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As a little more an in introduction, I thought today I would take you inside my planning practices. What I use, how I use it, when I plan, and what I plan.
I have always loved planning, and it really helped me in college and when I worked full time while getting my masters. I carried my planner everywhere and it had everything: work hours, assignment schedule, readings for classes. But once I graduated, and got my first “big girl” job, planning kind of fell to the side for me. I didn’t have deadlines any more and my schedule is your typical M-F, 9-5 business hours so planning seemed a little excessive. But as the months went buy, I really really missed planning. And I kept seeing all the cute planners at stores as back to school season started..I have always been a sucker for a cute planner 😉 So I decided to get back into planning, and make it work where I am in life now.
Step 1 was to find myself a nice planner….it sounds so much easier than it really is, doesn’t it. After lots of reviewing and internet surfing, I went with a adorable one from Plum Paper. They have so many pretty covers, personalization options, and multiple sizes and layouts.
Some of the features include:
- 12 or 18 month
- customizable start month
- a 2 page spread for each month
- 2 notes pages for each month
- a goal setting, birthday list, and things to remember for each month
- an awesome little pocket in the back (which has proven to be perfect for sticking my bullet journal in and keeping the 2 together)
- durable aluminum coil (this has proven to be very very sturdy. I carry my planner with me everywhere in my bag and the coil is still in perfect shape!)
I chose the 7 x 9 planner with the Vertical 3: Lined Columns layout. I ordered the planner in September, so it runs September 2016-August 2017. Look at the adorable cover I picked and had personalized…I think it is one of my favorite planners I have owned so far!!
I do like the format, but if I were to go back and re-order I would probably pick the ME Planner, which has customizable sections. Since I now have my go-to areas of tracking/planning, this could be my next layout!!
Step 2 was deciding what to include in my planner. This was a bit of trial and error, some things didn’t last long but others have made the cut and become staples of my planning process. The monthly spread is mainly for me to track birthdays, special events, and bills.
The weekly spread is where the bulk of my planning and tracking occur. There are 4 main things I track every day in the weekly spread: water intake (I count based on my 22oz Brita water bottle), my gym time for the day, what I eat, and vitamins. I really like using the boxes to track water and vitamins; it is easy to fill them in and it helps keep me accountable. The food log is just a running list of my meals and snacks throughout the day, but I have noticed that writing everything down has really eliminated my all day snacking that I used to do.
My planning is pretty simple, and for the most part pretty repetitive each week. But I enjoy tracking myself this way as it is helping me achieve goals I have set, like work out more. I don’t like having empty blocks, so I find myself more willing to go to they gym. And having the water tracker and vitamin reminder each day is great for helping me maintain these habits.
Sundays are my big planning day where I write out everything for the coming week and review if there is anything special that needs to be included. I generally record things as the day goes, and take just a few minutes each evening to review.
Step 3 is my more recent edition of bullet journal, or at least my interpretation of bullet journal. The bullet journal world is relatively new to me, but it was definitely love at first sight! However, I couldn’t bring myself to just abandon my Plum Paper planner that still has 8 months left. So I decided to adapt the bullet journal and use it to track big picture things. I picked up a Moleskine Volant Journal Ruled Pocket in a pretty pale greenish-blue color. The pocket size is a perfect fit for the pocket at the back of my Plum Paper planner, so I am able to easily carry both planners with me.
I am still building my collections, but some include my 2017 Weekly Savings Challenge, and a relationship/date tracker. A lot of what I have planned goes back to my 2017 goals and areas of my life I want to work on improving. **Stay tuned for more in-depth posts about the different collections and spreads I am testing out.
So far this combination has been GREAT! and I am loving the flexibility of my system. I can’t wait to see where I go in 2017.