Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More Organized for 2011

The start of every year I start hunting the calendar asiles for a new planner. I'm not a planner-kind-of-gal by nature ... I'm more of a let-me-live-a-productive-but-unstructured-kind-of-life gal.  But given that I have a family, four part-time jobs, events I attend, volunteer positions and a semblence of a social life, well, my memory needs some back up.

A lot of back up actually.

I keep wishing I could get with the current century and run my life electronically. I tried Google calenders three years ago, but it wasn't pretty enough for me. I'm very visual. A couple years before that I tried backpackit.com; that didn't last long. At one point last year I tried Nobze - it's fantastic online software, but I couldn't keep with it for the full 3 month free-trial period so I didn't subscribe. 

After multiple tries at electronic online organizing, I have to admit I'm a paper and pencil person.

This year I've come to accept something else about myself: calenders that seperate time into little squares and rectangles don't work for me either. At all. I must be too fluid, visual, creative, rebellious or something.

I can't tell you how many paper calenders, daytimers and planners I've tried and abandoned.  Seriously, calender companies love me.  I'm their favorite kind of customer.

What I really need is a personal assistant to be my calender, sounding board, and general external brain hard drive. I'm still praying for her to move in next door to me and offer to work for lattes.  Until then I've found a paper and pencil system that I think has the potentional to hold me together in 2011.

Amanda at Ahhh Designs created these super cute calendar-planner template pages you can download and print out to create a system taliored to your needs. I now have sylish, colorful pages for planning projects, mapping goals, planning blog posts, plus yearly, monthly and daily calender pages and more. 

I inserted them in a 3 ring portfolio and added tabs to create sections.

And the best part is that my daily pages are not a grid of hourly time frames, but big open spaces to allow me to jot, write, list, and draw all over the page.

I paid $8 for the full package but many of them are available for free at her site. It's only been 2 weeks, but I'm loving it so far. Feel free to ask me in March or May if it's still working for me. 

And feel free to tell me if you were planning to move to a beach town and find a fun, rewarding part-time job that pays in laughs, lattes and about all the books you'd ever want to read - I can so hook you up!


  1. That job and pay sounds perfect for me! But I'm in Michigan!
    Your planner looks very nice. I use the Go Mom! planner. If you are interested, look at www.gomominc.org (Molly Gold is the designer of this planner.) She has lots of interesting and helpful organizing and growing ideas she shares.

  2. If I were near I'd so apply for that job! Hot chocolate would be my drink though. :)
    I completely understand the paper and pencil calendar. I do use an electronic one because that's what my husband likes and it helps keep us on the same page. But I also have one that I have to write everything done in.

  3. Wow this looks great! I'm similar to you Rachel, I don't like small spaces to write. It doesn't fit and I end up writing all over the place.

    While I do like the online technology I'm still a paper/pen girl too!

    Blessings to you!

  4. I, like you, simply cannot abandon a paper planner. Sometimes I get the looks when I pull it out. I'm on the wrong coast, otherwise I'd apply for that job in a heartbeat, as long as we could negotiate white chocolate mochas :-).

    Happy New Year!

  5. I'll ask you again in March or May. I'll put it in my crackberry as a reminder. ;)

    I also have a day timer to keep me on time with bills and other such fun stuff.

    A hammock in the shade and tall smoothies will work for me....when I move to the beach.

  6. Sounds like you've got a system. I use to work for the education department in our local hospital. The employees had to take several classes during the year to keep up with what was required of them.
    When I took over this position there were maybe 2 or 3 different books with schedules for classes.
    I took those books and put them all in one bigger book and the instructors loved it. Before that position I had worked for the local school of nursing and I had to learn to make files for many, many things in order to keep up with what was going on. If you came to my apartment you would find a filing cabinet in a closet, personal and my husband's business in two drawers with files in a desk. In my computer room I have files of all kinds. To some that would be too much work, but it makes my life easier and I know where everything is. All of that comes from being a secretary for approximately 40 years.

    The only thing I would suggest is a file for every month that you can put things in for what you are planning. Your monthly planner would work as the layout on your desk. I know I'm rambling but just thought I'd throw in something that might be helpful.

    I'm sure you are very organized. You couldn't do all that you do if you weren't.

    May this be the best year you've ever had.

  7. I was so used to having a daily planner on my desk for 13 years, and have recently become a stay at home mom. I didn't even think about doing something like this for myself at home but MAN would that be great! I was just thinking of a 'how to get myself organized' plan - needing to make one. This is perfect, thanks!


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