Saturday, January 7, 2017

How I Plan in My Personal Planner

Last evening I was planning out the week ahead and thought I would *take you along with me*. I have shared previous posts on how I plan...and also some videos (you can find them linked in the sidebar). I have always used bigger planners (which I LIKE)...however, I wanted to try and downsize so I could have a planner that fit right into my bag for when I go places. I like to always have my planner with me. If I wasn't needing my planner with me, I would probably go back to the larger sized planners again! Then it could just stay at home! :o)

First, I want to say that planning/organizing your days does *not* have to be time consuming or expensive. You can get pre-printed pages (such as with the Erin Condren Planner or else inserts for your binder) and just keep running lists of the tasks you want to accomplish as well as appointments/special dates. Your planner has to work for you! Your planner doesn't have to be pretty. It doesn't have to look like anyone else's. It has to be something that helps you and keeps you organized and less stressed so you can spend your day accomplishing what the Lord has for you...and not stressing about the next thing. A planner must be functional for you or else it is just a glorified scrapbook.

I have used pre-printed pages before (with the dates already on them) and they work just fine. However, I never found a layout that worked *just* as I wanted it to. I wanted to be able to customize it. That's when I discovered bullet journaling. I have done it for a while now. You can see previous posts HERE and HERE. It is a way for me to be able to create my own set that works perfectly for how I need it to. I'll show you the set up that I use (that works for me) and maybe it will give you ideas that can work for you too! I found that in my larger pages I had wasted I decided to see if I could make my system work in a personal sized planner (I only purchase planners inexpensively on ebay or if they are on sale/clearance on another site. They can be pretty pricey. I really only ever buy things that are on sale or clearance...ever! haha! I always try to find good quality things as decent prices!)

It's hard to see in the photos but the pages I have are a dot-grid. This helps to keep things neat and straight. I start out by using my ruler and drawing two straight lines horizontally. Then I write times from 5am to 9pm between them. (I used to free hand the lines and try to stay along the dots...but it wasn't quite neat enough for I went back to using my ruler!). Then I draw a header of some sort...usually a banner with the day in it and the date below...

**By the way...I like to sit on the floor so I can have all my stuff out and around me when I set up my pages. The book I like to use to plan *on* is a Martha Stewart Homemaking book. It's nice and thick and just my go-to "table"! ;)

The next thing I do is place a TODAY sticker along the top and a TO DO sticker beside it. I draw lines down from the TODAY sticker to form a box. I put the weather at the bottom. This box is my place to mark events, appointments etc. in chronological order. I like to see things vertically. Under the TO DO list I just make a simple list of things I would like to get done for the day...

Here you can see how I started filling in my TODAY section. (Stickers aren't necessary...but they are fun and give it a little *something*!). I teach spin early in the morning...then we have our homeschooling and housework. There is some open space there that may get something added if necessary or may stay blank depending on Monday's responsibilities. Then I teach an evening spin class. (Many people don't know what spinning is. HERE is a description!)...

See how I like to have everything around me when I am planning?

Ok...back to the page...I filled in some of my TO DO List (I make an X over the dot when I have finished a task. I put half and X through it if it is partially done). I also filled in the weather forecast. Then, as another help I color code along the top bar under the date...with the times. I use green to mark off exercise times and orange or pink to mark off schooling times. It helps give a visual of my day at a glance. I may use blue to color code an appointment or purple for church. :)

I put my pages back into my binder and *voila* ~ All ready for the week!

Here's a look at the past couple of days...

Today and tomorrow (I don't really fill in my TO DO lists usually until the day before)...

At the bottom of the page I will decorate a little, mark a birthday with special stickers or keep track of the supper menu!

Monday and Tuesday...

 Here is my pre-loved personal filofax in gold. It's really pretty (the picture doesn't do it justice). I got it inexpensively on ebay (you just have to keep a watch out and find one cheap!). A simple binder will do, though, if you prefer. I'm telling you....planning truly doesn't have to cost you. It's adding the extras that can cost....

Top view...I did purchase the MONTH and TODAY dividers. I like to support small businesses on Etsy when I can. This girl had a small shop and I purchased them from her...but you could definitely make your own if you wanted to! You can use a laminator or even clear contact paper! The cute paper clip cupcake I made! Not the actual top part....I bought a few in bulk at wholesale price. Then I hot glued them to paper clips! I considered selling a few in my shop but the backs have visible clips hot glued to them and don't look *pretty*. I tried to put a backing on a couple of them but couldn't get the exact felt color to match so it doesn't look perfect. I didn't want to sell something that wasn't excellent...

So there you have it! How I plan! Katy Planning 101! If you need help being organized this year...I encourage you to keep a calendar and a TO DO list. Even if you don't keep it in a planner...maybe you just like sticky notes! Whatever works for you is what is best! Just help yourself stay organized, make it to appointments on time, and get those tasks accomplished! I am *far* from perfect....seriously....I'm even really far from excellent...but I *do* try my best with things and I have to tell you that checking things off as you get them done is such a great feeling! It pushes you to want to get the *next* thing done too! I will even admit: I write in things *after* I have done them sometimes (if it wasn't already on my list) and then check them off! It's a great feeling! Start this new year right and get organized!!! And if you *do* want stickers...there are a ton of great small shops on etsy! You can browse mine HERE.

You can watch this during a quick plan with me video: HERE

I hope you found this post helpful! If you have any questions...please comment below or email me!
Have a great weekend and week ahead friends!


Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims


  1. I have an older Day planner personal size that I want to start using again. Were did you find your grid paper for yours. I can't seem to find it in any stores around me. I like how you do your set up. I definately need my planner as my husband is sickly with major health issues right now and I need to keep doc appointments straight along with his surgeries. Thanks for your help.

    1. Hello Anna :) I found my dot grid paper on Amazon! :)

  2. Good Evening, Katy -
    Thanks for sharing your planning style with your readers. I always enjoy your helpful hints.


  3. Your planner is lovely! And I see how convenient the stickers are - like remembering to take out the trash. Practical stickers, but cute - great job, Katy! The nap sticker is my favorite:)

  4. We all have those days, this day after day of sun-less foggy days is starting to get old fast. Spring is right around the corner! I love your videos and think you do a great job. Don't be too hard on yourself.


I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy