Monday, February 24, 2014

How I manage chaos...

I am a huge fan of a day planner...I even make my students get one as part of their grade in my course!!  I believe strongly that writing it down and staying organized with a calendar is essential for success in academics, but also as a professional, or just to remain human.  There is also a lot of research out there proving that the act of writing it down (as opposed to typing it in an electronic version) is more beneficial for memory.  I have used a day planner since I was a sophomore in highschool, and I am constantly searching for new and better planners.  Nowadays, you can find a planner to fit almost every any pattern or size you like.  My new personal favorite is one that I have sort of pieced together from a variety of sources......

First, I love the miniBinder from Russell + Hazel.  It comes in fabulous colors and can actually fit pages from its own line and from Daytimer or FranklinCovey.  My main complaint with some of the other cute options (Lilly Pulitzer's, Erin Condren's, Whitney English) is that while I LOVED their designs and colors, they were not a refillable binder.  They were every sense of the word, to me.  I can't add, take away, or customize at all like I wanted, when I wanted.  I can punch holes in almost anything and add it to my Russell + Hazel binder.  I can add my own dividers and tabs where I want them, and that is key for my success.  I am not knocking these I have tried them and did like them...just not as much as I like having my own options (come on...I'm a girl...I got to be able to change my mind every once in awhile and switch things up!)

As you can see, they come in a regular notebook size, and a mini.  I prefer the mini so that I can tote it around with me.  I love the new zig zag patterned one on the top right!

There are monthly tabs for easy future planning.

You can choose either weekly or daily sheets...and they do not come dated.  You have to date them yourself...which is a good thing for saving money and customizing...and a bad thing if you hate having to take the time to do that.  I kind of like it because I can switch between weekly and daily views depending on how busy I will be. 

This is my actual planner...I have the gold linen metallic minibinder, and these super cute large rubber band thingies (official term) that keep it together.  I love LePens, and also Stabilo colorful pens.  There's an awesome pen store in Chapel Hill, Office Supplies and More, that sells THE BEST selection of pens.  EVER. 

The rubber bands help keep other loose pieces of paper secure, although you can buy clear plastic pockets to stick on the inside of the binder.  I also made my own INFO sheet awhile is so much prettier than the generic ones where you fill out your name, contact info, etc....  I just created a word document and printed it on thin weight scrapbook paper.

I use some old Daytimer plastic page protectors to keep other loose papers organized.....and photos like this one of my beloved Daisy:(

I love one side of the weekly page is the week, and the other is blank space for general notes and planning.

I use my old Daytimer pagefinder to keep my place on the right week.

Another view of the weekly page.
I LOVE the erin condren pen's less than $5 and sticks to any page I want it to.  I have had mine on for almost a year and it has yet to fail me.

So...there you have it.  In case you are looking for a planner system, I strongly recommend this one.  You can find a great selection at The Container Store.  And, because it is so customize-able..if you stop using it, you can pick up again without having to buy a lot of extra pages since they are not pre-dated!!

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