Planner Tips for a More Organized Life

Hey planner girl! I see you there, struggling to keep all of the facets of your life running smoothly. It's not always easy to do, am I right?! This is definitely something I struggle with and even though I use a paper planner (usually more than one), I still find myself getting frazzled and stressed at times. If this is something you have experienced, then keep reading, because today I am going to share a few tips that I have learned, that help me to maintain a more organized life.

Planner Tips

1. Designate a day and time for planning.

It may seem redundant that you have to "plan time for planning," but for me, it is the only way I can remain consistent. We all start the planning process with good intentions. We buy our new, pristine, paper planner. We set goals and create a daily routine. We are ready to conquer the world! This may last a couple of weeks or even a month, but then life gets in the way. It's not that we are lazy. It's not that we don't want to plan. It's simply that we lose track of that time. The easiest way to not lose track of that time is to schedule it. Block off the time needed. Write it in that pretty planner of yours. For me it is Sunday afternoon or evening, depending on what our plans look like. Every week I write it down and that makes me accountable to do it. 

2. Choose a system that works for you.

Planners are not a "one size fits all" concept. That's why there are so many options! I know the sheer amount of different types of planners can be overwhelming, but it is important to pick a system that will suit your needs. Think about what you will be recording in your planner and the areas of your life that need to be tracked. Also, think about the type of goals you want to set for yourself and how you will turn those goals into actions. If you find that you are going long periods of time without using your planner, then it may be time for you to reevaluate your system. Don't be afraid to try something new or to ditch something that hasn't been working well for you. Sometimes it's a game of trial and error.

3. Use sticky notes for future planning.

I don't know who was the first person to come up with this idea, but it is a popular one amongst the planner community. The reason I use sticky notes for future plans, is because quite simply, plans change. When I am doing my weekly planning, I write everything directly in the planner, but if I have an appointment or day-specific task, that is more than a month out, I will write it on a sticky note and put it on the day it needs to go on. This prevents a lot of chaotic scribbling out and rewriting of things and it just helps put my mind at ease. Obviously, there will still be some things that get written in the planner itself, that get rescheduled and have to be crossed out, but this practice just limits that.

4. Create categories or sections for different parts of your life.

Most of us have a life filled with appointments and tasks coming at us from different angles. Depending on what all you are involved in, it may feel impossible to keep track of it. Some choose to separate the big categories into different planners and if that works for you, then do it! I have a separate planner that stays at work, I have a home/blog planner that stays at home, and I have little pocket planner that houses my personal calendar that goes everywhere with me. Another way you can do this, is to have it all in one large planner, that is separated by dividers. Color coding your different categories is another great option, if you want to put everything on the same monthly and weekly views.

5. Make planning enjoyable.

My last tip is a fairly simple one: have fun with it! If you aren't into stickers and washi, that is totally fine. Decorating is one of the ways that I make planning enjoyable, but it's not the only option. Try creating a nice atmosphere for planning. Listen to music or your favorite podcast. Have a youtube video going in the background. If the weather is nice, plan outside. If you have the room for it, you can create your own little "planning space." Enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, while you plan.

Whatever you choose to do, don't think of it as something tedious or boring, because it doesn't have to be. Imagine what all you can accomplish, if you take just a little extra time to sit down, set goals, and plan it out! 

Do you have any planner tips that help you stay organized? Let me know! 

Until next time!
 

Much Love,

Kimberly
 
Planner Tips

Pocket Planner Setup - May 2018

Hey planner people! It has been awhile since I shared an update on my planning setup and y'all know it has changed up since my post, in February, right? Of course! Actually, I have been using a Pocket Filofax since late in March. I told myself that if I could stick it out with a pocket, till our trip to the U.K. (and France!) in June, that I could buy more pocket-sized planners on our trip. The thought of seeing all of the shelves full of Filofaxes still makes me happy! I can't wait! As of now, I have been in this setup for two months and it has worked fabulously.

Pocket Planner Setup

Awhile back, I posted about the pros and cons of Personal and Pocket size. That was when I was really trying to decide which I liked more. It's hard to give up the paper real estate of a Personal size planner, but portability and functionality won out and I picked the Pocket!

My basic setup is the same, but just constricted to the smaller size. I still have a dashboard, that is a combination of scrapbook paper, an Instax photo, and a cute clip. I'm currently in a Pocket Malden, so I am using the pockets to hold my ID and miscellaneous cards. The open back is used to hold cash, coupons, receipts, and other items that may be to big to store in the planner itself.

I have an "inbox", which I have talked about before. It's basically just a spot in my planner that holds sticky notes, appointment cards, and other loose items that I don't have time to jot down in my actual calendar. I try to check this at least biweekly, to make sure that everything is transferred to the appropriate section. 

I'm using Avery brand, colored tabs, with various scrapbook paper, for my dividers. In the past, I have gone all out with laminated, card stock dividers, but using a smaller planner, I decided I needed to conserve space. So far, this has been working out great. Plus, if one gets damage, all I have to do is stick another tab on! My current sections include: Monthly, Weekly, Daily, Notes, and a top tab for Meal Planning.

At the moment, 90% of my inserts are from Peanuts Planner Co. I just love the functionality and the amount of things she is able to fit on each insert. For my monthly, I am using her Monthly Overview Fold Out, with Tracker. My current weekly layout, is the Vertical Grid WO4P. My daily is always changing up, but for now it is one of her freebie inserts that she offers the members of her Facebook group. 

In my notes section, I have cut some list pad pages down to fit my planner. My favorite sheets say "Today" and "Tomorrow" on them. These are so useful for jotting down quick todo lists or ideas.

I really have been enjoying this setup and the pocket size, in general. It's small and convenient and even though it has less space than what I am used to, it has really helped me to become more functional with my planning. I still incorporate my own unique style, with clips, sticker, and my "Today" page marker (see pic below), but overall I am using it more frequently and for it's intended purpose, which is to help organize my life! Also, I am digging how chunky it is getting. Who doesn't love a chunky planner?!

Until next time!

Much Love,

IMG_0014.jpg
 
Pocket Planner Setup

Personal vs. Pocket Planning

Hey planner babes!

If you have been following me on Instagram, then you may have noticed that I am back in my pocket Filofax Malden. I have had a severe case of planner FOMO, seeing all of the beautiful, tiny, pocket planners on Instagram and I have been wanting to give it another chance. I know it's not for everyone, and honestly I have been so addicted to my personal size planners, that I didn't think I could make it work for me. Only time will tell! Today, I decided to work on a pros and cons list (because planner girls love lists, obviously). If you are on the fence between pocket and personal, then keep reading, and hopefully I can help you make a decision. 

Pocket vs. personal planning

Personal Pros and Cons

Pros

  • More space for writing 
  • Larger rings that hold more inserts
  • A lot of room for stickers and decorating
  • A wide range of inserts available

Cons

  • The more stuffed it is, the heavier it is
  • Takes up a lot of room in purses/bags and forget about using a small purse
  • Awkward to use as a wallet, due to the size
  • The "need" to fill all of the extra space, mostly with non-functional items

Pocket Size Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Small and lightweight, so it takes up very little space
  • Functional and minimalistic planning
  • Easy to use as a wallet
  • Even if it's stuffed, it still feels light

Cons

  • Not as many inserts available (thankfully there is Peanuts Planner Co!)
  • Not a lot of room for writing
  • Minimal decorating
  • Ring size is smaller, so less room for inserts

At the end of the day, it comes down to what you are looking for in a planner and what your specific needs are. What I consider a con, you may not. This list is based on my own personal opinion. However, I know there are many planner girls, like me, that really love the size of the pocket, yet struggle with having less room. Right now, I am trying out a pocket size again, and so far I am loving it. The portability is amazing and I like the fact that I have to be more functional in my planning. I do miss my stickers though and I will be trying to incorporate them more.

What size planner are you currently using? Pocket, Personal, or maybe even larger? Let me know!

Until next time!

Much Love,

Kimberly
 
Pocket vs Personal Planning

My Faith Journal Setup

Hey y'all! How is March treating you so far? I am ready for Spring weather and short sleeves, but being in Tennessee means we have a lot of back and forth until we get a consistent warm up. It shouldn't be much longer though! 

Today, I wanted to share the setup of my faith journal/planner. It's something that I haven't always used regularly, but recently I have been writing in it daily. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed me posting about it, more frequently. As Justin and I have been dealing with our infertility issues, I have been trying to take my concerns to God. My faith has been a huge part of my life and it's important for me to be able to express myself emotionally and creatively with it. That is why having this faith journal has been so great for me. I definitely consider it a form of therapy for my soul.

Faith Journal Setup

Currently, I am using a traveler's notebook for my faith journal setup. It works perfectly for this purpose. It's a personal size notebook in the color Rum, from Mystic Little Gifts. I love the color and texture of the leather! The processing time was quick, compared to most handmade leather notebook shops and if you follow her Facebook group, she is awesome about posting updates on   shipping.

Faith Journal

I requested more elastics in the middle, so that I could stuff it full of whatever I wanted. Right now, I have five books and a pencil case housed inside. The zipper pencil pouch is from Kikki-K and I keep it at the very front of the notebook. It holds a few highlighters, some washi, and a few journaling cards. The pouch was designed to fit a 6-ring personal planner, but I used a small binder clip to attach the edge to one of the elastics. It works great and the binder clip stays hidden behind all of the books.

Kikki-K Pencil Case

Next, I have three books that I bought from Michael's. They are all from the American Crafts, Bible Journal product line. I have the Bible Study, Prayer List, and Sermon Notes inserts. The Bible Study book is a great way to take notes on any study you may be a part of, whether it's personal or with a group. The Prayer List book has a gratitude space, as well as spaces to write down people to pray for and your own personal prayers. Finally, the Sermon Notes book, is for exactly what the name suggests. The left side has enough space to record notes, while the right side has boxes for the scripture that was studied and any prayer concerns that may have come up in the service.

The last two inserts I keep in this faith journal, are from May Designs. I have a prayer and gratitude journal that I try to use daily. I start by writing a verse that was used in my devotional, then I list one or two things I am grateful for that day and finally, I will write out a prayer. When I start the day this way, I know it makes a difference in my attitude. The last May Book is simply ruled paper. It's one that I got at Go Wild 2017 and Micah May signed it for me! I haven't started using it yet, but it's going to be for writing out prayers as well. 

This system has been working really well for me, so far. I don't see it changing very much in the future. I keep it at my kitchen table and it's the first thing I look at, after I get up and get ready in the mornings. I sip on a coffee and do my morning devotional, with prayer and gratitude. It really is a great way to start the day!

Do you have a faith journal or planner that you use daily? Let me know!

Until next time!

Much Love,

Kimberly Hysler Blog
 
Faith Journal Setup

My Must Have Planner Accessories

Hey there, planner babes! I'm back today to talk a little about my favorite planner accessories. We all have our favorite planners (or three), but sometimes it's hard to choose what to use with them. If you are struggling to decide on stickers, inserts, or writing tools, then look no further! I have compiled a list of my must have items.

Must Have Planner Accessories

Writing Tools

Writing Tools

My absolute favorite pen is the TUL 0.5 mm needle point fine tip! It writes so smoothly with minimal to no shadowing and it doesn't give me any issue with smearing. I have gone through a lot of pens, on this planner journey, but now that I have found TUL there is no going back!

I've never been a fan of the harsh, neon color of most highlighters, but after discovering Pilot Frixion Highlighters in soft pastel colors, I fell in love. They come in set of six different colors. I haven't had a problem with bleed through and I use these for daily planning and also highlighting in my Bible.

I recently started trying to work on my hand lettering more and I found the perfect marker to help me with it. The Tombow Dual Tip Brush pens are amazing! At first, I wasn't sure about the price, but after using them for a bit, it's safe to say they are worth it. If you have any interest in creative hand lettering in your planner or journal, then you will love these.

Stickers

Stickers

I don't always use stickers, but when I do, I like a combination of function al decorative. I am not a fan of the "no white space" planning with kits, but I enjoy sticking some flowers and hearts in the corners of my pages. The majority of my stickers have come from a few different Etsy shops and Michael's. My favorite line of stickers is from The Happy Planner. Their stickers books are stuffed full of awesome stickers!

I also have a few Etsy Shops that I love:

This shop has colorful, functional stickers, that work well with multiple planner types. I especially love here divider labels!

This shop has so many different options! You can find stickers for personal care and beauty, home, work, kids, and much more. 

I love the size and style of the stickers this shops carries. I do most of my planning in a personal size planner, and smaller stickers are a must!

Inserts

SewMuchCrafting Insert

I'm not sure if inserts really count as "accessories," but for the purpose of this post I am going to say that they are. If you are like me and use a ring-bound planner or travelers notebook, then inserts are definitely something you need. If you use a hardbound or spiral bound planner, then you can probably skip or over this section (or just come over to the dark side with me, we have planner stickers...)

My favorite inserts are from Sew Much Crafting on Etsy. I have used her inserts for years, and I never get tired of them. They are all printed, cut, shipped, and ready to put in your planner, as soon as you get them! Also, the paper quality is amazing.

I'm also a big fan of Peanuts Planner Co. Her shop sells digital, print-at-home, inserts. There are so many different options and if you are a pocket planner, then you definitely need to check her out. She has more pocket size inserts than I have ever seen in one place!

Annie Plans Printables isn't on Etsy, anymore, but I couldn't leave her shop out. If you plan with a Traveler's Notebook, then you really need to see what she has to offer. She also has a good selection of printables for ring-bound planners.

Pouches and Punches

Planner Pouch

If you are going to have a lot of stickers, pens, highlighters, and other miscellaneous supplies, then you obviously need a place to keep these items. You can keep them on a desk or bookshelf, of course, but what about when you need to plan on the go? I like to bring at least some of my supplies with me.

That's where a pouch or case comes in handy. Recently, I have been using the one pictured above. It's a deluxe clutch from Erin Condren. She has several other great options for storing your planner stuff, also!

If you are printing your own inserts, or you just want to add some extra stuff to your ring-bound planner, then a 6-hole punch is definitely a must have item. I use one by Rapesco, that can be adjusted to punch insterts for Pocket, Personal, and A5 size planners.

Every item that I have mentioned, I used on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Without these planning accessories, there is no planning for me. 

Until next time!

Much Love,

Kimberly
 

February 2018 Planner Setup

Hey y'all! I'm back today with more planner goodness! As you know, I like to swap out my personal Filofaxes often (usually for every month or holiday season). I tend to keep the same general layout, most of the time, but I will update my dividers and dashboard. I realize that not everyone cares to do this, but for me, changing things up a bit helps me to stay consistent with my planning.  Some girls change purses on a daily basis, I like to change planners at least once a month. 

Planner Setup February 2018

This month, I knew that I wanted my planner spreads to be full of red, pink, and hearts galore, so I decided to go with my pink Filofax Malden. I love the design of the Malden. The leather is soft and it's full of card slots and pockets! I use my personal planner as a wallet too, so the card slots make it the perfect option.

My dividers are feeling the love this month. I used some paper from a pack I got at Michael's, last year. They are pink with hearts, speech bubbles, and cute quotes. Recently, I have been using top tabs more often. I like the fact that they don't interfere with the pen loop, and I tend to stuff a lot of random things in my planner through the day, so side tabs used to always get bent up easily. This month, I'm using five sections: Calendar, Health, Projects, Lists, and Notes.

You may have seen me mention Jon Acuff's book, Finish, before. It's an awesome book, that gives you actionable steps, to make your goals a reality. I was able to preorder it so I got some of the extra gifts that came with it. One of those extras was a card that says "Today I will Finish" (see picture below). I hole-punched it and put it near the front of my planner, so that everyday I can see my goal, front and center!

Today I will Finish

Another method I am using to work towards my goals is the "Getting Things Done" technique. I loosely follow the book, by David Allen, and got my inspiration from Brandy Michelle Plans on YouTube. I have linked to her before, but I'm doing it again, because her videos are awesome! I use the inbox at the front of my planner to collect things through the week and then every weekend I have a list of tasks that I need to go over as part of my weekly review. I keep a bookmark, with that information, easily accessible.

Weekly Review

So that's my basic setup for February, in my personal Filofax. I am still using the SewMuchCrafting week on two pages (with habit tracker) inserts and they are working out great for me so far. I'm going to leave you with one final picture of my last weekly spread. I can't get enough of the heart washi!

Planner Spread

Until next time!

Much Love,

Kimberly