Bonus post today people. I’m aiming high this week! As I mentioned last Sunday, I’m featuring my first guest blogger today, Merrit from Label Me Organized!
Merrit connected almost a year ago over our mutual blogs about rentals and of course, organizing. She has such wonderful ideas which eventually led to her Etsy shop full of fantastic printables to help organize your day to day life. I adore lists and calendars, but mine are mixed about on my phone, in notebooks, white boards, printed cleaning lists… I love how streamlined all her info is.
Take a look!
Hello L’amour Chez Nous readers! I am so excited to be here today to share with you how I keep myself organized using my planner. Life can definitely get a little hectic at times, there always seems to be somewhere I need to be or something I need to be doing. It can all be a little much to keep straight in my head, so I use my planner to keep it all organized for me!
Instead of always trying to keep my schedules, lists and to-dos in my head, I just dump it all into my planner. My planner goes with me everywhere, so I am never without all the information it holds. That way, if I happen to be out when I schedule an appointment, or remember I need to do laundry that night, I can simply write it in my planner and not worry that I will later forget!
Since my planner holds so much information, I found it necessary to color code what goes into it. This way, when I look at my calendar, instead of having to read each individual entry to find out what is going on that day, I can easily see at a glance which areas I have something planned for.
I keep a color coding cheat sheet right in the front of my planner. This way, if I ever forget what color goes with a certain category, I can just take a peek at the front of my planner to quickly remind myself.
I also like to keep a dashboard of page flags at the ready in the front of my planner. I use these to jot down quick notes to myself that may not need to be put directly on my calendar, but need to be remembered none-the-less.
To help keep things organized within my planner, I split things up into sections. I decided on five main sections, which included my calendar, lists, money, work and blog.
The first thing in my calendar section is my monthly calendar. I know, ground breaking stuff. At the beginning of each month, I write out all the plans I have for that month. This page serves as a basic overview for my month ahead.
After my monthly calendar, I have my, wait for it…. weekly calendars! Each Sunday, I sit down and plan out the week ahead of me. I use the basic schedule I wrote out on my monthly calendar, and add in some more details, and appointments or plans I’ve made recently.
Between each of the week pages, I keep smaller pages for my daily to-do lists. Each page gets dated, and I list out all the things I want to accomplish that day. If I’m able to complete the task, it gets a check. If not (which may or may not happen more often than I’d like to admit) the task simply gets moved to the next day.
On the back of the last to-do list page, I keep our meal plan for the week. Now I’m not the cook of the family, but I still like to know what to expect for dinner.
Finally, at the end of my calendar section, I keep a ‘future’ dashboard. This is where I keep plans that are so far in the future I haven’t printed out calendar pages for that date yet. This may be plans made anywhere from a month to a year or more in advance. I keep a little sticky note on my future dashboard until I print the calendar pages where the plans can be written in.
Next up is the section I have for all my various lists. I am a list maker at heart, so it only made sense to include a whole section to keep them at hand. This section holds everything from a long term to-do list to a running list of gift ideas for the special people in my life.
To help remember what lists I have going, and to easily find the one I’m looking for, I keep a table of contents in the front of the section. Then I write the page number on the bottom of each list to easily sort through the various pages.
Then I have my section for keeping track of my finances. I have a few pages in this section to help me stay on top of my money. First I have a budget worksheet so I can track my spending in major areas. I print out a new budget page for each month.
At the beginning of each month, I write out the target amount I’d like to spend in each major category (food, rent, utilities etc.). Then at the end of the month, I fill in what I actually spent. Then I record the difference between the budgeted and actual amounts. If I’m under budget, wonderful! If I’m over budget, I either need to work harder next month to stay within budget, or I need to rework the amount of money I budget for that category.
After my budget pages, I keep some monthly calendars. I use these calendars to keep track of my paychecks and bills that are due throughout the month.
As I receive a bill, I add it into this calendar. Then once the bill gets paid, it gets x-ed out. This system has made it super easy to keep track of all my bills. I know exactly how much I owe for the rest of the month, and I never forget if I’ve paid a bill yet.
Finally, I have my work, blog and home sections. These sections mostly hold blank pieces of lined paper that I can use to jot down ideas or notes as I need to. These sections have no real structure, but they are always useful to have with me. Currently in my home section, I have our moving schedule. It has been super helpful having this schedule with me at all times, so I always know what is scheduled to be moved next.
That wraps up my planner! I hope you guys enjoyed peeking through how I organize my everyday life, and I hope you picked up some helpful tips for organizing your own planner. If you liked the printables I used in my planner, most of them are available in my Etsy shop. For more planner and organizational posts, you can find me on my blog Label Me Organized. And a huge thank you to Lauren for having me over to share on her wonderful blog! She is such a sweetheart and it is such a pleasure to be able to contribute here on L’amour Chez Nous!
Love this! Whether you keep your info stored electronically like me or on paper like Merrit, she has such wonderful tips. I already have systems for most of those areas, but her budget systems inspired me!
My budget is less than organized to say the least, and going back to school next year, I need to get a hold on it all. Especially her note about scheduling bill payments into your calendar. So simple! Why didn’t I think of that?
(Seriously, it’s a bit embarrassing. My hydro company just sent us a bill warning us they would shut off the service if we didn’t pay our bill. How ridiculous and unlike me is that??)
Which tips inspired you? Any that you’d like to put into practice? My bill due dates are going into my calendar right away, let me tell you!