April! The month of daffodils and misty rain and easter goodness. If you’re new here – at the start of each month, I choose four-ish things to do in different categories. Think of it like a bucket list for the month. Just a few things that I want to get around to doing without the month passing me by. I hate that feeling of “oh, we didn’t get to x, y or z”. This really helps me stay focused on the things that are important to me. Categories can be anything you choose, these are just my priorities! I hope you try it sometime!
A post I’ve wanted to write for a while, but am just now getting around to. The overwhelm when it comes to trying to choose a functional, well laid out, everything I need in my life planner is a lot every year. I spent years making and printing my own planning sheets out because I just felt like most planners didn’t cover every base. But then Golden Coil came into my life. A fully customizable planner from front to back. If you just want exact details – scroll to the very bottom of this post and I walk you through exactly what I chose this year and what I’m doing differently next year.
What do I need in a planner?
a place for meal planning – longer than just a few lines. I like to have space to write down ideas for the next week, things to bake that week, things to drink, snacks to have on hand, breakfasts we’d like to have. A tiny little box just isn’t enough for me.
a place for social media planning – as my following has grown, I’ve needed more space to plan ahead, to jot down brainstorming, collaborations that are coming up, things to follow up on.
a place for home – with so much going on, I need space to jot down things we need for the boys at daycare, sports, things to pick up, etc.
a place for school planning – I like to see my weeks laid out in full calendar format and each week. We have a six day fine arts rotation so it gets confusing unless I have it all written out.
a place for to do lists – I am a list maker extraordinaire. It was nice to use my planner rather than trying to use a notebook and a planner. I still do use my notebook, but less than I used to! But with a planner that also has room for lists, I just have to have one book on hand.
I think I achieved pretty much everything I was looking for this year in my set up. The only thing I will change this year is my weekly spread and a few of the “add-on” pages. I thought it would be nice to have three squares – one for school, home and social media, but I didn’t end up using it as much as I thought I would. I chose a different spread for this year that I’m looking forward to seeing! I shared exact details at the bottom of this post!
Love the monthly spread. Shows you what is up for the month. You can’t change this selection in the planner. It comes standard.
This is an add on “month at a glance” page that I have at the beginning of each month. I use it to plan out blog posts, social media, and my monthly list. Below is a (halfway) filled in month.
The Ideas page is an add on that I have at the beginning of each month. It’s called “Brain Dump”. I often use it for meeting notes, lists for when I have too much rolling around in my brain, and for ideas for the future.
This is an add on page called “Fillable List”. I show below how I use it for meal planning.
I chose the Weekly Double Spread – Vertical 2. It was great for having three different sections of my life – School, Home & Social. I’m choosing a different one this year that I share below!
To sum it up, here’s exactly what I chose for this planner and what I’m choosing for 2023:
Neutral Linen Cover. Getting the exact same again. I’m either very boring or I just know what I like. lol.
I chose a Monday start page. I’m going to choose Sunday this year!
USA Holidays. Nice to have it all written in there for you.
This year I used Weekly Double Page – Vertical 2. For next year, I’m choosing Weekly Single Page – Horizontal 2. I didn’t realize this about myself, but now I know that I prefer looking at the week from the top down rather than from left to right. Not sure why, but I think I’ll like it better top down! I like that the week outline is on the left, and the whole right page is just for notes. I am a list maker at heart, so this is helpful for me.
Added Pages – I’m getting all the exact same this year. I loved these extra pages so much.
Year at a Glance 3 – Start of Planner – helpful to have a full year on one page to glance at. I like having all the dates listed out.
Month at a Glance – Monthly – I use this for blog and instagram planning. Lots of people wouldn’t need this one, but it helps me plan out a full month of ideas on a page. I like working by the month. And when you choose this, you get a blank page on the right of the page that I use for my monthly list. Bake, Treats, Projects, Cocktails, Meals to try, Crafts all go on this page to help me visualize the month ahead and actually Get Stuff Done.
Brain Dump – Monthly – Again, I’m a list maker. When I have a rush of ideas, I jot them all down on the “Ideas” page for the month. I can also use this page for meeting notes during the month.
Fillable List – 2 Monthly – For meal planning each week. I write the dates at the top and then I write down what I plan to make, what we need, etc. If you add two of these, that gives you 4 pages – enough for a month. And I like that they’re all right next to each other so I can look at what we had the previous weeks, or jot down things for the next week when I have meals on my mind.
Added Pages that I used this year and won’t be next year.
Holiday Gifting – Didn’t even glance at it once. I’ve been using a notebook for list making for the holidays, and am eliminating this year.
Weight/Measurements – Thought I might use. Didn’t even a little bit. lol.
New Added Page this year
Goals – Start of Planner – I love making new year goals, and this seems like a good little spread to have to think things through at the beginning of the year.
To sum it up – I am a Golden Coil for life user. You can use the code BLACKFRIDAY for 15% off through November 18th!
You guys, I was looking through my blog this morning as my first *School Year Is Starting, But I’m Not Working Yet* order of business, and I really thought I had more on here than I do. Ha! It’s a bit bare bones isn’t it? I have pages and pages full of post ideas. One of my goals for the school year is to get this little spot up and running with regular posts each week. I do still love Instagram, but I know there are mixed feelings on it. This could be a really cool spot with a little more time dedicated to it, couldn’t it? On to this August to do list though!
If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know that every month, I make a list of things to do in certain (favorite! fun! exciting! whimsical!) categories (Bake, Treats, Cocktails, Meals, and Home). Typically, I do four things under each category and then I pick one from each category every week. So every week I’m crossing something off from each little list. I find that if I list everything out like this at the beginning of the month, I automatically eliminate the need to make any crippling decisions during the month. I do it all at once, and then I’m just left with time to actually do those things on my list! It works, trust me. I’m much more productive since I’ve starting planning my months out like this. You could obviously make the categories anything you’re into. And maybe you could just do a couple under each category if you think it’s unlikely that you’ll do something every single week. This is just what works for me. Make it your own!
So (drumroll please) the August LIST! Just click on the text for a link to the recipes!