I can’t believe it’s already day 5 of my planner series (I’m going all the way till Sunday!) I want to first say THANK YOU for all the positive feedback I’ve been getting! Also, I’ve had a few people reach out asking about how they could get $10 off their first Erin Condren order, so I’m leaving the link here in case you are interested.
Today, we are diving into the meat of the planner, the monthly and weekly layouts. These are obviously the pages that people actually buy a planner for. They are where you keep track of birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, appointments, meetings, etc. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how to use these pages, but I will give you a look into my planner to show you how I use them (to the maximum) to keep my life running smoothly!
Disclaimer: you DO NOT need the fancy sticker kits to make your planner functional. I like them because when my planner is pretty it inspires me to look at it and use it more, but I totally get why some might think it is a waste of money. If it doesn’t bring you joy, then don’t use it:)
The monthly layout is one of my favorite spreads in my planner because it provides the BIG picture of everything important going on in the month. The only things I keep in my monthly view are important events, birthdays, anniversaries, meetings, appointments, practices/games for the kids, pay days and bills due. I don’t put any to-do’s or task in this section.
I’m not the type of person who jots stuff down or scratches things out in my planner. I can’t function looking at a page if if there are marks everywhere; the information gets jumbled up, and I end up overlooking something important. To keep things looking nice and to avoid scratch outs, I use stickers for most things. That way if an event gets moved or canceled, I can just pull the sticker up and start over.
I typically plan my months out a few weeks before they start. For instance, we are about midway through June, so I am about to plan July. If I have not planned the month out yet, but I want to put down a reminder, I just use a sticky note as a place holder. For example, I know I have to get my car’s inspection sticker changed in October, so I have a sticky note reminding me to do that in the October spread. When I go to plan October in a few months, it will be there as a reminder! I also use removable stickers for any events that are tentative or not set in stone.
Every time you buy an Erin Condren Life Planner they come with a perpetual calendar. Way back when I got my first one, I put in birthdays and anniversaries of everyone important in our lives, as well as other dates that are significant to our family. I reference this each month when planning so I don’t forget to include anything special.
Here is what my July spread looks like prior to planning out the month:
Here is what my July spread looks like after I
planned out the month this morning. We are SLOWLY getting back to normal and have a few things planned for July. The sticker kit is from Planner Kate on Etsy.
This month is the first month in a while that I actually have things to put in this spread. COVID pretty much wiped out any plans we had over the past few months making this spread pretty useless if I’m being honest. To help you get a better idea of what a busier month looks like, I’m putting a few more pictures here!
In between the monthly spreads are the weekly layouts. I plan my weeks out every Sunday night (usually while sitting in bed watching Netflix). This spread is an overview of everything going on during the week, plus some. I start by looking at the monthly calendar and filling in any important events that are listed there. Then, I go back and add in all the “extras” for the week. I have been planning for a LONG time, so I know what works for me. I keep things like our meal plan, my anticipated workout schedule, errands I need to run, people I need to get in touch with, grocery reminders, etc.
Just like the in monthly layout, I use sticky notes to pre-plan in the weekly layouts. Again, the sticker kits I use are from Planner Kate. Here are pictures of some of the weekly spreads in my current planner. This will give you an idea of how my general planning style stays the same, but things vary based on what’s happening in our lives at that time. For example, some weeks, I really track my workouts, while other weeks (usually when we are really busy), I only have a few written in. The side bar always stays the same: I use it to track things to do, people to call, and places to go (another great idea from Jen Plans!)
This Sunday night I will do a brief walkthrough as I am planning out next week, so be sure you are following me on Instagram so you don’t miss it! Tomorrow, I will be talking about the newest addition to my planner system- my daily petite planner! Come back to see how I keep myself productive each day by tracking my daily habits and to-dos. Also, if you missed any of the previous post from this week, you can find them below: