July 25, 2015

Planner - Part Two

     Hello and welcome back! This is the second post on my planner planning adventure. If you missed the first one, please start here.

     Since my last visit I've been using and tweaking my new planner. I have to say that I have gotten a couple of puzzled reactions. My husband was moved to say, "Do I know you?", and then to laugh and say he loved me. When I showed my daughter what I had made she basically asked, "OCD much?" I must admit I had the same thought when I went looking for planner information. But, I have since changed my mind. It has been an eye opening experience. I learned long ago not to let anyone bring me down about my art. Although I'm certain that my husband and daughter were joking, I know that there are people out there who would be perfectly serious. My family can joke because they get what only another artist understands. There must be thousands of planner enthusiasts out there that no one gets. Well, folks, I get you!
      And so this week I'm using my planner like I never imagined I would. The first thing that I have learned is that in order to really enjoy it I have to use it. Admittedly, since I made it a bit fancy I mostly just looked at it for a couple of days. I didn't want to mess it up with any real use. I realized that I was being silly and jumped in.
     To begin with, I filled in the calendar pages with my appointments. I got out a couple of colored pens and pencils just for fun. Once I started actually using the tool I did end up making some changes from my original layout.

The original planner (the larger) and my shopping planner.

     One thing I did not do in the beginning was laminate the divider pages. I only did the dashboard page. That ended up being a good idea. The laminating makes for a fat page and the planner filled up quickly. I did however go back and laminate the tabs on the divider pages. I also only keep six months in the book at a time. My plan is to switch out calendar pages at the end of the month to keep the calendar current and the bulk down. As you can see I found that I use my planner now almost every day. What started as fun has now turned into a great scheduling tool and I go over it after lunch every day, update it as necessary and check out what's coming for the rest of the week. I have not missed a deadline or an appointment and I also find that I'm saving money.

July 2015

      Another thing I changed was the pencil bag. The homemade, duct tape bag was fun, but a bit too school-kid for my taste and I sewed up a fabric bag instead. To make it hang from the rings I sewed on jewelry rings. I like it much better and I did't need to use buttonholes or grommets. It holds four pens and a pencil.

The new, fabric pencil bag

      Also my little pearls on the dashboard front is certainly not a perfect idea, but they are just stickies and I still may pull them off. 

      So far I haven't felt the need to change out any of the categories. The original sections are working well for me. I have decided to make a planner for my daughter for Christmas this year and have set her to the task of imagining what categories she might use. She quickly said, "To-Do". No surprises there, since she always has a notebook out with a list. Another category we decided she could use would be pockets for gift cards. It seems she always has them, I buy them for her myself occasionally, but they can get easily lost and always seem to be at home while you're out shopping and could use them. I am going to make her three envelopes in a gift card category: Restaurant, Stores and General (such as Visa gift cards etc.).

     Before I began this planner I had already ordered a small one that was taking a very long time to arrive. I decided to use it just as a shopping planner and I ordered the larger one, now the main planner. The new one finally arrived. It's made of eel skin, very soft and smooth. Except that it's a bit small, I like it better than the Filofax. I carry a list (sometimes) and coupons (when I remember) with my reusable shopping bags so using a planner instead of a stack of papers seemed like a good idea. I took it shopping once I had finished it and it paid for itself.

The eel skin shopping planner

     I used the same methods I had used for the first planner, just gearing everything towards my shopping trips. I put in sections for food and household weekly shopping and am only taking the coupons I intend to use and sort them just into two categories. I tried extreme couponing once and it wasn't for me. This simple arrangement is working out well. Right before I hit the supermarket I check my cupboards, refrigerator and visit my favorite coupon site. I print out just what I plan to use that day. I have a shopping list, that I keep on the refrigerator, that gets transferred to the shopping planner right before I leave.

Dashboard and sticky papers in the shopping planner

The grocery section

    Besides the food shopping categories and two pockets for coupons I added other categories as well, a wish list for myself and a section for gift ideas. I have kept a gift list for years, usually by jotting down any ideas I have all year and sticking them to December on the calendar. When the holidays roll around I compile the list. It's great to give a gift that someone forgot they wanted. In the personal wish list section I  list items I often buy that I need to remember which colors or sizes I need, like what ink fits in my printer and the color of my favorite lipstick. The wish list makes me focus on what I need or really want and cuts down on impulse buying.

      I make no excuses for my pretty and efficient planners. They are helping me get my books out to my dear readers and making my life less hectic and more relaxing. The fact that they are pretty helps too. They make me feel accomplished and put a smile on my face and take over remembering things for me. I know that my planners are there to take the responsibility of what time I need to be where and when or I have a bill to pay or a royalty check coming in. I don't need to keep it all in my mind. And, they give me peace of mind in a beautiful and artistic way.

      I hope you have a lovely and inspiring week and you create something beautiful every day! Thank you for visiting!

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