Every six weeks or so I will pop in here to share an update on how I’m using my 2015 Start Fresh planner. I want to not only share photos of my planner and how it’s been filled, but also talk about what’s working well and what needs improvement in my memory keeping process.
Keeping it simple and practical.
I believe the planner trend is so awesome for our industry, connecting (and reconnecting) a new audience to papercrafting. That said, I have enough creative projects on my plate already. Anything left is going to go to that scarf I started knitting in 2007.
For me, planning is a practical and even meditative activity that helps me feel more confident and in control. I don’t need stickers and washi tape to have it be awesome for me. For me, keeping my planner simple is what lets it best support all the fun projects I want to tackle.
Having a pre-designated idea home.
I am a big believer in having a place for everything – from the tangible to the intangible. Designating homes for your ideas – just as you do supplies – means that nothing gets lost and you always know where to turn.
This whole concept for Start Fresh workbook and planner came from I need I had (and I saw in others) to keep track of projects and ideas. You brain really appreciates it when you clear out the cobwebs and get all those thoughts down on paper.
Recording my accomplishments.
There are so many little steps that go into a page, let alone a project. Like last year, I’m really enjoying the process of documenting my progress and my achievements. Over time I know that all these victories add up to a lovely body of work that celebrates me and my family.
While I’m still breaking in this year’s new format for the planner pages, I love how they keep me focused on my priorities and moving forward. One of my favorite features is the box for monthly reflections, where I can jot down some personal thoughts on how things are going.
6×8 Project Life pages
For the first time ever I’m staying caught up with Project Life. I don’t have a lot of rules other than to print the photos I love and write what I feel. I bring it all together with the Studio Calico Project Life kits and keep moving forward, pocket by pocket. So far the 6×8 + 8.5×11 plan rocks!
Note: Peppermint is using a similar approach and I love how she described her rationale.
What Needs Improvement
My planner is stuck at home.
I really love having my planner inside of the album that’s always out. The convenience makes it even easier to use when I’m in my office.
While 8.5×11 is smaller than 12×12, it’s still not something I’m going to take downstairs or outside of the house… especially as it gets filled with pocket pages and layouts.
I have ideas constantly and am not always at home. After emailing myself notes to add to the planner several times I realized that my set-up just isn’t working out like I thought it would.
I want everything in one place – my appointments, my memory keeping notes, and even my meal plans. I want to use even more of the pages I designed and to design even more. So… I ordered myself an A5 binder. (I got one on sale in lilac that’s just like this one.)
I’m still not planning to get into creative planning, but I am looking forward to sharing what a simple memory keeper’s all-in-one planner looks like.
Action Item: Set up my new planner and report back here with some thoughts on how I’m intending to use it.
Keeping dates with myself.
I had initially penciled in biweekly dates for photo management and scrapbooking, but I didn’t keep them. As someone who works in the industry, it’s incredibly difficult to draw a line between work and play.
I’m always doing and to be honest, by the time my daughter goes to bed I don’t have a lot of energy to go back to my office. Using those two hours between 8:30 and 10:30pm more effectively – and in tune with my natural rhythm – is something I’m still working on.
Action Item: Investigate how using Lightroom on my iPad might allow me to be productive in a more relaxed environment.
If you’re using the Start Fresh planner I’d like to invite you to share an update and a photo in the comments.
Love the update! I struggle with similar issues – currently have the Fresh Start planner in an 8.5×11 binder – I figured I’d keep all my “creative” things in one place and place creative to do’s on my minimal weekly to do list…….but – I’ve also not done the weekly photo purge / update etc.
I did however do well with tidying up my space and now I’m more motivated to scrap. (a Jan goal) I’ll be curious to see if you figure out how to realistically stay on top of photo management. It’s a struggle – I want to use my free time to create/scrap yet if I don’t manage my photos I won’t have anything to scrap – vicious circle LOL.
It is a vicious circle. That said, I find that the more I prioritize photo management, the more I naturally feel motivated to scrapbook. Doing that lets me keep one focus, which getting two things accomplished!
I’m not using the planner as I had hoped, but this update is a great reminder to reactivate my plan.
I do wish that the planner had a week on two pages. Then I could incorporate everything into one space. An A5 size or personal size would be awesome. I believe I would utilize the simple scrapper planner more to its fullest capacity if the week on two pages were part of the planner. This would be an “even better if”. 🙂
Just knowing what I had written down for unfinished projects and what to work on next has helped me. I’ve completed two projects and am working on a third. This post also helped remind me to write down my victories.
Thank you, Jennifer, for developing the planner.
The idea for not including the weekly pages was primarily so that it could be incorporated into the planning you normally do for the rest of your life…without making you change approaches. That said, this tool will always be a work in progress and I’m certainly compiling feedback to make the next edition even better.
I think I need to schedule a time each week to sit down with my planner. I must say I love having one place to put story ideas – I’ve had post-it notes on my desk before this. And I’ve put my CHA wish list items into my planner as well. it’s such a fantastic tool. Thanks Jennifer
Most welcome Gab! I find that if I keep it out and open I am more likely to use it.
I’ve neglected my planner completely. I think I need more time to establish a routine with outside prompting for at least 2 months. My prompt of choice is email. I’d love to get emails 2-3 times a week for a couple of months reminding /suggesting what I should do in my planner, then drop to once a week after that. Just thinking about what already jogs my memory on things, and it is the daily email check. Have a crop on Sat, so I might sit down with my planner during that time and get it “reactivated.”
Thanks for the feedback Rhonda. I’ll think about how we can cement these routines a little bit more. Right now I’m doing quarterly check-ins, with the next one on June 1.
Thanks for the update. Reminded me to get back to daily use of my planner after a crazy busy week at work. Anyway I do carry mine with me. I am using the smaller size and I have fairly large purse. I’ve been writing my accomplishments daily on the list calendar and if I complete a page I mark it with a dot. I can easily count the pages I’ve done. One of my goals is 8 pages a month. Thanks a bunch!!
Thanks for sharing a photo update on your progress. I have a tote very similar to yours too!
Do love my Vera Bradley.