Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Family Plus Planner for 2014 - Decorated and Personalized

I know this is off topic from crochet........ but it does involve some crafty ideas. I have used planners for years. It would take a very long and involved post to go over my planner history in detail (I may do that someday in the future). I started out with very expensive and large, desk sized binder planners. I evolved to the smaller personal size planners and in recent years I have only purchased the spiral style weekly/monthly planners. This has been mostly due to the nature of my job and technology. I REALLY tried to switch totally over to a paperless system. I have nice digital planner pages that I can use on my tablet and phone and I also keep a calendar on Google.

I have come to the realization that I don't feel as productive using my tablet/phone. There is just something about holding the planner in your hand and actually using a pen to write down tasks, notes and appointments. I also know that I am the type of person who needs all of my information in one place. I understand that there are others out there who use separate planners for work, personal info, etc. I'm not one of them!

I am determined to keep on track and organized this year!! I have many plans for Poochie Baby that involve new crochet patterns and You Tube videos. I also have to keep a calendar for my "real" job, which involves making many stops each day to do home inspections. All of these things need to be incorporated with my personal and household tasks.

In my search for the perfect planner, I decided to try a new moleskin daily planner. I ordered one from Amazon and waited for delivery. It was taking longer than expected. So, on a trip to Target, I decided to browse through the office supply section. I searched through the planners and literally stopped in my tracks when I opened up the Day Timer Family Plus planner. There is just something about the layout of this planner that makes me want to use it and fill it up with all kinds of notes and doodles! I haven't been this excited about a planner in years. So, of course I had to buy it. I'm glad I did because I was very disappointed with the Moleskin when it was delivered two days later.

I started using the planner immediately.......... Then, I saw some videos on You Tube that are all about the FiloFax rage. I love the way everyone is decorating their planners. They seem to be more like scrapbooks and I find this very appealing. I decided to at least spruce up my planner with a nice cover and some add ons.

The original design is very is basic. The planner is bound with a spiral, which I do prefer now over the binder style planners (even though I can't just open the binder and add pages). My first step was to add simple stick on tabs to label all the months. Then, I found some of my fabric that I love and modge podged it onto the front and back cover. I did not cover the wire binding. I just simply measured the fabric and glued it on the front and back, leaving about a one inch seam to wrap around the inside. Then I modge podged on some adorable crochet thread flowers that I had on hand for embellishment. On the front inside cover, I decided to cut a manilla folder to size and modge podge that on also, just to give it additional strength. I also added some bric-o-brac just for decoration. I plan to add some super cute pictures of the kids when I have time. This is what the inside cover looks like:

I'm not sure what I am going to do with these pages yet.............. I believe I will cover them with scrapbook paper then use them to spell out goals for the entire year.

Here is the monthly view in the planner. I use the right hand note section to keep track of monthly bills. There is also a note section on the bottom right that I use for monthly goals. For the month of February, I just glued on a strip of scrapbook paper to jazz it up.

Here is what the weekly view looks like, before anything is added.

Here is a look at this week, with some writing blurred out (sorry)....... Today is Tuesday and my week is filling in with so many notes and doodles already (I love to doodle!!). The top section has an area for ToDo's, which is separated into - Todo/Errands - Social/Community - Personal/Other. I separate my tasks by - Household - Poochie Baby - Personal. I use the daily section to jot down appointment times and general notes for the day. If you look closely, you will see that each daily section starts with a shaded area. I divide this off and use it to keep track of the visits/stops that I make for my "real" job. I have to keep track of all these details in order to keep accurate mileage records. On the right hand side, there is a section for weekly meal planning. I find this very helpful..... I can plan out the meals and shopping without leaving my weekly view. It will also give me a record of every meal we had over the entire year! I divide off the last two daily sections of Saturday and Sunday to make my shopping list for the week. I can just take a quick picture of this section before going into the grocery store and it works well as my list. I do have the planner with me in my BIG bag but I don't need to take it out since I have the photo right there on my phone. There is also a pretty big section to jot down notes for the week. I love to write down random thoughts, information from phone calls, new ideas etc. This weekly view is what attracted me to this planner. I absolutely love that I can look at everything - personal, work and business - for the entire week without flipping pages.

The back of the planner has many pages to store random information. It is mostly geared to busy mom's, which I am, but I have never used these type of pages in any planner that I have owned. You will find pages to store medical information, school information, grocery lists, etc. You may find these extremely useful, it all depends of your particular needs. I decided to convert these pages to fit my needs. I have so many things to keep track of in order to keep Poochie Baby running. I have these nice order sheets that help me record everything I need to make. I just simply printed them out and glued them onto pages I didn't need in the back. I added a tab at the top so I can access the pages quickly. I will need many of these to make it through the year and there is plenty of room. I did have to cut the paper some to fit nicely on the page. I also found that it works better when you only glue around the edges of the paper. If you glue the entire page, it doesn't stay very smooth. As you can see, I have some orders already for January.... Things have slowed down but come Christmas, I will probably need three entire sheets just for those orders!

Here is a look at the grocery list pages in the back of the planner. As mentioned, I know I'm never going to use them because I keep my list on the weekly sheets. So, I'm going to print out some checklists that will keep track of crochet pattern ideas and blog post ideas. These will also be glued directly onto the pages. These lists are very important to keep me on task and to make sure I don't forget any awesome pattern ideas.

And finally, here is a look at the back cover of the planner. I pulled out one of my old spiral bound planners that had this nice plastic pocket insert/folder. I very carefully removed it and then slotted into my new planner. I keep random things in there such as mail I need to respond to, stickers and post-it notes. The insert has pockets on both sides! Now, I know you are looking at the very back cover and wondering why I have just a plain old spiral notebook clipped on....... well, this is where the pattern magic happens! I have tried various ways to make notes while writing patterns. But, I know myself... and I know that I work best when I can just scribble down my notes and diagrams while making something new. These ten cent notebooks work so well for my scribbles. I can keep it clipped on the back or take it out. When I am finished with a pattern, I will scan it into the computer and add my pictures. Then my scribbled pattern gets put into Evernote where it will live forever! I then flip the page in my spiral notebook and it's ready for a new design.

So, this is my set-up for the coming year. It's only the last week of January and my planner already looks well worn. I like it that way!! It makes me feel like I am getting things accomplished. At the beginning of each month, I will sit down and scan the previous month into the computer and the complete PDF file get added to Evernote.... I always do this so I have computerized record to refer to if needed.

I hope this post gives you some inspiration. And.... don't forget to use some erasable pens! I don't know how I lived before these things were invented!

Have a great and happy day!

Crochet Projects Planner Page: Digital download Here !

Poochie Baby will have other digital planner pages available for sale in the Etsy Shop. 

If you would like to see some of the items I make and sell, visit the Poochie Baby Etsy shop. I have many crochet patterns available for sale!

As of February 2014.... This blog is slowly being phased out. The new poochie baby blog is located on the Poochie Baby website. You can subscribe to the new blog by email here:

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