Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 Planner Setup - Franklin Covey Classic + Paper Plum Designs Planner

Hi friends,

Here I am again with my planner setup for 2015! This is a very exciting time of the year for me as I get to reorganize and prioritize my goals for the new year. It may sound silly to some, but a paper planner makes me very happy, any planning tool for that matter and watching planner videos on YouTube is one of my small addictions.

Here is the coordinating video for my 2015 Planner Setup:

This year, my planner is set up a bit differently in that I did not separate it into two distinct categories (Planning and Home Management). You can refer to last year's planner setup here.
I also removed my blog and vlog sections, and opted instead to use a separate/stand alone planner for My Great Challenge. For this specific task, I am using a Plum Paper Designs Family Planner which you can find on Etsy and will be featured later on in this post.

I am using the same planner than last year, a Franklin Covey Boston in Classic size. Unfortunately, Franklin Covey no longer makes the Classic size but you can still find the same model as a Compact size, which is similar to a Filofax Personal. I prefer Franklin Covey because of the softness of the leather, it is a semi-structured planner and the rings are 1.25 in (Filofax A5 is only 1 in). 0.25 makes a big difference when you tend to stuff your planner!

When I open my planner, the first thing I see is my lovely DIY dashboard:

I made this dashboard out of a cutout piece from of gift paper bag I had received this past Christmas. It is simply glued (with a 3M Glue Spray) onto a leftover Franklin Classic page lifter. To ensure it would not get damaged over time, I used packing tape in vertical strips to protect/laminate the top. This provides not only a decorative dashboard but also one that will last for a long time.

On the left, I keep binder and paper clips, some note paper which I pre-punched as well as a few assorted post it notes and flags. I write with a Paper Mate Ink Joy Quatro pen in Medium. It writes well and provides me with enough color variety to keep my notes from being boring.

As mentioned above, sections this year are a bit different. I am only keeping the following for 2015:
Planner, Notes, Goals, Finances,  and Q Branch. For dividers, I am using the Recollections/Michael's plastic dividers that are part of their "Smashbook" collection. I used my Dymo Label Maker to mark my different sections.

In the Planner section, I obviously keep everything that is planning related, using my DIY inserts which you can find on Etsy:



I also have a separate tab to mark "today", it is from a recycled Martha Stewart for Avery divider onto which I taped/laminated my daily, weekly and monthly cleaning routines.

In the Notes Section, I keep enough blank and lined paper, about 40 pages that should last me for at least 6 months.

In the Goals Section, I keep my personal and home goals as well as an ongoing list of home to-do's and projects. I call it my Black-Ops section (It's an inside joke) and pretty much separates every room in my house with its own list of home improvement projects. As I accomplish one it gets scratched off and of course, room is left available to add on new projects.

In my Finance Section, I keep a laminated version of our current budget, complete with all recurring expenses in their chronological order by which they need to be paid as well as all sources of incomes and what funds are left each month for food and gas - this leftover money goes into a cash envelope.
The Finances section also has a complete spreadsheet for the Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball. Each month, I check off a payment made and add any additional payment we may have been able to make. We are trying to get rid of our debt, though it is way below the average debt for folks our age, it is something we just do not want to have hoovering over our heads, so it will get paid off and that is that!

In the Q Branch Section (a reference to Jame Bond), I keep and manage all accounts information, whether account numbers or memberships as well as log in and password information for all. It is my Central Command System. I made this simple data sheet using a Word Document:

I am also using additional tabs to separate information into distinctive categories: Banking, Websites, MGC Affiliates (my blog) and Billing. I write in full ink but will keep the passwords in pencil as I regularly change them.

I don't think I could survive without my planner. It has been my life and sanity saving tool for almost two years now. I no longer forget things, everything is documented and has a place to go. If you are still using your PDA or phone App, I can only tell you one thing: nothing beats or replaces a good old paper planner!

Because I removed my Blog and Vlog sections from my FC planner, I purchased a separate spiral bound planner from Plum Paper Designs on Etsy. These planners are very similar to the Erin Condren Life Planners, only cheaper. They offer similar customization whether in content or color schemes.
I picked the Family Planner version, though there are many more to choose from, because it allowed me to have specific categories related to MGC.

They really are beautiful and functional planners. My only con is that they are spiral bound and therefore restrict your ability to add or remove sections, and or move things around.

It comes with a Month on Two Pages, you can pick whichever month you want to start with.

And when you order the Family Planner, you can choose up to 6 specific categories within your Week on Two pages (e.g. one for each family member).

Because this is my business planner, I picked the following categories: Blog, YouTube, Etsy, Earnings, Affiliates, Marketing and Design. Each gets tracked daily and I plan my blog and vlog posts one month ahead of time.

You can also add more inserts, for instance, I added extra note paper for each end of the month, as well as a Monthly Checklist which allows me to keep track of everything I do with my business.

Each planner comes with a year-at-a-glance as well as special dates and you can also order additional sets of stickers.

Special Dates - Calendar of Events is also included in each planner:

The bottom line here is that there are a lot of options out there for someone who wants to become more organized and create a better daily structure (and discipline) for themselves.
I may not be able to follow all my to-do's to the T and within the preferred time frame that is my biggest challenge: putting too much on my plate and thinking I can achieve it all, but, one thing is for sure, not a bill has been paid late in two years, not a valuable piece of information has been lost, the debt snowball keeps rolling and I have found what we planner addicts refer to as "PLANNER PEACE".

Here is the link to my Etsy shop again:

My Great Challenge Etsy Shop

You can get your own Franklin Covey Planner here:

Save 10% on Your Entire Order

And, if you new to paper planner and want to get your life organized once and for all you may want to check out these new Classic Caroline and Quinn Binders from Franklin Covey, They are the closest to my Boston, minus the buckle:

Classic Caroline Binder  - Cobalt
Classic Caroline Binder - Cobalt

Classic Quinn Binder - Grey
Classic Quinn Binder - Grey
Thank you so much for reading my blog and watching my YouTube videos! Share the love!

Sophia, NJ

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Mailing address:

My Great Challenge
PO Box 402
CEDAR GROVE, NJ 07009-9998

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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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