Happy New Year!
Yep – you read that right. Happy New Year! To me the day after Labor Day truly begins a new year – more so than January 1st. On January 1st the calendar year may change, but most of us just go back to what we were doing before the holidays.
In September – newness is in the air. It is a new year that is not about resolutions, but a time for fresh starts and sharpened pencils. New friends, new notebooks to fill with new knowledge, and of course new shoes and a back to school wardrobe. I get a bit envious of all the kids that still get to enjoy this back to school ritual every year.
I want IN again! To feel like a kid going back to school. The best way I know is to share with you my favorite school supplies office supply tools that keep me organized. I have tried many different methods to get and stay organized and they do work for awhile, but then I seem to have one too many scraps of paper on my desk that I don’t know what to do with. That all stopped after I started using a Planner Pad back in March. I had never heard of a Planner Pad until I was in an online conversation with a blogging group I am part of -Philly Social Media Moms. Two of the other bloggers in the group told us how they just loved their Planner Pads.
I was just thinking they were talking about an agenda style planner, but I soon learned that a Planner Pad is an organizer that funnels your tasks and ideas down into the most important – which then makes it easier to complete each one and then check them off when you accomplish them. I was intrigued and went to the website to learn more.
Learning about a Planner Pad has changed my life. I still use my 3 x 5 index cards to write down ideas – but then they end up in my Planner Pad 0r as I affectionately call it – my brain book. This is not a paid post. I am just very happy to have found a way to keep me organized. Since this time of year school supplies are in our minds I wanted to write about the closest thing I have to new school supplies.
What Makes the Planner Pad Different?
The Planner Pad organizer’s format lets me organize all my blogging and personal activities in one place and by category. It helps balance everything I do.
Unlike ordinary day planners – a Planner Pad devotes a two-page spread for each week. You can see an entire week’s worth of planning with one look. Since I am such a visual person I love this feature. Each page works like a funnel to find priorities, organize work flow, and plan personal activities. It took me a few weeks to start using it effectively, but now I don’t know how I lived without it.
The top section replaces long lists written on tablets or scraps of paper. I write the categories that make sense to me across the top of each week– Personal, Blog, Computer, Advertising, Social Media, Momtastic, Post Ideas. Everything I do including my daily tasks fits into one of these categories. The horizontal layout gives me maximum visibility. As I plan, it makes it easy to group like activities and see what I need to accomplish … CATEGORIZE
The middle section is the daily activity plan. I select things that need attention from the top section. Assign specific days for action … PRIORITIZE
The lower section is my “appointment book.” It is my daily schedule hour by hour -people to see, meetings to attend, and personal activities. I add everything in this section – even my morning workout. I am trying to create blocks of time in this section by using different colors, but I haven’t reached that level of organization yet. :) SCHEDULE
With the Planner Pad system, I funneled down all those tasks that were stressing me out and broke them down into easily manageable tasks. I go to bed with a clear head each night. It is such a good feeling to have an effective working organization system in my life.
There is a Goals Section in the back where I can write down immediate, short-term and long-term goals.
You can buy different accessories to help you further organize your Planner Pad. I like the monthly tabs.
I also made my own tabs for the notes section. This is where I put all the ideas and notes I need to remember. I cut up self-stick laminating sheets to make them.
There is also a monthly view calendar for each month. I don’t use this other than to glance at what day falls where. I need to put a few stars on Friday September 23! Do you know what that day is? The first day of Autumn!!! Time to celebrate my favorite time of year.
Planner Pads even sell clear adhesive pockets for the front and back covers to hold papers that you need to transfer to the pages of the Planner Pad. I use it to hold note cards. I love stationery products and recently found these at Target. They come with little coordinating address labels. Oooh la la… Keeping them here lets me quickly jot a note to a friend. Like I said earlier – this has become my “brain book”.
My favorite aspect of the Planner Pad system is the “cut the tab off” feature. It may seem trivial to some, but it gives me a peace of mind. Once you move to the next week and have transferred all the items from the previous week that didn’t get done – you clip or fold the corner tab of that last week. There is a little perforation– a fold over means I still have items I need to address on that page. When you cut it off – it signals that there is nothing on that page that you will ever need anymore! DONE – move on. No more going back and forth to find something. I take a few minutes every Sunday night to move the items that didn’t get done into the next week. This little feature – truly helps me stay super organized.
I did go to WalMart last week and bought two new Composition Books. Remember them? They have such a nostalgic feel – a classic back to school item. The two I got have had an update from the classic black and white marbled cover. They are hip and modern in design – I HAD to have them. As soon as I got home, I started organizing one to hold my Post Content and photos I want to add to each post. The other one is to the left in the photo – purple with the brown, gray, and green dots.
I love transparent Post-It Tabs – I use them to label the page in my Composition Book where I gather all the actual post content I am working on.
I place written notes, images, and thoughts I want to convey for each post I am working on in this book. Once I have written the post, I tear it out. When there is no paper left – I will start using the second book I bought. I wish I could be a writer whose thoughts just flow out effortlessly. That never happens to me – I have to plan it all out.
I know many people organize their days on their computers. I am too visual and like the tactile connection I get with a paper system like the Planner Pad. Do you have a system you love that keeps you organized ? Do you have any ideas, tips and tricks that help you you stay organized on a daily basis that would help the rest of us too? If you do –share them in your comment.
Again – I am wishing you a very Happy and Organized New Year!