Pretty Planning - Staying Organized in 2016

Hello all! Hard to believe we’re almost through with January. Where is the time going? With the arrival of a new year comes new goals, new events, and new tasks to keep track of. These days I have to have everything written down or I’ll forget. Despite my best multi-tasking efforts there are far too many details to keep track of. Organization is a must, but something is bound to slip by.

A couple of years ago, my mode of organizing consisted of several notebooks, slips of paper, and dozens upon dozens of Post-it Notes. As you can imagine, having things scribbled down in numerous places was not helpful. I’d tried a few agendas but they didn’t help. They never seemed to have enough room for what I needed, and I became frustrated with them quickly.

I started to do a little research. I needed something I could stick with, and wouldn’t get bored with or want to chuck out the window. Something where I’d have room to jot everything down in an organized manner where I would be able to easily find it later. Where I could keep track of all my tasks, reminders, events, notes, and not have it be the size of an unabridged dictionary. Another problem with previous agendas was that I couldn’t find information when I had to go back to look something up.

In came the planner. I blame Pinterest for my new planner obsession. After working with my new planner, I realized my previous attempts at organization and planning hadn’t worked because, aside the vast number of lists and notes I had, things were always changing, being added, removed, moved, and for that I would need a ring binder. Again, I’d tried one or two, but I found they were too small or the pages too narrow. Also, I wanted something pretty, because well, I like pretty. I love color coordination. I’m artsy, and pretty colors, patterns, and designs are my kryptonite. I have a thing for stationary. Not uncommon among writers.

I came across Simple Stories, and fell in love with their planners. Then in November of 2015, they released their Carpe Diem planner which was exactly what I needed. There were plenty of gorgeous colors to choose from, and they sold a host of coordinating accessories I could use to give my planner a personal touch. Stickers, clips, washi tape—some of you know about my unhealthy obsession with washi.

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Anyway, aside being pretty, the pages were wide enough with plenty of space. I could customize it to fit my needs as an author. It is a hefty planner, but I'm one of those folks who carries a big bag, so the size is just right. Also the clasp keeps things from falling out. There's also a cut little zip pouch for storage.

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I have several divided sections for things like blogging, marketing, ideas, and release prep so I can easily find this information when I need it. There’s a yearly calendar, a monthly calendar, a weekly, and even a daily. There’s a page every month for a monthly breakdown, birthdays, important dates, goals, and reminders. There are several bookmarks to make access to certain areas quicker. It has pockets, and clips.

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So far, I am completely in love with my planner, and my planner madness has spread to several author friends. It’s become more than just something to scribble things in. If I need a break, I can decorate a page, and it relaxes me. When I get together with author friends, we bring our supplies and it’s really a hoot.

I’ve also finally organized all my planner supplies. It’s at hand on my desk which is finally how I like it.

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These clear plastic boxes are perfect for storing my planner accessories. Number and alphabet stickers, date stamp, washi samples, stickers, and smaller bits, along with the bottom drawers for my favorite and most used washi tapes.  The majority of the storage on my desk is from T.J. Maxx, Homegoods, and Ross, with a few pieces from Zulily.

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I’ve also finished decorating the office with a teal, mint, gold, and white theme with pink accents. For me, being happy with my office makes me feel happy and productive. It took about seven months to get it the way I wanted, but it was worth it. I spend more time in my office than anywhere else, so it made sense to fix it up. I think it fits my style perfectly. <3 So here's to a shiny new year of pretty planning!

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