Friday Favorites: Plum Paper Planner

Kind of piggy backing off of yesterday’s post, I wanted to share with you how I keep up with all of the things that go on in my life.  I have posted about my planner before, but I wanted to share it with you again because it is such a lifesaver for me. Plus, I just got my new one last month, and I wanted to show it off! LOL! I am definitely a pen and paper kind of girl when it comes to my calendar.   Yes, I do use the calendar on my phone for the sole purpose of keeping my husband in the loop of what is going on, but for day-to-day use, my planner contains my life. I would even go as far as saying that my planner is kind of like a journal for me as well as an organizer. I write EVERYTHING in it.  If I have an idea about something I want to blog about or do with my business or just any idea in general, I will write it in there.  Each month, I write down my goals for personal growth as well as for my business. All of my to do lists and notes are all in there, too.  If someone leaves me a message or I talk to someone on the phone about something important, I jot my notes in the planner.  It is honestly so much more than just a calendar for me.   It literally is my life on paper.

I have tried many different planners over the years and have found THE ONE.  It will be my go to from now until I die.  I really love Plum Paper Planners.  I love how I can customize them to my exact needs and specifications.  Plus, they are sturdy and hold up really well.  Now, because I write everything in it, I always order a full sized  (8.5” x 11”) one.  This only becomes problematic when I need to carry it around.  It doesn’t just fit in my purse, but I am willing to live with that sacrifice because of everything else it has to offer me.  Ninety percent of the time, it sits open on my desk and isn’t a problem anyway.  They do come in smaller sizes if that is more your jam.  They also have 5.8” x 8.3” and 7” x 9.” 

First, you begin by choosing the size you want.  Then you move on to choosing your cover. To me, choosing the cover is always the hardest part because there are so many cute ones.  All covers are sturdy and waterproof, and each planner comes with a clear plastic overlay.  Once you choose your cover, you can personalize it. You can put a saying on it or your initials or both.  As you can see, I chose to put the year at the top, my initials in the center, and my blog name at the bottom.  Once you have your cover the way you want it, you move on the choosing the customizable layout you want. Plum Paper offers several layouts that you can choose from.  They have student layouts, teacher layouts, vertical layouts, horizontal layouts, grid layouts, daily layouts, and monthly layouts. I like the Vertical ME Planner, which includes the following:

  • 7 Customizable Sections (I customize mine with each family members name, my blog, and Trades of Hope.  Then I left one blank this year so that I could add extras.)
  • Choice of what month to start (I love that you can start at anytime during the year. You don’t have to have one that just runs from January to December.  Mine currently goes from September to August)
  • Choice of 12-18 months
  • Month and Weekly Spreads
  • Monthly Highlight Pages
  • Monthly Notes Pages
  • Double Sided Pocket Folder
  • Durable Aluminum Binding
  • Durable Mylar Coated Tabs
  • Tear Pexroof & Water Resistant Cover with a Plastic Protective Sheet

Once you have chosen and customized your layout just the way you want it, you can then choose to add on pages.  I really love the options they have for add-ons. This year, I chose to add the Direct Sales Add-on to help keep my business organized.  I considered the Blog Add-On, but decided against it for now. I may add it next year, though. Other add-ons (including stickers) you can choose from include:

Home

  • Meals
  • Family
  • Budget

Business

  • Direct Sales
  • Blog
  • Social Media
  • Photography
  • Business Tools

Lifestyle

  • Fitness
  • Self-Care
  • Travel

Teacher

  • Grade Level
  • Tools

Student

  • Assignment Tracker

Notes & Lists

Stickers

Page Protectors

Once you have selected your cover, layout, and the add-ons that you want, you are ready to approve and order your creation.  Orders typically ship in 5-7 days.  It arrives all nicely packaged and ready to use.  I am such a nerd that it is like opening a present on Christmas morning for me. I really am obsessed with it.  I honestly would be lost without it. It truly does keep me organized and on track.

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Friday Favorites: Planner

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I have received several messages about my planner that I shared last week so I thought I would do my Friday Favorites about the planner so you can see it more in-depth.  The planner comes from Plum Paper,and it is customizable which I really like. The other thing I really like is that it is super durable.  It comes spiral bound with a tear proof AND water resistant cover, AND it also has a clear, plastic sheet over the cover for added protection. This planner is built to last.  It is a pricier investment than you would find at Target, Walmart, or any office supply store; but it is totally worth it to me since I rely on it so heavily.

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There are 3 sizes available (5.8” x 8.3”), (7” x 9”), and (8.5” x 11”). Mine is the largest size. Since my life is pretty much in this planner, I need all the space I can get.  You can choose the size that works best with what your needs are. Once you choose which size you want, you then get to choose the layout you want. Layouts can be vertical or horizontal. There are even layouts specific to teachers (including homeschool options) and students. There are so many options to choose from. Just for reference, mine is the Vertical ME Planner, which means I could personalize the items on each page.

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The next step is choosing your cover.  They have a large variety of beautiful designs.  I think this was the hardest part for me.  It was so hard to decide on the design because I liked so many of them. The designs range from floral to geometric to classic to masculine. Once you decide, you can personalize the cover however you would like.  I added my name and the years to mine but you can also add initials or leave it blank. You can even add a photo to the cover it you would like. A photo would be a great option to use a motivation for your year or a reminder of the people or things that are most important to you.

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Now you can get into the really fun part, and that is customizing your planner to fit your needs.  This is where I got to add it the details that I really wanted in my planner.  I chose to personalize each section for the week with the name of each family member and also my businesses with Rodan + Fields, the blog, and social media. The important thing is that YOU get to choose what you want! You even get to choose which month/year you want to start with. I absolutely love this feature. That means if you decide to purchase one today, you can start it with November  so that you aren’t wasting any months. Plus, you can choose between a 12 month or 18 month calendar. Next, you choose if you want them to bind your planner (highly recommended) or if you just want the pages to bind it yourself.

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Finally, you get to choose if you want any add-ons.  There are home options that include meal planning and budgeting. There are business add-ons including things like direct sales, party planning, social media, mileage tracking, and more. There are lifestyle add-ons, like fitness, travel, reflection, gratitude, and prayer. There are educational add-ons for all of my fellow teachers out there including behavior logs, class lists, and homeschooling. There are notes and to do lists add-ons (two that I chose), and there are even cute stickers you can get. Just keep in mind that with each add-on comes an additional cost but they can make your life easier, especially if you are a type-A planner like me.

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For me personally, this is the best planner I have ever used, and I have used a lot of planners. Again, the options to personalize, the durability, and the add-on options are what seal the deal for me.  As I said before, it is an investment, but it is one that you won’t regret and will help you to stay not only organized, but also focused on the goals you want to accomplish.  I will likely not ever buy another kind planner.  Take a look at the video below to get a closer look inside my planner!

 

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Schedules and Planners

Orgainzation Hack

If you know me, you have probably learned that I have a type A personality. I NEED to have a schedule/plan. I obsess over organization.  I like routines. I am pretty sure I am borderline OCD. Yes, that is a self-diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  I will admit that I have a problem and that if I were ever to seek advice from a certified medical professional; they would likely give me that diagnosis. I just really like schedules and order and lists and neatness and plans.  Did I mention schedules? I love making them, and I love looking at them. I am certainly NOT a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” kind of girl. I like to know ahead of time how things are going to go and what the plan is.  I can’t do a day-to-day kind of thing either.  I like to be able to look at the week ahead and know what is coming. This came in handy as a teacher of children with Autism who thrive on a routine and schedule.  Some might say that is where my need for a schedule came from, but, honestly, I think I have always been like that.  It has just gotten worse as I have gotten older.  I do not like surprises or spontaneity! It is important for me to have not only a weekly schedule but also a daily schedule, especially now that I am home most of the day.  I don’t know about you but I am much more productive when I have a schedule to follow.  Without a schedule, I tend to get off track and get easily distracted. I have made my goal for October to create a daily schedule and stick to it.  I have written that goal down and have planned out my day. Well, it is only 3 days into the month and so far it is going well.  What do I mean by a schedule? How detailed is it? I mean that I have planned out my entire day so that I am able to accomplish all of the things that I want to do in a day and that are important to me.  I even put in the 30 minutes of time to work on my personal development (see Put on Your Big Girl Panties), family time, and hobby time. Here is an example of the schedule I have made for myself for this month. As you can see it is pretty detailed but it works.  I have time for myself, and I get my work done.  I don’t have a strict schedule for the weekends, this is just for the weekdays to keep me on track. Your schedule will likely look totally different than mine. This is what works for me.

5:45 Personal Development
6:15 Begin Morning routine (wake up Bay, make lunches, iron clothes, etc.)
7:00 Wake up Em
7:20 School carpool
7:45 Shower and get ready (yes, it takes me an hour)
9:00 Rodan + Fields Business

9-10 Training

10-11 Reach-outs/social media

11:00 Anchored Piece by Piece

11-12 Write

12-1 Photos/Research

1-2 Social Media

2:00 Lunch Break
2:20 School Carpool
2:45 House Duties

M-Groceries

T-Laundry

W-Clean

Th-Appointments

F-Meal Plan/Schedule

4:30 Gymnastics Carpool
5:15 Cook Dinner/Homework/Family Time
8:00 Hobby Time/Time with hubby-read, TV, craft, etc.
8:45 Gymnastics Carpool
10:00 Bed

I am also a very visual learner.  I was the kid that took notes in class and then went home and recopied all of the notes as a study technique.  I needed to visualize it on the paper in order to remember it.  When someone tries to give me directions, I have to write it down. I cannot just remember it if you give it to me auditorily.  I have to see it.  All of these things are reasons why I LOVE planners. Actually, I am pretty obsessed with planners.  I am automatically drawn to them in stores.  I may or may not have a collection of them hidden away in a box because I can’t bear to throw them away.  They are full of memories!  I have even been known to buy a planner, get it all set up, and then buy another one a few weeks later because it was cuter, or it was what I deemed as “better” than the first one.  I know this is not normal, but I can’t stop myself.  Does anyone else like planners besides me? I can’t be the only old school girl that likes a planner. It is a great way to keep you organized and put together. If you have a busy schedule with lots of appointments and things, you definitely need some way to keep it all straight. Planners are a great way to do that.

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The pen and paper kind of planner works best for me.  I have tried using the calendar on my phone linked with my husband’s so that we can both see and know what is going on, but that is not visual enough for me.  I can’t see everything all at one glance.  My husband is not a visual learner and loves having the joint calendar on our phones so I do input all of our appointments and gymnastics meets and cheer competitions in it for him.  I just don’t prefer that way for myself.  I have also tried the large desk calendars and the big dry erase board calendars in the kitchen or my classroom, but these just don’t work for me either because I can’t take them with me.  I have tried the small pocket size calendars that fit in your purse too, but those aren’t good because I don’t have enough room to write everything. You guys, the struggle is real!  I am really picky about what features my planners have in them. It has taken me years, but I have finally found the perfect planner for me.  It allows me to customize it with the exact features I want.  I anxiously awaited my first one to come in the mail, and it was like Christmas morning when it finally arrived.  I am obsessed. It is too big for my purse, but it is definitely manageable to carry with me in the car and to appointments and meetings. It is important that you find what works best for you.  Being organized just makes you feel better.  I hate running around frantic because I don’t remember which appointment I am supposed to be at or what time that meeting was.  As long as you are organized, you can choose whatever method helps you best. What have you found that works for you?

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Remember how I said I was a visual person? Another thing that helps keep me organized is that I color code my planner.  Each family member has their own color, and each of my businesses has it’s own color. When you open to the week, it looks like a rainbow but it is so easy for me to see who goes where and what I am doing that day/week.  I even make a key that tells me who/what each color represents in case I forget. I have been doing this for years and it is glorious! My favorite pens to use are the Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip pens.  They don’t bleed through to the next page and I highly recommend them to help keep you organized. They come in so many colors, and they make your planner look so pretty! I know my fellow teachers know which ones I am talking about.  So good!  Organization excites me! Another side note and part of my OCD is that I never cross/scribble things out in my planner because that makes it look too messy. I always use white out; not the liquid, goopy, messy kind.  I like to use the BIC White Out Correction Tape.  It’s easy, effective, and there is no drying time required!

My planner is my life. If I loose it, I promise, it is like the end of the world to me.  I live and breathe by my calendar. It not only has our schedules and appointments in it, but it also had my to do lists in it, important phone numbers, my goals, and my notes/ideas.  It has everything in it. It is how I keep up with everything that goes on in my life from doctor appointments to practice schedules to what I need from the grocery store. It is so important when thinking about that life balance that you try to stay organized.  I challenge you to figure out a schedule and system that works for you and stick to it.  It will make your life easier.

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