“Why do you have more than one planner?”

"Why do you have more than one planner?" at www.martie.party

I’ve both seen and personally gotten questions like this: “Why do you have more than one planner?” “What do you put in them all?” “Why don’t you just use your phone?” and “How do you keep them all updated?” I know I’m not the only one! Today I thought I would write out a list of the planners I’m using, and what’s actually in them. I hope this post will answer most of these questions!

I had hoped to do this as part of my planner walk-through series, but I think this will be a bit more comprehensive! Be warned, it’s fairly dense!

"Desk" written atop a planner.





Desk Planner
This is an A4 with five tabs:

  • Day
  • Week
    • This is the page that I typically keep this planner open to on my desk – sometimes straying into Day or Month depending on how busy things are!
  • Month
  • To Do
    • Short term tasks that I’m not sure the order of, or whether I’ll be able to squeeze them into a given week.
  • My Tasks
    • Longer goals – typically projects to undertake around the house.

This planner stays open on my desk, and I glance in it constantly during the course of my day.

"Purse" written atop a planner.





Purse Planner
This is another A4 with six tabs:

  • Personal Information
    • This has contact information, and any info that I need when out. (Coupon codes, etc.)
  • Schedule
    • A schedule for busy days. I plan this ahead of time, and list any addresses or phone numbers that I’ll need at a glance when running errands.
    • I also move the week (or two) from my desk planner here to take with me.
  • To Buy
    • A simple shopping list, updated as things run out.
  • To Do
    • A list of errands that I need to run that aren’t urgent and can be done when I’m in a given area.
  • Notes
    • Who doesn’t need a notebook when they’re out?
  • Purchases
    • A multi-purpose section. I jot down purchases here to transfer into my budget software later if they don’t come with a receipt. I also have a pocket for receipts to file, coupons, and giftcards.

This is the planner that goes everywhere with me!

"Home" written atop a planner.





Home Planner
This is an A5 planner that lives in “neutral” territory in the kitchen – that way neither Mr. Martie nor I are digging in each others’ desks for it! It has six sections:

  • Monthly
    • Used to keep each other appraised of various family dinners/shopping trips, etc. We used to use a digital calendar for this, but found it frustrating trying to juggle various operating systems/environments, and our personal and shared appointments.
  • Weekly
    • This is where this planner usually lies open. One page features the days of the week, where we plan out groceries/trips to the gym/errands, and another page is lined sites. There we leave each other notes/suggestions which get copied into our personal planners as we take responsibility for them. We’ll also jot shopping list items there when it’s not convenient to grab our “outside” planners.
    • This section also has, on journaling cards, the chores that we do seasonally. We have four cards for each of the seasons, and they’re distributed throughout the year. These get moved from week to week as we work on the list during that specific season.
  • Chores
    • Our chore charts! The master list of the annual chores resides there, as well as our individual monthly/weekly/daily lists. These get copied into our own planners in whatever way works for us individually.
  • Lists
    • A very multi-purpose section, which includes single pages such as:
      • Answers to Common Household Questions! – “How many cups of water does the ice tea pitcher hold??” “What are the default settings on the rice cooker??” and other silly things that we found ourselves needing to figure out every few weeks.
      • Shared To Dos – things that aren’t exactly chores, but things that we want to do together at some point. Renewing our first aid classes is next on the list!
      • Logins – when we need to look something up and the other isn’t around. A bit of a warning here: this it not recommended for sensitive information! We do not have people walking through our kitchen, and this planner never leaves the house, so we’re fairly comfortable having this out. But if you don’t want your kids’ friends logging into your blog/email/netflix account, you probably don’t want to leave this kind of information in a busy place!
  • Meal Plan
    • Pretty self explanatory! So far this is just a weekly list, including a side list of things that we have that need to get eaten that week so recipe planning is easier, and so when we grab a spontaneous snack it isn’t something that expires in the distant future. I’d like to work on a better system some day!
  • Finances
    • For a bit there I was trying to manage our budget without the use of software, but it got to be a bit too much. Nevertheless, written out here is a list of our expense categories, and how much we expect to spend on each category monthly and annually. There’s also a section where we tuck receipts in as soon as we come home, and I add these every week to the budgeting software.
      I also use this section to keep track of planner box subscriptions and our Chef’s Plate deliveries. Fun!

"Creativity" written atop a planner.





Creativity Planner
Another A5, this is a work in progress and currently only has two sections:

  • Blog
    • Ideas for entries, a schedule that I (fail to) keep to, and a list of goals that I’d like to accomplish on martie.party!
  • Book Review
    • A section to manage book review lists and submission deadlines.

This is a planner I definitely want to expand upon, but it’s taken a back seat (in a very very long car) to some of the other more urgent planners. I want to add my gardening information here, eventually. Basically – this is where I manage my fun!

"Life" written atop a planner.





Life Planner
This A5 planner is a doozy, which now has six tabs. Originally I had tried to put everything related to my life in it – all my tasks and my creative plans and my household projects and my health information and my passwords and my gardening planner and and and it started to get really hard to close. Or even turn the pages.

The current tabs are:

  • Calendar
    • This is not a calendar of events or appointments, but rather it’s for all those things that I need to know such as “when did I last..?” or “when should I next..?” I primarily use it to manage my plants, my kombucha brewing, and my starter yeast feeding. This is on a weekly page layout.
  • Health
    • Summaries of visits to doctors, dentists, and optometrists. Any health information that I want to keep track of.
  • Activities
    • This is primarily lists, and includes things like “Events of the Year” and “Sick Days.” The latter so we know how much time has been taken off work, and the prior being a list of what date we did things such as change the batteries in the smoke detector, when we opened/closed any accounts, when we used a call at CAA, etc. A list of all the little things that don’t quite fit anywhere else, but need to be find-able.
  • Followup
    • This section, when I put it together, was such a wonderful life-changer. This is where I put all the scraps and bits and pieces that I want to follow up on. For example, where previously I had a pile of papers on my desk that included promotional coupons, alumni mailings, stacks of cards from an expo or festival, scrawled URLs, menus, not-yet-registered loyalty cards, now I have a checklist, and a pocket for things I can’t toss.
      Any relevant information gets written into the checklist, and the original paper is tossed. I no longer hold on to alumni newsletters for months because they have all the relevant information about a lecture series I want to attend at the end of the year, and I’m not there in my planner sheets yet. This is a catch-all that has replaced piles of junk and it’s made me so much happier.
  • Homework
    • A tongue in cheek section which holds information about more labour intensive tasks that I need to do, often related to learning goals.
  • Passwords
    • I know, I know. But I figure that having them in a binder on my desk in an office nobody visits is a lot safer than having them saved over a million browser password managers, right?

This exploding planner is, ultimately, why I seem to have wound up with so many planners; the physical limitations of binder rings that don’t magically expand, and the terror that Mr. Martie’s face showed any time I told him “Oh, that’s in my planner, help yourself!” when he asked a question I was too busy to look up.

I think that answers “Why do you have more than one planner?” pretty well! I find planners to be a very useful thing in many aspects of my life, and I’ve found that they decrease paper clutter enormously for me. I love the versatility that the ring bound system offers me especially, because I can move beyond what is typically found in a planner and really customize to suit my individual needs.

I hope reading about the planner sections I have has given you some ideas for your planner – or maybe given you the excuse you need to buy another one! As always, thanks for reading, and let me know what you think!







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