inserts

Starting Fresh

It’s been quiet around here the last little while – on the blog I mean, not in real life – in real life there’s been a lot going on, but the reason for the blog silence is that I fell into planner limbo.

It all started with DIYfish..

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I LOVE the DIYfish inserts, I love how flexible they are and I think that the fold-out-able weekly and month view is pure genius. I loved using them, but I don’t have a lot of free time. I have a business to run and an autistic 3 year old to chase after, so the DIYfish ended up being too high maintenance for me.

Of course, by the time I had realised that DIYfish was too high maintenance for me, I had already RAK’d all my other inserts!

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So I was left with a system that wasn’t working for me and no back-up, and because it’s the end of the year, everything on the market right now is for 2015, not 2014.

Needless to say, panic ensued.

My first idea was to team up with a designer. Which was a great idea until we actually had to try and communicate (ha!). That didn’t work out – awkward!

But then, in a flash of inspiration I decided to create my own instead. I’m not really a DIY kind of gal so this was a big undertaking for me.

I can’t take full responsibility for the end result because the background design came from another free planner printable that I found on Pinterest a year ago and saved to my computer. I just worked over the top of it to personalise it to my needs.

Of course I can’t for the life of me find where the printable came from (I’ve been scouring Pinterest all morning!) so if they are yours, or you know where they came from, let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!

Here is what I came up with:

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I am not clever enough to figure out how to have the date appear on the pages, so I have to write them in myself, but I did the rest of the year last night and it only took 30 minutes so that’s not too bad:

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Here is a run-down of what each section is for:

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And here’s what it looks like in my planner:

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Overall I’m pretty happy and at least now I’m set for the rest of 2014.

I’ve got some Life is Crafted W02P pre-ordered for 2015 so they only have to get me through until then!

Prepping for the Month Ahead

If you read my post “How to Use a Planner to Get Organised” then you already know that being organised takes time. Aside from the daily “visiting hours” I wrote about in that post, I also have a planning session before the start of each new week, and each new month.

Today I’m sharing how I prepare my planner for the month ahead.

Preparing for the Month Ahead

My monthly planning session has 3 simple steps, some months will naturally be more complicated than others, but this process should give you a good place to start.

Step 1: Separate Your Weeks

This first step has been a huge time saver for me.

Having daily pages – or in my case, day on TWO pages, means that you have a lot of pages in your planner each month.

When I was first transitioning from my week on two pages set up I found it very frustrating flipping between pages and often wasted a lot of time trying to find the right page. So, I created this system to help me easily identify each week in the month.

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Each weeks get a different colour so that I can more easily find any date I need.

For people who have a week on 2 pages, this system could still work for differentiating between the months in your planner.

You could also do it on the side edge, but I like to keep that blank so I can still use the DIYfish indexing system.

Added bonus – it makes your planner look extra pretty!

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Step 2: Customise Your Pages

One of the things I love about the DIYfish inserts is that they are so plain, which sounds like a bad thing, but it actually makes them really customisable for whatever you need.

My monthly prep includes washi taping the blank second page into sections to make it more usable for what I need.

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I also use a custom stamp from Etsy to put my daily tracking prompts.

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I also add some little motivation stickers and stuff like that. Some people like to theme out their pretty pages, but I am far too style challenged to do that!

Step 3: Transfer Your Information

I have three places where I store information that needs to be put into my inserts at the start of each month.

  1. Monthly Inserts – I only have one month at a time of daily inserts in my planner, but I keep an entire year of monthlies in there so the monthly pages collect a lot of information as I go.
  2. Important Dates – I have a page entitled “Dates to Remember” in my planner. On that page I write anything that will need to be scheduled, but isn’t necessarily important enough to go into my Monthly page. So, appointments that need to be made, but don’t have a set day yet, or general tasks that won’t fit in the small monthly page.
  3. Perpetual Calendar – I keep my Erin Condren perpectual calendar in the back pocket of my planner. It has all of my important recurring dates throughout the year – birthdays & anniversaries mainly. When adding these dates to my planner, I not only put a note on the date itself, but also a reminder the week before to get a card or gift.

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These 3 small steps give me a great foundation for planning throughout the month.

Next up I’ll show you how to use this foundation to help with weekly goal setting, priority planning and daily tracking. Make sure you follow the blog so you don’t miss out – and remember to become a fan of the Peaceful Parent Facebook Page.

Planner – 1st Look – DIYfish

If you read my TABS planner post, you’ll know that I’m currently transitioning from Life is Crafted Wo2P inserts to DIYfish Do2P inserts. I’m only 3 days into using the DIYfish inserts at the moment, but I’m really enjoying them so I wanted to do a quick photo post to show you how I’m using them. I’ll do a more comprehensive post in a couple of weeks to explain how I’m using each section, but for now here are some pretty planner pictures!

First Look – DIYfish Inserts

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Current Set-up – Inserts

Continuing on from the post about the tabs in my current set-up, I wanted to share some photos of the inserts that I have been using for the last year.

If you read the previous post, you’ll already know that for the last year I have had planner peace with my Filofax A5 Holborn Zip, with Life is Crafted week on 2 pages inserts.

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I would have been happy to stay with this set up FOREVER – that’s how great the LIC inserts are, but my life is getting busier and busier and these days I just need MORE space than the Life is Crafted allows for, so I’m transitioning into another system. But before I do, I wanted to give a shout-out to Arienne at Life is Crafted because these inserts have been amazing for me and I want everyone to know about them!

How I Use LIC Inserts

The top section of the Wo2p is blank so it can be used for anything you like. I use that section for meal planning and to record my daily Flylady tasks.

The dated section has times running from 8am-8pm, which didn’t really suit my schedule since I usually work well into the night, so rather than use that for timed appointments I just kind of added work commitments in, in the order that they needed to be tackled. If I ever have a time sensitive appointment (like the doctor for example) I’ll add it in on a piece of washi so it stands out.

In the blank line at the top of the dated section I put my husbands work schedule. He is on a roster system so his work times change every week.

During the week pictured above we had my Mum visiting from out of town as you can see from the banner stickers.

The top 3 priorities I usually leave blank, my priorities are a little more broad so I always filled in the ‘top 3 priorities for week’ section in the top right corner instead.

In theĀ to do today area I plan out my daughter’s learning activities for the week.. I usually have that section filled out about 6 weeks in advance.

The remember! area is used to keep track of people’s birthdays, and I also put a reminder in the week prior to birthdays so I can remember to mail a card.

On the right hand side is the top 3 weekly priorities section which I mentioned above, then there are some blank boxes which I use to keep track of work that needs to be billed as well as any outstanding invoices. Then at the bottom is a gratitude box, where I end the week by writing 5 things I’ve been grateful for in the week.

When a task is completed it gets a tick, and if it needs to be rescheduled it gets a line through it with an arrow to show that it was moved elsewhere.

Usually by the end of my week my planner looks more like this:

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That’s a different week than the one pictured above obviously but it will give you a bit of an idea of why I need to transition to a system with more room!

I had intended to move into the Life is Crafted day to a page – I even bought them – but I found that not being able to see an overview of my week was stressing me out, so I’m now moving into the DIYfish inserts which give me even more room with 2 pages per day, plus I can see both my weekly and monthly view all at one time. (sorry Arienne!)

I’m already using the DIYfish weekly and monthly pages, but I’ll update the blog again when I’m completely moved in and let you all see how I’m using them.