I don’t often splurge on items, and I also don’t often buy myself a birthday gift but this year I decided to do both.
You’ll notice that I’m definitely fixating on my return to work, it’s what I do when I’m worried or stressed about something – I fixate.
So in light of my returning to work and my sense of losing control of many things – mainly the daily ins and outs of Ezekiel, I decided that a good planner would help me to organize all of our lives and give me a sense of control again. Of course I know this is in vain – ultimately I’m not really in control, but it makes me feel better so let’s just pretend I am oblivious to that fact. This year while I’ve been at home I’ve been trying to use my iPhone and MacBook calendars to organize my life, and it’s been fine for the year but I’m still so drawn to paper. The more I simplify my life the more I realize that technology gives me a bit of a sense of clutter. I like to have things laid out on paper, I don’t know why. I do know that I’m never going to be able to completely get away from technology (hello blog!) but the less I use my phone and computer the less cluttered I feel. Hence my decision to use a paper planner rather than a digital calendar.
I browsed lots of planners in Chapters and Staples but didn’t find one that I absolutely loved. I researched online and it came down to this planner or Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner. I chose this one for a couple different reasons: 1) I could add the months from now until 2015 and 2) it has a folder in the back of it to hold letters, documents, etc. etc. and 3) I fell head over heels for this white and gold theme.
It came packaged super cute with some fun extras that I plan on using randomly with gifts.
Another bonus is this perpetual calendar for birthdays, anniversaries and other special dates.
When it arrived I immediately sat down with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand and started browsing through the planner and jotting down things here and there, dreaming of how I was going to use it creatively and effectively. So far I’m loving it, although it’s only been a few days I feel like I’m going to continue loving it. I’m planning on using it a few different ways:
- Obviously to plan my own work/life balance. I’m joining self scheduling at work starting in January, which basically means I can choose the days/shifts I want to work – with guidelines of course, but having a nicely laid out planner with full month spreads in essential in planning and picking well.
- I’ll be using it as a blog editorial calendar. I intend to keep up with my blog posts once I go back to work, so I know I’m definitely going to have to have posts planned well in advance. The planner will be essential in this.
- I’ll be able to meal plan using this planner and my kitchen book. There’s space at the bottom of each day to jot down that days supper plans. I’ll doing that one or two weeks in advance so that I can transfer it to our soon to be menu board. This gives me a heads up for groceries for the week, and what to pull out of the freezer for the week. It also will help my husband to know what I’ve laid out for that nights meal when I’m at work. With another little mouth to feed I’m afraid my husband will be very overwhelmed being on his own and figuring out what to make for supper.
- I’ll be keeping a running tab of Ezekiel’s days and milestones. Right now I keep a journal specifically for Ezekiel that I write down little things we’ve done, big milestones he’s made and generally how life is with him around. I plan on giving it to him when he’s much older, and I really want to keep doing something similar but after 10 months of using the journal I’ve realized that it’s not realistic to maintain. Along with the journal I’m doing a digital photo book of his first year, and I’ll transfer some of the journal entries into it. It’s like double work! Before I realized this I was already so committed that I decided to just finish off the year. So in 2015 I’m trying a different approach using my life planner to jot down general things that happen and then doing a Project Life Binder to keep photos and general journal entries using my life planner as a guide. As I write that it feels like that will be just as much work… Again I think it’s the tendency to draw away from technology that attracts me.
- I’ll be keeping track of finances and budgeting. I already have a good-for-me system in place for my budget so I’m not sure if this one will stick but I’m going to give it a go and see how it turns out.
Generally I want this to be my all-encompassing-life-book. I’m excited to see how it unfolds and makes me feel in control! HA!
Do you use a planner? Do you like digital over paper or are you like me and need paper? If you’re interested in trying out anything Erin Condren you can click here for a $10 off code on your first purchase. Full disclosure this will also give me a $10 credit.
Here’s to simplifying life and trying to feel in control!