It is pretty much the middle of January so I figured it is time to pull myself out of the holidays and get organized for the New Year…you know, clean up, set some goals, get things in order a bit. I fell off the planner bandwagon for a couple of weeks around the holidays and the beginning of the New Year was a little bit rough, so my fresh start has been a bit delayed. I say, “better late than never”. Here we go…
My big planner purchase this year was the Martha Stewart Discbound Notebook from Staples. After reading a post by Krystal of Krystal’s Kitsch post about her new blog planner, and seeing her and so many other bloggers rave about it, I thought I would give it a go. I like that it is completely customizable, so I should be able to alter it as needed as time goes on (versus buying a new planner every year, or even every time I need to change my system). The planner comes with 60 sheets of ruled paper too, perfect for my day-to-day planning.
I made the dividers myself by tracing dividers I already had, cutting, and laminating some scrapbook paper. I am dividing my sections into “daily”, “menus”, and “blog” for now and the rest of the sections are empty. I am opting to keep it small and add as I need it. Little bites…
For the “Daily” section, I am sticking to ruled paper. I have tried planners with the dates/days already laid out on each page and I find it just is a huge waste of space for me. My days sometimes blend into one, some days I don’t look at a planner (I know, naughty!), and some days are so packed while others are empty. I opted for empty pages that I can customize as I need. That allows me to doodle, add my washi, post-its, or stickers, and lay out my days as I see fit. For now I am keeping ‘work’ on one side of the page and ‘home’ on the other so that I can see everything while still having it separated.
In my “menu” section, I have a place for me to write down my meal plan for the week ahead. I found this cute planner that I printed from Everyday Enchanting. Eventually I would like to have a sheet that lists breakfast, lunch, and dinner since I will be making Miss Moira’s breakfast and lunch once she goes to Kindergarten in the fall. Right now my kids get breakfast and lunch at their daycare, so this works.
I am armed with my eMeals plan for the week(s) ahead too. I purchased the natural and organic for two, and although I don’t stick to the menu exactly every week, it is a good guideline and always there when I am stuck or short on time for making a menu. We might have to add as side, or increase the quantities slightly when preparing the meal, but the dishes have always been tasty and easy enough to make.
I also included some info from 100 Days of Real Food for shopping, meals, and general ‘real food’ inspiration. Visit the site for some great lists of “Real Food” Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner ideas, as well as a Six Week School Lunch Meal Plan that is only available for the next two weeks. The school lunches that Lisa packs for her girls are so well put together and healthy, and I might be jumping ahead here, but I got mine.
In my “blog” section, I have a weekly blog planner printable from Everyday Enchanting, just to help me stay on task each day. I have 2 consecutive weeks across from each other so I can see 2 weeks at a time. I have a separate blog planner that acts as my editorial calendar with the same set up I have used for months with much success. The post-it notes method allows me to color code and move around dates without shredding my planner to bits with a pencil eraser.
The whole process has taken me a couple of days, but I am so far pleased with my planner. It is not too far off from a binder I kept a couple of years ago, with success actually, that got lost in a heap when we moved. I am pretty excited about my fresh start to organizing my days.
Do you have any planners or printables that keep you organized or sane? Share the link so I can check them out!