I previously asked if anyone would be interested in a post about my planner usage. Turns out, many people are interested. Lauren & Alexandra invited me to link-up with them today and share a little about my methods.

My last three planners (2017, 2018, 2019) have been Plum Paper Planners. I love PPP because they have SO many choices. You can do a horizontal or vertical option, you can get prioritized pages, you can get student or teacher or mom-specific planners. Options are endless.

Their planners are durable and come in different sizes. You can pick from multiple front cover options and add customization like your name, initials, etc. You can make the inside colorful or neutral, & you can chose what month to start with, & you can chose the duration of the planner (12 to 18 months). You can also add organizational pages for home, baby, wedding, blog, chores, bills, scripture, exercise, and many many more.

So… as far as my planner goes, I order the 7×9 horizontal planner with two-sided days, the colorful layout, and my name + the year on the cover. I also add a bill pay chart at the end of each month. In the past I added sticker sheets but I have a lot left over from the last 2 years so I didn’t for 2019.

In the future I think I’d like to add more but for now this works really well.

My 2019 Plum Paper Planner

My new planner has coffee mugs and fresh, empty pages. To better illustrate my organizational habits I’m going to take pictures of my 2018 planner. Let’s start at the beginning…

(Click on pictures to see them larger.)

There is a basic calendar in the beginning of the planner. I mark birthdays and holidays but otherwise don’t use these pages for much.


After each month is over I go back through the month and jot down important or noteworthy events. This is helpful when I go to scrapbook our marriage years.

The next page is IDEAS. PLANS. GOALS.

Here I write down the yearly and seasonal goals I am working on.

Now we finally get to the months. For past months I clip them together. When I’m in a current month I use a paper clip to mark the week:

We’ll use April 2018 as an example month…

The first page of the section is dedicated to goals, important dates, and lists for things happening this month. Sometimes it’s blog swap lists or book challenge lists. In December this is where I keep my Christmas shopping list. In April it was a “money owed” (to me! lol) list and a menu for Easter (which we hosted).

The next page is the overall month. I use long stickers or washi tape for trips.

On this page I also list my blog posts. Since I post on Tuesday & Thursday I number the column and add titles as I write them or think of them. I check them off once they’ve been scheduled/posted.

This is a relatively light week but….

The dinner planning cracks me up… Clearly a lazy week. I didn’t get to the grocery store.

My weekly to do list is up in the box (top of left side page). Our dinners are in the shaded box to the right of each day. My scheduled blog posts are also in that box on T/Th. I use sticker icons when appropriate.

The last two pages of the month are dedicated to books and bills, lol.

I keep track of what books I’m reading, what I’ve finished, and what I’ve logged on GoodReads and on the blog for Show Us Your Books.

On the bills side, I list them as they come in, check them off once the check has been sent or the payment has been scheduled, and mark them with a dot once the money has left my account.

In April I renewed PicMonkey, got my hair done (Exodus), and paid the dog sitter (Anna).

Ok… moving on. (If you’re still with me, HIGH FIVE!)

The back of the planner has some dotted pages for notes. I just list all the trips and goals we might like to accomplish over the year.

There’s also a page for passwords, contacts, and a calendar for the following year. On that future calendar I tend to mark appoints/weddings/events that I’ll want to jot down in my new planner once I’ve ordered it.

And that more or less sums up how I organize my planner! I keep a separate (monthly) planner for work related stuff. That one is just filled with deadlines, employee schedules, and work trips.

If you read this whole thing- thanks! If you have any questions on my planner style- fire away!

Thanks for hosting this link up, Lauren & Alexandra!!


26 thoughts on “The Planner Post

  1. Ah yay! Thank you for linking up with us! πŸ™‚ I love seeing how people use their planners, especially for goals! πŸ™‚ It looks like the Plum Planner is really functional which is awesome. I am so so so excited to get back to using a normal planner next year! πŸ™‚ BUJO is fun but too much work and not enough structure for me right now. I need to get a handle on my schedule again now that we are completely moved. Things like blogging, blog reading, scrapbooking, filming, etc. have really fallen off of my plate! LOL XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


    1. Thank you for hosting!!
      I don’t have any major complaints with Plum Paper and I’d like to get better about using mine this year (as in checking it daily, writing down goals, etc.) because I want to add special pages. I want to be in the habit of using them first, though πŸ™‚
      I’d love to bullet journal but I don’t have the time or energy. I like my pages outlines for me and all I have to do is make lists πŸ˜‰


  2. I seriously love seeing inside other people’s planners. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just so fascinating to see how differently everyone uses the pages. I love those first pages, the important dates and the goals.


    1. I do, too. I’m always inspired by other people’s organization habits!
      The page with special dates is SO handy when I go to scrapbook or reflect on old months!


  3. Yay – I’m so glad you did this post and linked up with us. Like Alexandra, I love seeing what planners people use and how they set things up. I really like this planner and that you can add in special sections if you need to – that would be great for blogging! I have a Happy Planner, but I’m still figuring out what I want for 2019. I also have a bullet journal but it’s more for entertainment purposes or list making, not necessarily day to day activities and the like (I use my planner for that, because it kind of becomes a journal of what I did during the year and I like that!)



    1. Thanks for hosting!!
      They actually have an add-in sheet specifically for blogging! I used to keep a blog planner separately but I’ve combined everything within the last year or two. I like trying to keep it all in one place. (But not on my phone- I never use my phone for this stuff. Lol)


  4. This seems so well-thought out, smart and efficient and DOABLE. And yet every time I’ve bought a planner (because I am enthralled with them) it sits empty and unused. It’s like I love the idea of them but am too lazy to actually use them. I do love how customizable your planner is. I typically bought generic ones, which may have been part of the problem.


    1. I try not to overwhelm myself with the add-ons. I know I’ll use the bill pay page but I’m not confident about the other ones so I never add them. I think that helps. I like being able to utilize the whole planner without sections sitting empty. That would stress me out and discourage me! It’s taken a few years to figure out how to lay my planners out.


  5. Your handwriting is so NEAT! I downsized from PP to Happy Planner just because I carry it everywhere and it was more space than I needed, but I did love it when I used it! I don’t clip past months, but I do use the paperclip for the current week, and clip extra notes/receipts/etc to the back cover. I also like your minimalist decorating style. I don’t like clutter but I like the functionality of the smaller icon stickers πŸ™‚


    1. I *think* my sister in law uses Happy Planner because of the creative aspect of it! I’ve had other planners with less space and I’d use sticky notes to keep track of bills and to-do lists. Those planners got super bulky and heavy as the year progressed. Lol
      I don’t like clutter at all. I can’t do the huge stickers and super marked-up pages πŸ™‚


  6. I still cant believe I dont have my 2019 planner yet.
    I’m such a EC girl but you’re intriguing me with this post. Are the pages thick? Like does the ink run through on the next page?


    1. I should’ve answered this sooner for you- I’m sorry!!
      I typically stick to pencil. I use some red pen here and there. If the ink isn’t too heavy, I think it’s fine. I tend to avoid pens though just because I don’t like seeing the shadow of writing on the other side of the page. And because I like simple black/white/grey. Lol. Heavier pens will bleed through, I think.


  7. Your handwriting is adorable! It’s so neat and precise – I love it! I’m in a Happy Planner for the remainder of this year and 2019. It’s my first time with it and it’s ok. Don’t love it, don’t hate it. I was in a TN before, which I really liked but it’s a lot of work. Before that it was Kikki K (rings). I liked that a lot but ehh. I almost don’t want a planner for 2020. It hurts to even type that!


    1. Thank you! I feel like a lot of these pages look like chicken scratch! Haha!
      I’ve heard people talk about Happy Planner but I haven’t looked into it. I’ve researched EC planners and Emily Ley planners, but PP works really well for me.


    1. Hahahaha- thanks, Chelsea! I cringe when I look through some of the pictures because I think it’s chicken scratch-y, lol. So I appreciate that!! Haha!


  8. I’m seriously considering doing this for 2019. I love how organized you are. I am never organized. I buy a planner every year but I never end up using it. Every year I think this will be the year …. maybe 2019!!!


    1. Oooh, I hope 2019 is your year!! I love how laid out this brand is. I think it really helps me to stay organized. The bill pay page is a life. saver.!!!


  9. I absolutely adore this – choosing a planner last year took me 3 months (3 months!!) and this looks even better than the one I went with!


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