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Monday, September 8, 2014

Changing with the Seasons: Summertime Planning Binder

Camp works in seasons. There's summer season (which is busy, busy, busy), fall retreat season, winter season, spring retreat season... and then we're back to summer. Each season has a different feel, a different need of organization, different structure.

This past year, I've been reminded that my planner has to change with the seasons, too.

My planner did not work for me this summer. I barely looked at it. And my life this summer felt... rushed. Disorganized. Unintentional.

So, a la Homemaker's Daily, I decided to figure out what was going on and how I can improve my planner for the summer season.

The Good:

1. Dummy-and-crazy-busy-proof. Writing my pages to include my morning schedule (even the "duh" stuff) helped remind me of my routine even on those days when I'd forget to eat. Because summer.

2. Open-ended Daily pages. The only things on my daily pages were my routines (morning, end of the workday, right after work, and evening), and a section for appointments and a section for tasks. I scribbled stuff indiscriminately on the rare occasion that I used my planner, and it worked pretty well to have a lack of structure.

The Bad:

1. Too much time at work meant little time for personal tasks. I spend a lot of time in my office during the summer, and very little time at home. I guess I sort of felt like it was a waste of time to write, "Fold laundry" in my planner if it was the only thing I could accomplish on that day. In the fall, I wrote down work tasks that sprung into my mind before bed into a "Work" section in my planner, but there's just too much going on in the summer to do that- and transferring it to my work planner is a hassle.

2. No room on my desk. With all the summer stuff going on, post-it's galore, my work planner open on my desk, and an average of 3 coffee cups sitting there at all times, there wasn't much room for my personal planner to be out and open as well.

3. No meals and few finances to note. The only personal planning I really needed this summer was my calendar (barely), my blogging notes, and a daily tasks section. There was just too much in my planner for the summer season.

4. Too many notes in too many places. Since I was writing down most of my daily/work tasks in my work planner, it didn't make sense to also make notes in my personal planner unless it was a definitely personal task/reminder. And to make matters worse, I also have to keep a digital calendar online so my co-workers have access to it. There were notes in tons of places- too many to keep track of!

The Plan:
Next summer, here's what I'd like to change.
  • First, I don't think it's good for me mentally to be so focused on work stuff. I need to take care of my home in the summer, too! Of course, that doesn't have anything to do with my planner. But it's a change, nonetheless. 
  • Next summer, I'll go ahead and simply remove the sections that I don't need for the summer- putting them into a file in my office for when the off-season rolls around again. There's no sense lugging around extra paper that I don't need.
  • I also need to do some prep before June 1 hits. Removing sections is one thing to help me get ready for the summer, but I've also got to make sure I have calendars ready to be used. I didn't even have my calendar pages created for the summer! Ah!
  • And, to solve #2, #4, and a little of #1...

Using a post-it in my personal planner makes it really easy for me to transfer it over to my work binder without re-writing, which makes it easy for me to see the day's tasks (at work AND at home) all on the same page. I'm an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of person, so even though I can't clean the bathroom while I'm at work, I can remember that cleaning the bathroom is on the docket for the day.

Regular post-it's are a little too small, so I love these ones.

And now my personal tasks are in my work binder. Ta Da!
I actually started using the post-it idea in late August, when I was so overwhelmed and out of whack that I decided that I HAD to do SOMETHING to bring back my organization! Had to!

Of course, now that I've got summer stuff all figured out, summer's over... time to plan for the Fall!

How do you stay organized and on top of stuff during the summer? What worked for you this year, and what will you change for next year?


  1. Great idea! I am not a planner at all, and it gets a little chaotic up in here;) Will hopefully be employing some of these tips to navigate and manage this family of mine!


  2. Yes, that's what I'm talking about! Analyze and fix. So proud!!!

    1. Hahaha. I'll have to show you guys what I've got in the works for the Fall! ;)

  3. Thanks for linking up! It is always important to review and make changes. I think I am always doing that to improve my systems.


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