Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Planner Review

Ok, this is my second post on this because my other very long post that I had scheduled to publish at 10 a.m. somehow DISAPPEARED!  WHAT?  That doesn't happen in 2016?  It was good too dang it!  I felt like I was in 7th grade again when you didn't save your 10 page report and you lost everything.  I just don't understand.  Not a good feeling and it's taking every ounce of whatever speck of focus,  determination and energy in my very ADD brain that  I have left on this New Year's Eve to get this done because I promised you and I love you!

Oh my, has it really been a full year?  That went by crazy fast!  I'm excited to be sharing with you AGAIN some of the ways I utilized my planner in 2016.  The last time I showed so many pictures of my personal planner was in 2013 which is crazy.  I show little glimpses here and there on Facebook and Instagram but in this post, you'll get an up close and personal glimpse in to how I use my planner and how my brain works. Scary, I know.  I love this planner because it is SO easy to customize it to use as you would like.  So many boxes that help guide you, but you don't necessarily have to use them as they're labeled.  A simple scrap paper or washi tape would do the trick to re-purpose whichever section you want to change.

Here's a little video that gives a little overview. 

I have the Mothers who Know, aka Mormon mom Planner version but these pictures still apply to all of the different versions of the planner, especially the Mom on the Go planner, which is our non-denominational planner (the only difference is it doesn't have all the LDS stuff)

Here it is, in all it's bulky-used up glory.

I love attaching cute little cards and handouts directly into the coil, or via washi tape.  (Tutorial on how to do that coming soon)
Use stickers whenever you can sum up what you want to focus on.  There are so many awesome stickers out there.  I love using blank stickers with different shapes and writing on them.  I also like using stamp shapes to frame in a focus word or sentence.
The relationship page is one of my favorites.  It's the first thing you see every month and it keeps the people that matter most to me at the forefront of my mind.  Sometimes, I just put a quote that helps me remember to strengthen my relationships with others, and sometimes, I write out some thoughts that have popped into my mind of things I want to improve on or start doing. 

I love keeping a distractions lists. I have quite a few throughout my planner.  I have ADD and get distracted like the dogs do in the movie UP.  "SQUIRREL".  That's me!  I have so many interests and desires that I have to tame them.  When I'm working on a project I need to get done and I really need to focus, keeping this list has helped.  When a distraction  pops into my head, I write it down on the list and promise myself that I can return to it later if I still want to.  This has been so helpful.

I have a little bit of everything in this planner.  From church quotes and study, to meetings and agenda plans, school schedules, calendaring, work plans and ideas, short lists of gratitude, my testimony, places we've visited and gone on vacation, who I'm praying for.  You name it, it's in here.  I'm the kind of person that needs one space to rule them all.  Haha.  Though I do have a separate work specific binder and a scripture notebook, this planner is where the main factory resides.

Don't worry about perfection when you're writing in and decorating your planner.  I like to decorate and make things cute, but I also like to scribble and make it real.  I don't worry too much about  messing up my writing, or getting sticky baby finger smudges on my pages.  It adds character and every time I look at that little sucker smudge from my 21 months old, it will make me feel happy that he is mine and that he left his little mark in time. 

Here again, I added discombobulated handwriting and writing sideways, nothing fancy, just scribbles.

Conference notes!  I love using one page to scribble out my own thoughts as I listen to conference and taking the other 4 pages to study when the Ensign comes out or online to record the quotes that most stood out to me and that I want to try to memorize or remember.  Just adding a couple stickers makes all the difference.  And of course switching up the colors is always fun.  I used the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens here on this page. 

I LOVE cut-outs and washi tape.  I love the simple stories collection for die-cut-outs and of course, my favorite are from The Planner Society, which get shipped to me each month and is always a fund surprise.  They are so easy to use and really vamp up a page.  Don't worry about stickers having the exact fit as the boxes.  It bothers some people to not have them perfect, but I like the look, it adds dimension and pop.  

That 'celebrate' in the left hand corner is ridiculous I know, but when I see it I remember my first attempt at trying a different style of writing that was an epic fail.  Haha.  I watched an online tutorial and thought it looked easy enough, but my hands wouldn't cooperate with my vision.  I love it though, because it's something new I tried.  Again, everything doesn't have to look perfect. Ain't nobody got time for perfection!  Don't worry about overlapping and filling every part of the page out.  Some weeks, you'll find there isn't enough space and that's when you add stickies and note cards, and other weeks, you'll hardly have anything.  Enjoy those downs weeks and don't stress or worry about planning just to plan.  I have several weeks that my weeks aren't filled in with anything but a few stickers and such.  It's there though if you want to get creative.

For those who don't want their budget pages broadcast to whomever happens to be glancing at the planner, find a cute sticky pad or note pad you can use to cover it, but still use as a function.  Or just a pretty paper to look at.

I love this spread.  I use it for all things churchy!  I love that I know where to look each month to remember certain thoughts and inspirations I had in meetings or during Sunday classes.  I used this SO much to refer to in Presidency mtgs. or ward council to remember the curriculum, or things that I wanted to bring up to discuss.  Again, don't worry about filling out every inch of the space.  I actually like having extra spaces left at the end of the year, that I can go back and add a photo here and there as a keepsake.

Get creative.  Since I don't scrapbook anymore, (I'm a digital Project Life girl now)I've missed creating beautiful layouts, My planner let's me do that here and there when I'm feeling the bug to be surrounded by cute things like stickers, washi, embellishments, etc.  I also like to staple things in my planner and use brads.  There are so many cute office supplies that work.  

I love lists, as most planner ladies do.  I love breaking things down and remember certain steps and processes to create a habit, a skill, a project a characteristic, etc.  There are lots of different types of lists I like to use, and they really help guide and direct my brain.

Some months, I use this section to dump my project and household lists, but I also like to use it for quotes.   They are the perfect size for little quotes and having the lines helps keep everything tidy.  I love that you can use this area however you desire.  Whatever you have going on.  It's a great brain dump area.

These cards have things on both sides and the washi tape allows you to flip them up or down, and there is even more writing under the cards.  I like to use cardstock sometimes, but I mostly thin, lightweight paper so it doesn't add too much weight to the planner.

This cute little card was attached to the coil by using an Erin Condren coil clip, but I mostly use my own hole punch and I have a few different ways to attach and will do a video tutorial on that coming shortly.

Use the margins and empty boxes for a little more flair.

Quote stickers are some of my favorites!  Sometimes I have used the bottom for menu, and others for a day by day get it done list or focus.  I'm sort of still playing around with exactly how I want to use it.  Since the new Matrix spread has been added, I've used that for most of the day to day's I personally need to attend to.

Go big.  On the weeks of celebration or parties.  Make that the center of your focus.  Even if you have a lot going on, make the celebration stand out.

Journal throughout.  I have several key moments of the year that affected me or changed me in a way or my way of thinking.  I like to jot those down and have it on record.  I want my posterity to know who I was.  I want them to learn from me and know that I had struggles and trials.  I want them to know how I worked through things, raw, unfiltered feelings and all.  They'll walk with me throughout my trials, challenges, joys, successes in a way.  I have more entries like this throughout my planner.

This spread is really what makes the planner.  As moms, we like to focus on our families and this is the perfect spot to write everything down.  It's so rewarding to go back and look to see what it was we went over and talked about.  

I love hearing our kids share their ideas and come up with their own solutions.  For instance, we were talking about a road trip and the seating arrangment and everyone was fighting so we asked them to come up with their own solution.  In the end, it was our 7 year old who came up with the ultimate solution and everyone liked it and he was beaming with confidence and pride.  It was fun to watch.  BUT, when those things happen, we need to write them down and record it so we don't forget.  I love when the kids teach the lessons too.  They do wonderfully and I like taking notes on their lessons. This is the perfect spot, even if you jot down one sentence or even one word to help you remember what it was you discussed or wanted to talk about. 

My 9 year old daughter helped me decorate this page.  I love it because it reminds me of that time we spent together planning. Kids love to plan and decorate and know what's going on in the family and what to look forward to.

Yay, for cute adorable embelishments.  This lady cut out is my favorite!  

Whoh, a little crazy I admit, but this was a really busy week and I barely survived.  Again, I love it for record-keeping and looking back and appreciating all that I was able to accomplish with a whole lot of help from others.

Ok, I love this page.  I hope that it's not to cheesy, but I love knowing what it was we did for date night, conversations we've had with little one word reminders or goals we've made together.  I'm sharing it with you, not so you can know my husbands pants size, but to show you how fun it can be to record things about your spouse & your relationship. It will be so fun for our posterity to see our efforts.  Another idea is to put some photos of the two of you throughout the year here.  I am going to washi tape in a beautiful hand written letter my husband wrote to me and keep it forever here. 

The same goes for the kids pages too.  Get creative.  It's a place to highlight them and reflect on who they are and things to focus on with them.  I have a few photos I will be adding in that I'm waiting to print.  Those blue papers underneath their photo are their goals for 2016.  They have their own copy and I had them make a copy for me so I could help them.  We'll be doing our big goal review and renewal next week in FHE.  I sort of think they'll be keeping some of the same goals for this year.

Dumping ground for family goals.  Our family mission statement was to focus on the little day to day decisions and actions that affect us.  Do the essentials a little bit every day and you'll find success.  We'll come up with our new mission statement for 2017 next week at FHE. 

We do zones in our family which I will be saving for it's own blog post in a couple of weeks here on the blog.  My motto for life is:  If you're doing it all on your're doing it WRONG!  We need help.  We shouldn't have to clean the entire house all my ourself.  Do the laundry, cook, yard, garage.  That's why we have kids right?  Kids are excellent achievers and motivated when their young to please and want to help.  If we're not taking advantage of that and utilizing their awesomeness, we're missing out and we're not doing them any favors either.  More on that in another post.

Brain dump your plans and projects for family self-reliance here.  Customize it.  Change the headings, just do it.  We need to be prepared and we need to be ready for whatever comes our way whether it's a natural disaster, economic or shortage catastrophe.  

Phew!  That's a lot.  I shared a lot of personal stuff, but it had to be done my lovely friends because you've asked for it and I want to make you happy!  :)  I would love to see more of you posting your planner pages and how you use them.  I will be starting a page on FB to encourage a space for that. I'll let you know when that is up and running.  I hope you enjoyed this little tour.  I will be doing several more explanations and tips for each section of the planner in the coming weeks and months.  I will have regular postings of these topics and look forward to building a greater community of faith-based women trying our best to plan and implement these good, better and best plans into our personal and family lives.  Love you to pieces.  I hope you all have an amazing New Year's celebration tonight.

Feel free to leave a comment for ideas or suggestions of things you would like to see more of as far as tutorials, tips, planner spreads, accessories, etc. 

Also, try not to judge me for my poor grammar.  I love run on sentences and I always will to the utter dismay of my 11th grade English teacher.  ;)

(FYI, for tips on how to use the Matrix spread, check this out)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Setting SMART Goals: How To Get Yourself Ready for 2017

It’s already upon us. The New Year is just around the corner and this time you are determined to make it your best yet!

We want to help you get started out on the right foot. That’s way we are encouraging you to set your 2017 New Year’s resolutions the “SMART” way. If you do, you are giving yourself the best chance of staying motivated, making progress, and accomplishing your goals.  

What are “SMART” Goals?

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. These are the action words that, when applied to a goal, give you the tools for success.

Let’s take a look at how each of these tools will help you reach your new 2017 goals.

S = Specific

When a goal doesn’t get met, many times it is because you begin with only a vague idea. Instead, start with a very specific and desired end result. Determine the required course of action that you need to take in order to get you what you want. This way, you will have a much higher chance of success.

M = Measurable

Break your goal into measurable steps. Focus on accomplishing one step at a time. Decide the best way to measure (or track) your progress and then do it.

A = Achievable

How do you make your goal achievable? Do you need to shift a priority, work more hours (or fewer), focus on a needed skill, or offer yourself a reward? Figure out what will help get you closer to your goal. Work it into your plan.  

R = Realistic

Many people make the mistake of having expectations that are too high or setting lofty goals which are unlikely to be achieved. Doing this leaves you with the feeling of discouragement. Don’t do this to yourself!

Instead of focusing on wishes or hopes, decide on a goal that you are willing to work for and is within your reach. Focus on your strengths!

T = Time-Bound

Plan in advance and give yourself a deadline. Create a specific schedule to follow for reaching your goal. This way you will be consistently working and continually progressing, keeping you motivated and on track to meet your deadline.

Bonus Tips for Reaching Your Goals

Here are a few BONUS tips to help you reach your goals.

Write down the following lists and prioritize each item according to what is most important and relevant (these lists and priorities may fluctuate throughout the year):

  • A Master List: This is everything that you want to do at some point in the future.

  • A Monthly List: This is created at the end of the month, for the next month. You may transfer items off of your master list and add it here.

  • A Weekly List: This is your plan for your entire week in advance. It can be fluid but gives you a good base from which to plan.

  • A Daily List: This is where you transfer your monthly and weekly to-do items. It can also be adjusted as needed.

You can create and track these lists easily when you use a personal planner designed specifically for Moms-On-The-Go or Mormon Moms.

By starting each day with an organized, thought-out plan, you are giving yourself the opportunity of turning your resolutions into reality.

Check out our new, highly functional and inspirational 2017 planners!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

5 Ways Your Planner Can Help You Tackle The Holiday Season

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year. However, between celebrating with loved ones, attending work events, contributing to school activities, and spending time with those closest to you, it can be difficult to keep track of what is supposed to get done when and where you’re expected to be at what time. 
Thankfully, there is a way you can make this year’s holiday festivities more enjoyable and less stressful than ever. With these five tips, you can learn how to best use a planner during these busy times. 

1. First Things First  

First and foremost, it’s important to have a big enough planner so the November and December months have enough space to fit in all of your plans for the holidays. Simply start by adding every event you have planned to the corresponding date on the calendar. By writing these important dates down first, you’ll be able to quickly and easily determine when you can host your own holiday party or cookie exchange, and you can schedule other events around what you already have planned. 

2. Dominate Holiday Decor 

A staple on any mom calendar is decorations. Use your planner to make a Holiday Decor Inventory checklist of everything you’ll need to make the inside and outside of your home look great this season. Be sure to include things like ornaments that go on the tree, decorations for the table, lights for the house, any holiday collections, and so on.

3. Properly Plan A Party 

Planners are incredibly handy when it comes to party planning. Whether you’re brainstorming a party for your fellow friends or coming up with kids party ideas, you can use your planner to devise a grocery shopping list, a decoration list, and a party guest list where you include the names, addresses, phone numbers, and RSVPs from invited guests. Using a planner for party planning purposes is especially helpful in ensuring you’re not leaving anyone off the list or forgetting any critical part components.  

4. Track Your Gifts 

Similar to party planning, when it comes to tracking holiday gifts nothing is more helpful than a planner. Make a list of everyone you want or need to get a gift for. Keep track of which gifts you’ve purchased, which ones you’ve sent, and those which you still need to buy. By having it all on paper, you can rest assured you’re not forgetting anyone on your gifts list. 

5. Mastering Your Holiday Meal 

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the delicious, flavorful fare that accompanies these happy times. Whether you’re preparing a meal for a New Year’s party or a Christmas party, by using your planner you’ll be able to successfully navigate grocery shopping, prepare meals and dishes ahead of time, and plan out exactly what you want to cook for your family and guests. 
By using your planner, you can master your plans for the holidays and enjoy this festive, heartwarming time of year. As a busy teacher or mom-on-the-go, check out our wide variety of planners to find the style that best fits your holiday needs. 
We understand how busy this time of year can be. To help you stay organized this holiday season, download our free Christmas Planner Guide by entering your name and email below.

Download The Christmas Planner Guide

* indicates required