The Great Canadian Planner Sale is the original collaboration sale for Canadian planner shops. With the new changes in shipping costs for Americans, it’s even more important now to be able to find those amazing Canadian planner shops easily so you’re saving on those shipping costs.
There are currently giveaways happening in the Facebook group and a loop giveaway on Instagram including a bunch of the sale participants.
I’m a huge Happy Planner fan and I use one of each size to organize different aspects of my life. Today I’m going to focus on my Classic Happy Planner (as it’s my most used) and show you what planner organization helps me the most!
When I first started decorative planning, I just put in some stickers wherever (see below) then started writing in what needed to be done. Now, I actually plan (ha!) how I want to put stuff in my planner.
Being productive comes much easier when I immediately know the main task(s) that I need to focus on. I like to use a half box or a “Top three” checklist at the very top. I’ve tried setting up my pages in other ways but I always keep going back to this.
It helps me to quickly know if I should focus on my blog post, taking photos, editing photos etc. Having it set up this way helps me plan out each smaller task of the day. If I need to focus on taking photos, I know I need to do that at the perfect time of day so that the natural lighting is the best so I won’t schedule errands for late afternoon.
I don’t add as much to my to-do list on the weekend as I still try to think of it as “time off” from working. I’ll usually use a long checklist for the top boxes. One of the most important parts of my weekly spread is having a “Next Week” list. I add to that throughout the week and those are usually the tasks I write into the next week first, as soon as it’s decorated.
Check the Calendar
I always write every appointment, bill due, $2 Tuesday etc in the calendar view. That way I have everything in one place. I decorate my planner one week at a time so I don’t like to skip ahead an write on the actual day until I have my stickers down.
Everything is dumped on the calendar view. That way, when I start decorating my week I can look back to see what appointments or activities are happening so I know how busy that day will be.
When I want to put an appointment or something on the actual day, I either use an erasable pen or a sticky note.
The Happy Planner is sectioned into three boxes. You can ignore those boxes and do what you want, or use each box for something specific. Sometimes I like to play with the stickers and put some over the lines so you can’t tell the boxes are there. Other times I use them each for something specific, but the ‘thing’ is almost always different.
Sometimes I’ll use a box for a ‘To Clean’ section and list items that need the most attention around the house. But I will use that section all throughout the week. I don’t usually clean everything in one day.
If you’ve been a decorative planner for more than a few months, you probably know that 2017 was a pretty big year for planners.
MAMBI (Me and My Big Ideas) came out with so many new Happy Planners and tons of accessories.
Washi is popping up, even in stores that don’t really sell much stationery and craft supplies.
Michael’s hosts planner events. There are big planner conferences happening everywhere.
My life has been changed so much when I discovered the community of planning. I joined a few Facebook groups, and follow over 1500 planner-related Instagram accounts. I just relate to so many planner girls more than most people I know in real life. It’s like I finally fit in somewhere. In a community of girls who love to plan and use stickers. I never would’ve guessed.
For 2018, here are what I think are the best planners/methods of planning. I would love to hear which ones you love as well!
A Bullet Journal is like a blank canvas that you create yourself. You start with blank pages – they can be 100% blank or have lines or grids or dots. Everything else is drawn or written in by you.
One of the more popular books used for bullet journaling (that I briefly tried and loved!) is the Leuchtturm 1917. They are beautifully made, open flat, have numbered pages and and a blank table of contents. They’re so easy to work with. You can also find so many awesome stencils and accessories to make bullet journaling look awesome even if you are like me and can’t draw a straight line.
Another huge planner line – they have Life Planners, Teacher Planners, and Wedding Planners. In mini style they have Meal Planners, Pregnancy Journals and Baby Trackers. You can customize your cover, pick your layout and color scheme and coil color.
The Happy Planner is my planner of choice and in my opinion one of the best planners of all time. It is a disc-bound planner system so you can easily move things around by taking them off the discs and putting them back on wherever you’d like. There are just so many options – the sizes come in mini, classic and big.
Passion Planner is the perfect planner for the passionate goal-setter. There are spots to plan out your passions, plan your week hourly, add to-dos at the bottom, draw pictures, reflect on the month past. If you sign up with your email address, they will give you access to a printable PDF to try out the Passion Planner for free.
Plum Paper is a line of planners that you can customize yourself or are ready to ship. They have vertical, horizontal, fitness, student, teacher and home-teacher planners. The link above for their website will bring you to a breakdown of all the products they sell and what you need to know about them. They also have notebooks, stickers or other add-ons.
Or any kind of planner from your local book store. Planners are all the craze right now so you can find a decent one on any corner. It just depends on what traits and qualities you need in your planner.
What is your favorite planner for 2018? Please tell me in the comments.
The end of January is coming faster than I’d ever expected. This is usually the time where the gyms slowly start to get less crowded. We start to ditch our salads for burgers. If you’ve held tight to your no spend challenge, I salute you. If your goals are right on track, then that’s fantastic.
This is the time where so many of us fall off the goals and resolutions wagon.
I failed at my no spend. I wanted 100% no spend on anything that wasn’t a necessity in January. Once I made one slip up, I was a slippery slope. I haven’t stopped spending. But I’ve slowed it down a lot.
I find the biggest thing with this time of year is to get back on that wagon.
We strive so much for perfection that as soon as we’re not doing perfect, we’re giving up.
(Or is that just me?)
The following are a few ways to get yourself back on track if you feel yourself slipping. How to re-motivate yourself to reach those goals you once set.
After all, you set them for a reason.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself
if You’re not Reaching Your Goals
Why Did You Set Your Resolutions?
Why do you want to lose 20 pounds? To fit in that dress? To feel better about yourself? Remind yourself what you have to gain by achieving the goal. Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Did You Break Them Down Into Baby Steps?
If your goal is to run a marathon and you’ve never run before, you can’t just wake up one day and run that marathon. You need to practice and train. You need the right running shoes. You need a place to run. Make your smaller goal be to be able to run half the length of the marathon in a certain amount of time.
Did You Make Time to Work at Your Goals?
Plain and simple – if you don’t take the time to work at your goals and plan them out, it will be next to impossible to reach them. If your goal is to become more fluent in French but you can’t seem to find the time to learn, maybe you can listen to an audio book on your commute to work. Get some exercise by talking a brisk walk on your lunch break.
Are Your Goals Attainable?
Whether it’s due to time restraints, lack of money or other reasons, you need to make sure your goal is attainable.
If your budget barely allows you to travel, then having a goal to travel to 20 counties this year may be a bit too big. Losing 100 pounds in 3 months might be something you are able to do, but would it be safe?
Don’t set your goals too big unless you set a time frame that makes sense with it. 20 countries in 5 years might be more attainable. Losing 100 pounds in a year may be a safer option for your health.
What’s Holding You Back?
If you’ve done the rest of the steps right, then what else is holding you back? Whether it’s laziness, fear (or fear of failure), procrastination – once you identify the problem you can figure out how to work past it.
If it’s laziness, force yourself to work at this goal before you do something that comes easy – like watching TV or gaming on your phone. This infographic on How to Discipline Yourself is full of great tips.
If it’s because you messed up a perfect goal (like me and my no-spend) start over and this time try to beat the progress you made the time before. If you only did one week of no-spend, try for two.
You want to make sure your goals are:
A) Something you really want
B) Something you can do with time and effort and
C) Something that will bring good into your life
Have you reviewed the progress on your 2018 goals yet? Let me know how you’re doing in the comments!
A Brain Dump is exactly what it sounds – dumping all the jumbled up thoughts from your brain onto a sheet of paper.
I have a large family, a busy day job and Coffee Brain Plans blog andEtsy shop to juggle on a daily basis. Sometimes holding all the thoughts, ideas and to-dos in my head feels like I’m holding my breath. Once I let that breath out, I feel much more relaxed.
The beauty of a brain dump, is you do it however you like. You don’t need to follow anyone else’s method or follow any rules.
Brain Dump Supplies
The only supplies you need to do a brain dump is paper and a writing utensil.
Grab your supplies of choice and just write. Write down everything that needs to be taken care of. Every idea you want to explore further. Everything causing you stress. Write it all down.
No need to be neat or tidy. This is not the time to worry about the details. Just make sure you get it out there. But make sure it’s something you can read and understand afterwards.
Sometimes I find it helpful to write down the different categories of tasks that I usually need to do (kids, cleaning, work, personal, relationship, etc.) That way I am more quickly able to remember what needs to be done.
Stuff to Dump
Things you’ve been putting up
Events coming up in the future
Ideas you want to explore
Whatever might be causing you stress
Anything and everything
After the Dump
After you feel like you’ve dumped everything out, there are a couple of different way to proceed.
You can walk away and come back to look at your list refreshed.
I find it helpful to jump right in to getting the thoughts in some sort of order. Often I follow the method mentioned above where I categorize a lot of my ideas as I write. That way it’s a lot less to organize later. Finally, I add them to my planner as needed, or transfer them to a running to-do list.
Another way of getting them organized is by color coding – you can have a color for each category (chores, errands, family, work, etc) or a color based on importance (red for important and urgent things, blue for important but not urgent things etc) then transfer to a planner or an organized printable as needed.
The snippets can be organized by what needs to be done now, soon, and someday.
They can be sorted by ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘could’ and ‘want to’.
Unless your brain dump was just a way to clear your head of negative thoughts, make sure to follow up with it so items aren’t left forgotten.
More Brain Dump Ideas
You can implement a brain dump routine – weekly, monthly etc. I really enjoy the idea I read about on Create and Thrive about having a daily brain dump in the morning to get ready for your day.
You can use a brain dump to pump out ideas for a certain project or for a specific idea, like Janet from Paper and Spark talks about.
Whatever way you choose to do it, a brain dump is a great to get all your thoughts and to-dos in order without worrying about it being perfect. It is whatever you need it to be.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might get a tiny commission if you decide to purchase at no extra charge to you. I will always link to items I have tried and love or brands I fully trust would recommend.
2017 has been a huge year for the planner community, I think. I feel like planners have exploded in popularity. Instead of a small display, planners have their own aisles and sections. There has been SO much product released in the past year.
It’s overwhelming. It really is. Even I – a Happy Planner addict of a year and a half – have a hard time knowing what will work, what to buy and what to skip.
The latest release of Happy Planner items did not help.
So without further introduction, these are the main planner items that I will be using in 2018.
1. My Happy Planner Trio
I have a Happy Planner in each size – mini, classic and big.
These are all Happy Planner inserts I will be using. One I made myself.
A. Budget sheet that comes in the budget planner. B. To Do list inserts from the original “Home Planner” extension. C. Meal Planning half sheets. D. Cash envelopes I made myself to follow Dave Ramsey’s envelope system, and utilize some tips from Fun Cheap or Free. E & F. The new 6 month undated extension. I added this extension to both my classic and big.
Now I will admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the style of the classic planner that I chose so I’m looking to switch it out, but I will 100% be using a classic vertical Happy Planner as my main planner of 2018.
What are your planning staples for 2018? Share in the comments!
The time has come where my little Etsy shop is taking part in a pretty exciting sale – The Great Canadian Planner sale. Visit the link for the full list of participating shops, the amount of the discount they are offering and their shop link! You can go to the group Facebook page here for more info as the date gets closer.
Coffee Brain Plans Etsy shop will be offering 30% off everything in the shop and I’ve been adding so many new things leading up to the sale and will continue to add more!
Here are some of my latest items:
Let me know if you’ll be visiting any shops during the sale!!
I’m so glad you’re here!
My name is Venassa.
I'm a mom, planner, organizer, writer, crafter,
stationery lover and coffee freak
I'm here to share with you my passion for making a better life through planning and organizing.
I hope you enjoy it here! Read more...