Every year, right around December, I start planning for the upcoming year. I obviously don’t plan out the entire year but I do like to get a head start. In years past, I have always bought a planner but never really stuck to it. This year, I am determined to make my planner work for me and help me organize my crazy, busy schedule. I will show you my planner (and accessories) and talk a little bit about how I (try to) manage my day to day schedule with a business, a busy first grader’s activities and a toddler! I hope you enjoy it 🙂
This post contains affiliate links. I do receive a commission if you make a purchase through my link(s), which helps support my blog and allows me to bring you more great posts!
The Happy Planner® Mini: I love this little planner because it fits into my purse and I can take it with me wherever I go! You can also opt for the Classic Happy Planner if you want something a bit bigger. I chose this specific design because it fits me and my personality but there are several designs to choose from so pick what makes you happy!
Deluxe Cover: I bought this cover for my planner because not only is it gorgeous but it is super functional! It protects your planner and also has some great pockets to put stickers and other accessories. The downside of this cover is that there isn’t a lot of room to expand your planner. If you like to have a lot of accessories and pages, I suggest a snap-in hard cover like this one that can grow with your planner, along with some mini pocket folders like these for extra storage. If you also like to have a lot in your planner, I suggest getting these medium discs so you can expand.
I love the Daily Filler Paper by Create 365® for my day-to-day to-do lists. It’s great for breaking to-do items down by time of day. I am also really in love with the Note Paper by Create 365® as well. It’s great for jotting down quick notes. I also find these Dashboards to be helpful for separating my notes and to-do lists from the rest of my planner.
Stickers and Washi Tape:
Now stickers and washi tape are definitely not necessary but they do make planning so much fun! I love adding stickers to my daily plans to help liven them up and give me some motivation when I am feeling down or defeated. The washi tape is great for creating separate spaces for tasks and events on my daily planning pages. These are my go-to sticker sheets:
- Create 365® The Happy Planner® Mini Sticker Sheets, Planner Basics
- Create 365® The Happy Planner® Mini Sticker Sheets, Seasonal
- Create 365® The Happy Planner® Mini Sticker Sheets, Productivity
- Create 365® The Happy Planner® Mini Sticker Sheets, Mom
I love the Create 365® Washi Tapes as well because they come in different thicknesses and gorgeous colors/prints that are perfect for jazzzing up your planner.
I am SO in love with these Giant Crystal/Diamond Pens that I purchased from Amazon. They are ballpoint pens that come with a refill in case you run out of ink. I just think they are super pretty and fit my personality.
I also use these Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens to add some color-coded notes to my daily planning pages. These are super fine point pens but the ink is beautiful and dries fairly quickly so there is less chance of smearing. I also love that these pens do not bleed through the paper.
I did manage to purchase a few adorable planner clips and stickers from Planning Zen on Etsy. My favorite is this Sleepy Pastel Unicorn Planner clip. I also purchased some of these Boho Unicorn Vinyl Planner Stickers as well.
How I Stay Organized:
As a busy mom, it’s hard to keep track of everything. I try to stay organized by planning my week ahead of time. Things always come up and plans always change but I find that if I write down one or two tasks per day, that I need to get done, it’s better than trying to figure out what I need to do when I have free time.
- Start by taking a look at the week ahead – I usually sit down on a quiet day like Saturday or Sunday and plan my upcoming week.
- Utilize your stickers and washi tape – I use my stickers to mark holidays, days off, note when I need to work out or go grocery shopping, and make checklists for tasks I need to complete. I also use some of the inspiration stickers to offer motivational words to help me throughout the week.
- Set reasonable goals – I don’t have a lot of time during the week to get work done since I am still doing the nap-time hustle. I have a few hours a day to accomplish everything that I want/need to get done and solely having a running to-do list was not working for me. I decided to prioritize my larger to-do list and break it down to 1-2 tasks per day that I felt were reasonable to accomplish with my available time. Some days I am able to accomplish my daily tasks and move on to other items that I have on my “Do Later” list. Some days I am barely able to finish my tasks which is why I try to keep my goals reasonable.
- Plan your time wisely – Since I only set 1-2 reasonable goals for myself per day, I try to make sure that these tasks are not very time consuming. If I have a task that I know will take three hours to finish then I know that can be the only task for the day. When I sit down to plan for the week, I look at how much time I will have each day and look at the tasks I need to accomplish for the week to determine what can be done on which day (barring there are any deadlines that need to be met first.) If one of my kids has a time-consuming activity that requires my participation, I will make sure to not schedule any additional tasks for myself on that day.
These are my tips on how I stay organized. They are by no means foolproof and they may not work for everyone. It’s the method that works best for me at this point in my life and will certainly change and adapt as my kids get older. I just wanted to share what works for me and hopefully it will help some of you too! 🙂