One Book July: Week 1

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One week down for One Book July and I can’t say I hate my new planner! I’m actually going to report that my new set-up, might actually be working out! I will admit that I did not use the full system, my B6 is not an identical copy this week, as I had already pre-planned out this week in my old weekly insert, so I finished out that week. However, the set-up in my A5 ring planner worked out well.

I am really glad that I planned out what I wanted from my planner before starting One Book July this month. I think that’s had a lot to do with my success so far. The ability to see everything we had going on this week – big or small – on one page has been great. I have learnt a bit along the way, and I’ll discuss that below.

Since printing, trimming and punching my inserts, I’ve of course had to fill them in. I am really liking the simple look of the monthly spread. I have filled in everything we have going on from now through December already; and I am using a color coded system blue for personal, red for Planner & Paper. It makes at-a-glance much easier to read and makes appointments or deadlines much easier to find within my calendar. I did pick up some Post-It tabs this week so that I could mark each month and used my Dymo label maker to label each one. I really don’t see my monthly insert changing much over the course of the month, unless of course I add in any more information.

{A list of products used in the image is at the bottom of this post}

Next up is my weekly insert. This is where I have noticed that I need to tweak a few things. Not so much with the inserts, even though I bought some other inserts this week.. I know, I know!! But they were on sale and they are going to be tested AFTER July.. or maybe even during, if I feel the need to. As of right now.. they’ll stay on my computer. The inserts I purchased are more for the business than for personal use. I am loving the weekly layout I’m currently using from LimeLife Planners and I do not have plans to change it. I will be changing how I plan on them for next week, as what I did this week didn’t really work. I have pre-planned out next week in a different format, I’ll show you that next week, and that already feels/looks better.

I think old habits die hard, and this week I’ve realized that this habit of making a check list of what I’m doing on each daily box doesn’t work. I have inserts for the business for that, I don’t need to re-write my check list in 2 different places and the insert isn’t big enough for all of the information I felt I needed to include.

{A list of products used in the image is at the bottom of this post}

As you can see above, I was still using the boxes marked for Planner & Paper as a to-do list. While it was great in my Erin Condren Planner, it doesn’t work in this layout. Not only that, when I was working I didn’t have this page open on my desk. I had the insert I bought for the business laid open as that’s what I was working from. This needs to be an at-a-glance, overview of my week. I will admit, I used more stickers on this week than I typically do. I find having a spread full of stickers overwhelms me, or things get lost but having everything broken down like this, I felt like I could use more and it’s still functional.

We also didn’t have a whole lot going on this week, besides work and a few extras – this is not what a typical week looks like during the school year. So I felt that I had to fill in the blanks. I laid this week out how I intend to use it, instead of how it’s going to function this week. I added both kids, their names are blocked by the die cut for their privacy, and then because it’s summer I had nothing to write in for them.

Next week I have only included the business, Hubs and the Girl on in the boxes on the left. The boy doesn’t really have anything going on, so why fill in his name if it’s going to be blank? Other uses for the blank boxes? Maybe our meal plan? This is the planner I reference throughout the day, so it might make sense to note if I need to pull something out of the freezer, or start dinner in the crock pot etc. so I’m aware of it during the day. I’m even thinking about labeling a box with “family stuff” so that if we’re doing something as a family, that doesn’t fit into anyone box – saves me writing it multiple times too – I can just write in what we’re doing as a family. I’m sure this will fluctuate during the course of time, and I’ll just see what and when I make the changes.

So what have I learned after using this insert for a week?

  • No need for to-do lists on this spread if you have them somewhere else. Maybe a to-do list insert would work out well for non-business related items?
  • You don’t have to fill in every box with a family member’s name. That can be flexible. Try family stuff, meal plan or a cleaning schedule in that box instead.
  • Stickers – I actually like them and they aren’t overwhelming on this layout.

Okay, so that’s simplified my weekly planning more than just changing out the insert and making it work for me. I am VERY happy with the way this layout has worked and I’m excited to use it again next week. Planner peace? I don’t dare say it, as it’s only been a week, but I think we MIGHT be close!

Now onto the most important section of my planner: the business inserts. I chose not to repeat the monthly insert. There’s no need for me to have more than one. Since I’m color coding on my main monthly insert, it makes viewing what’s going on easy, and why re-write stuff if I don’t have to?

The Weekly insert I chose for the business seems to be the insert I spent the most time with this week. I did fill in the monthly overview, that I modified before printing, and so far I like the way it lays out my whole month for me. I’m really interested to see how it works out at the end of the month, as I was using the notes page in my Erin Condren Planner and I always felt like that was VERY jumbled. Here’s a look at how it looks now that I have filled in most of the information for the month. The to-do list I have a feeling, depending on the month, I will add to over the course of the month along with supplies and the swag/donations, should those arise.

{A list of products used in the image is at the bottom of this post}

The weekly spread is where the bulk of my focus was this week. My to-do list was added to as my week went along. Sometimes it’s hard to plan out a full week ahead of time, as I’ve found I just have to roll with the punches and be flexible within my work week. I will note that I do not move one to-do list task from day-to-day. I write it once and then check it off once it’s complete. Even if that item is written in on Monday and I do not complete it until Thursday. I do not then re-write it. As long as the items are checked off by the end of the week, I’m  happy. It doesn’t always happen, sometimes I add a > to my check box as that’s where I’ve moved it to the next week. Sometimes I have good intentions and time just gets away from me.

The best part of this insert, has to be the space for the to-do list. There are 7 lines, which means 7 things on your to-do list. I felt this week like 7 things was plenty to accomplish in one day. I did not feel overwhelmed or look down at the end of the day and think to myself “well, I did only half of my to-do’s”. I felt that having a smaller space to write my to-do list made it more intentional. Made me really think about what I wanted to get accomplished for the day as opposed to just writing down everything, that really could be done over the span of a week on one day. I even took the day off on Wednesday for the Holiday and I still do not feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I needed to get done.

Just as I said with the personal weekly insert, I will be making small changes to the way I plan on these inserts. I have been writing the important stuff/events in the header for each day. I’m thinking, that I will start using the box on the right for that. Anything that needs to be an at-a-glance item will go into the box. This way it doesn’t get lost in with the to-do list portion of my week. In my pre-planning, I did fill out most of the month this way, so I will not be making that change right away.

{A list of products used in the image is at the bottom of this post}

As you can see, this week was a busy one work-wise. Next week will look very similar, but I feel like this is more organized than I was before. I think the fact that I can limit my to-do list has helped tremendously. I will definitely be using the boxes on the right differently and maybe have them mirror the plans I fill in on my personal weekly layout.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned picking up a couple of new inserts for the business section of my planner. I picked up a daily with an hourly section as well as a weekly overview with a habit tracker. Right now, as I sit here writing this, I don’t see the need to make the switch. I’m thinking once school starts and I’m in and out running around after the kids and their activities, an hourly section may help me plan out my day a little bit better. I have no plans to switch inserts this month, as the ones I originally chose are working well.

This coming week I plan to use both planners with the same inserts, not separate ones like I did this week. I’m also starting the #Wild30 Meal Planning Challenge, so I will be sharing more of how I used my B6 in my next weekly update. Here’s hoping that using 2 planners next week goes as well as this week has gone.

How’d your week go?

 

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