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.

Planner-Pad-Personal-Size-Organizer

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!

Planner-Pad-Daily-Organizing-system

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.

Day-planner-organizing-tips

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.

Organizing-a-Daily-Planner-Tips

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.

Any-Do-Task-and-to-Do-List-App

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.

Daily-Planner-Organizing-Ideas

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

How-to-organize-and-decorate-a-daily-planner

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.

How-to-organize-a-daily-planner

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.

Organzing-ideas-for-daily-planners

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

Planner-Pad-

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

Day-Planner-organization

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.

Uses-for-Washi-tape-in-organizing-a-day-planner

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.

The-Best-Pens-to-use-for-a-Daily-Planner

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.

Desk-Organizing-Ideas

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.

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.

You can find the sticky tab dividers at See Jane Work.

Giveaway is over

Planner-Pad-Organizer-Giveaway

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.

Day-and-Weekly-Planner-Organizing-Ideas-and-Tips

Comments

  1. Nicole says

    Hmmmm… I don’t have a best tip–that’s why I’m following so many organization blogs! This planner looks like it might work well for our homeschool planning.

  2. Beth H says

    I assign each person a color for the master calendar in the kitchen. It’s right by the tea pot so I can look at it in the morning. It keeps things a little more sane in the morning!

  3. says

    I have found that if I write it down it keeps me organized. I also take my planner in my purse anytime I leave home. I have not bought one for 2014 yet so I have my fingers crossed. Thank you for such a great giveaway!

  4. Brandi says

    I don’t think this is the best way, but I use a calendar and different color highlighters to make sure that things stand out better.

  5. marly says

    I use color coding: I don’t have a blog, but different colored tabs for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. work very well.

  6. Janell Mithani says

    I LOVE to plan my year! Even though my life doesn’t always go as planned. :) Pencil is definitely a must, this year I am using colored pencils from my drawing workshop kit to keep things organized. I also use a tiered system with categories and sub categories.

  7. says

    I assign each person in our family a color along with colors for medical and weekly occurring events like youth group and AWANA. Love this planner that you showed.

  8. Debby says

    What keeps me more organized in my planner is filling everything at the first of the year and then every Sunday night for each week. then I try to keep everything ..apts.,birthdays, project deadlines updated as they come up.

  9. Claudia says

    I am a list maker, I use colored pens and flags to mark the super important things and I use the plastic pouches for receipts etc.

  10. Cathy King says

    I use full adhesive Post it notes to have a condensed list of Must Do on each page. I mark off as done and can move to the next day if an item takes more than one day.

    Happy New Year and thanks for the giveaway!!

  11. debbi says

    I like to use Cozi.com for online organizaiton for my family… but looking for a hard copy planner for the house! :)

  12. Julie says

    I have no good tips. I do use a lot of post-it notes so I can move notes if they don’t get done or need to be postponed. I love your ideas and must get some more mechanical pencils.

  13. says

    With a FF hubs and 3boys colored highlighters and pens are my best friend. Just say the word and my brains clicks the color leading me right to it ;0)

  14. Monika says

    I keep my daily planner/calendar organized by only putting appointments on it, which leaves out goal setting. For goals and “things to do” I still use scraps of paper that actually work quite well for me, but I’m always on the look out for a new system!

  15. Monika says

    One question – how do you make sure to always have your calendar with you? I think that’s the thing that always throws me off with paper calendars – which is why I prefer an online and family sharable calendar. I don’t have to remember to bring anything with me (other than my phone) and I always have my calendar at hand. Do you always leave this planner at home or do you take it when you are out and about?

  16. Cindy says

    I carry a pocket daily agenda with me, every year I buy a new one & transfer all my important info into the new one. Anything like birthday, Dr appointment, school breaks, last manicure, hair/ highlighting appointments. I love this little pocket calendar.

  17. Temme says

    I like to color code and doodle symbols or arrows pointing to important things to remember. Sometimes I even get creative with the description titles for appointments.
    Last year I used my calendar on my phone and color coordinated family members with appointments. The downside to the phone calendar is that you can’t see everything going on that week and you have to click on the day to see the events scheduled for that day.
    See your planner has made me think seriously about going back to the good old fashion paper planner. Hoping that my name is drawn!

  18. Rhonda says

    To be honest… I just need help! I make list after list after list. I have used planners, but then I slack off. Life comes at me day by day, and I definitely NEED a method. Those little lists slip away and then I find myself with three meetings on the same day and in desperate need of someone to pick up my seven-year-old from school.
    I’d also like some help in dealing with my PAPER MONKEY. If you or your readers have successful methods, PLEASE share. I end up taking pictures of all of my lists before tossing them, but even digital storage takes a toll on my waning memory.
    I’m sure other people would probably be better with the planner than I might be, but if you can help me, I will be a success story to be proud of. I have potential… need and desire… and I’d love someone to save me from this life I refer to as treading water.
    Even if I do not win, I would gladly buy the planner if anyone (or you, Diane!) could help me get on the firm ground of planning ahead.
    Thanks so much! Love your ideas… and comments provided by your followers.
    Rhonda

  19. Pat Todd says

    I need my “big picture” to be neat and clean, so I use mechanical pencils, four in a pack from Dollar Tree. I love them!

  20. Sue says

    I don’t have a system, but I do try to write appointments and activities down on a wall calendar and also on a purse-size calendar for when I’m on the go. I love the ideas shared here and would love to own one of these planners as I haven’t bought a 2014 one yet. I’m also excited by the colored tabs and look forward to perusing the See Jane Work site. Thanks for the inspiration and Happy New Year!

  21. Jackie Lee says

    I like to add an envelope to each month for receipts and paperwork. And of course using only fine point pencils and pens is a must for me! They make mr feel “professional” for some silly but enjoyable reason!

  22. Judy H. says

    I have to make the outside of my planner as attractive as possible. Not only is it an creative project, but it keeps me interested and motivated to use my planner daily. I also like to have large, well titled, colored tabs. I often use a lesser number of categories than the planner offers or divide another one into more categories using my tabs. I always like to leave a fairly large section of one planner as a note keeping area. I’m much more inclined to remember something when I write it down into the planner rather than having sticky notes abounding.

  23. Jessica Purevich says

    I’ve found in my planner to use washi tape on the calendars for extended projects. It helps keep my separate days for day-to-day work.

  24. Lynn says

    I have adopted a practice from a calendar (brand not recalled) I used many years ago. Clip a bit off the corner of “by-gone” days/weeks/months … whatever unit your calendar/planner uses.
    It makes it very quick and easy to get to your current schedule!

  25. Anne Boykin says

    Hi Diane, Thanks for the giveaway! I’d love to try it but I’m not sure I need it anymore since I’m retired, lol.

  26. Sharon Eberlin says

    Writing it down and making lists keep me on track. I use electronic as well as I don’t always have my planner with me.

  27. Morgan says

    I use tons of sticky notes that I can add my to-do lists onto. I never forget what I have to get done if it’s staring me in the face!

  28. says

    I use two highlighters on the pages of my planner. After I enter my notes, I highlight the “must do” in pink and the secondary important things in yellow. If I can’t check off the yellow highlighted items, I roll those to the next page until they are completed.

    Thanks for such a nice giveaway!

  29. Barbara Freitas says

    I make notes in my planner for just about everything…and refer to it off and on all day. Being retired….I especially need to check my planner first thing in the morning, so I know what day it is! ;o)
    I prefer mechanical pencil, or fine tip colored pen….and I use a highlighter for important appointments.
    It would be nice to try a new style planner for 2014.
    Good luck to all who enter this perfect giveaway!

  30. says

    Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!!! I love these ideas for jazzing up my Planner Pad, which I have been hooked on, ever since I read your first mention of it way back when! So I don’t need to win one, I just want to say THANK YOU!!!

    I love my Planner Pad, it is THE perfect time organizing tool I have needed. And now I am psyched to add a little more color and personality to it (in addition to the really beautiful art sticker via Etsy I like to select each year for the front cover). Thanks so much!

  31. Lisa Kear says

    I am SO addicted to planners! My favorite kind has a month spread over two pages but then has a weekly/daily planner behind each month. This allows me to see a whole month at a glance but then I can go into more detail on the actual day. One thing I have learned is to always include a phone number with a posting of any kind of appt. (doctor, dental, haircut, etc.). If I need to reschedule, I easily have the phone number there. When my kids were young I used a different color of ink for each child. Lastly, when purchasing after Christmas items for the next hear, I create a list of what I bought and who I had in mind to give it to. Even if I buy wrapping paper or items for myself to use at Christmas, I still record this. I put this list in my planner behind the December tab.

  32. says

    My best tip is to go with ONE planner–trying to use several for different functions can lead to missing an important event/to-do if you look at the “wrong” planner—having just ONE master with everything solves that problem.

  33. Kathleen Wadsworth says

    Please!! Help me get organized! I am desperate! I get your email and follow your blog.

  34. Kellie says

    I can’t believe I have never heard of this company and I do like a good planner.

    Thanks for posting.

  35. Brenda says

    Oh how I wish I had a clever idea to add. When I taught, I used my school panner to keep track of personal items as well, but now that I’m retired, I haven’t found a new process. I have too many separate lists and really need to consolidate. Help!

  36. Lynn says

    I keep a list on an app and look at it daily to try to remember what I need to do for the day. Wish I were more organized!

  37. Mary Ann says

    Need a new planner for 2014. I like to color code and also use mechanical pencils and Pentel RSVP pens. Always a process to stay organized.

  38. Patricia says

    I love your ideas!! I have tried numerous planners and all have failed miserably. Luckily, I am an amazing micro-manager so I keep everything and everyone on task. Ok the truth is, I am tired of remembering everything for my entire household and family. We are a family of 5. The hubby and 3 teenagers are killing me. :) I need to put something in place, like a command center and let everyone contribute to their lists and to be able to check if they have something scheduled at their convenience. So if something goes amiss, it’s their problem to fix. I just can’t do it anymore. I wonder if something like your planner would work for that. I love color and love labels, labels and more labels. Sorry for the rant…but I sure feel better!! lol. Thanks Diane

  39. Beth D says

    When my children were younger with loads of activities, we had a calendar with huge blocks for each day, and everyone added there activities. Now that they’re out of the house, I’m ready for something smaller. It seems that your system may work for me too. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  40. Laura Farhy says

    I use pinterest to help keep me organized: I like to draft out a plan for each room virtually via a pinterst board, and then hunt for bargains at the dollar store and clearance sections to bring my vision to life.

  41. Paula Miller says

    Definitely using a pencil so I can erase, but also color coding so I know at a glance what category the notes fall into.

  42. Kim says

    I bought this planner last year at your suggestion because the smart phone calendar was driving me crazy, always entering, moving around took too much time AND I like to see the “big picture” which is impossible with an electronic device. BUT…I bought a bigger version this year to try because I felt I didn’t have enough room in the personal (6×8) planner. Now that I have the bigger one I’m afraid it’s TOO BIG. I don’t know if I’ll ever be happy. :( I do know I need lots of visual reminders so I may try adding some tabs per your suggestion.

  43. Cathy says

    I use colored pens, one representing each category…one color for birthdays, one for appt, etc.

    I’ve never heard of this system but looks fab!!

  44. Patty says

    “GET ORGANIZED” is a ‘carry over’ I seem to have each New Year! I wish I had a tip to share but hope this year, my efforts will be successful in keeping this resolution!

  45. Carol says

    I use a calendar on my tablet for appointments and sticky notes at my desk for quick reminders. Seems to work for me, but have always loved writing in planners. Kind of miss it …

  46. says

    I need a better system than what I’m currently using which is mostly in my head and written down on a cheapy wall calendar…As always, love your ideas!

  47. says

    Hi,,,, I also use color in my planner to engage and organize. I use my colors to signal priority of each entry. I love writing things down so I can see them. This year is big because I’m getting back to my blog and am determined to make it grow! I would dearly love one of your planners!

  48. says

    Usually I keep different calendars, one for teaching, one for our family, and one for my photography. However, since my husband was in farming accident and our life has been turned upside down my goal is to keep everything in one place and color code everything; doctor appointments, birthdays, school details, etc.

  49. Amanda says

    Write things down! I always assume I can remember what I need to do, but after having three kids my mind isn’t what it used to be. :)

  50. Dee says

    I love the way you personalized your planner! I attended a seminar on planning years ago and have stuck to the basic premise that I was taught: Letter everything on my To Do List with A – Must Do, B – Hope to do, C – Would like to do and D – Probably not going to happen. Next you prioritize each letter with a number so you know what is the most important thing on your A list, etc. What doesn’t get done you transfer to another day that month. It helped me feel that I wasn’t forgetting the important things in life!

  51. Jean says

    I’m horrible at being organized-I want to do better! However, I must use pencil (for clean changes) and I have to keep the planner with me!

  52. kat says

    That looks wonderful. I just love the idea of a blank calendar. And there is something very different about writing an appt something down rather than tapping it into an electronic system.

  53. stephanie says

    I need some where to start. I have home calendar, email reminders, and I am still missing things. I am hoping I can learn from you, get organized, and not miss another appointment.

  54. Samantha says

    I use tabs and such to keep organized, but one thing that has carried over for me from back in my Mary Kay days, is blocking days out that I won’t book anything on. That is so helpful, I can always release those days, but in a quick hurried glance, I usually see the block and know, don’t book it. Its good to leave ‘margins’. ;)

  55. Frances says

    JUST DO IT! Half the battle is writing it down…the. Check it each morning and plan your attack!

  56. Michelle B. says

    I NEED to get myself organized and this planner looks like something I could incorporate easily. I have a small cookie business and I get requests in a manner of ways and if I had this with me I could write the orders down no matter where or when I get the order.

  57. says

    I just found your site and am going to follow, organization is a need at our house. My husband recently moved his office to our home taking a room and rearranging our home, time, schedule, everything feels out of place and a bit chaotic. Now we are painting, and purging, I just felt the need to move everything and adjust to modern technology and his schedule. 2014 is my year to get organized even thru having him and our business around me 24 hours, 7 days a week. HELP! I so need some daily guidance! I look forward to your posts!

  58. Christy says

    I have to keep it with me everywhere! If I don’t, then I think “I’ll remember to write this down” and I don’t and then I get frustrated and end up just winging it for the rest of the year. I can’t tell you how many planners I have where January is all marked up, February starts to wane, and June through December are totally blank!

  59. Susan says

    I make sure I check items off once I accomplish them, it keeps me moving through me lists! Every year my New Year Resolution is to become more organized!

  60. Margaret R says

    I use the calendar and the Any Do apps on my iPad. Every week on Sunday, I write anything my hubs needs to know on the wall calendar in the kitchen. It is posted right above the coffee pot. When he makes his coffee, he looks at the calendar to see what I have him doing that day. It works better than me telling him five times to remind him.

  61. Margaret says

    I’m a neat freak of sorts, so to keep my planner/calendar organized (and neat), I always write in pencil. That way, if something changes in my schedule, I don’t have to mark through and then write.

  62. says

    I too use a mechanical pencil as it seems my life changes daily. This post has inspired me to become more organized this year! Thanks for the opportunity.

  63. debra saturday says

    My favorite thing is using color markers to designate the person for whom the appt. or day is for. i.e. (purple color) for anything me. (orange) any thing for hubby..etc. My eye sees the color and I already know who it is for.

  64. Mary Eileen Rommeney says

    Since I have begun working, I have discovered that I need to add appointments to AnyDo.com, which I love, and the Outlook calendars I use at home and at work. I can share them and be aware of all the little things . The little ones are the kind that tend to get overlooked!

  65. Sally says

    With the kids gone and just the 2 of us, post-its on the island is my low-tech planner. No wonder I forget things!

  66. Cheryl Mayers says

    I put notes on my refrigerator which doesn’t really help but at least I know where the list is. I really do need an organizer to help me keep on track with exercise, meal planning & decluttering which absolutely needs to get done this year!!

  67. Becky garrison says

    I love using a planner, started when I taught school. Try the paper mate ink joy pens. I think they are awesome!

  68. says

    A tip I do not have, I only wished I could become organized enough to keep it all in one place. I leave notes on the back of mail leaving myself ofter lost without a plan. I could use one of these!

  69. Sharon Pisiakowski says

    I keep a paper and online calendar and hope that between the two I don’t miss anything.

  70. Fritzy Dean says

    Diane, I am smitten with the large colorful striped paper clips! Can you tell me where I can purchase them?
    I LOVE your blog!

    Thanks for all you do, Fritzy Dean

  71. says

    I like to tuck a pencil pouch in the back of my calendar ( could use a planner for sure) to hold my favorite pens, pencils, small flat calculator, post it’s, few paper clips, binder clips, & an extra magnetic jot it down pad for notes- thank you ever so very much for this giveaway:-)!

  72. Joanne B. says

    Wow. Am I envious of your organization! And your colorful style too! I also like using mechanical pencils- I find it improves my handwriting and the ability to erase ‘mistakes’ or make changes feeds my perfectionist (I wish) tendencies. I would love to try this planning technique out! I don’t have a lot on my plate “to do”- but I have a lot in my mind that I WANT to do- maybe getting it onto paper will help the process!

  73. Kathy B says

    I love your website and you have inspired me to try some fun things around the house. I can’t get your diningroom table finish out of my head so I’m sure that will be showing up here real soon.
    As far as planning I use two things. One, electronic and two I write lists and then sometimes lose them. I need this planner…

  74. Carolyn B says

    Love the planner! Yours looks so neat! I just use a monthly calendar and colored pens…pretty boring! LOL

  75. Pattyjoe says

    Love using cozi.com. The whole family has access to shopping lists and calendar. Whoever is at the store can see what is needed.

  76. says

    I found the best for the entire family was to use a large 22″ x 17″ desk calendar and attach it to the side of the refrigerator – somewhat of out sight from everyday life, but still very accessible. Everyone was assigned a color with activities/times highlighted. We never missed an appointment, hockey practice, flute lesson, Civil Air Patrol activity, etc.

  77. Ashleigh Hall says

    I use different colored pens for each childs activities and a different color pen for mine!!

  78. Marie Diana says

    Ok– I am reading this post & I am actually salivating over this planner & your tabs, stikys, paperclips & Washi- LOVE LOVE IT

    It speaks to all parts of me — But I digress– At present I organize by using 4 -count them 4 seperate calandars!?!?! how NUTZ is that – inevitably double booking my self numerous times during the year & don’t even get me started on my penchant for Lists –Oy!! Any way I REALLY hope you randomly chose me for this – because we (meaning the planner & I) are meant to be together -and I’m too broke to buy one- HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

  79. Angela Bowman says

    I always write in pencil on my calendar that way if I need to move or change anything it can be erased. Keeps my calendars always looking neat. I currently use Foray brand calendars, but would love to try out a Planning Pad! Love your blog!

  80. Lynn B says

    My best tip to keep organized us to “take time”. I find that when I’m rushed or super busy, I don’t take the time to put things in place. When I use discipline and make myself take time – I stay organized and don’t have lots of little bits here and there.

  81. Gina says

    I use a regular planning calendar for appts and to do lists. I use the extra note section to ‘dump out my brain’ so I wont forget anything. Being an adult with ADHD I have to get it on paper or I will never remember. I have a ‘go bag’ in addition to my handbag that always goes with me for anything I might need during the day. My planner goes in it so I always have it with me. For now this is the best I have come up with but I really love your system.

  82. Pam Fulford says

    I also so use Any.Do app on my phone also. Its an awesome app for keeping you organized. I love all the color your using..what a great jump start for each day. I have used the Planner Pad and really like it. I would love to be the winner..

  83. Erika says

    I use the simplest system at work to keep track of my “to -do’s”; I just used a plain spiral notebook to write down all my tasks, and highlight things as I accomplish them. SO simple, but the best way I’ve found to really keep track of things. It’s so easy to glance at a couple of pages.

  84. says

    Honestly, I tend more toward disorder in my schedule but am always trying new ways to get a grip!! From my plastics cabinet in my kitchen to my cluttered brain, I am all for getting organized! I would love to try a better scheduling system and was totally jazzed to see so many others like me who LOVE putting pen/pencil to paper rather than just relying on virtual options. I think pairing the old and new technologies is the best way to succeed!

  85. Christine E. says

    For me, it is writing things down. If I don’t write it down, it does not happen. Even written on a post it note helps me.

  86. LaFawne says

    Rather boringly, I only use a small monthly calendar that I write in and keep in my desk drawer. Not a lot of appointments for me and my husband, so it works nicely. I do put monthly reminders on my iphone for the dog’s pills. Gotta take care of the most important household member!

  87. Lynn Dix says

    My tip for planning is not a secret.. make an exhaustive list of all your ToDos, then classify them as (Important, Not Important) x (Today, This Week, This Month, This Year). Then your ToDos for today will be self-evident…and yes many of the Not Important items will eventually fall off the lists but because you’ve put them on paper you can stop trying to remember them!

  88. Christyn says

    I use color coded gel pen markers for each memeber of the family. I should use pencil, but then it’s harder to track what event belongs to which person….oh the challenge! :)

  89. Margaret says

    I use lots of post-its to add details to daily entries. It might be a grocery list or a to do list for that day…making it more mobile for me to grab the post- it and go. I rarely forget anything when I use that method.

  90. Cathleen says

    This may sound silly, but I always start my to do list with something nearly done or super easy to complete. I find having at least one item crossed off quickly motivating…

  91. Stacy says

    I keep my calendar organized by color coding each family member and also by writing appointments on small post-its so if they get changed I can just move the post-it to the new date.

  92. Mary V. says

    I do a lot of list making, writing on the calendar, and using lots of your organizing tips. If I do a project that I have not listed down for that day. I write it in and mark it off. Makes me feel more accomplished! I always need help. Thanks for your blog!

  93. Bunny says

    I find that using colorful mini stick-it notes helps keep me organized by marking different events and tasks.

  94. Deborah Wilkins says

    I use Microsoft Outllook for both my professional and personal calendar and e-mail. I can keep to-do lists, schedule appointments that go straight to my calendar, and all of my contacts are contained in the same application. I set it up to send me reminders 30 and 15 minutes prior to each appointment. I travel for my business and am able to keep all of my flight, hotel and rental car info in the application. We are in the process of planning to build a new home. I am keeping vendors I may use organized in the address book under a “new home” listing. I could not live without it.

  95. Christa H. says

    I am the worst at organizing and the only thing I do to keep me sane is to tell people to send it to me in writing (usually email). That is my cue to put it on my calendar. If it’s not written, it usually won’t get done!

  96. JanL says

    1. putting phone number with any appointment. saves so much time if need to cancel, reschedule, or just notify if being late. such a relief to know where the contact number is.
    2. highlight any travel days in different color highlighter…. then I know not to schedule any local appointments to those days.
    3. put the school schedule in my calendar so know where conflicts arise or when I can safely take child to doctor/dentist without missing school

  97. Joan says

    I find that I must keep things simple in order to keep updated. Too complicated and I simply don’t bother. Please enter me for the drawing. I’d love to give this one a try.

  98. Michelle says

    I color code everything and everyone has their own color even our four legged baby has a color for his vet appointments and grooming.

  99. Ronnie says

    I too use a mechanical pencil. I also use colored pens for important things like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings. Although we’re in a digital age, I suggest to everyone – use a physical, write it down, planner. I lost my digital planner after 10 years worth of information. It was devasting but a huge lesson learned, even if I have multiple places to plan (phone, computer, planner (in hand).

  100. Delia says

    One of the things I love to do to take organized is to minimize important emails or memos to fit my size planner. It makes the information easy access and I keep everything together in my personal planner.

  101. Mary says

    I have used the planner pad for 7 years and love it ~ have not found one that I love as much.
    I put my little to do’s that can move from one day to the next on a sticky note so I don’t have to rewrite when I don’t get them done.

  102. Alisha says

    I love to add post its to my planner as well. I use them for grocery lists and things I need to remember to tell other family members while I am at work. That way I can just give them the post it.

  103. Ann P says

    The best tip I can offer is STAY ON TOP OF IT! When I don’t plan or make lists, I don’t seem to accomplish as much. Color coding also keeps me interested, lol.

  104. Gwynn says

    Wow!! Reading all these fabulous tips is inspiring. My New Year’s resolution was to make a conscious effort to be more organized. It’s a terrible feeling to live each day like you know you’ve forgotten something. I’m determined to write it all down. :)

  105. Brittney Burkhart says

    I find that with my organizing that I use different colors of Washi tape according examples being pink for school red for appointments and blue for teacher work days at work…. Its a great help but very time consuming…. I have also fallen in love with the adhesive post it not pockets they come in very handy!!

  106. Samantha M. says

    I’m love to use a mechanical pencil so I can erase any mistakes and keep things neater. That and I am crazy with colour coding with highliters

  107. Dawn Stephens says

    I’m always making “to do” lists and scheduling my day on paper. Would love to have a planner like this to help organize and keep it all in one place.

  108. Elizabeth Fiorentino says

    I like to color code my different jobs, so at a glance I see where to be for what and when…I also like just writing it all down, it helps me remember things even if I don’t go back and look at them.

  109. Madison says

    I color code my planner. I have color coding for my every day life and i keep this in one planner. Then I have a color coding system for my clases and my assignments and due dates have their own special planner.

  110. says

    I am In desparate need of organization help! the best thing I do is sit down on Sunday night and go over what I did the week before (to make sure everything was accomplIshed) and ready myself for the week ahead. gives me a lIttle comfort! but I def need the other tIps yall shared!

  111. Barbara L. says

    Keep your ‘to do’ list on a post-it note so it can be moved from one day to another. You won’t have to recopy entries that don’t get completed.

  112. Sherri says

    I color code calendar entries – Blue for birthdays/anniversaries, green for bills and paydays, purple for church and youth group things, orange for school/stuff with my son. It makes the monthly calendar pages stand out and I don’t forget to pay bills that way!

  113. Debra D says

    Diane, so far the last 3 years I have tried to find “my style” for planning. but only know what doesn’t work for me. Your style for planning has given me several ideas that I’m going to try, who knows maybe this will be my year to get organized!!! If I do have a tip it would be to write everything down. I always think I will remember but that just doesn’t happen.

  114. Donna Beard Borges says

    Hi Diane! I started following you on Pinterest recently. I have to say that last year was the worst year of my life. I was very sick and almost did not make it. But thankfully, today I am doing very well and am back at work full time. I am so excited to start a brand new year. I have so many things I want to do and know I need to get organized. I just finished reading your post and thought. . .I need one of those organizers! I can’t leave you a tip about how I keep myself organized, but I sure would like to win one of your organizers so that maybe next year I could actually give you an awesome tip that I learned from my journey into this new year. . .with the help of your organizer that is! Thanks for your consideration and God Bless!

  115. Sandy says

    I started using post it’s this past year along with washi tape in my calendar. I also use the washi tape to block off multiple day events….book fair, vacation, etc. it works out great especially if you have overlapping events. Just cut strips to go across all included days!

  116. Neve Hennessey says

    Lists, are my friend. I write lists daily, weekly and it seems I often write lists of my lists. As the memory gets older, I find the repetition of what I have set to do keeps me sharp and on task. But without a planner… well, I just don’t know! I believe with the busy lives we lead…they are a must. I really like the look of yours, nice decorating touches too! Happy New Year:)

  117. Mary says

    I keep tasks for the major areas of my daily life separate on my task lists. “Home/Family” – “Biz” (my husband is a solopreneur and I do all the admin work) – “Work” (I also have a full-time day job/career) – “Church” – and last, but not least, “MeInc” (because I’m always either taking classes or trying to improve my skills, and I am determined that this is my year to venture out on my own!). My current SOP is to put a letter next to the task (h for home, b for biz, etc) and then rank them w/a 1, 2, 3, etc., if needed. My daily lists just contain things I can complete that day; either simple things, or “next steps” of a larger task/project. If I finish w/what I have listed I can go to my master task list and pull out another “next step.”

  118. Jeanette says

    Happy New Year, Diane! A consistent location for the planner within the home is critical. Mine resides on the counter, next to the telephone, in the kitchen (the hub of activity) so that everyone can view it and make notes as needed. A stack of sticky notes and pens/pencils are nearby to facilitate leaving messages or placing them on dates on the planner to serve as temporary earmarkers for events/appointments.

  119. Terry says

    My business requires that I attend several events per month. I color code each month’s tab and write on it the dates I am booked. In a quick glance I can see when I’m busy so I don’t overbook. January is a green tab that reads J 6, 9, 11, 12, 17, 20.

  120. Andrea says

    I wish that I had a great tip to share on keeping a calendar or organizer organized……I don’t. I use to keep a great organizer and color coded items which was helpful. I would love to get back to this and so hope I am a lucky winner! Thank you for the opportunity
    Andrea
    AndeM1@hotmail.com

  121. Donnamae says

    My best tip is to keep my planner handy, and check it every day…and always use post it notes…all over the place! ;)

  122. kathy t says

    iI do not have any fancy system . iI just love planners. i.often do use different colored markers and sticky posts. but thete is no rhyme or reason to the colors, I just like color and everything to be pretty.

  123. AnneSATX says

    Right now I’m using Any.Do and the calendar on my phone. The reminders save me again and again. However, I still like having a paper planner as a permanent record of our lives. Thanks!

  124. Kathi says

    Unfortunately I don’t have a best tip on how I keep my planner or calendar organized. When my boys were younger I would tear off a page from one of those big desk blotter type calendars and put it on the frig. That worked then, my youngest is 19 so it’s been a few years ago ;)

  125. heather says

    I try to keep mine clean and organized by keeping everything alphabetical and orderly and updated I use white out tape to update and keep clean looking.

  126. says

    Thank you for such a great article! Love your tips!

    I was just about to purchase a planner pad but thought I would try my luck and enter your contest.

    I personally find using color tabs and high lighters helps me to keep organized.

    I am in the process of opening a new business and thought between work, my blog and launching a new company it would best for me to find the perfect planner.

    Thank you for your guidance and I will be keeping fingers and toes crossed.

    Happy New Year! :)

  127. says

    Oh forgot to mention. I LOVE that you have a Rolodex on your desk! Although I have an Ipad & Surface, I still can’t let go of my Rolodex…LOL

  128. Sophia says

    I keep my calendar organized by having a set day to plan as well as entering items by using post it notes, until said appointments are confirmed

  129. Bonnie says

    I’ve used your tip for printing out each month for the 12 months and I have them posted near my desk. I really want a planner to better track my activities and what I need to get done.

  130. Janine says

    I use my planner to keep track of my kids activities, errands to run and projects I want to start. I keep it organized by updating it every Monday.

  131. Denise says

    I love using different color pens/markers…not to color code, but to make it easier to see the different tasks!

  132. Mareko says

    I’m a big fan of color-coding. It helps me to see at a glance how balanced my day or week will be. I keep my categories pretty simple, and choose my colors strategically. I also use my fave colors for things that I may not be excited about. Somehow I don’t mind writing them in to my plans as much when doing so allows me to use my favorite pens!

  133. Jocelyn says

    I use so many things! I use those big sticky tabs to mark sections on the side, and little sticky tabs to mark further sections on the top. I use two different page markers (I have a loose leaf planner), paper clips, and those little flags both sticking up and on the pages. Also, I use different colored pens, and sticky notes! I know it seems so complicated, but it works for me!

  134. Shirley Johnson says

    Keep up with it! Every day you need to at least give your planner a quick once-over and clear out the completed items. Getting the trash out of the way makes it that much easier to focus on new tasks.

  135. Omeshia Green says

    I like to add pockets to my planner if it doesn’t have them so I have a place to store receipts or letters that I need to keep track of.

  136. Lisa L says

    Each person in the house has his or her own color ink. This way I can keep up with each child and my husband’s schedule. Color coding is what keeps me in the know.

  137. says

    I have always had a hard time staying organized I have a calender I use on my phone. But I am unable to personalize it muxh! I woyld love to win one of these!!

  138. Stacy Riddle says

    I love the notes section usually found at the end of planners. I keep track of everything there using a tab system. I jot down ossible gifts for friends and family, clothing sizes of my kids/nieces and nephews, home paint colors even a few fabric swatches so that when I am out and about I have everything there.

  139. Elizabeth Martinez says

    I am constantly revising my method as I am not the most organized person. But Pencils, especially mechanical pencils, work best for me and a highlighter.

  140. Lin says

    Making lists and keeping the list open on my laptop works best for me! Even if I forget the list when I go out, writing and revising it usually helps me remember t-t-d. For appointments, I use a calendar on my laptop/cell phone. Thanks for getting us all thinking about organizing our lives!

  141. Sarah says

    I like to use different color pens and tab dividers as well. I also wanted to share I made your no sew valance with the foam and it turned out so beautiful! Planning on making some more this weekend! I just found your blog and I love it!

  142. Lorrie says

    I make a list for each day jotting down things to remember, things to do, appointments, etc. At the end of the day I put a check in front of ones I accomplished and the rest get moved to the following day. (Sometimes at the end of the day, I add things to the list that I did just so I can check them off. This not only makes me feel that I accomplished more that day, but also serves as a sort of journal for the year.)

  143. Debi says

    I use a wall calendar for dates times and mileage. Unfortunately, i use many different pieces of paper for notes and then try to get them all together. I could use a planner.

  144. Kim says

    I find that a dry erase calendar on the kitchen wall helps my husband and me keep track of each others schedules at a glance.

  145. Aubrey says

    I simply like to use a paper clip to mark where I am in my planner–what’s done is done–and I can open right up to the day/month. Pencils are essential–don’t like the clutter of crossed/scribbled out ink.

  146. Sarah J. says

    Love these ideas for making this AWESOME looking planner even more fun to use! With 2 elementary kids, room mom in both classes, plus active PTO duties, a planner like this one would be divine for me. My best tip right now is using a small dry-erase calendar on my fridge and outlining the daily events every week. It serves as a quick reminder to look at and writing it all down on Sunday evenings helps me get my brain ready for the week’s events! Would love to add this planner to the mix for better on-the-go use!

  147. Pam T says

    Love this concept!! color coding works very well for me too. One of my new years resolutions is to be more organized!!! If I don’t win I will have to go out and purchase for myself!!

  148. says

    I use a large calendar with LARGE squares. My attempts at visual aids are stick on STARS! LOL. Things are changing for me in a big way in a few months and I realize I need an honest to goodness planner. Something portable. Thanks for the great ideas.

  149. Rene says

    To help me with a neat and organized view at my weekly planner on two pages, I draw a light pencil line down the page creating 2 blocks for each daily space and write my appointments and daily reminders in the top left, dinner to make and exercise to do in the bottom, to do’s on the right side and places I spent money below that. It helps to color code too.

  150. Kathrine says

    I use a calendar that I can create a column of stuff that happens every week then I can use the squares for dinner ideas, last minute places to be and for my kids to write me notes

  151. Brenda a says

    I make sure to look over my schedule the night before and knock out three things that I over planned. That helps me accomplish so much more on my todo list.

  152. Brie says

    Like you, I like to “beautify” my planner by decorating it with colorful scrapbook paper. I sometimes color code special days. Instead of highlighting or using the Washi tape within the planner, I like to place the multi-colored post-it flags on top of an event that I’ve written in pencil. This draws my attention to the item but is easy to change if the event date changes.

  153. Cheryl says

    I was so happy to see so many “planner people” still out there. With all the devices we all carry around, we are becoming scarce. I have used a planner my entire work career. I began with the Franklin Planner, and used that for many years. I actually introduced that to my daughter when she was a young student, and she used it on a daily basis for years. Because I travel and need my planner on a daily basis, I began to look for something more compact. Over the years, I had tried every size, every brand, and now I use various company pages to complete my planner, plus some I custom make for my needs. I am still trying to find a perfect fit! I looked over the website of Planner Pad and think this may work for me!

  154. Deanna says

    Organized? I think not! Perhaps winning one of these little guys would put me a step in the right direction..until then….I remain unorganized and forgetful! But thanks for sharing your creative tips.

  155. Betsy says

    I love planners and haven’t gotten one for 2014 yet. Hadn’t seen these before, but I love it!

  156. says

    I keep my calendar right on the kitchen counter! front and center, it helps me a lot, but I still forget to check my day at times. Thanks for the chance to win a planner, I would love to use it!

  157. Cheryl G. says

    I put my hardest task at the top of my list. If I can accomplish it and nothing else gets completed, my day is not all lost! Right now my list is just pen and pad. I would love one of these planners to organize with and can’t wait to add all of the wonderful color. Great post and awesome ideas!

  158. says

    I’m glad I came across your post. Being self-employed, organization and time management are things that are paramount for success, and are things I constantly struggle with. I haven’t yet found a daily planner style I like/that works for me, but the planner pad may be it! I think organizing to-dos into categories is essential for me to keep my calendar/planner organized.

  159. says

    I love Cozi and Evernote for keeping all of my stuff organized. I also use the calendar on my iPhone synced with my iPad and I have a wall calendar in my kitchen so all my family knows what is going on.

  160. 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.

  161. 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.

  162. 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.

  163. Shelley says

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

  164. 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.

  165. 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!

  166. 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… :)

  167. Susan Harper says

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

  168. 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!

  169. 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

  170. 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.

  171. 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.

  172. 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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