2018 Planning

Nothing is better than opening a brand new Erin Condren LifePlanner for a brand new year!  The pages are all fresh and blank and I can learn from my usage of the 2017 planner to make this one more efficient.  I still find a written planner to be helpful.  Of course I am not in an office job anymore so I would see the need for an electronic version if I was away from the home often and needed to access my calendar.  There are a few things I do to prep my planner for the upcoming year and I wanted to share that with you today.  Everyone uses their planner differently since we all have different priorities, goals and daily tasks.  However I do find it helpful to watch YouTube videos entitled “Plan with Me” since I can incorporate new ideas for mine.

Last year was all about adjusting to my new lifestyle and doing major de-cluttering of the home.  This coming year’s theme will be learning.  I was accepted into a yoga teacher training 11 month program that will take up the majority of my time next year.  I will not just be attending class sessions on given weekends but also workshops and overall reading/studying.  I am excited about it and looking forward to sharing what I am learning via my blog.  I already started reading one of the books for class and studying the chakras.

If that was not enough, I also decided to turn a love of jewelry and designing to a small business.  I will be launching my first Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/StrongPlanner) in January.  I am just working on some final pieces to make sure I have a nice variety when I open.  I will have beaded bracelets and necklaces, simple chain bracelets and necklaces (some Sterling silver) and also fun tassel keychains.  I think the hardest part is not keeping everything I make for myself!  I am using all colors (gray, black, white and cool tones green, blue, purple) and metals (silver, gunmetal) that I wear so my shop is really a reflection of my personal style.  So if you shop via etsy, you can click on it now and mark it as a favorite and sign up for a notification when the shop opens.  I will be using a coupon code when I open just for my blog readers “CAROLBLOG” to get a discount.

Now for some info on how I fill out my 2018 planner…

Prep Work

  1. I get my pen ready and my 2017 planner.  I put the planners side-by-side and go through each monthly view to note items that will repeat the coming year.
  2. Write down my top 3 priorities for the upcoming year.
    1. Yoga teacher training
    2. Etsy shop
    3. Home-related tasks =
      1. Weekly items like errands, cleaning and overall maintenance for the house.  This also includes grocery shopping and cooking.
      2. Since this is my last priority, it means that my cleaning schedule will need to be readjusted.  There are some items that will need to be balanced across multiple days to get done.  For example I will not have time to clean all of the bathrooms in a given day.  So it will be about figuring out what I have time to do and then breaking tasks into smaller time buckets to get them accomplished.

There are two views in my LifePlanner version.  One is a full calendar and then there are following pages per week.  There are also blank pages in the back that I use frequently.

Monthly View

  • Birthdays of family/friends and important dates to us like our wedding anniversary
  • Due dates for insurance and tax payments (house, car, property, etc)
  • Any vehicle maintenance or license plate stickers, parking permits
  • Any home maintenance
    • I want to take advantage of the Container Store’s January sale to redo our closet
    • Replace air filter to our furnace every other month
    • Change out the smoke detector batteries in June
    • Replace water filters for reverse osmosis system in August
  • Any personal maintenance
    • Reminders to make appointments for hair color/cut
    • Replace toothbrush every 3 months
  • Reminders for any other reservations or appointments to be made on any day that month.  If something is that important to book by a certain day, I will also mark this in the weekly view just to make sure I do not skip it.
  • Vacation and holidays off

Weekly View

  • Appointments I have already made (Hair, Dentist, etc) = I make usage of half box stickers from etsy in order to mark the appointment info and time.  I like using the stickers since they jump out on the page better.
  • The rest of the weekly view is left blank until that given week.

Both Monthly and Weekly View (yes this seems like double work to write something in both views but I find it helpful)

  • Blocked out days.  (My yoga teacher training will take up 11 full weekends next year so I marked those.)  I find this helpful since when I get to a certain week, I want to make sure I am reasonable with what I can accomplish given the time available.

Now my planner is all set and ready to be used!  As I get a new cleaning routine established, I will blog about that as well.  I know my previous one was very detailed and took up a ton of time.  But the house was my top priority last year so it made sense that it would get so much time and attention.  Now it will be getting the basics done each week and schedule out items like washing drapes or steam vacuuming the floors to days that I will have more time or help.

Happy New Year to you!