Over the past few months I have raved about Digital Planning, however, 5 months into my new vocation as a Virtual Assistant, it hasn’t really been working out. My iPad contains too many distractions and I found myself looking at more than just what I needed to do. In fact, I don’t even think I was looking at my planner recently.
No, digital planning really wasn’t working and helping me to organise my life. Which is something I really need.
I started searching for a new paper planner and methods to combine digital and analogue planning. I turned to Google and found this article about why we shouldn’t go paperless. It made complete sense while I was reading it. And to be fair, I had just purchased an A5 Filofax Notebook (affiliate link) so wanted to try it out. (I’ll tell you more about my Filofax Notebook in good time.)
I checked Amazon for planners, read reviews, watched YouTube videos, but I still couldn’t figure out what I wanted. Did I go back to a Boxclever Press Life Book?
In the end I found my way back to The Busy Days Planner (again, from Boxclever Press). I had looked at it briefly last year but didn’t take the plunge.
The Busy Days Planner looked great, a versatile disc bound planner which means I could add my own pages. It’s bulky but it wouldn’t be travelling with me unless necessary.
I have been using it for almost 2 weeks and LOVE IT.
I’ve created my own cover. I’ve added extra pages in (Printables are coming soon). It’s really working for me… and the best bit is the huge amount of space I have on the weekly pages.
So let’s have a brief run down.
The cover page I created is just something to make me smile. It serves no functional purpose. But I’m pretty sure it’s something unique.
Hopes, plans, and dreams for November & To-do list
I’m not great at this bit, but I’ve written down a couple of things I hope for, plan to and dreaming of for November.
I may be changing my To-do list this month. But it’s quite nice to pop it in the start of the monthly section so I can keep referring back to it.
Goals, Special Days, Events, and Birthday’s for November.
I’m a rubbish goal setter. But I have tried to set small, achievable goals. The thing I like about this page is the fact that they are already separated for me into Home, work, and me time. It makes it far easier to set them out. Maybe next month I’ll be a little more creative.
My monthly spread on two pages is probably the most important. I use it for deadlines, appointments, events. It’s where EVERYTHING goes. It always looks a mess by the end of the month but it’s a must have in any planner for me. I like to see the bigger picture.
Weekly Spread & Meal Plan
I plan on a Sunday ready for the week ahead. It’s the time when I transfer everything for the week from the monthly spread to the weekly. It contains everything I need for the week.
I do this over the weekend, so I know what I’m ordering with my grocery shop. It’s generally done before Sunday because shopping gets delivered on Sunday.
Weekly block schedule
As useful as the Weekly spread is, I like to see the time I have available. It doesn’t always go to plan but it is something that has always been used in my previous planners.
Monthly Habit & Mood Tracker
This is something that I’ve just started for November. So we’ll see how it pans out. The thing that’s going to get to me, though, is the fact that I love how it looks so it always makes me happy. (There are 31 days but I’ve used washi tape to blank out the last column.)
Weekly cleaning schedule
I need to get into the habit of setting aside some time everyday to get on top of my house. It’s driving me nuts, I want to declutter, make sure that things are done on certain days. Whereas before I could do everything as and when, now my workload has increased I’m struggling to get everything done.
So, there we have it… my current planner setup. Let’s see yours.
July passed too quickly for me too say we did much. However, we did end the Month with a spur of the moment day trip.
It was after the long weekend of rain and, after all the glorious weather we had before, I developed some serious cabin fever.
To rectify that problem, we picked up Nanny (my mum) and headed out for a picnic in the park.
The Book Shelf
I have read a fair few books in July. 11 in fact. It’s difficult to pick my favourite. There were a few but, my personal favourite was Martha’s Secrets by Joanna Larum. It is self published and deserves plenty of recognition. Another mention should go to Mark L Fowler and his new book Blue Murder, for getting me back into reading! Cheers Mark.
I have been getting back-into the odd bit of family History research and have rediscovered my passion. In July, my favourite discovery was the burial place of my 2x great grandmother.
Planning & stationery
DIGITAL PLANNING! is the definite winner here.
It’s turned into a life saver, along with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. I can’t express my love for them enough.
I do everything on it.
June was a little Slow on the work front but towards the end of the month
I met with a new client who lives locally and needs help finding new clients and signing them. We’re starting with SE0 and increasing her online presence. Something 1mi far better at doing for someone else than myself.
I splashed out on a load of new clothes for myself which is something I rarely do. Next must love me this month. Although if I’m honest I love me a little bit more now I’m a little more in fashion and not wearing the same clothes I have worn for the last 5 or 6 years.
It’s been a while since I have offered my readers a free printable, but today I have a great one for all planner addicts.
While searching for a daily planner, I realised that I really was not going to find everything I was after. I really struggled.
I needed something that gave me an area for appointments with the ability to include a to-do list Go-do lists are good for my brain). No-one seemed to offer such versatility for me though.
I decided to create my own.
I ended up with a day on 2-page spread.
It really does have some magnificent features. Currently, it’s only available in A5 but I do plan on extending the sizes on offer.
The A5 version does work well in Good Notes too as a digital planner. (I’ll be telling you more about my digital planning discovery in the coming weeks).
The day on 2 pages planner inserts have a few nice features.
- Plenty of space to include the date
- Set out 50 both pages can be seen as a spread.
- Lots of to do space
- Day planner in 15-minute intervals
- Notes section.
In the time between creating the printable and writing this post I have decided to give digital planning on my iPad pro a go.
It’s pretty bloody amazing. 1mi in love. It is far easier and quicker to plan digitally.
I have used this printable in GoodNotes, and it does seem to have worked with digital planning. The image below shows an example of it in use GoodNotes.
If you want to give my free printable a go. You can download it below. (The first page is blank by design to allow the correct set up for automatic double sided printing!)
day on 2 pages
After presenting you with my free printable reading journal last month, I’m ready to reveal a new one. I also use this one although it isn’t an everyday essential. I give you a free printable for recording your blog statistics.
I record Beth in a Box’s stats on the 1st of every month… it’s not important in the sense that the world will end If they don’t get recorded. But, as a blogger, stats are generally rather important.
Why do I record the blog’s stats?
I like to see progress
Or not… as the case may be. I measure myself by the progress I make. That is in all aspects of my life including weight, in games. Numbers actually mean a lot to me. However, I try not to let the numbers I see on my records affect me. I have good months and bad months but the general trend seems to be good.
Very often stats are asked by PR’s or SEO’s looking to work with bloggers
This includes Domain Authority and Traffic. Sadly, it’s the way this world works. I don’t put too much stock in it all the time because I still get opportunities but I also don’t have the time to overload myself.
My meagre stats work for me in the most part but all I ultimately want are opportunities that benefit me and add value to my blog. By recording stats monthly it makes it easier for me to give out the information when I am asked for it.
So with this in mind, I’ve created a printable that I use myself to record my own stats. It is still a work in progress but has the important ones to me already included and plenty of space to add any other metrics you desire.
It is available in 3 sizes – A4 print on A4, A5 print on A5 and A5 print on A4.
A4 Print on A4
Monthly Stats A4
A5 print on A5
Monthly Stats A5
A5 print on A4
Monthly Stats A5 print on A4
If you want to use this printable but it isn’t quite right and you want some extras included let me know and I’ll edit it.
Now, a question, do you have any ideas for printables that you would like to see? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to my list.
I am a self-confessed stationery addict. I am completely obsessed with lists, sticky notes, sticky tabs, pens, diaries, planners, paper…, well anything that can be defined as stationery. No matter how loosely.
I’ve tried so many planners and diaries from plain and basic ones right through to completely comprehensive life planners but I’ve never been truly happy with any of them. They just haven’t offered me EVERYTHING I need to effectively organise my life.
I love the idea of Bullet Journals, however, I am not an artist. Seeing the incredibly beautiful works of art from the BuJo community left me feeling embarrassed about my poor attempt at creating one. It lasted 2 weeks.
In the New Year, I was feeling less than inspired by my BusyB 17 month diary because it didn’t give me the freedom nor organisation I craved. Integrating both my personal life and blog life into it was difficult.
Then the inspiration hit me. I could create my own.
As I’ve already said, I’m not an artist… I’m not really all that creative either but I wanted to try my hand at creating my very own perfect planner.
I bit the bullet and acquired a really beautiful Kikki K planner. The large size because it uses A5 inserts which gives me enough space to plan everything I need. It is really really beautiful.
When it arrived I still felt it didn’t offer me everything I wanted. While the styling of the pages is beautiful, they weren’t what I needed. I don’t write birthdays or contacts down on paper so those pages were unnecessary and took up valuable space.
I spent a whole Saturday browsing printables on Etsy that I may be able to use, then putting it all together in an order that suits me.
Now, I’m going to introduce you to my perfect planner (well, almost perfect!).
I kept onto the Kikki K month to view calendar. It’s pretty and effective. I use it to jot down my personal events so I can see quickly which days are free.
This works well for me. When I get a letter about an appointment or a phone call, I don’t have to scroll through weeks, just months.
My week to view is where I add both personal events so I can focus in on that week and blog stuff (such as deadlines). I also plan my meals on these pages and write my shopping list.
I removed the Kikki K weekly planner because I didn’t really like the layout.
My current setup is working, although I think the pages just need tweaking slightly, so I’ll be in the market for a new printable when I run out of these pages towards the end of the year.
Now, currently I am using Daily Planner pages with time schedule. I thought they would be a good idea… However, since starting to use them, I’ve realised what I actually need is a daily to do list. Just for blog stuff.
I’ve simply just turned the time slots into check boxes and I’ll continue using them until I run out.
Master to do lists
These contain things that I think of that are more longer term than the daily view.
I add tasks that don’t have to be done on a daily basis. Write now, my to do list contains things like sort categories, resize existing images that are too large, delete irrelevant content and the like. They also have some personal tasks that aren’t in any way related to my blog.
I’m using the original Kikki K expenses inserts because they have everything I need to keep track of any income and expenses for the blog.
I’ll probably make my own basic ones when I run out.
This section currently contains link up information and books I’ve read. Although they are basic and just in list format at the moment. There’s plenty of time to add more to it though.
Pretty self explanatory really. Currently the notes pages are Kikki K inserts but will probably change as time goes on and I run out.
An A5 notepad
The really great thing about my planner is there’s no limit to what I can use it for. There’s a Kikki K A5 notepad at the back that I use to jot down post ideas in list form.
As my planner evolves I’ll be sharing the changes and offering up my own free printables that I make as I’m going along.
How do you organise your life?