Updated: Mar 4, 2019
Happy 2019, my friends! I hope everyone is off to a great start. One of my passions is planning. I started out in a Franklin Planner about 28 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Once I found YouTube and all the different planner channels, that took me to a whole new level. I discovered the Erin Condren Life Planner, The Happy Planner by MAMBI, and a plethora of other planners that I became obsessed with. Over the past 2 years I dabbled around mostly in the Life Planner and the Happy Planner...switching back and forth between the two every month or so. I just couldn't seem to find planner peace, however. I loved the thought of mixing my love of scrapbooking and planning to one entity, but something just didn't feel right to me. I missed the two pages per day in my Franklin and found myself trying to re-create it in my other planners. I also liked the idea of a week at a glance but, then again, something was just off...it felt too disorganized, messy. So a couple of months ago, I decided to go back to my tried and trusty Franklin Planner. And you know what? I finally have planner peace! I don't regret using the other planners because I really learned what I wanted from a planner by using them. I have since added all the sections I feel are important to have with me and I can still use all the stickers from my ever growing sticker collection that I have been growing for the past couple of years. I had a really hard time deciding between a compact size planner and a classic size. Well, I ended up getting both and I am utilizing them for different purposes. Today I am going to focus on my classic size Franklin, discussing each section and it's flow. So if anyone out there is as passionate about planning as I am and interested in how I utilize my Franklin Planner, then please continue reading!
I have based my planner loosely on the Getting Things Done Method by David Allen. I haven't read the book, not yet at least, but have taken the main principles from several YouTube videos that I watched. I really like this method, it makes sense to me and the best part....it works for me. I believe thats the most important part of a planner...it has to work for you and help you to be more productive. So my sections are divided as follows:
1. A "Brain Dump" area or a place for all of my unorganized thoughts to go whenever I'm needing some brain space. I eventually will take this information and organize it by writing it in the various other sections each task needs to go. I hope that makes sense.
2. A running shopping list area that I can keep lists of the things I need from the stores that I like to shop at. I also keep a pocket folder behind this section so that I can store coupons, receipts, etc.
1. This is my workhorse section...where most of my ideas and thoughts go. The first divider is my planner guide. This comes with the planner inserts when you order from Franklin Planner. I love the planner guide and refer to it quite often. It gives recommendations on how to achieve your highest priorities by utilizing the planner inserts (monthly, weekly and daily pages). It's very helpful to me.
2. My next divider is my planning calendars. This section lists holidays and observances all the way up to 2023 as well as future planning calendars through 2021. It's nice to have this space to write in future plans like weddings, vacations, etc. I also purchased the yearly foldout calendar and placed it in this section for school schedule purposes. I color code and highlight the beginning and end of the school year, early dismissals, late starts, holidays and school breaks. It makes it very easy to figure out what is going on for the school year when I am planning monthly.
3. This next section, my monthly and daily planning calendars, are what get used the most.
I love the index on each monthly section and really missed it when I was trying out other planners. I write down any important info on my daily notes and then write the date down on my index. If I need to refer to something that I wrote down, all I have to do is look on the index to find it. I never thought I would utilize it but I am finding it to be a very useful tool for me.
My monthly calendar holds all of mine and my family's scheduled events like birthdays, anniversaries, sports practices and games as well as holidays. I refer to it almost daily and I love it! I like to decorate the calendar also to make it fun to add a touch of color and fun. On the back of the monthly calendar is a page for personal and business master task lists. I love this section and tend to write down all the monthly tasks I want to accomplish as well as the goals I want to accomplish for the month. There is also another index on the opposite side of the master task list. In January I used this page for habit tracking my cleaning tasks...I liked doing that so I may do it again for February.
The Daily pages are what I missed most I think when I was using other planners. I used the daily pages so much before planning with Erin Condren and The Happy Planner and was really sad when I didn't have them anymore. I actually made my own daily pages in the the Happy Planner, but then it got too bulky and I just ended up frustrated. I am so happy to have these 2 pages per day back. The thing I really like about them is that I feel like I have so much room to write whatever I need and still have a lot of room to write my tasks, schedule, track daily expenses, etc. Some days I like to journal on the notes page, other days it's used for big task lists or research notes from a webinar or article I am reading. That's the cool part...I can make it anything I want. I have also been writing daily gratitude lists, doodling, just writing out thoughts and ideas that are running around my head. I really enjoy the freedom I get from these 2 pages every day.
Thats what is so nice about the Franklin Planner system...You get so many pages to customize your planner to whatever works for you. And at the end of the year I love to look back and see how my planning style has changed and evolved to fit my lifestyle. Because just like life, I believe your planner should change as you do and flow with you through each season of your life. I enjoy change and so I love seeing how my planning style flows throughout the year. My Franklin Planner has been the only planner that has ever given me planner peace and I am just so happy I have come back to it.
4. Ok, enough about my favorite section of my planner, lets move on to my project divider. I have a project index of all the projects I want to accomplish. I only allow myself, at most, 4 active projects at one time, otherwise it gets too overwhelming to me. I consider a project something with two or more steps involved to accomplish the project. So vacation planning, cleaning and organization projects, home renovation...these are things I consider projects. I make steps for my projects and then work on a couple of steps whenever my schedule allows throughout the month until I accomplish the project. I usually give myself deadlines for the for most of my projects so they don't drag on for months at a time . My project steps go into my monthly master task list.
5. The last divider in my Actionable section is my delegate divider. This section contains any tasks that I am delegating to someone else...mostly my hubby, but also volunteers at school, my son, or anyone that I need to help me out by doing a task that I cannot do for whatever reason. Once its complete, it gets checked or highlighted off.
1.The first section of my non-actionable area is my reference files. These files are divided into four domains and contain information that I like to have on hand to refer to when needed. These domains are: Personal, Home, Family and Professional/Business.
Personal: My personal reference area contains my current mission statement, values and goals, my list section of books I want to read, movies/shows I want to see, places I would like to travel, stuff I want for myself, things I want to learn about. My monthly habit tracking calendar also lives in my personal file. My faith planning section holds various bible studies I would like to complete, faith based movies or music to listen to, podcasts, basically just anything faith related to help me learn more about God and develop a closer relationship with Him.
Home: My home references include meal planning and recipe ideas, favorite meals and snacks; a daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal chores section; a finance and budget section.
Family: My family references contain key information about our health and medical info.; school information; community/volunteering information; holiday and events; family routine templates; family activity ideas.
Professional/Business: This area has mostly ideas for blog posts, continuing education ideas to maintain my Registered Dietitian status and Certified Health Coach status; a summary of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and True Leadership notes from the Franklin Covey Leadership planner inserts.
2. The second area in my non-actionable section is called the someday-maybe list. Its a term taken from the David Allen's Getting Things Done principles and it basically is a dream or bucket list, at least for me. I write items on this list of things I would like to do in the future. I find that the non-actionable section to be a very important part of my planner because it holds my dreams within it and what I really want to accomplish with my life.
Overall, I really enjoy my planner set up this year and think that I will be really productive and accomplish the goals I set out for myself. I hope you found this informative or at least enjoyable to peruse through. If anyone is interested in how I plan daily, weekly and monthly send a comment! I would be happy to write about my planning process.
Cheers for a Wonderful 2019,
The Binder I am using this year is The Franklin Covey Basics Unstructured Leather Binder in Classic size...Brown.
The inserts I am using this year are The Franklin Covey Seasons Classic, Two Pages Per Day.
The Pens I am loving right now are the PaperMate InkJoy in 1.0 M.
The Highlighter I am using now are the Zebra Mildliners double ended highlighters.