My Favorite Day Planners & How I Stay Organized

Happy Wednesday! 

We just hit the half way mark guys and already this week has been bananas!! I found out about a last minute project at work Monday afternoon on top of my already crazy work load this week. So I’ve been very busy and a little stressed. Friday can’t come soon enough.

And on that note, let’s talk about how I stay sane on such a crazy week.

I would be nothing without my day planners so today I wanted to share my favorites and talk about how I utilize them to stay organized.

SUGAR PAPER LOS ANGELES

I’ve been a fan of the brand for quite some time and last year I treated myself to one of their planners and haven’t looked back since.

This is the day planner I use for my full time job and I’m never separated from it. I couldn’t imagine hitting my deadlines and remembering every single thing I need to do without it.

Plus it’s so darling and perfect that it makes you want to use it! My 2017 was a full chambray one, but this year I opted for the striped version! They have a few different ones you can choose from.

It has every single thing I look for in a planner and more.

For starters, I love that it starts in January and ends in December like the calendar year. I find that most day planners follow that of a school year so August to August.

At the start of each month, there’s an inspirational quote, which I love and look forward to. They also have a list of all national holidays so you can keep track. And towards the back it has a section for you to write down important birthdays and notes.

Like I said, I’m very particular when it comes to my day planners. When I was on the market looking for one, I found that most had a section in the beginning with all of the calendars back to back and then the weekly section after that.

Personally, I hate that style and I like having that month’s calendar right before the weekly section, which is how the Sugar Paper one is set up. It helps me look at the bigger picture of the month and keep me organized. I like writing my big deadlines on the calendar and then a more detail note in the weekly section.

Also, it’s a good thing blogs aren’t handwritten because my handwriting is a mess!! Most day planners I found, just have a white box in their weekly section for you to jot down your to-do list. And since my handwriting is a disaster, it would just look so sloppy and I wanted to stop using it because I hated how it looks. I love that the Sugar Paper one has lines because it helps me stay neat and focused!

TARGET

I think Target has some great planners and for a great price point as well.

For my blog, I really wanted a bigger planner since I’m constantly jotting down notes and moving things around so I wanted more room to work with.

I find that a lot of Target day planners follow a school calendar year so August to August, but I honestly loved this one so much so I let that small detail slide.

Like I mentioned with my Sugar Paper planner, I like each monthly calendar section right before the weekly section and this one had that. But, even more, they had lines!! I’ve never seen a day planner have lines on the calendar and it is my dream come true.

It’s so great because I can put multiple deadlines and notes for myself on each day and it still looks organized and easy to read. I also loved that on each monthly calendar, they had a section for notes to the right. I like brainstorming posts in the notes section before I plan them out on the actual calendar.

As for the weekly section, again, they had lines! Enough said. And I love how big each section is for each day. A lot of the day planners I used for my blog in the past just didn’t have enough space for all of my notes. But, I always find that I have amble space with this one.

SMARTSHEET BLOGGING EDITORIAL CALENDAR

This Smartsheet template I downloaded has been the biggest game changer for me and the most utilized tool I used.

This year, I wanted something digital to help me keep track of my schedule in my personal life and in my blog life. After searching around and a lot of googling, I stumbled upon this one and have loved it since.

What’s great is that it’s a free excel download so you can really adjust it and make it your own. I edited the colors to be more my style and the different tabs and headers to address my needs. I then uploaded it to my google drive so I can access it anywhere.

There are also different tabs that come with the download.

I love the blog post brainstorming tab and have really utilized it. I jot down every random thought I have so I don’t forget it. And then I work on editing it from there and plotting it into the calendar.

I deleted the archive tab since I felt I wouldn’t use it and added a tab for expenses, personal and blog expenses, to help me keep track. I just love that it’s such a great template, but also has a lot of freedom to really edit it and make it my own.

HOW I STAY ORGANIZED

Write everything down!

When I get stressed, I get frantic and I end up forgetting everything, so for me, I have to write everything down. Even the smallest detail.

I used to have the worse memory at work and I would complete projects all out of order and add things as they came to me and it just took so much time to fix. But, ever since I’ve been getting into a habit of constantly jotting notes, it’s helped me remember small details better and get into a good habit.

Utilize the monthly calendar.

You know how I said I’m picky about my day planners? How they must have a calendar before the weekly section? Well, I think you always have to look at the bigger picture because when you only focus on a certain week, there’s room for you to miss something.

For example, at work this week, I have two major deadlines to meet. But, I also have a deadline to hit early next week so I have to start prepping this week. If I only focused on my weekly section, I probably would have been behind on next week’s work.

And for my blog, I’m working on a post that’s gonna take a little more prep than usual even though it’s going live at the end of the month, but I know I needed to get started now. Looking at the month as a whole and then jotting down weekly notes has really helped me.

Review each week.

Every week, either on Monday morning or Friday afternoon, I review the week I just completed and my week ahead. I like to write notes of what still needs to get done or what I have to start.

I used to just move onto a fresh week and not account for what I didn’t finish the previous week and it just caused so many problems. So each week, I like to take a moment to myself to organize my thoughts and calendars so I can tackle the week ahead.

Separate & Categorize

I’m a pretty visual person so even my to-do list has to look neat, friendly and inviting or else I get confused. I can’t just work off a random long list because then nothing is getting done.

I like to keep my blog life and work life separate which is why I have two planners so I never get confused. In my excel chart, I keep my personal and blog expenses separate and categorized accordingly.

Even when taking notes, I’ll star something that is priority or write it in a different color just so I can differentiate. I’ll put a bullet point next to something that has a bit more wiggle room and I can move around. I think it’s just important to come up with a system that works for you because I don’t think a random long list helps anyone.

That was a long one! But, I hope you guys enjoyed it and found it helpful. Last year, I really made it my goal to organize myself and it really helped me. And since it’s the beginning of the year, I know we’re all trying to get our lives together so I wanted to give my little take on it. Thank you so much for reading!

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