Fresh Start: Planner Organization Ideas

I’m back!  Back after taking the holidays off. It felt good to take a little break, but it also feels just as good – exciting actually, to get back to what I love  – writing this blog and sharing my ideas, projects, and life with you.

I may not have posted the past two weeks,  but I have been planning. Planning projects to share with you, planning time to get back into my physical morning workout schedule, planning to take time to connect with you, and to learn more about everything I am interested in. I don’t have any resolutions – just plans… plans of good things ahead.


With the harried, happy rush of the holidays behind us, the new year begins, fresh and open – the proverbial blank slate – I have my daily planner and am ready to go!


Three years ago I found out about a Planner Pad from a Philadelphia area bloggers group I belong to. I had used many types and styles of planners before and was never happy with any of them. That changed once I bought a Planner Pad.  I have been using one ever since!  That fact alone tells you just how much I love the system and sharing my planner organization ideas with you.  I have written about Planner Pad before – to learn more about the system, you can read my post, here or visit the Planner Pad site.

This year I decided to add my own style to my brand new 2014 Planner Pad.  Style-it-up just for me using the colors and designs that will help inspire me to action.


I love seeing how some people take the time to color code their planners and calendars. I don’t do that – too complicated for me, but I do love color and added it to my Planner Pad with scrapbook paper, markers, sticky tabs, and fun paper clips.


I love the visual-ness of a pen to paper planner. I like to see how the pieces of my life fit together.  Everything becomes clear  – nothing gets jumbled.  I can see my life and my work week at a glance – what I am working on, what is scheduled, along with the deadlines, too.


To also help keep me organized, I use the free phone app, Any.Do. It is perfect for notes and lists I need when I am out and about.  I like the clean un-cluttered interface. It even reminds me each morning to take a look and access my day.  Using it along with my planner, I can keep myself and day pretty organized.


To decorate my planner in my own style, I gathered some colorful supplies and got to work.


I love Roman numeral clock faces and found this scrapbook paper at Michaels. I thought it perfect to accent my planner. I laminated it with self-seal laminating sheets I bought at Walmart.  I used spray glue to attach the laminated clock paper to the inside of the front and back covers.


I added a Planner Pad accessory (self adhesive clear pockets) to the front and back covers right on top of the scrapbook paper. I separated a stack of Sticky Notes by color and attached them to the front cover right over the pocket using double stick tape to hold them into place.  I can still use the pocket to hold notes and misc. items.


Planner Pad sells monthly tabs that I added to first page of each month.


On the Notes and Goals pages in the back of the planner, I added my own Section tabs.


I made them using white card stock and the laminating sheets.  Simply write your sections on cardstock and cut out.  Wrap the laminating sheet around it, leaving extra lamination at the bottom so you can attach the tab to the edge of the paper.


To add color, I added Washi tape tabs. I attached the tape on the back of the paper and tabs I made and just folded the tape over on itself above the tab. I then cut the top edge to the height I needed.


I find that fine tipped  pencils, pens, and markers work best when you are trying to keep things neat and legible. I use PaperMate Precision mechanical pencils most of the time.  Since I can erase changes instead of cross them out. I also like how it makes my handwriting look.  My other favorites are Pentel RSVP pens and Le Pen markers.


I use the sticky tab dividers to mark magazines and books I am reading so I can easily find the pages that interested me again.  I sometimes even use them to mark a date in my planner, too.

You can find the sticky tab dividers on Amazon.

Now I am all set and ready to create some exciting new projects to post about.  I will be painting a new rug on my mudroom floor, showing you a room I have never showed you before, stripping wallpaper, creating a home office for Ed in our older daughter’s empty room, more DIY chalk paint projects,  and so much more.

Happy Monday! It is back to creating for me.

Giveaway is over


I have 2 personal size spiral-bound Planner Pads to give away. Each is complete with monthly tab dividers and clear front and back pockets that will help keep you organized.

Winners – Congratulations to:

Kim –  Comment #59

Cindy –  Comment #22

I will be emailing both of you.



  1. Elizabeth says

    My best tip is to keep it simple and keep it within reach. If you don’t have it, you won’t use it. If you have to think about it too much, you won’t use it.

  2. Dawn says

    I am a paper person. If I don’t have it down in my planner, I will forget to do it. I am so glad that there are others that feel the same way.

  3. Casandra says

    I keep just one calendar for myself, where I put everyone’s items. There’s none in the house. (I had one there before so we could all know what was going on. But wasted effort as no one but me ever looked at it. Every event snuck up on my husband anyways.) And just tell everyone what’s going on.

  4. Shelley says

    I am in need of being organized. I honestly don’t have a favorite tip. I would love t win. :)

  5. Sarah says

    Keep a running to do list. Important things go at the top. Any left get moved to the next day. I would love one of the Planner Pads.

  6. Linda Darling says

    I recently retired from a management position, but I still have lots of things I am involved in and a planner still helps. You can try any system you want, but if you don’t have a disciplined approach, you are likely not to get the full benefit from your system. I keep my planner open on my home desk to remind me my day starts with a review of my plans for the day, whether I have all items I need to complete the tasks and how I have organized my time. Five minutes is about all I take. Then, each evening, I check my progress from the day and prepare for my next day by reviewing what things I want to accomplish, what I need to do my tasks and organize my time. This maybe takes 10 minutes but makes my time in the morning shorter. This disciplined method of 15 minutes a day helps me stay organized. Sometimes its something simple, like organizing my stops so I get the most accomplished in the shortest amount of time; e.g., the post office is next to the drug store which is on the same road as the grocery store. So I would do these errands on the same day and schedule an amount of time to do them. I find this system works for me and at the end of the day, I tend to feel successful in accomplishing my tasks!

  7. says

    Although I keep multiple calendars (my phone, a planner, a wall calendar)…the planner keeps me on track the best. I mainly use my phone for alerts and reminders throughout the day (take vitamins, check backpacks and lunch boxes) and the planner helps keeps everyone’s appointments in order. Love being air traffic control at home! :) I really like the layout of this planner though! And it seems way more compact than what I am carrying around! My mom would love it too… :)

  8. Susan Harper says

    HOLY MOLY!! This organizer post makes me giddy! I have a true “thing” for them…sigh.

  9. says

    I section out each item and each member of my household into different tabs and well as colour code.
    Love your planner – looks great!

  10. Sheryll & Critters. says

    Oh I so need a new planner. I have forgot to get one about the last 7 times I should have….. while out to get stuff. I am so tired of forgetting stuff lately. lol

  11. Sheryll & Critters. says

    I forgot to say that my best way to use and keep my planner is just have one and use it everyday. I am lost without one right now, cause I forget everything just about.

  12. kenn says

    I have discovered that Post it notes are great for printing on. You can make a template and then use the post it notes in the printer with pictures of your activity or something that helps you remember an event. Print a picture of a birthday kid in your classroom and post it in your planner on their birthday and still use it to write on.

  13. Linda Weeks says

    maybe the best tip ever – I’ve tried planners before… though I never did such a colorful arrangement! I’ve got to find one of these and make it work like you have. Great blog!

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