I’m a list maker. I have always been one of those people who has to right things down, otherwise I forget things. I always write down my to do lists, my errands, my classwork, packing lists, my wish lists, and all my important dates. Originally, I was never very organized and tended to have post-it notes with everything I needed or wanted to do haphazardly stuck to all my surfaces in my bedroom. I was somehow able to manage my life this way throughout high school (I did keep a planner for school), but once I began college, I learned really quickly that I needed a much more organized and efficient way of keeping all my important information easily accessible. I used the Lily Pulitzer planner to keep track of my school work in high school, so I purchased the Kate Spade planner right before the start of college for my school work since it had the same format. After a few hectic months, I realized that I needed a better system, since I was now in charge of organizing my entire life: school, social calendar, sorority functions, holidays, bills, etc…, so a horizontal style planner was no longer cutting it. In March, I ordered the Erin Condren planner on recommendation by many of my friends. I fell in love with this system of organization immediately. It took me a few weeks to get my system down, but now I feel that I have finally got the hang of this whole planning thing.
The Erin Condren planner is a spiral bound notebook-style planner that has a monthly layout and vertical daily format. On the monthly layout, I plan birthdays, bills, exams and papers, social events, and trips. On the daily layout, I plan my lists and to dos for the day, school assignments, weekly goals, social events, and notes. The planner itself has a 2014-2017 small monthly layout starting in July 2014 and ending December 2017 for future planning, a notes section, four sheets of stickers, a double sided pocket, and a ziplock bag with some free goodies. When I purchased my planner, I bought extra stickers that would specifically apply to my planning needs, such as stickers that say midterm and exam. These have been very useful in keeping my planner looking clean and organized.
I personalized the cover of my planner with some of my favorite photos in order to have a unique and individualized design. I use this same approach when planning my weeks out by including inspiring quotes or song lyrics, pictures from events, stickers, and wash tape. Using these things isn’t necessary to plan of course, but I really like how they add brightness and color to my week. It helps me get inspired to be productive and works almost as a little diary of my daily activities. All in all, I have been loving planning this way and will continue to give updates on my planner inspiration.