At the beginning of this year I began using a paper planner. Again. It had been several years since I’d used one (probably college), and Google Calendar had been working well for me. But there is one big reason I need a paper calendar: I need a physical to do list. I need to write it all out and I need to cross it all off.
So back to a paper planner I went. I chose the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley late last year, primarily because I’d been following her work for several years and have always admired her designs, but also because I love the way the pages are laid out. Like they were designed for the way my brain works. I have used it daily for 10.5 months now and I still love it. So much so that I already have my 2015 Simplified Planner in hand and ready to go.
This month I’m taking a Studio Calico class called Agenda. The class focuses on how to set up and get the most out of your planner, but to be completely honest, it was the exclusive stamp set that came with the class I was most interested in. And not for my planner, I just wanted the stamps for scrapbooking.
But when the class began I was blown away by the inspiration and customization I saw with those using the binder/filofax planners. Five minutes of planner envy later and my creative juices started flowing. I didn’t have the ability to add new pages to my spiral planner, but I wanted to make my planner work for me. Even more so than it already was.
I did this by using two transparent cards from the Heidi Swapp Overlay Value Kit to create a “today” tab and a “dashboard”. Following this tutorial, I hole punched one side of the cards and cut out small slits so they could be easily added and moved around in my planner. That “today” tab is super convenient when I flip over the monthly page view.
For the dashboard I cut a piece of vellum paper the same size as the overlay and punched matching holes. Then I stamped the cups onto the vellum and paper clipped the vellum behind the transparency so I can write on it daily and erase it when I’m done. I am notoriously awful when it comes to water intake, so tracking how much water I’m drinking daily is a biggie for me. It’s also a great spot for little reminders I might overlook on my normal to do list, or general reminders like remembering to smile. :)
At the back of my planner I keep a separate calendar (I use this ‘month at a glance’ printable) to keep track of my blog posts. A folded 8.5×11 piece of paper fits perfectly back there, but it’s hard to see it without a tab. I created the tab using a Project Life card from the Strawberry Kit, and just stapled it onto one of the papers that I keep a year long list of post ideas on.
Are you a paper planner user? What do you do to make your planner work for you?