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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Planners and Planning

Do you use a planner? If so, what kind? I've tried Filofax, Franklin Planner and, eventually, settled on designing my own to suit my needs and not that of someone who has to show up at the office and dance to someone else's tune. In all cases, my planners must have a zipper both to stuff full and to keep stuff inside.

This is a Filofax mini-planner and designed to be both planner and bill fold. The front zipper container has a place for business cards, small note paper, holder for pen

and on the back side a zipper change purse and two sides with an envelope for bills.

The middle planner is is a much larger planner by Franklin Planner and has a zipper on the inside left that holds money, personal notes and things of the sort. The slots hold business cards and the plastic sleeve holds paper clips, stamps and other things that help make life easier. Behind the plastic are note paper, calendar, sticky notes and a pen holder on the far right. If you use a Franklin Planner, click here for sale items.

Filofax and Franklin Planners have six rings while my current has three and I always buy replacement pages with six rings so they'll fit both six ring and three ring planners. The mini planner has it's own smaller pages and must be purchased separately.

I switch between all three and am currently using a three ring leather book that I've had more than 25 years and is hardly broken in. On the left side are business card holders, pen holder and a sleeve where I tuck sticky notes. The cardboard is to provide a barrier to protect the inside of the notebook.

The plastic sleeve holds an eraser, pins, mechanical pencil, small ruler, stamps, envelope and paper clips. Probably a few other things as well as I find necessary.

The first page is a six year calendar and the page on the right side has birthdays and anniversary's noted. It's the only way I can nudge myself to send cards, letters and notes.

On the left, the plastic sheet holds eight business cards and on the right, plastic sleeves hold my coupons. Don't you hate getting to the store and realize you've left your coupons at home? This prevents that from happening.

On the right, two questions that guide my days as well as a couple of quotes. The two questions: What can I do today to further the Gospel and What can I do today to make my life better? The first can be something as simple as doing a kindness and the second something as simple as updating my planner. No pun intended, but frequently, during these cold, hard winter days, updating my planner takes more out of me than I've got to give.

The two verses: "The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty but those of everyone who is hasty surely to poverty" from Proverbs 21:5 and The Lord will work out His plans for my life" from Psalm 138:8.

One grouping is a Health & Fitness Tracker that reminds me to work out, eat healthfully and, very important, drink seventy-four ounces of water daily.

Behind the Tracker is this blank page is where I write my To-Do lists that seem to grow, rather than shrink, daily.

 Here's where I list oil changes, tag renewals, insurance, etc. for vehicles, both personal and farm.

Book sections include blog posts (where I keep ideas for blog posts and have far more ideas than time to write about); finances (need to re-write my will and living trust; studio (a list of projects both to start and to finish); TCC (Thistle Cove Cottage with a list of projects, important dates, reminder to send rental agreements and a tag showing a sham I need to purchase); TCF (Thistle Cove Farm with paint chips, a list of house and farm chores for me and hired help);

The goal section is saved for four or five projects that need constant attention to keep me on track. I am so easily de-railed, especially in this cold weather it seems all I do is either feed animals or recover from feeding animals so I can return to feeding animals. Right now, around 7:30 Saturday evening, it's 8 degrees above zero and supposed to dip below zero. The wood stove is hot and two loads of wood inside so I have no need to go outside before day break and I'm struggling to stay awake. (If this post makes no sense, put it down to fatigue.)

The last two sections are writing and new home/farm and, yes, this notebook is heavy but is kept in a leather satchel, readily at hand. Those little bits and pieces of paper drive me mad and having a planner keeps my life in some semblance of order.

Do you use a planner? What kind and what do you both like and dislike about it?

Blessings ~ planners ~ wood stove ~ load of wood~  


  1. I don't have a planner, but now I think I need one. I have no idea what I do and this year I have gone paperless with my calendar. It's on google something and works great...if I check it. But often I didn't check my paper calendar either and this one is always were my phone organized...and not really. This summer we were all given a 6" cut out yellow word...GOSPEL. it is on my dashboard. Every time I see it I think of where I will take the gospel. Thank you for thinking about HIS kingdom.
    I wonder if a planner would help me in the kitchen. If it did, I would by two...stay warm.

  2. When I was single and much more involved in things at church, with friends, with work, and with school I HAD to use a planner - the only thing that kept me sane. As a SAHM, I was no longer so busy outside the home and no longer needed. I think it might have been a Franklin planner, if not, it was very similar. Then for many years I used just a pocket calendar to write appts and such in - it was easy to carry in my purse. During the 18 mos I was helping my dad, I invested in a new planner - it's a Daytimer with the normal basics inside the zippered part, and an outer velcro-closing expandable "pouch" that has a couple pouches and pen holders along with room for whatever. The outer pouch made it a bit cumbersome, or maybe I just wasn't as into a planner as much as I thought I'd be. Now, I largely rely on my smart phone. My son added a list app so I keep grocery lists, certain medical lists, etc. I use the calendar feature too where I can add birthdays and such and log in appts as I make them.
    Btw, I have one of those same 1,000,000 bills!

  3. I keep a planner, though I have to say most of my planning is written on my big wall calendar. I keep my calendars when the year is over and looking at the calendars from several years ago still gives me a pretty good sense of what I was doing and so many other details of life , especially important notes and details about my livestock and pets. My planner is not as nice as yours, it is softback planner. I use it often and carry it in my purse.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post.

  4. When I was teaching I used a planner, but not now. I like an organised life, with routine and it seems to work without having to make notes....though I do have a few forgetful moments!

  5. My wall calendar is where I write most of my plans. I did just buy a small dry eraser board & markers and that is on my fridge. I really like that a lot.

    Happy Valentine's Day ~ FlowerLady

  6. I use a Filofax and a desk diary. They seem to work for me.i don't want all my eggs in one basket so I don't use my mobile phone.

  7. I have tried so many organizer/planner methods over the decades. Homeschooling five kids made it necessary to have an extra bunch of plans and schedules to remember, and you'd think that nowadays things would be simpler - ha!

    One thing I learned about those compact types that fit in your purse, is that I could not think well while writing small. It's more productive to spend (a lot of) time organizing my notes and plans on various clipboards and lists at home, and then when I go out, I write the essential information on 4x6 cards or put a few things in a small folder.

    Nowadays I seem to have several calendars that I try to keep updated - one on my phone, one on the wall, and one that I can carry around the house with me. The wall calendars I save from year to year and occasionally extract important or interesting dates and events from them to keep on a chronological list of "Family History."

    Thank you for sharing your methods - It's obvious that you have to be very organized to keep yourself and your farm running in top form. God bless you, Dear Sandra!

  8. Looks like you are very organized! I do not have a planner. I use a wall calendar and a pocket calendar throughout the year. It's the old fashion way.
    Happy Valentine's Day to you....xoxo

  9. I've considered Filofax because of Alexandra S. I've been using my phone and trying to keep it all in my head. Dangerous.
    Are you going to watch Downton Abbey tonight?

  10. It is good that you have something that works for you! xx

  11. Very organized. I don't have anything to plan so don't use a planner. But every year try to journal about my days and even get sidetracked with that. It's been about a week since I wrote anything or took the time to draw. I can't seem to commit to anything. :/

  12. Sandra-- I use to use Franklin Planner-- I dearly loved the system but finally gave it us as it just became too bulky to deal with and I thought collectively all the parts were just too expensive. Now I use a planner that I purchase from Amazon-- Graphic Image day planner. I buy a pretty leather planner- a little costly-- but I usually have a coupon and free shipping. I love this planner- it work great for me.


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