A new month means a new organizational strategy. This post will be focused on how I organize and plan the month ahead. I will be covering everything from products, cleaning habits, and tips to help you organize and plan your days to come.
Every organized person knows, stick to the schedule. Right now I use paper products for all of my schedules and to-do lists. I would love to get into digital planning as well (might be a 2021 experiment), but for now, I have a great system I’d love to share with you.
Plum Paper Planner
At the end of 2019, I purchased an A5, horizontal layout planner from Plum Paper and I immediately fell in love. Right from the beginning, during the ordering process, I knew I had found my planner soulmate with Plum Paper. I was able to find, customize, and edit my own two-sided-day design; the perfect layout for me.
My planner came with monthly tabs with dedicated areas and pages for notes, goals, birthdays, events, and things to remember. It also provides extra space for your own topic of choice for that month.
Since my layout is horizontal I have lined boxes for my to-do lists and tasks for each day, with a side space for my daily notes. Each week also starts off with a box, I chose to leave the heading blank for this, but it ended up just being used for my important things that are happening that week. This space is also good for those who like to keep weekly trackers.
I use the Plum Paper Planner as my main activities organizer. I plan out my housework, goals, hobbies, important tasks and notes to remember. I use this planner to have fun and express my creativity and self on the pages for organized planning.
Other planners and layouts Plum Paper offers:
- Planners (A5, 7”-9”, 8.5”-11”)
- Goals *this is a newer designs
Pour Vous’ Weekly Pad
This is a new product for me but in the first week of owning and using it, I think it was a home run purchase. I was looking for a separate weekly planner for my writing schedule. I wanted space to write down my daily agendas and weekly projects in one place, with no other distractions.
I found the product I was looking for in, Pour Vous Harmony themed weekly pad. It is a fill in the date design, so if you miss a week (like go on vacation) you don’t need to worry about wasting paper by not filling out a pre-dated week. The layout gives enough space for your weekly goals, plenty of space per day, and a whole side of graph paper to use to your liking. For instance, your weekly ideas, thoughts, and lists.
So far it has helped me to stay on track and be more organized than before, with my writing agenda. With everything in one place and less distraction, this weekly pad has raised my organization level.
Over the past few months, I have been trying to improve more on my organizational skills. I have come up with three solutions:
1. An accessory holder
I just ordered a simple desk organizer from Staples. I got a small one so I can easily carry it around the house with me (I move around a lot) but it also holds all of my necessary materials.
It gives me space for, the pens I use the most, highlighters, ruler, etc. With more room for my Post-It Notes and a little drawer I keep my smaller Post-It Notes and paper clips in. Attached on the side is two vertical spaces for filing papers. This is where I keep my planner and any other notebooks or papers I need handy. It works great for keeping me organized and mobile.
2. The notebooks
A few years ago I purchased some small notebooks from a small company based near me. I ended up falling in love with the style and now I have purchased new notebooks form Gotcha Covered Notebooks based in Waynesboro, PA.
I ordered two more small notebooks, like the style I had before, and a larger notebook. The smaller ones I plan to use for research and note-taking, which I do a lot of, hence why I purchased two right away. The bigger notebook, I have decided to use for strictly writing blog posts. I like writing out my thoughts with pen and paper before typing them out. I find it helps me more during the proofreading and editing phase.
From now on, my new love is this large notebook. I can easily see the form of my post come together before it even hits the digital screen. If you haven’t guesssed already this is my first post written out in the big notebook; visible in the photo above.
3. The whiteboard
A couple of months ago, I bought a cheap, standard, magnetic whiteboard mat for my fridge. My original thought for it was just an easy way to write down things I needed from the grocery store. As it continues to function as my grocery list, it has also transformed into our meal planner. Every few days I will update the ‘What’s for Dinner’ section to keep an idea of what we plan to eat on which days.
Tip: This has been helping us tremendously with less waste at the end of the week.
I also have a space for what to ‘snack on’, where I put what should be eaten first (another less waste strategy). Finally I just have a little box for whatever side notes I have at the moment. Most recently this section has been filled with my day count of being stuck in quarantine. Today is Day 51.
Every year I take a few days off of work in the middle of April. One of those days is my birthday and I celebrate, the rest are dedicated to spring cleaning. I usually jam pack a bunch of tasks into a few days and work until my house is clean and organized.
This year however, with being in quarantine, I now have unlimited time for cleaning and I don’t even have to take off for it. I have been using this additional time to space out my cleaning tasks and ease the stress of the dreaded spring cleaning list.
I start by picking two bigger tasks to accomplish by the end of the week. For example, last week I cleaned the windows/window sills and washed all the towels, mats, sheets, blankets, etc.
This week is dedicated to deep cleaning the bathroom, sanitizing all the door knobs, handles, light switches, and railings. As well as, dusting the whole house. From there I will move on to organizing the summer clothing, deep cleaning and organizing the whole kitchen, and thoroughly cleaning the household appliances.
I have found that breaking up the list into big tasks and little tasks makes it easier to plan out what gets done and when. You can organize the tasks in your own way to help with time-management.
Like so, I take a few big tasks and pair them with little ones. This helps it feel like you are not taking the whole day and dedicating it to just cleaning; you still feel the accomplishment of crossing off a few things on your list without feeling drained.
How do you plan out your month? Do you think you will try any of these tips or products?
I hope this post motivated you to get organized and start planning out your monthly goals and activities. For more information on these organized planning products check out the links below.
Find the right planner design for you and your schedule at Plum Paper. Make sure to check out their cool add-on planner pages and sticker packs.
If you need more convincing on whether or not a Plum Paper Planner is for you, download my full review, located on my website’s about page.
Customize your own notebooks in all different sizes and page layouts at Gotcha Covered Notebooks.
Check out my Inspiration 04: Imanbek && Roses post for more of what I am up to in May.
Be sure to look into my newest post series, Book Reviews 01: NO EXIT: A Novel.