Thought I’d Share

I just sent this to an email group and thought I might as well post it here as well.

I’m a procrastinator from way back so I’ve had a lot of fun putting together my planner for the remainder of this year and all of next year. Just so you know, this isn’t me just going off the rails in a bid to get organised. I used to hate using a diary – and I’d often only use the first few weeks then my use of it would peter out but that’s all changed. Now, at the end of the year my diary always looks Used! The way I got into using them was at the end of high school – that year I had the usual notes from classes, Homework assignment instructions, Exam and assignment due dates, but then on every available space I would paste in a witty quote, a joke, grafitti from friends or a picture that inspired me (nothing deep, more along the lines of something I wanted to own) – but mainly the jokes. It was passed around the room in a boring lesson and it’s amazing it never got confiscated. I think it was that though that cemented my love for diaries – the ability to amuse another.

When I’ve used a planners I’ve always made it from an A5 Ringbinder. Coming from New Zealand, Letter and Legal sizes are a little foreign :P but A5 is a slightly fatter 1/2 Letter size and is about the same size but a lot thicker than the diary I would use otherwise. This means it’s easy to cart around and can be opened in front of you while sitting in the drivers seat of the car.

I thought I’d share the organisation of my planner for this year. I took the equivalent of a weekend to put this all together – including time cursing the printer for multiple paper jams. It’s roughly based on the one used at FlyLady.

1. Diary – This year I’m using a slightly modified template from DIY Planner (link below). I just made a few adjustments like removing the times from the boxes down the side of the page as I have very floating awake hours (generally 11am – 2am or thereabouts). I printed this out on old business runon pages and the paper was of a thicker quality. The entire diary printed out took up the entire ringbinder so I’ve only got 3 months in the diary at a time since I know that I only ever refer to previous dates for notes that shouldn’t be on a diary page anyway. This works fine especially with the other parts of the planner.
2. Daily – This is the section where I have my daily routines (courtesy of FlyLady)
3. Weekly – I have my fixed weekly schedule including those provided by Flylady once again.
4. Monthly – This is where I’ve made up for only having 3 months in the diary part of my planner. I have sub dividers for each month in this section and I rotate them so the current month is that the front. Within each month is a monthly calendar for at a glance needs. I also have my important dates list – with everyone’s birthdays and public holidays that don’t move. This way I can reuse the list next year with no problem (especially if you put in the year rather than the age of the event ie 1979 instead of 26th birthday. I also keep a blank page in each month so I can jot down notes quickly.
5. Projects – I use this a lot as I have much on my plate. I have 5 dividers in this section. Each indicates a project that I’m working on. For me, I’ve got one tab for each of my businesses, one for an ongoing work project, one for home, and one for short term events – like Christmas. Under each tab I have my lists of things to do – both shortterm and longterm and notes for ideas, products, information etc. At the front of this tab I’ve put a small stack of paper that I replenish every so often.
6. Not currently using this for anything.
7. This tab is labelled Food! In here I keep my meal plan for the week, and the recipes that go along with it. Perhaps I should quickly mention my meal planner – it’s very simple. I have a box each for 8 meals for the week (8 so I have 2 to fall back on – and one night is “can’t be stuffed cooking” night). 4 boxes for Dessert Ideas/Recipes, Breads to bake, Breakfast ideas, and Baking for the week. And finally at the bottom of the page I have a checklist to ensure the recipes have a bit of balance (I have a tendency to go for Carbs and Chicken!)
8. This is a bit of a hodge podge – just misc information that I can’t find another place for – but can’t chuck out yet. At the moment I have two pages in there, one has instructions on using our new phone system – which is designed for people with photographic memories and the other has okay … It has the coordinates for the town I live in, a login/pass for a website, and a quick family tree going back about 10 generations. Believe me, at the moment I actually use this information. When I look at it and go “Why?” then it gets biffed in the bin.
I almost forgot to mention, today I finally printed out a map of New Zealand, a local map and a world timezone map to add to this section.
9. Also not being used at the moment but Emergency Information is meant to go in here when I make time to write it out. The survival kit list, Emergency Numbers, Insurance Policy numbers – you get the drift.
10. The ultimate address book – once again more dividers for A-Z (in 12 dividers). Pretty self explanatory but I also keep bank account numbers for suppliers I deal with in here too.

Other parts of the planner are:
Bookmarks – one has Today written on it for the diary and the other just floats around depending on where I’m spending the most time.
Clearfile Sleeves (Page Protectors?) – I have these in each Projects section for misc bits of paper and receipts, and in the Food section for receipts.
Bags – not sure what to call these but they’re put out by the people that make Day Runners. A side sealable clear pocket that fits pens etc nicely.
Post-its – Taped to the inside front cover so I grab them when I need them.

One of the downsides to my planner is it doesn’t have all those cool pockets that larger sized planners do. I haven’t found an A5 portfolio that doesn’t have a 6-hole ringbinder attached. Another downside is the thickness of the paper I’ve used has meant the planner is a lot thicker than I would have liked.

Oh and just to be a bit out there and because I hate ringbinders normally for this reason – being left-handed I’ve made my planner open from the left instead of the right so in effect I’m working from the back of the ringbinder. Probably sounds really crazy so just ignore me :)

Finally, I thought I’d share links that I’ve discovered on my journeys. Please bear in mind that I’m coming from the perspective of running several home businesses as well as a household so some of them are more professionally-minded if that doesn’t offend anyone for me to say so. – I can’t recommend this site enough. They have a *lot* of templates that are adaptable and in different page sizes too! – Well I had to include this site eh.,, – separate sites but part of the same group, they all have something to offer. – There are some real organisational gems on this site. – some useful stuff here as well. – I guess you may have to go looking to find information that is useful to you but I found a couple of techniques that have helped me at work – and the comments from viewers are always eyeopening.

Think that’s enough from me for now?
If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them.

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