I love planning. Making to-do lists every Sunday evening is one of the things that gets me excited for Monday mornings. I write downs ideas that I have for future blogs posts or videos, plan out my content, or even make packing lists. Before I invested in this beautiful mint green color Kikki K A5 size planner, I used to start planning in one notebook and then before finishing that one move on to another. I also made myself a bullet journal, thankfully I didn’t invest in the Leitchrum notebooks, because I know myself, and I knew I might not be able to keep up with this newfound attraction. I also used the Indian version of the Erin Condren planners, which I even showed the inside of in this blog post.
But I knew I wanted something which will give me the flexibility to plan. I didn’t want to be restricted by the dates or months. I wanted something where I can note down all aspects of my life, whether it is blog post or YouTube ideas, or my blog and Youtube editorial calendar, daily things to do, books I wanted to read, things I wanted to buy, money I have spent etc. So at the beginning of 2017 I decided on investing in a ring bound planner. Why I call it ‘investing’ is for mainly two reasons – one being that I didn’t know if I would end up using it every day or will it just be like any other notebook/ bullet journals that I used to start and getting bored and distracted midway. And second, because Kikki K isn’t available in India, which meant, not only I would have to pay the cost of the planner, but also shipping charges and customs duty. Mind you, it was pricey. But now we are in the 2nd quarter of 2018 and I have to tell you that this purchase has probably been the best purchase I have made ever (other than my Gucci Soho Disco Bag). I have used it EVERY SINGLE DAY since I bought it.
When you open my planner, on the left side I just keep this card that came with a planner set from Forever New. I also keep a few of my business cards and pictures of my husband and me.
A ring-bound planer gives you immense flexibility to have any number of sections you want. How I use my planner is both as a bullet journal, which is just for making lists etc. and as a taditional planner. As much as I would like my planner to look pretty, I do not spend too much time decorating it. I was it to be more functional rather than decorative. I want to use it daily to keep myself organized and don’t want the burden of making it look pretty to keep me from using it. I am not a very artistic or a very creative person.
So the different sections I have in my planner are ‘Calendar’ ‘Lists’ ‘To Do’ ‘Notes’ and ‘Blog & YT’.
CALENDAR section just has an overview of 2018. I took a print from Wendaful, cut it to the size of my planner and just decorated it with some washi tape. On the left side of the calendar, I also like to stick some post-its because instead of searching through my stationery drawer whenever I need them, I just them in the planner itself.
LISTS is where I use the bullet journal style of planning. The first few pages are just my 2018 goals, days I want to remember in 2018, places I’ve been this year, books to read, wish list, some website I need to remember, then a list of food that we eat, categorized into breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, party food. This was a very recent addition and trust me, it has made my life so simple. It also has a packing list, the guest list for my 30th birthday (which I should remove now since my birthday has gone by already). Basically, any lists that I want to make (other than related to blog/ Youtube work) is here in this section.
TO-DO is a mix of both, bullet journal as well as regular planner style. It starts with a list of general to-dos which don’t have any time frame to be completed in. Then I have an overview of 2018 with space to write down important dates or events which are in the future. This is somewhat like that future log section in a bullet journal. Next comes the monthly planner. I just draw out the cover page for each month. Something I started doing this year was having monthly goals, like the number I wanted to achieve for my blog/ YouTube/ social media, books I wanted to finish in that particular month, courses I wanted to take etc. So to track that and have a place where I can write them down, I have made a monthly dashboard of sorts. The layout of this has changed slightly over the course of months, but broadly it contains Important Dates (birthdays, events etc.), Monthly Goals, To Do (for the month) and a small overview calendar.
In the same section, after the monthly dashboard comes the daily planning section. This is my most used section of the planner. I usually have one week on two pages. Here I do detailed planning each night for the next day, like things I need to do that day, meetings, events etc. I use squared paper from Muji as inserts. It comes with holes punched, but they didn’t fit my planner properly so I have enlarged the holes.
Next up is the NOTES section. This is a section where I write down any ideas or notes that I have which don’t have any other place to go to. For example, I was taking a Social Media Management course on Udemy so I’ve written down anything important which I wanted to remember.
BLOG & YOUTUBE section is my second most used section of the planner. First few pages contain a stats tracker for all my social media, a list of Video requests that my lovely subscribers ask me to do, video ideas, blog post ideas, etc. I also have a page where I note down my sponsored content because I want my channel or blog to show only sponsored products. In the same section, next comes my editorial calendar. For planning out my content, I always write on these post-it notes and stick them to the relevant date a blog post/ video needs to go up. Then, when the month is over, I remove the post-it and write it by hand, the videos or posts that went up. This way I keep my calendar neat and anything I have did not stick to my schedule, I don’t need to make a mess. For this, I use the Kikki K Monthly Calendar inserts that came along with the planner.
The same section gets further divided into my Blog/ Video notes. When I know I am planning a video or post, I write down the products that I am going to talk about and a basic outline of how the video is going to flow. I don’t do this for every post or video though.
Lastly, I have a plastic folder where I keep some receipts or paper clips that I always use while planning. There is also a notepad which came along with the planner.
That’s all for my planner post. In case you want to know any section in detail then comment below. I also thought of doing a plan-with me or my planner set-up video on YouTube, but then I realized a lot of my subscribers won’t be interested, hence the blog post.