Life Planner

Day Planner Cover

Day Planner Cover

I mentioned on a layout last week that I am a planner. When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I began planning – creating a schedule for each day. Never stuck with it, but I tried. The problem was that I tried to plan every single minute of the day – down to timing how long it took me to brush my teeth. In 1990, my boss sent me to a Franklin Covey class and so began my adult foray into planning. The thing I liked about the Franklin approach was the idea of a common planner, a single calendar to hold everything, personal and work related. I used a Franklin up until just a couple of years ago. Oh – one of my favorite things about the Franklin planner was getting my new refill and working through the goals section. It felt so good to start fresh each year, and to look back and see what I accomplished, then look forward and decide what else I wanted to accomplish. I haven’t done that since I stopped using a Franklin. The reason I stopped was that the way I approached my day doesn’t fit within the Franklin parameters, so I tried DayTimer, and D*I*Y planners.  By the way – I have to give a shout out to Douglas Johnston – his D*I*Y Planner site is amazing. Definitely check it out. Go. Right now. I’ll wait. <whistling> I used to use the Hipster planner for NaNoWriMo every year, and liked it so much I created Hipsters to give to all the folks in my group that came to our kickoff.

I finally created my own planner. Here’s what I found works for me, at this point in my life:

  • 5 things I NEED to get done today
  • Morning Routine (inspired by Flylady)
  • After Work Routine
  • How much water have I drunk?*
  • To Do List

My format is set up in blocks, with a visual representation of 8 water bottles so I can just X them off as I drink. I also included “Create” in my after work routine, to remind me that I need to make creativity a part of my daily routine. It is just as important as doing laundry and washing dishes! The planner prints two to a page, so I can print them out on plain 8 1/2 by 11 copy paper, then cut them in half. I use my Bind-It-All to spiral bind several pages together, then I insert them in a reusable cover (that’s it pictured above). If you’d like a copy of the daily planner in Word that you can adjust to fit your own life, feel free to send me a comment (below) and I’ll send you a copy.

*I have kidney problems, likely related to having lupus. I’ve had several kidney stones and have ended up in the hospital more times than I care to remember. The easiest way to keep from suffering another bout is to drink more water, but I don’t get thirsty, so having a visual reminder in front of me keeps me hydrated.