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I’ve recently made a discovery: one planner isn’t going to cut it for me. Now, I know that men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti (it’s a book by Bill and Pam Ferrell, check it out 😉) but there’s something about me that is very un-spaghetti like. Some things just need to be compartmentalized in order for me to function. Which is why one planner isn’t going to work.
After coming to terms with this fact, (I literally thought there was something wrong with me when I couldn’t seem to function with my one DayTimer) I finally decided to join the land of multiple planner planning.
And then it happened.
Corie, The Reset Girl, did a scope on her master planner list in her main planner. You can watch the replay on katch.me/therestgirl. My mind was blown and something inside my noggin clicked and I knew I’d found what I’d been looking for. So over the past few days, I’ve been developing a master planning system of my own.
Here’s how it works:
1. Determine how much time you have to invest in planning.
Be honest about your time. You may want to have time for multiple planners and notebooks but your reality doesn’t match up. Maybe you can count on a whole Sunday afternoon or just a few minutes during your lunch break. An awareness of your time will keep you from setting yourself up for failure and unnecessary disappointment.
2. List all your planning needs.
This includes all the areas of life that requires you to make lists, schedules, and notes. Examples include:
- Daily planner
- Home management
- Prayer/Bible Study
- Home business
- Food Journal
- Exercise tracker
- Goal tracker
- Brain dump
- Family schedules
3. Decide whether or not you can group your needs together.
For example, if you’re keeping a home management binder, would that include your recipes and finances? Or do you want your recipes in a separate binder? Decide how far you want to compartmentalize everything and make sure that everything flows and functions well.
4. Determine what planning and note taking methods work best for you.
Going for something simple or do you like all the frills and furbelows? Do you need a planner with monthly and weekly spreads? Binders? Composition notebook? Spiral bound? Disc-bound? Erin Condren? Filofax? DayTimer? Midori Traveler’s Notebook? Kikki K? Moleskine? Franklin Covey? Happy Planner? Bullet Journaling? The possibilities are endless! And It doesn’t have to cost a whole ton of money. If you have the desire and the funds to splurge, have at it! But there are a myriad of inexpensive options everywhere. If you really want to get creative, hop on Pinterest and YouTube and see what other planner girls are making and using!
5. Match method with need.
Maybe you keep track of health and fitness in a spiral bound notebook. Better make it a 3-subject because you’ve got some detailed notes to keep about health issues, routines, and supplements. Maybe you’ve got an old Franklin Covey binder lying around somewhere and you could use that to keep track of your home business.
Consider the functionality of the method you use. Maybe a bulky planner won’t fit in your backpack so you choose something more compact for keeping track of school assignments. Or you’ve got small kiddos who can get messy so don’t sink your money into an expensive homeschool binder.
6. Choose a dashboard.
This is the planner or notebook from which your planning system will operate. This is the fun part for me and why my mind blew when I saw Cori’s master list.
Now that you know your needs and methods, create a master list to keep track of each one and their functions. I find it best to choose the planner that goes with you everywhere. For me, it’s a 365 Happy Planner.
And here’s what my master list consisted of:
- Master Planner | Happy Planner
- Personal Notebook | Single Subject Spiralbound Notebook
- Prayer/Bible Study Journal | Mini Binder
- Writer’s Notebook | Steno pad
- The Student Life | 3 Subject Spiralbound Notebook
- The Reader’s Notebook | Mini Binder
- Health and Fitness | Composition Notebook
- Home Management Binder | Binder
- Blog/Business | Binder
- Church/Ministry | DayTimer
- Brain Dump | Fauxdori
Whew! I know, it’s a lot!
Of course, I’m not going to be using all of these every single day, but I wanted to have designated spaces to keep track of the various things in my life that are important to me. Like I said in yesterday’s post, this is the way I engage best with tasks and goals. My eye is drawn to color coordination, my brain is alert and excited when pages turn or when ink glides across paper, and my interest and creativity are peaked when I see the row of notebooks and binders ready to be used and filled. It’s nerdy, I’m totally aware, but it works!
As part of my boot camp, I’m going to go through some of my notebooks and planners and show how I use them. Maybe that’ll give you some ideas and inspiration! Stay tuned!