Over the past few months, I have been diving into the world of Traveler’s Notebooks and trying to find my inner planner peace. I’ve had two Erin Condren Life Planners over the past two years and I’m looking for a change. The Life Planner allowed me to keep track of my doctor’s appointments, food intake and scrapbooking events. But, I’ve wanted to include more than that, along with all of the pretty stickers. Although I wrote in my planner more than I actually decorated it, I still wanted to include more of ME. That’s when I came across Jenny Penton and the Planner Perfect method. I interviewed her earlier in the year because I was just amazed at her method and her gorgeous designer plan books. Her method basically breaks down each month into a different plan book which you carry in a traveler’s notebook. She also has separate inserts for errands, shopping lists, seasonal wardrobes, meal planning, devotionals, journals, personal development and so much more!
I love the concept of a traveler’s notebook insert being compact and concise for one month at a time. Setting monthly goals and seeing them come to fruition with strategic planning is a wonderful sense of accomplishment and who doesn’t love that, right? As Jenny Penton always says, “You are more than your to-do list.” There is so much more to our lives than trips to the grocery store and piles of laundry. What do we really want out of life? How often do we sit down and write out our best dreams and plans? My guess is not very often. That needs to change!
Enter the world of traveler’s notebook inserts or plan books – however you want to label them. They’ll become the places where you can brain dump your creative ideas, expel all the hurt from past wounds, dream up new places to go and see or write the story that’s been in your head for ages. Your plan books will become the friend that you want to start your day with each morning and end your day with each night. We all need a morning routine to get us going and an evening routine to calm us before we head to bed for restful sleep. Each day, we get bombarded with so much information that it takes its toll on us mentally and physically. It’s nice to be able to sit down and journal about my day and plan for the next. I feel more at peace when I know that my life is under a little bit of control. Some days are better than others, but at least I can rid myself of the negative thoughts by dumping them out on paper and put positivity in my head before it hits the pillow.
Learn to unplug and unwind. There’s something magical about sitting down with pen and paper. It calms my soul after a hectic day at work. Scrolling through a screen to see what everyone else is doing is fine for a little while, but we can’t immerse ourselves in the lives of others and watch our own life pass us by. Put down the phone and write! Script your life the way YOU want it and don’t get trapped in comparing your life to others. I’m so guilty of this myself and that’s why I’m diving back into my plan books and journals and setting myself up for a more productive life. We don’t have to wait until the New Year to figure things out. Start today! Start right now! Do this for yourself. Your family and friends will see a difference in you. You’ll be happier, lighter and more organized. You won’t be as stressed about what happens next when you’ve planned it out. Yes, things will go haywire and plans won’t work out. That’s life. But, if you have a plan, then it’s easier to shift things around and plan for the next day.
Dream BIG. I know most of you cringed at reading those words. Words like, “I can’t. I have a family and a job and a mortgage.”, “I’m too old to dream.”, “No one will believe in me.” came flying out of your mouth, right? Tons of excuses and reasons why we put our dreams on the shelf. Well, that needs to change too. Why can’t you have what you want in life? Why not? Who says? You control how you live your life and how you create your own happiness. Take a blank page in one of your plan books and write it all down – every single dream you’ve had for your life. WRITE IT ALL DOWN. Get it all out of your head. Then break down each dream into what steps are needed to create the paths to those dreams or get you close enough to them to feel that sense of accomplishment. DO IT. DO IT NOW. You will feel so much better after you see all of the dreams inside of you written in black and white. Some may not seem so scary once you start mapping them out. Some may even be doable in the coming weeks, months and years. But, you won’t know until you DREAM BIG!
Plan it all out. One of the things that I love about the Planner Perfect method is that Jenny encourages you to plan EVERYTHING out – from meal planning to your seasonal wardrobe needs to daily tasks to weekend chores and getaways. She also plans out home decor purchases for holidays as well as weekly and monthly errands to stock up on household items. Everything has a place in her plan books. For example, shopping lists for each store are in a separate Errands plan book. Every child has a page in her Wardrobe plan book and she keeps a running lists of sizes so that she can purchase things on the go that each child needs. This may seem overwhelming to set up, but it’s all worth it when you can turn to one page and see everything that you need to get from each place. Again, that sense of accomplishment is so exhilarating!
Take time for you. It all starts and ends with YOU. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Take the time to sit down and get back to you. Write a list of all of the books that have been sitting on your shelf that you bought and have never touched. I have several shelves of them! Make that a page in your Goals plan book – “Books I Want To Read.” Phrase everything revolving around YOU. “Places I Want To Go”, “Things I Want To Save Up For”, “Home Decor I Want To Buy” – the more we see our dreams (big or little), the more we’ll be motivated to make them come true for our own happiness. You are worth it!
Find what’s right for you. It’s taken me a while, but I think that I might be close to achieving planner peace. Breaking things up into individual plan books and carrying them in separate traveler’s notebooks seems like a good system for me. I take some of the Planner Perfect method and insert more of me into the whole thing. I like to journal in my plan books when I talk about my day. Since I suffer from anxiety and depression, it can greatly effect the way that my day goes. I want to keep a record of not only how I felt, but how I handled the day’s planned events. I go deeper into my journaling in another plan book that I have for self-care. Those pages are my private therapy sessions with myself and help me to see my behavior patterns. This may seem so overwhelming to set up, but it’s worth it when you can see your dreams and plans come to life. You’ll be happier, lighter and more organized and you’ll feel that exhilarating sense of accomplishment. What works for one person may not work for another. But you need to find it, create it and stick to it.
Stay tuned for more planner posts from me as I strive to create my true planner peace!
I’d love to hear from you. What planners will you be using in 2018?