Monday, May 23, 2016

DIY to-do list planner

Over the past few years as planners have gained popularity, I have been so fascinated with them and the idea of getting organized. But, I haven't felt a real need to start planning or using a planner like I see them being used all over social media. I'm a techie when it comes to scheduling. For years I've relied on my Google Calendar and phone notifications to keep me and my family members where we need to be. Plus, we've tried to go as paperless as possible at our house.

However, when it comes to to-do lists (of which I'm a huge fan) I'm all about having a physical piece of paper in my hands that I can check off. I seem to do better with that than a to-do list on my phone. I'm a bit of a scatterbrain, so unless it's in my line of sight I'm likely to forget about it.

Some months ago I purchased several journals from the darling Jen Hadfield Home + Made Collection. I've given some away as gifts to friends, but I kept a few with the intention of using them for my work related to-do lists. After some practice and thought I finally came up with a system that works for my creative scatterbrain self, so today I'm excited to share with you how to turn a plain spiral bound notebook into a to-do list planner with some basic craft supplies.




I started with these pretty spiral bound journals (or notebooks). All of the inside pages are blank, college ruled, and have a fun decorative edge.


Then I got out my date stamps and added the month on the top corners of the spread, and the days of the week across the tops lines of the spread. Since this is strictly for work, and I don't work on Sundays (that's my faith + family day), I only added Monday-Saturday.


My stamping looks best when I fold over the notebook and turn one page at a time, laying it flat on my stamping surface so there's nothing between the page I'm stamping on and my surface.

I like to keep a folded baby wipe next to me on my work surface. After using my date stamp I pounce it on the wipe several times to clean it.


Then I used some gold washi tape in various sizes and patterns to make a grid across the spread. Each month gets a different color of washi tape. That way I'm using up my enormous washi tape stash. Love that stuff.


Each spread contains two weeks worth of lists. I make a column below each day of the week, and then I divide it in half so I can make two lists under each day. That means each month gets about two spreads. 


The last thing I do is add a few tabs, mini sticky notes, and minimal embellishments. I like to keep things simple so it's a sustainable project for me money- and time-wise. I know if I make this too complicated or time-consuming, I won't keep up with it!



I like to get my lists ready before the two-week period starts, and then I look over my work calendar and add things that I know I'll need to get done on specific days. I'll add on additional things and cross things off as the weeks progress. Really important things will land on a tab or mini sticky note. 


If something isn't finished on the day it's listed, I'll move it over to the next day, or just leave it uncrossed so I remember to finish it.


I keep this folded in half out on my work surface so I can see it each day while I'm working in my office. I'm pretty happy with this system--it's working well for me so far. And while I still keep most of my life on my iPhone, I can totally keep up with my work in a way that works for me.

How about you? Are you a planner? What is your favorite way to plan your schedule?

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