When I say (as I have many, many times) that I’m a Type-A, OCD planner/organizer extraordinaire, I am certainly not kidding. Nor am I bragging. I can’t help that I was raised exactly like my teacher mother (the most organized person I’ve ever met) and I can’t take credit for half the amount of things I manage to get done on a daily basis. That credit? It goes to my Sugar Paper planner.
If there were a group called Paper Products Anonymous, I would be the self-proclaimed leader. I would engage us all in discussions on where to find the best stationary, the cheapest birthday cards and the smoothest, most colorful sets of pens. And then I would run a full-day seminar on planners – more specifically, those of the Sugar Paper for Target variety. Wanna come to my imaginary organizational conference? Swag bags will include an absurd amount of cute sticky notes and that impossibly gorgeous Nate Berkus gold stapler that I am obsessed with but cannot seem to justify. Probably due to my overall lack of stapling… I digress.
If you haven’t swooned over the Sugar Paper products at your local Tar-Jay lately, let me give you a quick look at the 2016/2017 Signature Planner. Also known as: my non-human best friend.
I don’t know what it is (it’s champagne) but I am losing my memory by THE DAY, you guys. If I didn’t carry this planner everywhere – seriously, I’ve had to be talked out of taking it to a bar before – then I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t get anything done, pay any bills on time, or remember any birthdays. Here’s a quick rundown of all the ways I use my Signature Planner:
- Daily/weekly tasks – things like errands, laundry, or paying bills.
- Scheduling fitness – the boot camp classes I’m signed up for, as well as planning runs.
- Finance – I make note of random spending here and there to help keep my budget straight.
- Books/Crafts – an ongoing list of e-books I want to download and DIY projects I want to create.
- Upcoming events – weddings and all that come with them, 5k runs and doctors appointments.
- Blogging – I use sticky notes to move around drafted posts and keep a running list of ideas too.
- Goals – Things I want to accomplish on a weekly/monthly basis, and notes on how to get there.
- Important dates – birthdays, anniversaries, and anything else I know I’ll forget otherwise.
It starts out with a quick reference sheet and contact information pages. I don’t use those because I keep most of that in my phone, but I’m sure that would come in handy for finding your cousin’s address that you keep forgetting, or the very obscure date of Arbor Day 2017.
After that begins the good stuff – We start with a full-spread monthly calendar, with room on the sides for notes AND a small reference to upcoming months. It’s here that I write down appointments, birthdays and travel, and I circle my upcoming time-off from work so that I can quickly see what’s coming up soon.
Here’s what makes Sugar Paper different/better than most other planners I’ve tried (and trust me, I’ve tried a LOT) – After that calendar comes a spread with an entire page for Monthly Notes, followed by a page broken up into sections for work, personal, health and financial goals, plus more sections for tasks to focus on and important dates. I’ve found that the more times I write something down, the less likely I am to forget it, so these extra spaces to jot notes down have really been helping me plan! I also use the bigger notes section for packing lists – it helps to go back and reference what I brought the last time we were in Avalon, so I can at least try not to repeat my favorites ; )
And then, our day by day. The weekly spread is obviously the pages I use/see the most. It’s open on my desk at work all day, and again on my desk at home all night. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” really resonates – if I don’t physically SEE the tasks I need to complete, I’ll pretend they don’t exist. Seriously.
I rarely need to call or email anyone outside of work (and I use an entirely different notebook for those tasks) so the sections titled “to call” and “to email” often only have a few notes or they get used for another purpose entirely – like a short grocery list or a blog brainstorm! No planner is going to be absolutely perfect for you – mine would have a to-do list for post photos I need to take – but you can always make it work. One last note – this Signature Planner comes with an elastic to keep you on the current week but I usually use a bright colored paper clip instead, so I can easily look into the future – to each his own, right?
What do you think? Are you a fellow planner addict, or a fellow Sugar Paper worshipper? How do you all utilize your planners in different ways? I can’t wait to find out who will join my imaginary paper product cult! ; )
* I’m using affiliate links but Sugar Paper is not sponsoring this post in any way, because they don’t know who I am. I just really, really love this planner. Probably too much.