Planning a Planner

During college, I used a different organization system almost every semester. I didn’t consciously choose that, but as I started each semester, I found the classes and extra-curricular activities often dictated my organization style. For example, one semester it was one folder per class and my to-dos, homework, etc. were all contained in that class’s folders. Another semester it was a folder per MWF and TTh class grouping combined with a small planner.

My favorite semester was one where I designed and printed my own planner. The cheapest way to to have it done was to print it on my parents’ printer (since I wasn’t paying for the ink…. Don’t I have good parents?) and then take it to an office supply store and have it spiral bound. I loved it and I put pictures of my two week choir trip to Europe on the front.

Since college I’ve mostly used small planners that I could find at any office supply story, nothing too fancy or complicated. But now, I’m back in searching for a system that works for me. My sleep-deprived mind is fuzzy and I get frustrated because I have things that were important to do that I just forget about for a couple days (or weeks). Since baby girl will be joining us in just under two months, I figure this will only get worse for a while. I’ve looked at several systems, but the ones that look best to me seem a little expensive. Also, none of them really have the creative project focus that I’d like to have in a planner to help me keep track of the things I’m working on in the sewing room. I figure that more organized crafting will hopefully be more easily be able to be blogged about than the chaos and randomness that I’m currently crafting in.

As a result, I started brainstorming my perfect planner and what it would look like for me. Here’s my list so far:

Planner should have

  • Section 1 “Doer”
    • Monthly Calendar (half page, area for dates and events below)
    • Weekly appointments
    • Daily to-do
    • Journaling section
    • Scripture study section
  • Section 2 “Tracker”
    • Area for master “brainstorming list”
    • Priority section for major projects
    • Area to print off and store the latest project status sheet
      • Write in updates each week/day/whatever
      • Print off new one in weekly planning time
  • General Ideas
    • Easily removable and addable pages (3 ring type)
    • Always have blank pages handy to doodle on when inspiration strikes
    • Pretty and with favorite quotes would be nice
    • Include a to-do “how-to” reminder page
      • Must be an action item
      • Try to keep max time for to-do below 4 hours or break into separate to-dos
      • Quotes from David Allen?

Since I have the tools to make this one much nicer than the one I printed in my college days, I’m planning on making pages in InDesign. It will be more expensive since my poor parents won’t be footing the ink bill. 🙂 However, I’m not planning on binding it this time, just punching the pages to fit some kind of small binder. For now, I’m doodling ideas on half sheets of paper to see what I like. Now I just need a planner to track the progress of my planner project… 😉

Planning a planner

Planning a planner – doodling page ideas

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