A Planner With a Plan

 

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Or rather a woman with a planner. As a college student with a pretty hefty schedule, as well as running my own business and being the mother of four kids with very different schedules, I found it necessary last year to invest in a planner. It was a nice-ish planner that we’d picked up from Walmart as a spur of the moment thought one day. In the beginning I did pretty good at writing down our schedules and carried it around, I guess more cause it made me look somehow cooler, maybe even more professional. Then as the months went by, my updates inside became more spaced out and less-is-more kind of a way. Until there was an entry maybe once a month, if I even remembered that.

When I’d skim through looking for information such as previous Dr’s appointments or looking for future ones, I’d feel disappointed in myself and even a bit frustrated. It became a regular thing that I couldn’t remember when I’d set up appointments for myself, let alone my kids. I’d mentally kick myself, as this was the whole reason to have a planner. It was all about maintaining some measure of balance and being ahead of the game vs. behind.

When we got the word that Close To My Heart was going to start selling planners, I was actually excited. I felt it was going to be that extra incentive to use a planner, because not only was it going to help keep me organized and planning ahead. It was going to help me show the planner in use. I ordered as soon as they became available and then there was that wait. Of course, everyone was ordering planners like crazy the moment they became available to order on December 1st. Who knew if things would ship out quickly or not, since if they were bombarded by orders it could really slow their process.

It was absolutely impressed by how quickly it arrived (it does pay to live in Utah since CTMH’s Headquarters is in Pleasant Grove, Utah) and couldn’t wait to tear into the box, and see what treasures awaited. Now, my previous planner was a Family one that had spaces for more individual schedules each day, plus a weekly menu spot and cards for grocery lists. Pretty handy for my bustling family, but with my new planner I wasn’t really sure what would all be available.

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What adventures await me behind this beautiful cover?

So on the day my box arrived and rushed to open it. I needed to get started right away. I wanted to start planning ahead not only on family oriented events or even school events, but I also was looking to being more organized and being certain to schedule time for work (which really isn’t work at all when one crafts for a living). Which was particularly important with Spring semester looming in the distance.

When I ordered my planner, it was during December’s Constant Campaign which gave you the option to order the planner album, the planner calendar inserts, the sticker sheets and the stamp for about $35. Can I tell you what a steal that was? I also order another package of inserts, which were more for adding the scrapbooking element into my planner. I felt I was in the best place to start putting my planner together and making it my own.

How do I make it my own? What do I want to be able to keep track of within its pages? What do I want my planner to say about me? A million questions rolled around in my head and while I immediately placed all the pages I had purchased inside it, I was stuck on what to do next. I mean it was easy enough to note birthdays, holidays, etc, but how was I going to use it best? I really had no idea.

When I joined Close To My Heart I became apart of the whole CTMH family, but I also became apart of the Damask Divas headed up by Mandy Leahy (who is super awesome) and  apart of Been There, Blinged That run by my fabulous direct upline, Amie Kiger. I could’t be happier than to have joined the ranks with a lot of fabulously talented and incredibly supportive ladies & gentlemen. You are probably wondering where I am going with this and I do promise it has a point & purpose. Each month the Divas host a blog hop that features one of our paper packs, showcasing the beautiful papers that CTMH gives us to work with and share fun new ideas & techniques to use with them. I

t was decided that this month’s blog hop would actually feature our new planners.

What a great way to share how we each use our planners differently, because obviously no two people create and think the same. I was excited to participate, but as I found the days in December dwindling down, I began to panic. I hadn’t done anything more with it beyond adding a few dates here and there: first day of Spring semester, our 10th wedding anniversary, my kids birthdays, etc. This was all basic and not particularly exciting or creative. I knew one thing: I needed to make this planner mine and therefore unique to me.

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My month at a glance

I’ve recently started pinning inspirational quotes on Pinterest. Not only because its the thing to do, but I’ve felt that I’ve need a bit more encouragement not only as I work towards my college graduation this Spring or even to help keep me motivated with my business. I needed this for me. I have days I needed reminding why I’m going to get up and do things, even when my body is screaming in pain and the exhaustion is so bad, I feel it holding me hostage. I need to remind myself that its not always easy, but there is always a reason to get back up on my ‘horse.’

So, it seemed natural that I should want to have inspirational quotes all over the place in my planner. I started with a quote at the top of my January calendar, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” (John Wayne) From there I felt inspired as I searched for hours (literally) seeking out each quote that felt like it was speaking to my soul. I found it was a bit sporadic, some weeks I wrote one at the start of the week only. Other weeks have a quote each day, given a bit of ‘food for thought’ each day.

Suddenly my planner was taking on something of me and becoming mine. From there I felt inspired one day last week, to create a page to insert inside that was me. Not just any version of me, but the Me that is stronger, more confident, happy all because of my time with Close To My Heart and the truly beautiful people it has brought into my life.
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This photo represents everything I’ve overcome. Every step forward and every step backwards. I’ve become the Me I’ve always wanted to be and I felt my planner wasn’t complete without showing this new and wonderful person I’ve become.

As each day has come and gone, I’ve found myself more determined to use my planner and to continue adding to it, continuing to create something that reflects me. I’ve since added my business goals for January right up front where I can see them when I open my planner. I’ve added a meal tracker, an extra daily to do sheet, addresses of course and several different sheets to help me keep track of my daily, weekly and monthly blogging. I’m sure I’ll continue to add things, I’ll find what works for me and even what doesn’t. I’m hoping to see more packs for planner inserts from CTMH and as of yet, they haven’t disappointed me yet.

I’m glad you all came to join us with the Damask Divas’ January Blog Hop. If you’ve come from Craftin and Stampin with amazing Jessica, your next stop will be Jen’s Messy Studio with the very talented Jennifer! If not, then be sure to head over to the Damask Divas Blog for the list of all the incredibly talented ladies participating in this Blog Hop!

Do you use a planner? What do you like to keep track of in your planner? What things to wish your planner had? I’d love to hear from each of you about what works for you, what doesn’t and how you’ve made your planner your own. I hope you’ve been inspired to better maintain your planner or start using one if you don’t. Want to get your own CTMH planner? Head to My Shop and snag yours today! Don’t forget-Get Crafty!

 

 

Materials Used

Everyday Life Album-Z3208

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Everyday Life 2016 Planner Pages-Z3209

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My Crush Everyday Life Pages-Z3210

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Everyday Life Perfect Plan Roller Stamp-Z3212

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Watercolor Paper-Z3146

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Watercolor Paints-Z3132

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Paintbrush Set-Z3188

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