Why A Messy Planner Works for Me!

posted by Andrea | 12/11/2018

A couple weeks ago, I shared my new 2019 planner and calendar — along with the reasons why I’m using BOTH a calendar and a planner next year.

Whenever I share my planners, I always get lots of questions regarding why I use certain styles of planners or certain layouts, how I write everything in my planners, what types of pens, markers, highlighters, or stickers I use in my planners, and the list goes on.

Yes, the last 2 weeks have been full of planner questions for me!

I know planners are super personal and everyone has to do what works for them, their family, their jobs, their organizational systems, etc… so while I have happily shared what works for ME, I try to make it very clear that my systems will NOT work for everyone or every situation.

That’s why I love the Personal Planner so much (it’s the planner I’ve used for the last several years).

More recently, due to the craze in Bullet Journaling, I’ve gotten so many questions about any stickers, color-coded systems, or embellishments I add to my planner.

Surprisingly (or maybe not) I don’t add anything to my planner…

It’s true! I have yet to see the benefit of using any type of stickers or color-coded system. I am not artistic, I don’t have nice handwriting, and I don’t have patience for any sort of doodling!

To top it all off, my planner gets really, really messy by the end of the week!

Spending any amount of time trying make my planner “pretty” with stickers, scrolling designs, fancy fonts, and color-coded systems is just not a good use of my time or space in my planner!

If you don’t believe me, take a look at the photos below… now that the year is almost finished, pretty much every page in my 2018 planner looks like this (or worse)!

Every page is messy, smudged, spilled on, crossed out, checked off, scribbled out, and rewritten (only to be crossed off again.)

If the pages get too messy, I simply cover them with sticky notes or tape a larger piece of paper over top so I can make more lists on top of the ones I already have.

I don’t use any stickers or washi tape, I don’t use specific colored pens or highlighters, I don’t use labels or headers or special fonts.

I generally tend to write in pencil, but there are plenty of times I write in pen as well — whatever writing implement is closest at the time, I suppose!

Basically, all I need my planner to do is help me stay organized and increase my productivity – both of which it can do without any extra “bells and whistles”!

Of course, I realize some of you just enjoy adding all those pretty things to your planners and bullet journals — THAT IS TOTALLY FINE! 

If you are the creative type who gets joy from a pretty planner, if you have nice handwriting and an eye for color and detail, then go right ahead and add as many details and embellishments as you’d like.

However, if the desire for a pretty planner inhibits you from fully utilizing your planner (you don’t want it to look messy or cluttered) then you might want to re-think your system — or maybe even find a new system (going digital).

A planner is a tool that should SERVE YOU, not cause stress or anxiety because you’re fixated on making it look nice or trying to keep up with the trend of pretty planners.

Don’t stress if your planner is really messy – mine is too and I’m one of the most consistently productive people I know!

Just for conversational purposes (and because I get SO many questions regarding planners)… I’d love to know if you use a planner, a bullet journal, sticky notes, a wall calendar, a digital calendar, or even the back of various envelopes.

Also, do you use any extra stickers, highlighters, or color-coded systems? If so, what are the benefits for you?  

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49 comments

  1. Edie

    12/17/2018

    I use a basic planner purchased at Walmart and big desk calendar pages that I change monthly on a magnet board in the kitchen. A wall calendar didn’t have enough space to write on so I went bigger! I’m very much a type B personality so my planner use is pretty minimal. I go through the school calendar and mark all school holidays, early dismissals, when report cards are issued, etc. I record any doctor, dentist, and haircut appointments as I make them, any special school events when the kids bring home info papers, and game and practice times during soccer season. I can flip through my planner and look ahead to see when we have free weekends or when my husband and kids’ holidays match up if we want to plan a trip or whatever. I transfer all the important dates onto the big calendar page each month, and also add extended family’s birthdays from a monthly list my mom made and copied for me. Then my family can look at what’s coming up for the week ahead, and not ask constant questions! If we have something coming up that’s not in our usual routine, I’ll list it on the chalkboard nearby as an extra reminder. I am very absentminded and forgetful so that big chalk reminder of “Edie-dentist @ 9:30” has saved my tail quite a few times! Even though I am a creative somewhat artistic person, I don’t do anything pretty with pens and stickers. I feel like it’s a utilitarian tool that will eventually be put in the trash, and I’d rather spend that time and energy else where!

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  2. Tracy

    12/16/2018

    Colour coded fridge-side calendar (must look messy to everyone else).I use different colours green/yellow/blue/pink/brown/orange for me/hub/son/daughter/dog/others (family or friends). I tape invites/tickets/etc on the top picture so unfortunately don’t really get to enjoy the artistic part of my calendar (usually from dollar store). It’s thrilling to add and highlight in color our appts/activities, haha. I also use my google calendar & maps on my phone handy when out and about need to consider distance planning, etc. Also already have a 2019 calendar (since July) with appts written in.

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh well what it looks like to others — as long as YOU can understand it!
    Dave’s planner also starts in July as it’s easier for him to run his school year that way (they start in early August and end in late May)

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  3. Jade

    12/14/2018

    Love this post Andrea! I am a planner, but I don’t love carrying one around… So my main “planner” is Google calendar on my phone. I use it for appointments (I include an address and pull it up on maps if needed), kid’s activities, payment reminders, birthdays, husband’s work schedule (rotating), church assignments, etc. It really helps keep me on track, and everything is color coded (easier to see what’s going on at a glance!).

    I give each of my kids (8 & 11) a wall calendar to write in special trips/vacations, cousins birthdays and holidays. They love to use it to ‘count down’ for certain events.

    For my daily to-do list (meal planning, cleaning tasks, morning/afternoon/evening routines), I just use a half notebook. It is really satisfying to check things off!

    I wonder if you could do a post about what specifically you write down in your planner? I know you’ve showed it several times, but I would be fun to see what it looks like (and what you write down) before everything is scratched off and un-readable…

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    Andrea Reply:

    I guess I just write everything I have to, want to, and need to do every day… and it’s different each day. I don’t write down things like “take a shower” or “eat breakfast” but I DO write things like “make __________ for breakfast” or “defrost _______ for dinner”. Plus, all my work and personal responsibilities, as well as school schedules for Dave, Nora, and Simon!

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  4. Christine from Normal

    12/12/2018

    I use an Erin Condren life planner that keeps me organized and productive. Mine is a horizontal calendar that I use for BP, HR,Temp and Weight so I can track them and notify my Dr of any changes along with daily goals, appointments and notes. My planner has several empty note pages to set up. One I use for all my Doctors and medications. I’m almost to 1 year with my new heart so keeping this all in one place is the best for me. I use one for birthdays and anniversaries, another with snack ideas. I do use a couple of stickers. I have color coded the perpetual calendar for taxes, insurance, and medical. Don’t laugh but I use garbage can stickers for each Wednesday to help remind me to take the trash out.(transplant brain is a real thing!) I find it really helps me stay on track.

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  5. MC

    12/12/2018

    I put everything in Google Calendar. Everything. My job requires it for work appointments, so I have shared my personal Google Calendar over to work so that I can edit/add/delete personal stuff easily (I have one tab open for both calendars all day in my browser).

    If I have a special event on a given day and I know I need to shower in the morning vs evening, I put that in. If I know I’ll need to have particular laundry finished (say guest sheets, towels, etc), I put that in the calendar. I have regular reminders for laundry. I work from home full-time, so I have quick ones to start and switch over laundry between client calls. If I need to send anything special in to Daycare, I put that on my calendar. If I’m planning a certain food outing, that’s in my calendar. If someone is going to be in/out of town that will affect my schedule – yep, it goes in the calendar.

    If I’m going on a trip, long or short, I’ll put in reminders to clean certain things up, pack certain items that I’ll need (ex. for work, don’t forget the shirts with work logos on them; for a fun trip, don’t forget your camera!). It’s basically a to-do list that pops up on my phone around the time of day that I need to complete the task.

    Along with adding appointments, I input addresses so that I can quickly navigate to the location via Google Maps. I have the Google Calendar widget on my phone, so I can always see upcoming appointments, tap an appt, and then tap the address for directions. I’m meeting someone at a new park/their house for a play date? There’s the address. I usually look the place up beforehand, so I account for drive time when I add everything to the calendar. If it’s a 15 min drive, I start the appt 15 min before I need to be there. Google notifications can be customized, but I have mine at 10 min before the appt starts. Sooooo, 25 min before I need to arrive, I get a notification on my phone. That means “stop/finish what you’re doing, pee/change/whatever, grab the kid/stuff/etc and start making your way to the car”. By the time I make it to the car, it’s been about 10 minutes, sometimes less. If it’s less, I get there a couple of minutes early.

    It’s not complicated at all. There are no special colors besides “work is purple and personal is magenta”, but Google does that on its own. I could make them the same color, I guess, but it’s nice to see what items belong to work and what’s personal. Plus, I don’t want to add weird personal things like “take a morning shower!” to my work calendar where all ~40 of my coworkers could see it, hahaha!

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — this is awesome!
    Also, I usually put addresses right in my planner for different meetings, events, weddings, etc. Then I can toss the paper that came with the invitation and have everything I need in one place. Super smart to do this with your Google calendar too — it can pull the address and give you the map right then and there! My planner can’t do that!

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  6. Jenny Z

    12/12/2018

    I still use a paper binder similar to yours only from Walmart. I have tried using the calendar on my phone but I need pent and paper and lists to cross off! For work I am required to use Outlook and that works well for the 2 days I work.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Hmmm… good to know there’s a similar option at Walmart. I never to go Walmart but I might browse online every now and then 🙂

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  7. Caroline

    12/11/2018

    I am a happy planner loyal gal. One main planner a four (yes 4) mini planners. I use stickers and colorful pens. I work ft as an oncology infusion nurse and casual RN position at a ltc facility. If it’s not in my planner it’s not happening

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    Andrea Reply:

    hahahah!!! FOUR mini planners! this is great. Definitely a little type A going on there! 🙂

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  8. Jennifer

    12/11/2018

    I love my Blue Sky (from Target) weekly planner. Then every morning I use a scrap piece of paper to write down to-do’s, homeschool plans, outings, grocery lists, etc., for the day that I can carry around in my pocket or bag. I just keep the planner handy at home to keep track of everything to come. I’m looking into the Personal Planner for 2019 though. I like the horizontal daily format so it makes a vertical list of to-dos that can keep running if not completed…..if that makes sense.

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    Andrea Reply:

    That’s a good idea to use a piece of paper for your daily list — I never like carrying the full planner, but one sheet of paper is OK! Thanks for the tip!

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  9. Margaret

    12/11/2018

    After years of using the freebie planner that I got from work, and a couple more of trying to use my phone, I have gone entirely to the side-of-the-fridge method. I keep my daily to-do list there on a magnetic bulldog clip. I always write it right before I go to work at 10p. Nothing fancy at all. If an item is time-critical (an appointment, meeting a friend, a phone call that has to be made during business hours) I highlight it. If it’s something that needs to be started before I’ve had my coffee (like laundry) it gets a star.
    Another clip holds appointment cards in chronological order. Anything I need to remember that doesn’t have a card gets a sticky note stuck to the next item. My fridge has a textured surface that will not hold a sticky note. PSA, don’t get a textured fridge.
    It’s beyond primitive, but the system has worked really well for me, better than a dedicated planner or a phone calendar.
    Andrea, I thought of you this morning at work, and got a good giggle. I’m a CNA in a healthcare facility, and I was dressing a resident who has too much dementia to choose her own clothes. I picked out black pants, a dark pink shirt, and a gray cardigan, and thought, “This is what Andrea will look like when she’s 90+”. And another PSA for anyone who has a relative in long-term care–if you want them to look nice, make sure all their clothes mix and match. Staff only has time to change the item that got spilled on or pee’d on, not a complete outfit plus accessory change for a blob of tomato soup.

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    Andrea Reply:

    This made me laugh so much when I read it Margaret!
    I don’t think I want to know what I’ll be like when I’m 90+ — I can only hope to be stylish enough to continue rocking my bright pink + black + grey combo!
    I’m so glad there are people like you in this world (my sister is also a nurse). I couldn’t do what you do, but I know your skills are needed so badly!

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  10. Natalia Gramada

    12/11/2018

    I mainly use the “PlanAhead” planners, which give me enough space for Monthly (events, appointments, bdays) and Weekly pages where I could write daily to-do’s. I say “could”, because I’m mainly using notebooks for my “to do” lists, the main reason being that I rarely get to accomplish everything I want to do in one day and I get disappointed if I don’t get to check them off, have to re-write them, and so on. I carry this planner with me almost everywhere. I can jurnal in it if I want to, I can cross things off and look back at what happened last year. I save them all. 🙂

    I also have a wall calendar, but I cut off the pages and post one at a time on the refrigerator. It includes all of the events that affect family members, so they can see what, when and where things are happening. I use the very fine sharpie markers to color code by (main) person involved (a particular child school event, therapy or Dr appointment).

    Now, if I could figure out a way to get things done, instead of just planning for them…

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I’m sure you accomplish more in a day than you realize. One of these days, you should try making a “done list” at the end of the day — listing off everything you accomplished that day (big and small).
    It’s fairly rewarding!

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  11. Debbie

    12/11/2018

    I use a wall calendar which I enjoy picking out to look nice hanging in my kitchen.
    I write down all the birthdays and anniversaries in red ink to see them easier.
    I also keep past year calendars in a box in case I need to look up something that happened.

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  12. Liane

    12/11/2018

    I so agree — those pretty bullet planners are cute but my goodness, I don’t have time for that. Home automation has changed everything. I live paperless and love it.

    At the heart of my system is my Mac Book Pro. It syncs with my iPhone and iPad.
    I have 5 calendars: personal, household events, sports subscription where they do all the work, vacations and lastly my husbands frequent overseas travel. I can toggle them on and off as needed.

    My personal calendar is my default – everything starts out there, usually. When I rebook a haircut for example I get a text. Clicking that adds it to my calendar. Once there I can make sure I have the address correct to set travel time.

    Household has a bunch of repeating events that don’t have a time of day. All four of our automatic direct deposits are scheduled, the day street sweeping happens so I move our cars, changing furnace filter, changing water filter, changing clocks on dumb devices like the sprinkler controller etc.

    The rest are self explanatory. I guess the difference between the main two is the default is what I do, where I go and when and the second is what happens at the house on a particular day but not at any particular time.

    The next part of this is my system of Echo devices throughout the house. After linking my calendars to Alexa I just ask her what’s on my calendar today and she tells me. I do this while getting dressed in the morning. She also displays all my appts and events on my echo show in the kitchen.

    The other parts that used to be paper are also handled by two apps. My groceries and menus in AnyList synced with Alexa. If I toss out the empty catsup bottle I’ll tell her to add on to my shopping list. She also maintains a todo list.

    I know this system works because the last time I needed a pen to sign a form I had to scribble on a corner of it to get the ink flowing.

    This entire system is voice controlled. So if I’m in the kitchen peeling potatoes and realize I need to call my cousin I’ll ask Alexa to drop in on her. We use our bedroom echo spots as intercoms also so if hubby is in bedroom and I’m in kitchen he can drop in on me. It’s like FaceTime but totally hands free.

    Just about everything in the house is also voice controlled including door locks, cameras, lights and HVAC. But those things aren’t necessarily on a planner! But, I do draw out my ideas in Notes on iPad and I uses the reminders app to keep track of projects — I have separate reminders for To Do To Buy To Research Errands and Returns. They don’t necessarily integrate with Alexa – they are more of an on the fly way to record ideas. My best ideas come when I’m in the shower or vacuuming. Not easy to write stuff down.

    Got my first iPhone when the first launch showed up and never looked back. First iPad is a gen 1 — now we have 3. My system evolved over the last ten years but Amazon devices really ramped it up. I just wish she’d read me my email LOL. Actually, she could if I’d be willing to sign up for a Gmail or Hotmail account. But I use iCloud mail and it’s not supported.

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    Natalia Gramada Reply:

    Oh, my! Liane, I am blown away!!! You have a personal secretary in Alexa! I didn’t realize technology could be so….handy – in the little details of life. It’s amazing what you’ve got going for yourself there!

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh my goodness Liane! Thanks so much for this detailed look into how you utilize planners and better organize your life!

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  13. KR

    12/11/2018

    SAME! It took me so long to find a planner I liked because I would stop using it the second it started looking messy or I broke my color coding or whatever. So when I found a work planner I loved I just accepted that it would be messy and have all different kinds of handwriting (my handwriting is not consistent at all – sometimes cursive, sometimes print, sometimes messy, sometimes obsessively neat). And it works great for me. Some weeks are a mess, some weeks are ultra satisfying. I use a TF publishing 19-9271A weekly-monthly planner to keep me on track for my weekly work to-dos.

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    Andrea Reply:

    you have just perfectly described my handwriting — sometimes I can be so pretty and neat, but other time it looks like a train wreck and I don’t understand why.
    I’m also a big cursive writer (especially when I’m in a hurry) so I might start writing in print, but end in cursive and then it looks awful.
    I’ve just come to accept that I will never have a cutsie planner (at least not at this point in my life!)

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    KR Reply:

    Omg same same

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  14. Rachel

    12/11/2018

    I’m a calendar girl but not a planner girl. I love the idea of planners, but I just can’t seem to make them work for me. For work I use the Outlook calendar, I record daily happenings on my desk calendar and then I transfer the notes to an At-A-Glance calendar as my official record. At home I have a birthday calendar, a biweekly calendar on the fridge for menu planning, a desk calendar where we write down what happens that day and then I transfer that to a small spiral calendar that becomes my historical record of what happened. For appointments etc. I use Google calendar that I share with my husband, so either of us can quickly look and see what is planned for a certain day. I’m a list maker, so I’m frequently scribbling list for short term things. I would like to be creative and make a beautiful planner – but it doesn’t seem to be in my skill set or how my brain functions best. So my hat’s off to all those that can make the planner work for you. The historical/record keeping aspect is the most important thing to me -so I know I use things a little backwards than most folks would. lol

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    Andrea Reply:

    well we’ll see if I’m a calendar girl after this year! I’m excited to try a calendar for the first time — knowing I still have my planner “fall-back” option too!
    also, just out of curiosity, why do you like to keep a historical record of what you did? Do you save all your calendars and look back on them?

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  15. Diana

    12/11/2018

    I use a planner like yours (I like Poppin but found a close sub at Walmart this year). I don’t do anything fancy. But, unlike you, it doesn’t guarantee productivity. I have a weird relationship with to-do lists. It’s almost like I’m concerned that if I finish the list I might be bored the rest of the day-don’t laugh! 🙂 So the calender helps me remember appointments and the list gives me a general idea for the day. But then I just wing it. And I wish it were different but it’s just not so I go with it 🙂 When I make lists of stuff to bring for vacation, I do doodle on those because the small break of doodling helps me make sure I’ve thought of everything to include on the list.

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    Andrea Reply:

    interesting point about the doodling. I know many of my friends who take time to make their planners more decorative — they usually say that the doodling helps them think through their to-dos!

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  16. Kristen

    12/11/2018

    I keep my appointments on my Google calendar and a notebook for my to-do lists. I also have a paper monthly calendar where I keep big events and track goals. I like to have the big picture view that a monthly calendar affords; it keeps me from getting bogged down in the details.

    My notebook mostly tracks daily to-do lists, but also serves as the place where I reflect at the end of the day. I try to write 2-3 sentences at the bottom of the day’s page on what I learned, what made me feel successful, or what I want to work on for the next day. I find it’s a good way to wrap up the day and keep track of important insights.

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  17. Jen

    12/11/2018

    I use Google calendar for work (for four employees) and LOVE it. I do color code on there and it’s helpful for everyone who is sharing the calendar. I like that we can “share” calendars between certain employees and give permissions, etc.

    I don’t use any planner myself–never have–not even in college. Somehow, I’ve managed to be productive and consistent for 50 years without one. LOL! I do keep some appts in my phone calendar, but it’s not a must. I did buy a small, inexpensive planner this year–because we have a lots of events coming up: 2 kids’ weddings, one college graduation, etc. I’ll see how it goes, but won’t be surprised if I’ve totally given up by February 1. LOL! I’m one of those people who wants my planner to be NEAT and as soon as I realize that’s not gonna happen, I bag it. LOL!

    I do use bookmarks on my computer liberally! LOL! I have lots of categories–recipes, personal tabs, even FFR (for future reference), where I save things I may want to reference down the road. Right now, I even have tabs for MOB (dressed I like for our son’s wedding) and online Bible study aids that I use frequently.

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow – amazing! No planner, even in college. Your memory must be like a steel trap!

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  18. Karen

    12/11/2018

    I use a planner- no embellishments. I love it. I write everything on the monthly pages. And then on Sunday I review and fill in the weekly pages for that week. And I keep a notebook of daily tasks I want or need to accomplish that day. It’s not fancy, but it works for me. I’ve tried digital calendars and I’ve found I prefer something I can hold and write on with pen. To each their own, right?

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    Andrea Reply:

    yup — I’ve tried so many digital calendars over the years, but I really just need something in front of me that I can write in!

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    Christine from Normal Reply:

    I prefer paper and pen as well AND I hate my handwriting but I think who’s going to see it! I use my Iphone calendar for appointments to transfer to the planner and the notes app for grocery list and a bunch other.

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    Andrea Reply:

    exactly — I’m the only one who sees my messy handwriting so it’s OK!

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  19. Anna

    12/11/2018

    I have 4 systems.

    1. Outlook – keeps my clients each week. It hardly ever changes since they are locked in appointments but it’s full of meetings so its work only.
    2. Alexa – she keeps, maintains and reminds us of our family and daily routines. (She’s been added this year for the whole family cause now my kids are older and I’m tired of yelling out bath time or homework time! LOL So now Alexa does it for me. It also helps my husband be more involved in the day to day of the house cause he sets his own reminders there as well. So now he helps with the kids routines and household stuff.)
    3. A calendar – which is not used for anything I have to do. It’s used for goal setting for the year. I figure Alexa and Outlook hold everything I HAVE to do, so this calendar actually helps me set goals for promotions, kids events, new habits, health goals, house projects, etc. So I put it on this calendar and work towards marking things off daily or weekly. Then at the end of the year I can see how much I’ve accomplished or if I’m track to my goals.)
    4. Journal – I keep this with me all the time. It’s a place to put ideas, journal, lots of different lists, reminders, etc. So when I get home I can transfer it to Outlook, Alexa or my Goals Calendar if needed.

    I use to have only 1 calendar for everything but as my job, my husband’s job, clients have gotten bigger with lots to do and the kids have gotten older, one just doesn’t seem to be able to handle it…even with color coding…although I do love colors. Also I felt like my calendar was a bunch of HAVE TO’s and not WANT TO’s so now I feel more balanced! LOL

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — great system. Thanks for sharing what works for you!

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  20. Laura

    12/11/2018

    I used to scratch off the way you do with either a pen or—even better—a sharpie, which felt so fulfilling. But now I forget what I did and switched to a system where I yellow highlight things I need to do and then go over them in blue highlighter ( which makes green) when they are done. It’s an old trick I learned from working in a law firm and you can tell instantly what you still need to do!

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    Andrea Reply:

    well that’s a cool idea! Thanks for sharing Laura!

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    Jenny Reply:

    OOOHH! I love that idea! I’m still trying to figure out what works best- having tried it all, it seems, so I am appreciating the helpful hints.

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  21. Katie

    12/11/2018

    I use my Outlook calendar for all work meetings and personal appointments. I copy them into my personal planner, and mostly use my personal planner for to-do lists and reminders.

    I use a personal sized ring bound planner (Foxy Fix) and print my own pages from AnniePlansPrintables so I can switch out pages if I get bored or if a layout isn’t working for me. Right now I use a week on 2 pages for my personal to-dos, a day per page for my work to dos, and then I have a full year with each month on 2 pages for forward planning, and then sections for menu planning, personal budgeting, address book, habit tracker, and decluttering checklist.

    I do love decorating my planner with stickers, and it’s a creative outlet for me. I really enjoy looking at my planner and sitting down each Sunday afternoon to make it pretty! I don’t color code, but I do love using any pen with a Zebra Gel Ink refill, but I am partial to PenGems. My stickers are a combination of decorative and functional.

    The key to any kind of planner is finding something that helps and works for you!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I have friends who are super crafty and creative — they get into the bullet journaling and “cute planners” (as I call them). My brain doesn’t work that way, but I’m sure their to-do lists are so much more fun than mine!
    And yes, I fully agree with your last sentence “The key to any kind of planner is finding something that helps and works for YOU!”

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  22. Annette Silveira

    12/11/2018

    I use Google calendar on my phone for all of my appointments and to-dos. I have a paper planner for meal planning. I use Wunderlist for shopping lists. My husband has a paper calendar on his desk and I make sure his appointments are in my calendar and mine are on his. I would love to get him to use the calendar on his phone since he’s always making plans and then having to change them when he gets home and checks his calendar!

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    Andrea Reply:

    I love hearing what works for other people and families! Thanks for sharing!

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  23. Tracy

    12/11/2018

    How do you stay consistent?

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    Andrea Reply:

    What do you mean? Just consistent in writing things down every day?
    I HAVE TO!
    I’ll forget everything if I don’t write it down. I’ve been doing this since I was 10 — there’s no turning back now!

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  24. Erika

    12/11/2018

    I use 3 separate calendars, in addition to a notebook! I have my “master” planner that has client appts, scheduled and recurring to-dos, bills, personal appts, everything! Then my email calendar, which is only client appts and is accessed by my workplace, and my Google calendar, which is shared with my husband and includes everything family/household related! Nobody but me needs access to all the information so it has to be 3! Then a notebook for daily to-do lists! I spend time each weekend updating each calendar. I have a loose colour-coding system just so I can see if my day is work-heavy or lots of family stuff, and this helps me to see where I might be overscheduling myself. It’s a bit of a pain updating 3 separate calendars all the time but it does keep me on track! Managing a caseload of 30, plus two 8 month olds, a household and a husband requires organization!
    I’ve loved the look of your planners and lists for years, and your tips and tricks have been instrumental in helping me to find the system that works for me! Thank you!

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — what a great system! Thanks for sharing what works for you Erika!

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