The 5 Planner Pages I Can't Live Without
Since I've been designing planners for years now, it's probably time I shared exactly which ones I use - to give you a peek inside my planner so to speak!
Now don't be shocked, because it's honestly very, very simple! Even though I make hundreds of planners, over the years I've spent a lot of time working out exactly what I need and what I don't, and generally that comes down to space. I have big, messy handwriting, I only use black gel pens, and I love to have loads of space and room to write notes and ideas.
At one time I had heaps of pages - heaps! - and it ended up being more confusing than anything else. So slowly I have whittled it down to only including what I really need and use everyday.
This year I'm using my Frankie design planners in Silk, and it is hands down my favorite of all the planners. I know it's not the popular choice; it was one of my earliest designs but still has an awesome look that feels fresh and up to date. There's something about those big, bold Bebas headings, the hash border and that delicate pink that I just love.
Anyway, if you'd like to know which pages I use everyday, here you go :)
1. Accounts & Membership Pages
Again, not my most popular pages, but I rely on these everyday. I have about 8 pages printed out and they live in a section of my planner - and I must say, it is THE most used section of my diary.
I keep all our business memberships and logins, bank information, health care, license numbers, passport numbers, superannuation details - basically, if it comes with a number or login it's in there. Now just before you panic, I don't include our passwords, and everything is a little skewed - just in case I ever lose my planner.
These pages are so handy when I'm on the phone or filling in forms and someone needs a few different numbers for ID purposes. I mean seriously - all your numbers on a few pages - it makes everything so easy. If I had to recommend just one of my planners to help you get organized, these pages would be it.
2. Notes Pages
As someone who writes copious amounts of notes, these are essential to my planner. Some people can plan a whole campaign in their head, I need to have a pen and paper and plan things out long hand, so I use heaps of these all the time.
I use them for long term ideas, planning projects and the occasional to-do list. I also use them as reference pages - I have a style guide for the blog, as well as perpetual diaries and best practices for office work.
3. Start Today Daily Planner
I've only just started using this planner this year, and it's been awesome. A weekly layout was getting too small to fit in everything I needed each day, and it was time to up it to a daily planner. The thing I love most about this planner is it's flexibility - with no headings it's really easy to make it work the way I need it to on various days e.g. the to-do list can be used for to-dos on weekdays and groceries on weekends.
I tend to put all my reminders on the lined section, to-do's in the list, and leave the bottom section for social media/campaign notes or home stuff - that said, some days it's an extension of my to-do list! And I've found that having that to-do list down the side helps me get so much more stuff done - I can plan and slot things in to days I'm working on specific projects, and then whichever office I'm in, I just work down the list and stuff magically gets done. Anything not done gets transferred to the next day I'm working on that project.
This planner format has been really brilliant because there's heaps of room for my handwriting, heaps of room for plenty of notes, and room to make mistakes. But also because there's room to define down what I'm doing step by step which helps me focus and work a lot faster and more efficiently.
4. Housework Planner
Housework is one of those time-consuming, banal realities of life - it drives me nuts how much time I spend doing the same things over and over again. No sooner is it beautifully clean, than it's destroyed again. Seriously, it's like groundhog day or the trials of Atlas... anyway, I can whinge all I like, but it's not going away anytime soon, so here's how I deal with it - by using my housework planner.
I use the daily housework pages, and have a three page list of stuff I need to do or check each day. If I do it everyday it only takes 30 minutes and the house stays looking amazing. If I don't (ahem, looking around today...) it's a disgrace.
For some reason, when I have this little tick list to work down, it makes cleaning so much easier and simpler - I can just fly through it and enjoy it - perhaps because there's an 'end' in sight - all I have to do is complete the list and I know everything will look good and won't get out of control. When I don't have this list to work from, I'm all over the place and the house just gets crazy.
Now I don't actually keep this list in my planner - it lives on a clipboard which sits in my 'clutter' basket. This is just a lovely old basket I carry around the house as I clean and dump everything that needs to go elsewhere in. As I go around, I fill and empty the basket, and tick chores off my list. If something doesn't need doing, I don't do it, but I make sure I've checked. It's easy - and even better with some good Spotify playlists :)
5. Dinner Planner
The dinner planner is brilliant for planning meals, and saves me a heap of stress! We have the same types of things for breakfast and lunch each day, so the only things I really plan are our dinners.
I plan our dinners by starting with the 'meat' component. This is the most expensive part of a meal, and planning it this way prevents me spending too much, so maybe once a week we'll have Atlantic salmon ($$$), but I'll balance it by having sausages ($) another night. I also find planning like this is great to make sure the types of meat are balanced out - so we're not eating heaps of beef or chicken, and we get plenty of fish in there too.
After I plan the meat, I generally head to the supermarket, buy what I need and top up any pantry staples, and go to town with seasonal fruit and veg. Then when I get back home I'll fill in the rest of the planner with actual meals based on that seasonal veg. So for the salmon, I'll pan fry it and do it as a Poke bowl with a sticky sauce, put it over pappardelle with gremolata, or just have it with mash and vegies - depending on what's in season and looked good at the store.
I find this to be a really flexible way to plan, and it suits me because I get to stick with the tried and true meals everyone will eat when I'm busy, or when I'm feeling creative I can try something new. And it takes into account all those lovely seasonal vegies and 'specials' you pick up at the store :)
So there we go! Even though I make hundreds of different planners for different people, it is these five that I rely on and can't live without - they help make our world go round!
You don't have to have heaps of pages in your planner, just a few great ones that you really need and use - simple is best! So which planner pages do you rely on and need the most? Which ones do you never even look at? And what are your top five 'can't live without' pages?
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