Friday, February 21, 2020

How I Organize My Planner (Day Designer)

Now that we are well into February and I feel like I have my planner organized how I want it to be, I can finally share that organization with y’all. Whenever I take to Instagram stories asking for requests for blog content, it seems to never fail that someone asks me to explain how I’ve organized my planner (even if it looks pretty similar year after year).



Some of you may remember that last year I opted to try out The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. I ultimately decided to give it a try because it measured out to be smaller than the Day Designer that I was loyal to from my sophomore year of college through my first year of the real world. While The Simplified Planner was, in fact, smaller in overall size, the thickness of it made it feel equally as large. Once in a meeting, our CEO (who has a tendency to joke around) asked me if I carried my bible to all of my meetings. Although she was kidding, it was a spot-on observation since the size of it really does resemble a bible. So this year, when it came time to make the important decision of which planner I was going to select, I knew it was time to go back to my tried and true.


What Planner I Chose
 Since The Simplified Planner didn’t necessarily feel much smaller than The Day Designer as you probably guessed, I went back to using a Day Designer this year, and I am so glad that I did. For one, I love that it matches most of my other planners (did I mention the weird fact that I save old planners to look back at because I do) when lined up on a shelf. I also LOVE the blue on blue design of the Perfectly Paisley cover I chose. Mine is the Daily Flagship planner offered on The Day Designer’s site; however, if you do want something smaller (but still equally as thick), you may want to try the Mini Daily Flagship. I’ll leave the size and cover design up to your personal preference.



Academic v. Yearly
I use the yearly calendar (starts in January) as opposed to an academic calendar (usually starts in July or August), and I did this for most of college as well despite still being a student. There is just something about starting the year with a blank calendar that I love. Now that I’m not in school or working on an academic calendar, I am glad that I have the yearly version even though it was a bit odd not having an entire school year in one planner back in college.

Supplies
In the same way that I can be a bit of a planner snob, I am also a pen snob. Since I don’t like the way my handwriting looks in pencil (anyone else?), I stick to solely using pens in my planner. Le Pens and Flair Pens are my go-to with Flair Pens being what I’ve been using lately since, over time, my Le Pens have run out of ink. I like the colors of them and that they write smoothly without smudging, but I would say that both brands fit that criterion.

Hopefully, none of you planner obsessed people freaked out when I said that I only use pens since I have a system when it comes to tentative plans. Since I now have a job where vacation days aren’t assigned to you, I use post-it notes on the monthly overview of my planner to represent vacation days I plan to take but haven’t yet requested or been approved to take. Once they are approved, I remove the post-it notes and write down my plans in pen to make the monthly spread look a bit more cohesive.

 

 

Color Coding
In college, I used to use upwards of six to seven different colors to denote various activities in my planner. Now that I am not juggling nearly as much, I’m down to a mere two colors in my planner, black and pink. If I were to want to add more color, I could write down blog things in here in another color and workouts in yet another one, but since I don’t do that, two colors it is. I use black to write down anything related to work and pink to write down various social activities like meals with friends, vacations, birthdays, weddings, etc. It makes my monthly overviews a bit less exciting since there aren’t as many colors, but it works well to help me mentally separate work and play.


Monthly Overview
Speaking of the monthly overview, I tend to use this for big picture things. Since I work for a magazine, this is where I write down big photoshoots as well as some of the meetings I have. This helps me keep the monthly spread from looking cluttered since there is a page for each day in the planner.

In addition to that, I write down fun activities on the monthly overview as well. Whether it’s a Superbowl party, meal plans, weddings, or vacations I’m taking, I like including more of these on the monthly overview. I think that I like this because it encourages me to make social plans with friends in advance so that I have something to look forward to. I wouldn’t necessarily write down reoccurring plans on the monthly overview, but as with anything organization wise, it’s best to do what works for you.


Daily Overview 
One requirement I have when it comes to choosing a planner is that it has a page for each day. I have very much so become accustomed to using planners that include hourly time slots and to-do lists on a page for me to use. The Day Designer has this, as does the Dapper Desk planner from Emily Ley.

Hourly
The hourly part of the daily overview always starts the same with me writing down what time work starts and ends. Any meetings I may have are written down in between, which helps me to visualize what my day may look like. Usually, there isn’t too much written down since I don’t have meetings daily (and I don’t write in what time I take my lunch), but writing them down when I do helps me to make sure that I don’t miss anything.



To-Do Lists
My friends love to make fun of the fact that I write down the simplest activities that you expect to do daily on my to-do list. While I know it may seem silly to write down showering on your to-do list, I do it because it’s something I plan to accomplish during the day. I like to sort of line up my to-do list with the hourly timelines on the page. For example, I put workout further down so that it lines up with what time I’m planning to take a workout class or go to the gym. This helps me to separate my work to-do list and personal to-do list while also time blocking in a sense.


Notes
This is one section that I don’t always use, but I do like having the option of having blank space to write in. I’ve gotten into the habit of writing down what workout I plan to do each day in this section and will sometimes write down blog post ideas or people/brands I need to email. I’ve also written down grocery lists or the meals I plan to make too, so you never really know what you’re going to find from me here.

I hope that this helped inspire you to get organized for the rest of the year. If you want to read more about how I’ve organized in the past, you can find those posts below.

My other planner organization posts:

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