Friday, September 19, 2014

My Planning Routine: How To Plan Your Planning

So you have your planner all set up and ready to work some major magic in your life.  You have your different sections divided up, your inserts all printed and ready to go and you are ready to do some planning!  What next?  Well you're going to plan your planning, that's what!

Yes, you heard me right, I said you need to plan your planning.  I am a strong believer in having a planning routine, so you don't forget to actually use your planner, and get things scheduled.  With a planning routine in place, you will never be faced with having no idea what you need to do today, simply because you forgot to write it in your planner.

How to plan your planning and setup your planning routine

So today I'm going to share with you my planning schedule, and what works for me.  My planning routine is very simple and easy to follow, so don't be scared that I'm giving you one more thing to schedule into your days.  Taking a couple minutes each week to sit down with your planner is all you need to successfully plan your planning!

The first thing that needs to be done is planning out your full month.  I take about 5 minutes on the last day of each month to plan out the upcoming month.  Since I only plan out the basics on my monthly calendar, 5 minutes is all I need.

If you'd like to read more about how I use my monthly calendar, you can find that here.

When planning out the month ahead, there are a few things I go over to make sure I'm not forgetting anything.  First, I always write down Melissa's class and work schedule.  This way I can see at a glance, what days we have free for other activities.  Next I write in any major holidays or events.  Finally, I jot down any plans or appointments that we already have scheduled for the month.

Once those three things are in my calendar, I'm done planning out my month!  Throughout the month, if any additional appointments or larger events pop up, I will go back and add them to my monthly calendar.  This way, I always have an up-to-date month at a glance.

Once my monthly calendar is all sorted out, it's time to focus on my weekly plans.  Since I organize my week in a Monday through Friday format, I plan each week out on the Sunday before it begins.  So every Sunday night I sit down, and think about the week ahead, and what we have going on.

First thing I do is transfer anything I have on my monthly calendar for that week into my weekly calendar.  I'll also add a few more details (like time or place) if necessary.  Next I'll look through my financial planner to see if I have any bills due.  While I do use my financial planner for the bulk of my money organization, I do like to have bill due dates written in my regular planner as well.  This really ensures that no bill gets forgotten.

You can find the planner stickers I used for free here

I'll also add additional scheduled events that didn't need to be written on my monthly calendar.  You can see that I wrote in on Friday that we need to drop Dakota off with my parents before leaving to go to the wedding.  I really didn't need to include that on my monthly calendar, since it's not a huge event, but it helps to have it clearly written out in my weekly planer as something that needs to be done on Friday.

The weekly calendar is really where I get the bulk of my planning done, and what I refer to on a daily basis.  I will also add in more plans as I go through the actual week and things come up.  So if on Wednesday we decide we want to take an Ikea trip that weekend, I'll write it in so when the weekend rolls around, we don't forget that we wanted to get that done.

The final step in my planning routine is writing out my personal to-do list.  I write out my to-do list for the upcoming week at the same time as I'm planning my week, on Sunday nights.  Anything that didn't get completed the previous week gets immediately transferred into next week's to-do list.  I'll also think about anything that I've been wanting to get done around the house, and jot it on the list.

As I go through the week, I'll slowly work on chipping away at things on my to-do list.  As they get completed, they get a green check mark.  I will also add things into my to-do list as they come up throughout the week.  If I get to the end of the week and something still isn't completed, I'll put a red arrow in the box to indicate that I've moved it to the following week.

And that is how I plan my planning!  It really is simple once you sit down and decide what you're going to do when.  All it really takes is 5 minutes at the end of each month, 5 minutes at the end of each week, and a couple minutes here and there throughout each day.  Easy!

What's your planning schedule like?  Do you break it down into monthly and weekly planning sessions like me?  Or do you follow another routine?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Introducing FindingMore!

Hello everyone!  Today I have a very exciting announcement to share with you guys.  For those of you who are frequent visitors around Label Me Organized, you already know Melissa.  For those you you who may be new, Melissa is my girlfriend.  She's also known as the person who just nods her head and says "ok honey, whatever you say" when I tell her I think it's about time we got around to alphabetizing the spice rack.

For the last couple of months, Melissa has been working on getting her own project up and running.  After tons of work and many (many) trips to Best Buy, Melissa has launched her very own YouTube channel, FindingMore!  I could not be happier for her, and could not be more excited to share the fun, goofy girl I get to spend my life with, with the rest of the world.

FindingMore will be all about finding the fun in life and in the everyday.  Melissa will be sharing her experiences with getting the most out of life, as you follow along with her everyday life.  Melissa is such a positive and hilarious person, I know she will be a great source of entertainment and inspiration.  FindingMore will cover a variety of topics, as she shares her life and adventures, but will focus on making the most out of life and finding fun wherever you can.  Here is a taste of what FindingMore will be about:

Melissa has been such a huge supporter of everything I do here on Label Me Organized.  She has been my sounding board, my cheerleader, my source of advice and so much more.  So I hope you all will join me in supporting her, and her exciting new endeavor into the world of YouTube!

Also if you ever wanted to see me attempt to drive a stick shift... you'll definitely want to subscribe, as that video will be making its debut shortly ;).

If you're interested in following along, or want to check out some of the videos she's uploaded already you can find FindingMore here:

YouTube    -    Facebook    -    Twitter    -    Instagram    -    Tumlr

Monday, September 15, 2014

Project Life: 2014 Week 8

Hi guys!  I wanted to pop in today and quickly share with you my week 8 spread for Project Life.  This is probably the quickest and simplest layout I have done like, ever, but it also turned out to be one of my favorites!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase one of the products I recommend using these links, I will make a teeny, tiny commission.  This will not cost you anything additional to your purchase.

I started with the reverse side of the Design F page protector I used for my week 7 spread.  Unlike the week before, week 8 was very picture light, and so I only needed to use a single page protector to fit in all my memories.  I like doing this instead of forcing a full two page spread, because in the long haul it will help me save album space, and eventually shelf space.

With this week's layout, I pretty much stuck to using two techniques throughout the entire thing.  I had just discovered the amazing Kaitlin Sheaffer and her awesome, free, printable labels in like a bazillion colors.  So after choosing my cards from the 5th and Frolic edition, I printed out like six pages of labels in colors that coordinated with my cards.  So I knew I was planning on layering on a ton of these awesome labels, because I am just a label fiend and was so excited about this find.

The second technique I relied on was simple hand lettering.  This meant that once all my labels were cut and adhered onto my cards, I could just journal, doodle in a few titles and be done!  Seriously, it was that simple.  So if you're ever wondering how to make a fun layout, without using a ton of (or spending a ton on) embellishments, read on to see how I created this simple and pretty layout.

For the title card, I kept it very simple by only using two labels.  Inside the larger blue circle label, I hand lettered the week number.  Then I wrote my dates into the smaller, yellow label.  Boom, done.

For the second card, I layered a fancier label behind my screen shot of a text convo with my mom, and then wrote the date going down the sides of the picture.  I actually wasn't planning on using that wood veneer heart, but after I accidentally started writing 'seventeenth' (instead of the actual date... twenty-first), it became necessary to do a little cover up work. *face palm*

This fun little card shows my haul from a shopping date with my mom.  I added the date onto a shipping label placed behind my photo, and then added a cute chipboard embellishment for a little added interest on that side of things.  I finished this card up by adding three circular labels to the empty side of the card to hold my journaling and title.

Again this card just got the royal label treatment, with a long skinny one for the title, and a larger circle cut off on the corner.  I then wrote in my title 'update' (which is actually the only one I not to pleased with how it turned out), journaling, and embellishment quote 'freedom'.

Since I  was using a Design F page protector, I had very little room to work with wider, horizontal pictures.  One of my favorite work-arounds for this dilemma is simply snipping off the ends of a picture, and overflowing the picture into two 3x4 pockets.  I also did the same with the date label, to really drive home the fact that these two pockets are connected.

This card stayed really simple with a label for the title, and some quick journaling.  I am so in love with this adorable little clipboard card though!

The picture on the left got a quick title via a label.  The card on the right may be my favorite of this layout.  I cut a bunch of labels down, in varying colors and lengths, and then glued them to the edge of my card.  I then hand lettered in my title going down the different labels.  I just love the finished look of this, and will definitely be dipping into this technique again in the future!

Finally I finished up with another set of related cards.  I chose light pink for both of these cards to kind of anchor them together, since the journaling on the right is referring to the picture on the left.  I added a little more flair to the journaling card, by hand lettering 'sweet' onto a rounded label.

And that finishes up my super quick, and super easy, week 8 of Project Life.  I love that this entire layout (after cards and pictures) was made using basically just two materials, labels and a pen.  If you're looking for ways to make beautiful layouts, without dropping a ton of money on fancy embellishments, this is definitely one way to do that!

Who else likes using one or two techniques to create an entire page spread?  Let me know what your go-to tricks for create fast and easy layouts are.  I'm always looking for ways to stretch my supplies!