Last year, I came across Alexis aka MissTrenchcoat of Strange&Charmed on YouTube and started binge watching her productivity and planner videos. I don’t remember the specific video that got me inspired to use a paper planner but like with everything I immediately started doing research to find the right planner (more like a cheap one) for me. I became so obsessed and overwhelm with what I found that it took me over a month to finally decide just to buy different supplies and create a DIY planner.
My first planner was a mini 3-ring binder that I used for my blog and video editorial calendar. I used it for a couple of months before purchasing another that I plan on using just for the business side of things. Actually it’s just a binder and back in April I decided to combine everything. Would you like to see what’s inside? Well, I hope you do. I should mention that its not 100% setup, I am still trying out things to see what works and what doesn’t.
For my business planner, I am currently using the Creative Year 6-ring binder by Recollections in Rose Gold that I got from the Michael’s Art and Craft store. I use a 50% off of one item coupon, which made an already pretty affordable binder cheaper. Besides the rings, I choose this binder because it’s an A5 (or half-letter) size. It gives me more room to write and it’s not too big to travel with. The Rose Gold color was the only one I like that was available in the store that day
It comes with a few things including three hard plastic dividers (Make today count, polka dots, and Say yes to new adventures) and some inserts. There are two downsides for me, one being that there is only three dividers and the tabs are spaced out but I love the weight of them. As far as the inserts go there is a To-Do List, Grid Paper (great for bullet journaling), and Line Paper – all double-sided. Lastly, there is a Perpetual (a year at a glance) Calendar.
They provided you with several sheets of each except for the calendar. The paper stock is okay but I hate that they don’t sell any of the inserts separately. There are some insert books that they do sell as well as calendar pack. I opted not to buy either because I wanted to try different things and see if I can design my own inserts and that is actually what I did.
The #1 Thing That Helped Me Finally Get Organized in 2017
I use the dividers to separate my sections. The “Make today count” divider is in the front as a temporary dashboard and to help protect my papers. The “polka dots” tab separates my inserts from the one that came with the binder and the third is just a back dashboard.
Now, let’s look at the meat of the planner.
Prior to purchasing the Michael’s binder I also brought some planner supplies from Target that came in handy. The first were some dividers from the Target’s Dollar Spot (or Bulls Eye – I forget what they are calling it these days). I traced those to create my smaller tabs for the first section. I know that the purple cardstock doesn’t match but I am using what I have on hand to save some money.
The tabs (Inbox – Action List – Projects – Someday – Lists) were inspired by Brandy Michelle Plans, I found her on YouTube through a video series she created based on the techniques taught in the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. She also created and provided some printables free for us to download and use, but since my printer has been acting up, I made the decision to stop buying new ink for it. Therefore I couldn’t print them out. I only have color ink left (which is why my inserts are pink), so I re-created her printables based off her videos. So my first set of inserts are as follows:
- Inbox: the left column is just a list for you to brain dump all of the tasks you need to tackle and the right column is just a space for you to write where you move that task to once you process it
- Action List & Projects: just a check list, when you process your inbox you either do the task right then, move it to the next action list or projects (if it has multiple steps)
- Someday/Maybe: same layout at the action and projects inserts but it used for tasks that you plan on taking care in the future and you determine that timeframe. For me it’s 3 months or more.
- List: again similar layout but I did make a space to put a title for the list. Right now in this section I keep a running list of YouTube and Blog Posts Ideas
I haven’t titled my last tab but it’s where I keep my tracker (or checklist) for my YouTube video that was inspired by Alexis. You can purchase the original from her shop. Mines are slightly different because I added some different things to check off based on Amy’s (of Savvy Sexy Social) Video Upload Routine video.
After that section is where I keep my calendar inserts and a place for notes. Again I traced some tabs, this time from my Avery Calendar inserts and I just kept it the same – Monthly, Weekly, and Notes. The inserts in this section were designed based off of things that I saw online that I wanted to give a try for myself but formatted in a way that suits me.
So my monthly inserts has three pages, with the first one starting the month and year at the very top followed by a place to put important dates, master task list (because Alexis say you should have one) and a place for my monthly S.M.A.R.T Goals. On the inside is the calendar itself with a place for notes, which I use to track my social media stats. I designed my calendar to make sure that each day has it own box because I like enough space to write.
The last page is a monthly review section where I write down what didn’t work, what did and what I want to work on for the next month. My weekly insert is just like the monthly spread and has two pages. It has a Sunday start (you will see most planners with a Monday start) because it just how my brain works. I have a box for what I want to work on for the week (or my top 5 projects) and a box for each day of the week. In those boxes I just write the tasks that I want to do in a bullet journal style. The last part is the notes and that where I keep some personal things.
Well, that’s my business planner in a nut shell.