My Planning Process

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planning process

I’ve never met a paper planner I didn’t like. And believe me, from Erin Condren to Happy Planners, to ring bound, I have just about tried them all.

Recently I switched into a new Erin Condren hourly planner. I’ve tried the hourly format before, and while I thought I would love it, I didn’t. My schedule is erratic enough that most of my to-do’s and planner items aren’t dictated by time, and I ended up switching back to a vertical layout. 

When EC came out with their new planners for 2017/2018, I was tempted to try an hourly layout again. I have seen so many other planners use this layout without adhering to the times, and their layouts look so cute and functional! 

I am on week 3 in my planner, and so far I am loving it. If you follow my YouTube channel you have seen some of my plan-with-me videos, and that I am using a few more stickers than normal. I find that the hourly layout is less cluttered and more open, so it can handle a few more stickers without feeling like too much.

planning process

Long story short, I absolutely love the new planners. In years past I could find a few nitpicky details to complain about, but I have yet to find a con with the 2017/2018 releases. If you haven’t gotten one yet … let me enable you. You need one! And, you can use my referral link for $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase (doesn’t have to be a planner)!

My planning process has really evolved over the past couple of years. When I first started I kept it fairly simple, but then I got bit by the sticker bug. I even dipped my toe into planner stamping. Now I have come back to the middle, and while I love decorating, I need to keep it simple and functional.

planning process

When I sit down to set up my planner for the week I start with my husband and daughter’s work schedules. I’ve been loving this notepad (it’s from EC, not that you had to ask) to jot down schedules and appointments before I put them in my planner. I have been using the stickers out of the back of my old planners to track work schedules, but I am almost out so I either need to order more or come up with plan b.

Some elements that basically stay the same every week are:

Washi or a sticker across the top. This covers up the time slots before 7 AM. Nothing good happens before 7 AM anyway. Oh, and I don’t plan around the times anyway.

Stickers across the bottom to track our meal plan. I do my main meal plan in my bullet journal, but I do like to jot down what we had every night. It gives me a visual when we are eating out too much, or what meals are more popular than others.

Payday. It’s not like I would forget a payday, but I do note this every week just because I sit down and pay bills that day.

Things I Still Need To Figure Out and Add

Obviously, I am loving my new Erin Condren hourly planner, but there are still a few things I haven’t quite figured out yet. The note page at the beginning of the month was changed quite a bit this year, and I can’t quite decide how I want to use it. The four circles lend themselves to something weekly, but what? Maybe this will be a good monthly recap page.

planning process

This year there aren’t as many blank note pages in the back, but I do like to add a few collections. One I am planning on adding is a “what I want to buy” section for household items. We want/need a ton of $200ish items (like a power washer, water filtration system, etc).  We need to plan and save for those items. I also want to try the coloring pages in the back. I have never tried this adult coloring fad, but by Jove when I get time to sit down I want to!

So there is a peek into my current planning process. Having a planning formula has made me a lot more consistent with my planner. It has also greatly increased my productivity! Here is the video I did for this week:


What planner are you using? Do you have a regular process?


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Hi! I'm Melissa!

Melissa is a former hairstylist of 20 years who has a passion for living a simply creative life. She loves inspiring others to pick up a planner and get their lives organized, to clean out a closet and minimize their clutter, and to clean up their physical and mental space to lead their most fulfilled life. She is a wife, mom, and crazy dog lady who constantly rewatches The Office.



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