In my last post, I gave an overview of my planning strategy for 2017. Now, in these next few posts, I’ll break it down into the individual planners and explain why I’m choosing to go this route for the new year. I’ll also do a quick overview of some inserts I created myself in a separate post.
I’m always working on multiple projects, whether I’m writing books, working on websites, developing products, plus taking care of my Mom, so I really need to have everything well controlled. I went the digital route for a long time, but as I discovered the planner community, I went back to my roots and opted to include paper in the plan. It seems to have taken on a life of its own!
My main workhorse planner is this lovely Filofax Original A5 in deep teal. I hesitated to purchase it – even second hand! – because in many photos on different websites, it looked really green and that’s just not my color. However, I must tell you, this deep teal is GORGEOUS!!! And it complements crystal and gold beautifully.
This particular Filofax will include both business and personal calendars. It’s just too hard to maintain separate calendars, as I’m sure most of you are aware. I maintain the same calendar on my smartphone as well.
Here’s the breakdown of this planner:
- “Make it Happen” dashboard. Sounded like a great motto for the year! Looks very pretty when you first open the planner. (See photo on Instagram) Good visual reminder.
- A Cindi ownership dashboard.
- 2017 year at a glance calendar dashboard.
- 2017 goals. When I wrote these I had such a clear vision of where I want my business to grow in 2017 that I began accomplishing items on the list immediately! Some items may seem like to-do’s and others I’ve since determined I’m not so excited about, but the list is handy to reach and review on a daily basis.
- A lined sheet of note paper to identify 2018 goals. It will be here before we know it!
- A Filofax top load envelope/sheet protector. I put this behind my goals because if I find an article, get a business card or have other items that relate to my 2017 goals, I’ll just slip it in where it’s safe and I can find it when I need it. I had items to place as soon as I put it in my planner.
- A size cheat sheet. I can never remember what size things need to be, like Facebook covers or Twitter profile photos. So, I jotted down all the ones I use and printed it for my planner.
- My two months on a page yearly blog planner. This will be to identify recurring types of blog posts that I’d like to have every year.
- Month on two pages calendar. I’ve purchased mini stickers to help me use this as mostly a visual. One thing I dislike about most planners is the calendar overview is right before the month. Then, if I’m trying to find when was the last time something happened, I have to look through half the planner. Here, the whole year is back-to-back. If it’s July and something happened in May, I only have to flip two pages. I’ll identify things like meetings, doctor appointments, mani-pedi-hair appointments and so on; not all the details or even the time and location, just that it happened. I’ll put the details on the weekly planner pages. I’m going to try this. We’ll see how it works.
- Week on two pages – entire year. These are set up to accommodate the Erin Condren vertical format stickers, so if I choose to use them, I can. I’m not much of a sticker gal, but at least the squares are standard size. I use the top square of the day for my to-do list, usually 3-5 items; the middle square for appointments and the bottom square for holidays, family, notes – that square is still flexible. The months are separated by card-stock calendar pages from Target Dollar Spot (Bullseye Playground) that I punched to fit the planner. I could also have used monthly tabs but this is what I’m doing for now. There is plenty of room. Regarding my task list, as I complete each task, I check it off. When I’ve completed the tasks for the day, I put a star above the date. Then, if I look back to find unfinished tasks, I can skip the days with stars.
- Financial section. The first part is a month on two pages, back-to-back, where I’ll simply note when I receive a payment and from what source. I want to track to see if there’s a pattern. As my business grows, this may be eliminated. I considered doing it on a month on one page vertical format, but this will bring me more of a visual.
- Income goals. I broke down my annual revenue goal by income category so I can track how well I’m doing compared to plan.
- Annual Bill Summary. This is an insert I created to track all those unexpected charges throughout the year, plus regular monthly bills. I plan to do a separate post just on this.
- Shopping log. This is an easy place to keep track of online orders. I normally just jot them down on paper, but now it will all be logged in one safe place.
- Business Expenses. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to include this or not, but I’ll try it for a year. I created my own rather than purchase because for me they were easy to do and I can print additional ones as required. My business is still small enough that logging these expenses rather than just using an app is easy enough.
- Wishlist. Some items may be more necessities, but a girl can wish, can’t she?
- A few sheets of blank note paper.
Month on two pages and the week on two pages inserts are from Etsy shop owner SewMuchCrafting. Dashboards and bookmarks are from Etsy shop owner TheFabulousPlanner. Stickers come from several Etsy shops but I have to give a shoutout to PaperLovingMommy. I use a variety of stickers from her but my absolute favorite are her annual holiday stickers. She has the most complete set on Etsy. They really make the holidays stand out on the calendar pages, and she includes things like daylight savings time. Sometimes she sells out so they won’t show up in a search. Just check back periodically and you’ll find them!
I do maintain electronic copies on some of these items, like the annual bill summary and, of course, revenues and expenses. I also track website traffic and social media likes/follows in a spreadsheet that is separate from my planner.
That’s it! As I said, I’ll be describing some of these in more detail in a future post. If there’s something you’d like me to describe in more detail, just let me know!