Fresh Start | Planner Questions and Walk Through
As we are near the end of September it can only mean another month in the books.
Keeping a yearly Memory Planner means that I indeed have a month of life in a book. A year of months, actually. As my collection of planners continues to grow, it serves to excite me to keep on the task of stopping the blur and keeping a planner.
As these pages add up, it does not mean that I have lived the celebrity life of non-stop travel and red carpet events. No. Not even a little. What it DOES mean is that I attempted to capture the little things (as well as those travel adventures too). The every day. The quotes that inspire. The to-do list that keeps me grounded. The journaling of an occasion. And sometimes it means just a photo. Which as we all know speaks a thousand words.
As I knew this epic post was coming up, I posed a question on my Instagram (@jamiepate) asking you what it is you would like to see in a planner post.
Today’s post is an attempt to answer those questions and what I have found works for me. This post will also provide plenty of planner eye candy. Because sometimes you just need to see what someone else is doing to prompt and promote an idea for yourself and your planner.
This post will also provide a video that will walk through this year’s Fresh Start Memory Planner from January to June.
Let’s get started.
HOW DO YOU ETCH OUT TIME FOR YOUR MEMORY PLANNER
One of the questions left on my Instagram feed was asking how I make time for my planner. This is actually a question I am asked often. I believe we are all slammed up against this dilemma from time to time. Life is just so daily.
Through my journey with my Memory Planner, I have discovered a few things that work for me.
One thing I do is keep my planner open to the current week. It is out and open on one of my work tables everyday. It reminds me it’s there and I can add to it as the moment moves me.
The main way I have etched out time is by making my planner a priority. I’m reminded of this by it being out and open. But I am also negatively reminded of this reality if I get behind. Cause I get a little overwhelmed if I get behind. And I really do get lost in the blur. That then becomes a sort of negative motivation.
One of the most important approaches to making time for my planner is my Sunday morning routine. I am an early riser already. But Sundays are especially nice as I have more time. So if I have not filled in the days as the week has moved, then I take a precious hour on Sunday morning to make it happen.
Something that has come out of this habit is that these Sunday morning planner sessions become these amazing times of review. If I have not filled in my planner through the week this time is a great way to review what the week was and it ignites either a sense of ‘girl, next week you better get on it!’, or a deep sense of gratitude for the life I get to have.
IS YOUR PLANNER A MEMORY PLANNER OR A LIFE PLANNER?
I have to admit…I wish I could keep my daily life planner as neat and concise as my Memory Planner. But that ain’t ever going to happen.
My Memory Planner is a combination of many items.
Starting with the dashboard this space is fairly consistent from month to month. One, it’s an energetic jumping off place for the new month. I really lean into the Fresh Start of it all. I shake off what goals or dreams I missed the previous month whether that was family or brand or what have you. Instead I get super positive and motivated on this page to refocus my mind on the new month. You may say the dashboard is a sort of motivational bulletin board.
Sometimes I will have the 2018Extra included on the Dashboard in some way.
Under the ‘to-do’ portion of this page, I attempt to include a bullet point list of all the things the month holds for me or my family. It’s a snap shot on the month ahead and is part of the motivating vibe of this page. It’s a joy to have it all in one place like this.
The month page fills in for a planning center. I jot down events, coffees, appointments, birthdays, and trips on this just like any other kind of calendar. I fill in the other spaces with motivational words or phrases to, again, keep me inspired. And then of course, with all of Heidi’s beautiful planner accessories, I make pretty all the things. I think this page can get lost for some people. I totally get that. By working on this space each month I think I have come to terms with how this monthly spread works for me.
On the ‘daily’ pages, I always start with a ‘weekly plan’ or goals bullet list on Monday. This brings focus to what the week will look like and then allows my personal daily to do list to support what I have brainstormed here. The other days will hold photos of an event or just anything that is taking place that day. But I don’t always have a photo for every day. And that’s OK. There is sure to be a motivational sticker or something found out in the cyber world that speaks to me. Or a photo of something I am working on. I think these type photos are important too. Some days I will bullet point what I did that day. Some days there is journaling. There are no hard fast rules to what goes on these daily pages.
WHAT DO YOU JOURNAL ON YOUR PAGES? BESIDES THE EVERYDAY DOCUMENTATION.
As I stated above, one thing that goes on my weekly pages is a ‘weekly plan’. It’s not very sophisticated. But it does highlight what took up most of the week. What deadlines I may have had. Or a big event for one of my kids.
Often verses or prayers will be found on a daily space. If Scripture really caught my heart from that morning, or I found it emphasized in my personal journal, it will go on a day to remind me of what I was thinking. This can also include a song lyric that is stirring in my mind as well. See. It does not have to be hard core documenting, it can be whatever is filling your heart at that moment in time. Write it down.
Hand lettering will often be found on my pages to highlight an event, a feeling or a reminder. This requires some bravery and a willingness to embrace mistakes. I should know. My tip is to always start by penciling in. And then use ink to make it permanent. I appreciate these personal creative touches in my planner.
HOW TO KEEP UP?
The last question I will reply to is how to keep up. I think this is a little different than the first question about etching time to catch up on days.
Post-it Notes. Have you ever seen Heidi include this idea when she shares her planner? Well. I stole this from her. If I think of something I want to have in my planner, I will jot it on a sticky note and place on the space I need to add it. Now there is no forgetting.
Camera roll. The photos on my phone can be a great reminder to a day. During my Sunday planner sesh I scroll through my photos and they almost always prompt a story or entry into my planner. It’s a great tool. I highly recommend.
Lastly, I will use my personal daily logs to fuel my memory. As well as my morning journal writing. Often I will utilize these resources to fill in the days if I have not remembered them well. Again. Awesome tools for filling in all that is the blur.
Have a look now at the first half of this year’s planner. You can see up close and personal several of the points made here as well as plenty of bonus material.
The last point I need to make…is that it takes discipline and dedication. It really does. To have the result, one has to do the work. To have a planner page full of lovely stories and photos and memories will take effort. But it’s creative and cultivating effort. And it’s effort you will never regret. Ever. And that I can promise you.
One does not have to live a life full to the brim of adventure to fill in the days of a planner. All the little things add up to create pages of memories worth keeping for a very long time.