Paper Planner

For the past few years I’ve used Trello as my planner (one for personal, one for work, one for each project/client, and so on!) and I’ve loved it.

Here’s my personal planner in Trello:

A side effect of being a parent, however, is that I’m not using electronic devices 24/7. For some reason, the last thing I want to do while the baby is napping is to get out my computer and look at emails or my planner or… anything, really. Same goes for my phone.

It’s been really bad – I’ve gotten far behind in everything, including reasonably important “life organisation” stuff. Like I should have changed our home contents insurance a year ago. And we should have made wills by now. And I got a referral months ago to see a skin specialist for something my mum wants me to get checked out, and I still have the referral paper, but haven’t made the appointment. And we have store credit to get James a wedding ring, which we should have chosen ages ago; the store credit has already been extended once.

Recently, I asked my parents to babysit, and I spent some time getting papers organised. I’ve put together a “Life Organisation” folder; just a simple binder folder with categories like “Manuals & Warranties” and “Car”, etc. I was going to buy the kikki.K My Life Organiser, but didn’t quite like it enough – plus the categories weren’t right for me – so I made my own.

And, after making my own folder, and working with paper, I had an idea: maybe I needed a paper planner, for the first time in like, a million years. Maybe I would actually use a paper planner. And maybe I would get some things done again.

Off to kikki.K…

…for the Cute Time Planner, Paper Lovers Book, and matching Cute Pens.

Pretty cute!

That evening, while everyone was asleep, I started re-arranging the planner. I don’t need sections like “Birthdays” or “Addresses” or “Expenses” or, by jove, “Shops and Restaurants”. (Who uses such things?!)

I decided I needed four sections. Three sections to mimic my Trello planner, and a fourth to keep daily notes:

  1. Today
  2. To Do
  3. Later
  4. Diary

There were seven tabs in total, but I figured I would start with four sections and see, down the track, what I wanted the remaining sections to be.

I recycled the useless “Shops and Restaurants” pages and made them into “Today” pages:

There was already a “To Do” section, so I kept those pages and moved them to the second section in the planner:

I recycled the “Expenses” pages and made the “Later” section:

I moved the calendar/diary to the fourth section, and then used paper from the Paper Lovers book to cover up the tabs (which were now all labelled incorrectly). Next, I’ll get a gold Sharpie from Officeworks and re-write the tab labels.

I’ve transferred my lists from Trello to the paper planner, and I’m feeling more organised already. The planner is a “medium” size and fits easily in my bag. Although it’s “medium”, it’s pretty small, which I might find frustrating down the road – you can’t write much on each line! – but maybe my writing will need to adjust, or maybe this is just the compromise I have to make, because the “large” planner was too big for me to cart around everywhere.

In semi-related news, the planner came with a postcard that asks, “What’s one thing you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” and I’ve been thinking about that question for a day now, and I honestly can’t think of a true and good answer. I feel like I’m a bit broken. In semi-demi-related news, I am pregnant. James wasn’t comfortable talking about it before week 8, but we’re in week 8 now. I wanted to talk about it sooner, because I think the more women who talk about pregnancy in the first trimester (the danger zone – where there’s a 15% likelihood of failure), the better! So that’s why I’ve been unnaturally flat and tired. DANGER ZONE! Kapow. How’s that for sneaky news at the end of a post?

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