I have been an Erin Condren enthusiast for years now. Everything she touches she makes beautiful and extremely practical! Just recently, I switched over to a vertical layout and it has totally changed the way I plan. When I first started out, I was using the horizontal layout and feeling limited while also having a hard time organizing all my plans efficiently.
Over the months of playing around I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to scheduling. I am one of those visual people that needs to see things written out on paper in order to collect my thoughts. Lucas says he admires my dedication, but didn’t quite understand it until just yesterday as I was trying to update my iCloud on my phone I accidentally wiped everything from my phone including all contacts, events, and even pictures #technologychallenged #Lucassavedtheday. Luckily, because I write everything down in my handy dandy planner (blues clues, anyone?), I only lost a handful of data instead of what could have been a detrimental catastrophe.
I love that the Erin Condren planners all have detachable front and back covers, making it convenient to switch out seasonally or whenever you’re itching for a change. I own four different patterns, but this latest palm leaf cover just might be my favorite.
Typically, I like to plan my week out on Sunday night when I know that my schedule for the following seven days are concrete with little to no change. I actually find it therapeutic to get cozy at my desk with a blanket, light a delicious smelling candle, pour myself some tea or decaf coffee, and write out my week.
As far as planning goes on a weekly basis, these are the tips I have learned to stay most efficient while also creating a visually cohesive and pretty layout. For some, this might seem unnecessary, but I like to look at it as a version of scrapbooking. I am able to document my life and at any point, look back at these pages and see what I was up to.
- I always find cute sticker bundles on Etsy to decorate my planner weekly. I tend to go for the stickers that are of actual purpose such as cute checkboxes or half boxes so that I can use them to organize my page more efficiently. Some of my favorite creators are: Addie&Allie, Whimsical Plans, and ScribblePrintsCo.
- I find that the “unique” stickers don’t seem to get as much attention in my drawer, but there are a few sheets that I reach for on a regular basis: grocery cart, puppy paws, meal planner, love speech bubbles, and date night.
- If your plans are not set in stone, write them on a sticky note as opposed to penning them in. You’ll always be able to go back later and write it down if it becomes a solid plan. That way your planner does not become cluttered with a bunch of scribbled out dates.
- Write out the small mundanities. For me that looks like “spin 6pm” or “work 7:30am”. Even though these are engraved in my brain and I have those times and days memorized, I like having it written down as motivation to cross out after completion and it’s always nice for reference to see how the weeks have gone by.
- Keep a sticky note off to the side for you to write down a running list of groceries. I like to meal plan on Sunday nights and as I’m looking at my week I’m able to gauge what I will need for the recipes or what we are running out of in the house.
- Take advantage of the “thankful thought” box in the top left corner. At first I thought it was incredibly cheesy, but for memories sake I like to write something down. Besides, it totally does help me to consciously be thinking positive. Spoiler: almost every week consists of Lucas!
- It’s okay to have dead space. I usually like to use the full box patterned stickers to help break up spots in my day where I don’t have anything planned. It helps round out the layout and make it breathable.
- Leave checkboxes for your unsure days. For me, Friday is normally up in the air. I like to always keep a checkbox list empty on that day because if during the week I was unable to get the laundry done or another task, I’ll just cross it out and add it to that list. Because I plan on Sunday nights, it makes it hard to foresee just what the end of my week will entail. I always go back and add more throughout the week depending on what’s going on.
- Don’t be so restrictive on the timing (for some, they feel better having their entire days mapped out from beginning to start, but that would drive me crazy!). I like having my written list for the day and getting to decide what non time-sensitive matters get finished first. PS: there’s now an hourly layout version for those who do well with time constrictions!
- Put music on and enjoy your planning/down time. If you own a planner, chances are you enjoy the creativity and visual aspect that comes with writing down all your thoughts.
Everyone schedules their life differently so it’s hard to narrow down just what tips you might find helpful as opposed to what works for me. My hope is that this was broad enough to apply to your own planning methods. What is your favorite tip for keeping an organized planner?