How to Use Multiple Planners | December Boot Camp

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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 outĀ šŸ˜‰) 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:

Iā€™ve recently made a discovery: one planner isnā€™t going to cut it for me. Now, I know that men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti but thereā€™s something about me that is very un-spaghetti like. Some things just need to be compartmentalized in order for me to function. I finally decided to join the land of multiple planner planning.

 

1. Determine how much time you have to invest in planning.

Be honest about your time. You mayĀ wantĀ 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 justĀ 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:

  1. Daily planner
  2. Home management
  3. Work
  4. Prayer/Bible Study
  5. School
  6. Home business
  7. Food Journal
  8. Exercise tracker
  9. Homeschooling
  10. Church
  11. Goal tracker
  12. Brain dump
  13. Family schedules
  14. Reading
  15. Finances
  16. Recipes
  17. Projects
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?Ā 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 desireĀ and the fundsĀ 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!Ā Ā 

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:

  1. Master Planner | Happy Planner
  2. Personal Notebook | Single Subject Spiralbound Notebook
  3. Prayer/Bible Study Journal | Mini Binder
  4. Writer’s Notebook | Steno pad
  5. The Student Life | 3 Subject Spiralbound Notebook
  6. The Reader’s Notebook | Mini Binder
  7. Health and Fitness | Composition Notebook
  8. Home Management Binder | Binder
  9. Blog/Business | Binder
  10. Church/Ministry | DayTimer
  11. Brain Dump | Fauxdori

Master Planner Key - create a master list to keep track of each of your planners and their functions. I find it best to choose the planner that goes with you everywhere. For me, itā€™s a 365 Happy Planner. Inspired by The Reset Girl

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 someĀ of my notebooks and planners and show how I use them. Maybe that’ll give you some ideas and inspiration! Stay tuned!

Happy planning!

9. Drawing Boards | 31 Days

This is post 9/31 ofĀ Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Come hell or high water, I’m launching on the 13th.Ā 

That’s what I told my dad the other day.

It’s on my wall calendar, my DayTimer, and my desk calendar. My podcast launch date, in magenta ink, reminding me that I can’t go back now.

Or can I?

I’m the kind of person who has a hard time following through with personal projects if I don’t give myself a date. On my calendar. In pen. If not, I talk myself out of it. I’m really good at talking myself out of my own personal projects and procrastinating on things that I find too difficult or I’ve lost interest in. I can justify why I shouldn’t do stuff for my own benefit until the cows come home. Shooting one’s self in one’s foot is a talent too many humans possess and I’m counted as one of them.

On the flip side, there are times when waiting for a better outcome is good. I’m all for not letting perfection preclude you from shipping a project or taking a leap but caution has it’s place too.Ā Sometimes you’re just not ready yet. Sometimes you need extra time to consider other variables. Sometimes you learn something new!

I’m totally not going in the direction I’d set out in when I started Write 31 Days. Day by day, I’m redefining what The Student LifeĀ means to me.Ā Because of that, I’ve taken my podcast plans back to the drawing board. I don’t know when I’ll be ready but when the time is right, I will set another date and try again.

Going back to the drawing board is a good thing. It means that you’re problem solving, you’re proactively finding a better way of doing something, you’re not giving up on what’s important to you. Drawing boards are essential for success cause your other two options could prove fatal: you could either give up cause your plans went bust or you could keep moving forward with a defective plan that’ll never see the results you desire. There are times when a plan B, C, D, or P is in order. Just because something didn’t work the first, second, third, or sixteenth time doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea, it just means you haven’t figured out how it works yet.

Go back to the drawing board.

Excuse me, please, while I get some white out.

#write31days