So it’s been a while since I’ve last posted about planners. I’ve definitely had a love-hate relationship with them over the last couple of years. (More on that later). For now, I feel like I’ve finally found a system that works for me. So naturally, I had to do an updated planner tour!
Ah, me and planners. It’s been something of a wild ride. As long as I was in highschool, I just used my school agenda. Easy peasy, no thinking required. When university started, though? The adventure began.
I started out with just buying planners and got tired of that real quick. After a couple of years, I eventually just made my own. Six months later, I got tired of that and tried bullet journal. That lasted for all of 3 months, at which point I got myself a planner I could semi-personalize from Personal-Planner. To be fair, that planner lasted a good while, I even got a second one. And then that fizzled out as well. The last 3 months of last year’s uni-work, the entire planner is mostly blank. I didn’t use it at all since August. It’s basically just been notebooks and random to-do-lists ever since.
Quite frankly, none of the above options were working all that well. Which is why I asked for a planner for Christmas. A Kikki K-planner to be exact. The biggest advantage? I can adapt it as I need throughout the year. And that’s basically been the main problem all along: something might work one month, but then not at all.
Another good thing? Because I’ve been working with to do-lists so much this past term (at one point it was 5 A5-pages long!) I’ve realised I actually quite like that.
So I got the Kikki K Personal Planner in Large. That one comes with a lot of inserts, but I opted to also get the Wellness Planner inserts – one, because they look pretty. Two, because I feel like they would be useful. Three, because I wanted to. What other reason do I need? 🙂
Above and beyond the planner
One of the main things I love about the Kikki K-planner is that it is reusable. Any year, I can just add printables, take things out. I can use the folder to hold documents I need to have with me at all times, I can make a lovely front page featuring my word of the year… (my focus word is “enough”, by the way – read more about it in my introductory post!)
And of course: there’s plenty of options to take all the notes. Because I need that, trust me.
The daily things
Now, this is a planner, so naturally I have to be able to plan my life in it. What I’ve noticed though, is that for me it’s not all that useful to have a weekly overview. I just don’t use it! I teach, so most of my classes are at the same time every week. And really, I just don’t have that many meetings throughout any given month.
Instead, I’ve opted to go for just a monthly overview, where I can jot down any meetings (or birthdays, or…) I have. That’s really all I need as far as an overview goes.
How do I know what I need to do, then? Well, that’s where my love for To Do lists comes in!
I have a grant total of 3 running lists that all work in basically the same way: on top, I have the date I started the To Do list. Underneath that, it’s just a running list of things I need to get done. Any time I get something done, I put a “V” next to it. At the end of the week, if I’ve reached the bottom of a column, I’ll transfer any things that still need doing to the next column. If an entire column is done, I highlight the date on top of it!
My designated “work”-to-do-list is basically endless. The good thing is, though, that most of the things I need to do don’t have a deadline as such. There’s a lot of correcting in there, and I try to get to any of that sort of thing as quickly as possible. To plan my classes and to know what I’ve seen with which group in what week, I have a separate planner. One the school gave me. One with entire attendance lists, and homework overviews, and all that fun jazz.
This to do-list is more so for me to keep an overview of everything that needs to be done. So I don’t have to go leaf through the entire teaching planner, you know.
My personal to do-list works more so on a day-to-day basis. For today, for example, it consists of vacuuming, ironing, painting my nails, putting a load of laundry on and going tutoring. Oh, and blogging, of course!
My blogging to do-list falls somewhere between those two: there’s some deadlines, but mostly it’s just a running list of things I want to get done.
Talk about blogging… Naturally, I have an entire section divided to just this!
It starts with just a monthly overview where I can see at a glance what posts are going up on what date. I’m not sure to what extent you can see this exactly, but it tends to involve a lot of white-out. I’m one of those persons that needs to see in front of them what the month is going to look like. Of course, that’s also the only point where I can then go: “oh no, that’s not going to work, let me try this intead”.
Next up is another running list, this time of all the ideas I could possibly blog about. I’ve colour coded it into Weekly List-ideas, tags, bookish posts and random posts. I just did some serious brainstorming (and cruising the internet :p ) so at this point my list is like 5 pages long… So no more missing posts should be in my near future, right? 🙂
That really is just about all for the blogging section, just because I have a blogging schedule that really works for me. In other words: I just have to find a Weekly List-idea for each Wednesday, a bookish idea for Fridays and then “other” for Sundays. Any days in between are usually holidays or reviews, which would already be part of my monthly overview and/or my to do-list!
Now. This is something I’m pretty proud of. If nothing else, then because this is the first time I’ve actually managed to devote an entire section in any planner just to reading. More concretely, I’m keeping count both of what read, what I thought about it, ànd how I’m doing on my reading challenges.
I started this section with just a Reading Tracker. My goal for this year is 100 books, but the past couple of years I’ve upped it to 150 and usually surpassed that as well. I’ve provided myself with 200 spaces to colour in according to the kind of book I read ànd to fill in how many stars (out of 5) I would give it.
Naturally, I tend to want to know a bit more about the books I read, which is why I’ve also added a running list of all the books I’ve read. Just the title, the author, and in one line some key words that come to mind when thinking about it.
Next up, then, are the reading challenges. I’ve just copied by hand all the prompts, leaving one line to fill in what book matched each prompt. Of course, when you’ve got a challenge like the Popsugar one, you can’t quite fit all 50 prompts to just one page. That’s why I’ve gone ahead and added trackers to the top of these pages as well – that way at least I have some impression of how I’m doing for each challenge!
I’m planning on participating in a couple of readathons this year as well – the inloveathon comes to mind – so I think I’ll be keeping track of my TBR for those in a new tap as soon as that time comes round!
Now, as I already said, I also got the Wellness-bundle. Because, you know – everybody needs that little extra in their life, right? I’ve not quite gotten round to using all of the inserts, but there are a couple of highlights I am loving so far. (Inspirational quotes, I’m looking at you!)
What with my entire “enough”-theme going on this year, I’ve really been liking the Reverse Bucket List and the Gratitude pages as well. They’re both definitely still a work in progress, but I like taking a couple of minutes every once in a while to see if I can think of any other things to put in both those lists, you know?
And that’s basically it for my planner tour! It’s a lot of different sections and parts and bits, but so far I’ve found that – apparently – that’s the kind of thing I need! I can honestly say I’ve liked opening up my planner every morning to see what I had to get done, what I could do, what plans I’d made. And that’s really not something I’ve had a lot with previous planners!
What kind of a planner person are you? Store bought? Home made? Bullet journal? How do you set those up?? Be sure to let me know below!