Astrologically speaking, I have an absolutely disastrous combination of signs when it comes to organization. I have signs pointing in all different directions telling me to start projects but not finish them, and procrastinate when I should really be working. Though my inner self is not naturally talented at managing productivity and order, there must be a little Virgo fighting within me because man do I love to get organized. I thought I’d share my planning system with you all, because I’ve finally found something that really works for me.
I use the Erin Condren Vertical Life Planner to plan out my days. I had the horizontal edition last year, which I also loved, but I thought I’d try out the vertical one this year. I’ve also used and loved the Passion Planner, which is great if you have a super scheduled day with lots of meetings.
The main reason why I love this planner is that it’s SO customizable. You can choose everything from the coil color, to the color scheme of the inside pages, to the covers themselves (which snap on and off). I have the “in bloom rose gold metallic” cover with the rose gold coil and I love it. I found this one at Staples, though you can fully customize them when you order online.
I have always been a planner-holic, and I think I’ve finally met my perfect match. The planner also has a ton of handy features like a back pocket and laminated tabs. Overall, I love this guy.
As far as my planning process goes, I like to sit down once at the beginning of each month, and once at the beginning of each week. I generally write important dates on both the weekly and monthly spreads, like birthdays, travel, and school dates. When I remember, I like to set goals for my month, but let’s be honest that happens like once every two months.
In terms of my week, I fill in my appointments, work, meetings, and class schedule so that I can see where my free time is. I usually write my homework in my planner, and my general to-do list of errands for the week.
Alongside my planner I actually use a separate journal to keep track of my smaller tasks.
This Daily Journal is from Oh Deer, and it’s essentially an undated book of to-do lists. It comes in a ton of awesome colors/prints and each page has sections for notes, to-do, objectives, projects, and doodles. There’s also a small timetable that runs down the right hand side of the page so you can manage your time directly from the book.
The reason why I use this is because planners can get super crowded especially if you’re managing multiple projects or jobs (class, writing, blogging, YouTube, work, etc). Usually when I sit down to start working for the day, I’ll pull out my planner and the journal and transfer over any big to-dos for the day. Then, I’ll break those down into smaller steps (i.e. write post, take photos, edit post, schedule). This allows me to 1. have the satisfaction of checking things off and 2. make sure I get everything done. I don’t use the journal every day, but since it’s undated I can just pop in and out of it as I need to!
The final component to my whole planning setup is the digital element. I don’t use any apps for productivity but I do use and love Google Calendar. I generally use it to plug in my exact class times & locations, as well as to plan meetings with groups. I like to keep my GCal as my permanent schedule if you will – things that happen at the same time every month or week. It’s nice to be able to check your phone on the go to make sure you’re heading to the right class – you’d be surprised how much I do this.
Let me know if you guys enjoyed this peek into my planning system, and if you’d like more posts like this about productivity and managing time/projects! Stay tuned for next week’s post on my tips for getting and staying productive! I also frequently update this Pinterest board with my favorite stationery picks if you’re an avid pinner.