotting down ideas for ppl as I see them.

This is a screen shot of my makeup of the day.  I am a cosmetics junkie, and I hate thinking that stuff I've spent money on sits there unappreciated and unused.  This helps me to avoid that and hell, it's also fun to fill out.  :)

This is a screen shot of my makeup of the day. I am a cosmetics junkie, and I hate thinking that stuff I’ve spent money on sits there unappreciated and unused. This helps me to avoid that and hell, it’s also fun to fill out. 🙂

how I set up my dividers...

how I set up my dividers…

the most important thing to remember when creating a planner, IMO, is to make it something you’ll WANT to fill out, while whittling it down to what is important to you alone.
Also…this may be kind of a duh statement, but I personally know people who fall into this- If you naturally aren’t a planning/organized kind of person, having a planner probably isn’t going to “fix” you. The only thing it might do is just make you LOOK organized to others while you walk about with it.
🙂

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