House and Home, Life, Year of Making it Happen

Best laid plans

My life is still more or less absorbed by the adorableness that is Paws. He’s getting bigger every day, eating more and more, and now he demands more of my attention as he learns to play and generally be a cat. It’s been hilarious to watch and experience (he actually LOVES bath time, which is adorable.) It has also been incredibly exhausting as I try to adapt feeding and care schedules into my life. Add onto that my starting to go to the gym again and the largest sale of the year at my part time gig, then for fun put in a dash of my best friend moving to Seattle alongside a long, long list of medical appointments for myself and you have a recipe for madness.

I’ve always been the kind of person who loves datebooks and planners, but ultimately have the ability to keep things straight in my mind. If I had an appointment I could just store it away in my memory and have it all together. Recently, though, I’ve noticed that changing. I failed to recall some work meetings. I screwed up my schedule one day. I’ve yet to schedule a breast MRI, a dental appointment, and it took a couple of tries for me to get my hair appointment right.  It would seem that my mental steel trap of a schedule has been a little rusty as of late. For the first time in a long time I’ve actually been relying on my planner. I have to have it and I have to have it all written down. The challenge is that I have yet to find one planner that serves all of my needs. How do I handle this?  I have four planners in addition to my digital calendar and a one-sheet for day job appointments.

Welcome to planner overload.

planner time (with henry supervising)

planner time (with henry supervising)

It’s a pretty simple system for all the methods I use. I have a straight monthly planner that I generally keep at my desk at my day job. I have a monthly/weekly planner that sits on my desk at home. I have a monthly/weekly that goes back and forth between the two (as well as usually everywhere else,) and then I have my monthly/weekly Kate Spade 2016 that I just got and am trying to get organized. It’s a little bigger than my take-everywhere, but I like it. In general I note work things down in the work monthly, also note them in my portable, and then spend a little bit of time each week making sure all the planners are synced. It sounds overwhelming, but it’s really very practical for me. The work planner is honestly a living document. Things at my job change all the time so it is prone to scratch-throughs and correction fluid. It’s something of a dumping ground that is also useful when it comes to tracking mileage and statistics. My home planner largely keeps track of my personal business, grocery lists, and anything that I might need for tax purposes (such as makeup for my kit, travel things, etc.) It also lets me track writing things and schedules more easily, which is nice. The portable? It’s the go between that often serves as a personal diary as well. It’s a Passion Planner so I keep lots of reflections and things in there.

I also keep photos of my work schedule on my phone, just in case.

It’s a lot of work and a little bit of overkill, but it is what works for me. My brain works in different ways depending on where I am. This system is just fluid enough to work for me. It’s pretty great. It also gives me an extra creative outlet and a place to safely stash ideas that I have. I’ve always been a collector of little scraps of paper. It never seems to fail that I will have an idea when I have no dedicated place to put it so I write it down on scrap paper and tuck it into my wallet or purse. So many ideas and such have been lost of the years, but having a planner is proving to give me a dedicated place to put things like this. It makes it much, much easier. Especially when you have must lists, personal mis en place, and illustrate everything.

In the creative vein of things with planners, this weekend I discovered that there are such things as planner videos on YouTube. Yes, there are videos and channels devoted entirely to the elaborate use and decoration of planners. It would seem that planners are the new scrapbooks and there is a huge audience for this! I think I spent a disproportionate amount of Sunday night watching Alexis aka Miss Trenchcoat’s videos. I’m not sure what I think about all of this just yet, but it’s kind of fascinating. Also fascinating? Bullet Journals. I’m actually trying to utilize this system, but so far the only thing that I’ve been able to use is the dumping list of tasks. That has been really helpful, making one big master list and then figuring out how they fit. It sort of reminds me of something a therapist had me do once after she discovered my spiral notebook of living lists and tried to help me streamline it all.

Good luck with that.

What planner or system do you use? Any cool ideas? Let me know in comments. I’m always interested in new planner things.


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