It’s Back-to-School season and even though my children are grown, this time of year still feels like a new beginning. I think of September as sort of “January Light”. It’s a good time to evaluate progress on goals and adjust schedules and routines if needed.
Following the more laid-back months of summer, September feels like a good time to get back into a routine. This past week I’ve been working on fine-tuning my daily routines, housekeeping schedule and time management/productivity tools, including my planner.
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You may recall that I purchased a Happy Planner to use for this year:
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While I haven’t gotten into the whole decorating and extensive use of stickers thing, I have found it to be a good planner and enjoyable to use. I like seeing a whole month at once and then individual weeks following.
One thing that didn’t work very well for me, however, was having each day divided into Morning, Afternoon and Evening sections. Some people have fixed that issue by putting Washi tape over those divisions and renaming the sections to suit. That’s way more time than I want to spend, though.
That’s why I was very pleased to see that the 2016-2017 Botanical Garden version of the Happy Planner leaves those dividers blank. For me, it works better to use the sections for the following:
- Home – Household tasks and meals
- Work – Blog, our music promotion business and nonprofit, volunteer work
- Scheduled tasks (appointments, meetings) and errands
I also really like the fact that this version has 2016 and 2017 year-at-a-glance pages in the front. Sometimes it’s helpful to be able to take a look at the year as a whole.
Of course, I was also rather smitten with the beautiful cover:
This is an 18 month planner which starts in July. My other one goes through December so I had two options. Either stick with the old one for the rest of the year, starting the new one in January, or jump right in with the new one now. Guess which option I chose?
I couldn’t wait to start using this beautiful new version but I also had a plan for the old one. First, I switched out the rings on the new planner for the larger expander version:
This allows me to add extra pages and other items to my planner. I recently purchased the following:
In order to fit them in my old planner I had removed half a year’s worth of pages. But with the expander rings everything fits just fine. I moved the fitness and home planners, as well as half of the pocket folders to the new planner.
What did I do with the old planner? I’m now using it for our music business. I write all the events we schedule in the planner. At some point I may assign a different color to each band and use the corresponding pen color when scheduling in the planner. Fortunately I’ll be able to buy extension packs when the year is up. These are undated so I can use this planner indefinitely.
With the planner components in place I have been working on my routines, schedules and fitness tracking. At the front of my planner is a sheet on which I’ve written the steps of my Morning Ritual which you can read about here:
I’m using the Fitness Planner pages to track my food, exercise and water intake.
I’ve been working on a housekeeping schedule which I’ll share more about tomorrow so be sure to watch for that. I’ll also be sharing a couple of phone apps I’m trying.
The great thing about the Happy Planner is that it is highly customizable and there are so many fun accessories. Here are just a few:
Storage Case (I have this and it’s adorable!)
This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. It does, however, contain affiliate links. If you purchase via one of these links I receive a small portion of the price at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Life With Dee.