I'm sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I spent most of the week at the pottery studio trying to make as much stuff as I could before the last day to make pots (Thursday). I still have class until the end of the month, but we'll just be working on glazing and a Raku firing.
I've also been working on my planner and getting all of our paperwork filed. The filing is still a big mess, but my planner is pretty much done. I think I might still want to cover the binder in cloth to make it a little prettier, but as far as function goes, it's done. I got the idea to make my own planner from Schofield's Confessions of an Organized Homemaker. I've bought planners before and usually didn't use half of the things it came with. Her idea was to make your own specifically tailored to fit your life. It's one of those "Duh, why didn't I think of that?" ideas and it makes a huge difference in staying organized.
I put the planner together a couple months ago, not buying too much for it and mostly using stuff I had on-hand. Jimmy already had a small binder that I could have and I made my own dividers using posterboard leftover from making a photographer's lightbox a while back.
All I ended up buying were monthly and weekly calendar pages (too much effort to make myself), adhesive tabs for labelling the dividers, and specially sized notebook paper.
Oh, Jimmy also had some smaller-sized page protectors because he wants to make a recipe binder. I used those for awhile but they didn't work out too well for me. They poked out past the divider tabs so I couldn't read the ones in the back.
I waited to buy anything else for the planner so that I could suss out what I actually needed vs. what I just wanted. This past week, I finally bought a small ziploc pouch for supplies, business card pages, and adhesive pockets. I also bought some pretty page markers and a giant rubber band to hold it all together. Those were just for fun though.
Okay, so let's get to the completed planner.
You first see the front pocket. In here I keep my larger lists, envelopes, etc. that I might need during the course of the day that don't fit in the other sections. For example, I had a childbirth class on Sunday, so I had the registration letter and the receipt for payment of the class in there. They wouldn't stay there all the time, but I wanted them handy in case I needed them. I also have a MUJI ziploc bag for receipts in this pocket. I used to keep those in my wallet, but they would quickly take over and threaten to bust the zipper. This way I can at least unfold them so they aren't so bulky. I put one of the smaller adhesive pockets here to hold future business cards for my Etsy shop. (And they'll cover up that ugly logo.) The zip pouch holds pens, stamps, post-its, the aforementioned pretty page markers, paperclips, and a small ruler for making a perfect scratch-out line.
The calendar section is basic. I have the monthly ones up front, followed by weekly. For the weekly section, I not only have appointments and events jotted down, but that is where I also put my daily to do list. I have a simple system set up. I put a box next to each action and either check it off as I complete it or 'x' it if the event was cancelled or I decided not to go/do it for whatever reason. If I just didn't get around to it, I leave the box blank, highlight the action, and then put an arrow next to it, indicating that it should be done at a later date. Usually it gets completed that same week, but if it doesn't, I don't bother moving it onto the next week because it obviously wasn't too urgent. I do make sure that it is on my running to do list though (later about that). I use the notes section of each week to put any information that would take up too much room on the daily page, like addresses, directions, etc.
The next section is "Goals". I used the adhesive pocket to put a copy of my 30 Before Thirty list so that I stay motivated. I don't like having to cut the paper to fit in the pocket or writing super tiny, but I still like these better than the page protectors. This section is where I also put my running to do list. These are items that need to be done but don't necessarily have a deadline. As you look over your daily to do list and maybe find some free time, check the running to do list to see if there is something you can do check off from that. For example, say I have a trip to Hobby Lobby for art supplies on my daily to do list. I can check my running to do list and see that I want to take donations by Goodwill. Goodwill is close to Hobby Lobby, so I can drop them off on the way. Bam, two things done with little expended energy.
This is the "Purchases" section. The adhesive pocket will eventually hold a master grocery list, with everything we buy and what brands we like (Jimmy can be picky about his granola bars). I will refer to this when writing out the weekly grocery list. I also have a business card page for punch cards from various eateries. I don't currently have any because the Marble Slab cards expired four years ago and apparently Freebirds doesn't use a punch card anymore, it's a swipe card now. Whatever. Behind that is a page where I write out some of our typical dinners and what ingredients we need for it. Obviously I need to write out some more, but those occurred to me quickly.
In this same section, I have cards from places I like to shop (this. is. SPARTAN!). Ahem. Then I have my want/wish list for non-grocery items. It could be anything like office supplies for organizing or it could be something nice I saw while I was out shopping for something else. This is a good way to cut down on impulse buying. If I still want it after a few weeks, then it's probably a good purchase. I have my IKEA list in here too. We go every few months and we're usually buying for multiple projects/parts of the house so it's hard to remember what all we needed when it comes time for the trip.
This is the "Projects" section. I haven't used this section as much as I thought I would. It's not that I'm not working on projects right now, I'm just not in the habit of using it. I have a different page for Home, Art/Crafts, Garden/Farm, and Gifts. I also put a business card section here for pottery studio and art supply store cards. Is it weird that I want to start collecting business cards wherever I go now to fill up my pages? Anyway, the organizing book I mentioned earlier suggested writing down, step by step, what you need to do to complete each project. That seems a little overkill to me, but this would be a good spot to put a supply list.
The "Media" section. I have a page each for Books, Movies/TV, Music, and Web. This is handy when I'm out and maybe I pick up an interesting book, but I want to read reviews about it or see if I can get a better price on it online. Sure, I could do that from my iPhone in the store, but I prefer to do it later and then save up to get it if it sounds good. The same thing goes for movie trailers I see or websites I hear about. I mostly use the Music section for ideas I have for a mix CD. This section is one of my favorites and very useful, but it's not something you'll find in a readymade planner.
The "Household" section. Here is where I store paint chips that have been used around the house and I also made of list of which color was used where and the paint code. This is the only section where I used a page protector, mostly because the paint chips don't seem to block the few like a full page does and they wouldn't fit in the adhesive pocket besides which. I also have a page where I wrote down the room and window dimensions for our house. This would be really useful if you were remodeling. I'm sure it will get a workout the next time we move.
The last section I just titled "People". I have the addresses of family and close friends only, ones I might actually need when away from home. I plan to get a separate address book for all of our addresses, which are currently spread all over the house on index cards or on a spreadsheet somewhere. The adhesive pocket will eventually contain a birthday/special occasion list so that I won't have to refer back to an old calendar when I update for the next year. At the very back, I have another business card page for various doctor's offices, including the veterinarian.
Here it is closed and bound with a patterned gigantic rubber band. I think I still want to cover it in fabric. It's a little too office-y right now. It is kind of bulky and heavy in my bag, but I always carry a big bag so it's not that big a deal. The extra weight is worth it for the usefulness of having it with me always.
Also, check out my haul from the library book sale today!
This entire bunch only cost $11.50! Awesome, right? And yes, that is a DVD copy of Tremors. I just told Jimmy the other day that I haven't seen the unedited version of this movie in years and then the DVD pops up in the strangest of places. "I can't believe we said no to free beer!" God, I can't wait to watch it again.
Jimmy was really cute about picking out books for the baby. These were my favorite finds. An old illustrated edition of Winnie the Pooh and a book with illustrations by Maurice Sendak, of Where the Wild Things Are fame.