My Planner Dilemma

I have had a love affair with planners and planning since middle school. I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t have a planner or some type of agenda. Now that I am a wife and mother having a planner means so much more to me now. I have appointments and keeping a steady schedule are staples of my every day life. I have to keep my plans together and my schedule is very tight.

Back in 2014 I came across MAMBI (me and my big ideas) and the Happy Planner. I enjoyed this planner for years. It was fun an functional and I loved all the colors and designs. I went sticker and washi crazy. I collected so many planner stickers and accessories that I overwhelmed myself. “Comparison is the thief of joy” I don’t know who said it but it’s the truth. Instagram photos of other layouts and YouTube videos of other people’s planner left me very un-inspired because my planner didn’t look like theirs.

Needless to say, I eventually stopped using the planner and moved to a more minimal style to try and get my life together. I tried a lot of different minimal styles and companies until finally I decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own planner from scratch.

First, I decided on a size. A5 was a favorite of mine. I had enough room to write while still being portable. The classic Happy Planner was not travel friendly. Second, I decided on a style. I love how The Happy Planner was easily customizable but the pages would fall out and not sit right so, six rings became my favorite. Finally, I went on a hunt for inserts that were functional, minimal and straight to the point. I found a company called Cloth & Paper. Their inserts were beautifully simple and minimal. I fell in love.

After finding the inserts and size I enjoyed I went on a hunt for a beautiful binder. I found a small company, Notiq, that was also geared at a more minimal aesthetic. Most of all it was PINK! I know that seems like a vain reason to pick a binder but the beautiful, soft, pink blush really attracted me. I loved the weekly inserts so much that a bought a half-letter plan book, on gold discs, no less. I now have two planners of two different styles and size. Half-letter and A5 aren’t much of a size difference other than the way these two are bound.

Notiq Saffiano Planner cover
Notiq Blush pink quilted

Both of these planners are my absolute favorites and they are vital to me keeping it all together as well as the key to my sanity. I’ve been doing double duty by keeping both of these updated simultaneously. Now that we have reached the end of the year I have set up both of these planners for 2021 with different jobs. The one on the left will be my social media planner and the one on the right will be my personal, catch all planner that will be with me everyday.

I will have more in depth explanation and setup of each. For the most part, my social media planner has weekly lined inserts and my catch all has daily inserts. Both of which you can get at CLOTH & PAPER – LUXE PLANNERS, DIVIDERS, & INSERTS (clothandpaper.com). They sell multiple size inserts for multiple size planners. Use code CPFAM for 10% off. (not an affiliate link)

I used to switch out planners every other month. I was in search of the mythical creature called “planner peace”, which I have quickly found out does not exist. Your planner should bring you peace and not you being at peace with your planner. If your planner gives you the least bit of anxiety, not related to an event or task inside, it is not the planner for you. Your planner should be a welcome site that brings you joy and fills you with passion to seize the day. If your planner does not inspire you to get more done and be great, get rid of it and start again. If it takes you more time to plan than to act, or planning takes you away from being productive, you should seek some planner advise. There are thousands of planner guru’s on Youtube that will help you get your planning together.

I had a big problem with procrastination and keeping a planner helped me to get through that. I hope that this post and your planner help you as much as mine has helped me to be a better planner and in some ways, person. Organization is important but not at the expense of living life and enjoying your time here. Make your life and your planner as simple as possible and you will be successful in everything you set your mind to.

Notiq A5 blush pink planner setup.

This beautiful planner has been a blessing to me in so many ways. I have been in love with this planner since I received it a couple of weeks ago. My planning style has changed so much over the years. I started out with a Happy Planner, then moving into a Traveler’s notebook, now into an A5 rings.

I love an A5 for the space. The Happy Planner wasn’t portable or compact enough for me. A traveler’s notebook just wasn’t enough room. I needed the space and functionality. I love how customizable an A5 ring bound is and this planner cover is so gorgeous. I love the way it feels in my hands. I love the way it looks when I open it and lay it out on my desk. I love that it’s small enough to fit in my bag. My very large bag. lol.

Notiq is a black owned luxury stationary company that has some cult following as well as some great philanthropy to empower women. Vivian, the owner has a great personality and she is dedicated to awesome customer service. She sends out each and every order with a hand written thank you note which, I think, is so sweet and classy.

If you have not seen what the Notiq brand has to offer you can visit their website http://www.notiq.com and find them on Instagram @notiqbrand.

Goal setting for the new year

I know it’s a tough subject to think about right now but it’s time to set some goals for 2020. We all start out the new year with resolutions, which we break within 10 minutes of the new year. This year I’m starting with goals. I want to accomplish more in the new year besides a whole night sleep.

After carefully reviewing every aspect of my life, I have come up with carefully thought out goals and action steps to help me to reach each one. This sounds simple, but it took me a few days to sort out what I really wanted out of life and how could I get there.

I had to sort out the attainable from the totally rediculous. I have a lot of wants, all of my wants cannot be turned into attainable goals. Most of my wants were really broken down to achievable by a change in routine or habit. My real goals, had a series of steps and levels to the finished product.

I have four planners that help me to achive daily, weekly, and monthly goals. All of them are different sizes and only one system is a different type. I picked each of these planners according to what information I will be keeping track of in each. I’ll go into more detail of each in a later post.

When you get your clear vision about what you want out of life and make a plan of how you will get there, trust your judgement on what if any planner or planning system will work for you.

Here are a few pointers to help you along the way.

1. Separate your wants from your needs. Most goal setting is stumped by wants vs needs. Needs are necessary for everyday life, wants make getting your needs easier, comfortable or more efficient.

2. Be realistic about your goals. Nothing hurts worse than trying to reach an unrealistic goal. It’s like trying to go to the moon without a space ship.

3. Don’t stop with a general goal. Keep going by writing your action steps out. Then you can see your plan in action.

4. Take your time. This is your goals and your plan. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or conform your goals based on where you should be. Plan for where you are and where You want to go and not where others want you to be.

5. You don’t have to be a superhero. Your goal are about you and only you. Don’t feel bad for that. You are not responsible for helping others achieve their goals. Don’t allow them to make you feel bad about your success.

I hope this post helps you to rock your goals this year. Go for it. Don’t let fear keep you from your dreams.

2020 The year of clear vision.

The beginning of a new decade is days away and I have strategically set up my life and my routines to serve me greatly in the new year. 2019 has shown me a lot about myself, my loved ones, my friends and my life. My elders had a saying when you were not living with your priorities in order. They would say, “When you see life, all that other stuff will change.” meaning that when you realize what’s really important, you’ll get your act together.

Well, I’m here to say, they were absolutely right. Living with a conscious mind, and an open perspective has brought me many blessings. I can finally see clear. I am finally focused on what really matters to me and now I am ready to receive whatever the universe has for me. I am ready to embrace life and all that it brings.

This year taught me a lot of hard lessons. I have suffered and prospered all in the same breath. I am ready to move on and take my lessons with me. I have aligned myself with the universe and am grateful for all that I have and all that I am going to receive.

Life has an interesting way of getting you to pay attention and be present. I’m thankful for every wakeup call. I hope that you have found a great lesson to take with you into the new year. I hope this new year brings you much joy, love, prosperity, and self awareness.

I am totally aware of myself and what my job here is. I am totally at the mercy of God and his great design for my life. I don’t know my purpose but I am well aware of my calling.

Happy new year to you all and I hope that we will be blessed to share many more together.

My Plan for the new year

I must be honest and share my story. When I was a child, I watched my parents move on with their life. They really weren’t there for me they didn’t raise me, my grandparents raised me, well my grandparents and my aunts. I’ve never seen a real relationship growing up and because of that. I tell my kids I love you all the time. you don’t realize as an adult, it’s more about showing that you love him instead of just saying that you love them. Occasionally, would hear someone say I love you. Then I wouldn’t see them for 6 to 8 months at a time. I never feel compassion respect or real genuine love from that person that would always say I love you.

Now raising two kids of my own I found myself going into the same pattern as my parents. Most of the time, my kids, I’ll leave them up to their own devices and I feel like that’s a bad way to be, but at the same time I watch them discover so much about themselves and the world around.  I feel better when I realize what knowledge they gain by letting them wonder just a little.

I’m also surprised at what knowledge I’ve gained by wandering myself. Wandering a little in the world, just a little in my own mind and by Taking Chances on things that I wouldn’t take a chance on before. I watch my kids how courageous they are in life and I envy them and at the same time I’m so proud. I’m not as courageous as they are. I have no idea where they get their coverage from. It could be from just Shear innocence, but they make me think a lot. They make me think about what I want to do in life. they make me think about where I want to go, what I want to be. Now mind you, I’m almost in my forties. My kids are 8 years old and 2 years old and I think God has a unique way of putting things in my life at the right time, so he can steer us in the right direction.

I believe having my children as late in life as I did is now the force that is pushing me to do something greater with my own life. I’m not just living for my kids I’m now living for me. I know that finding me will give them a better perspective of who they are. The more confidence I build in myself, the more confidence I can build in my kids.

I love my children very much and I want them to be confident and stable adults. I want them to be conscious of Their Own self and of their own well-being.

A lot of times in my life I’ve tended to accept the bad behavior of others as if it was something that I deserved or something that I never expected. Now gaining a deeper introspective myself and getting to know myself a whole lot better, I realize that I no longer require anyone’s acceptance. I will not tolerate anyone bad behavior. so, the thing is if I hold myself to high standards why not hold everyone else to those same standards.

I don’t accept bad behavior from my children. I don’t respect that behavior from my spouse, so why should I let Outsiders give me that same Behavior. going into 2019, I no longer accept anyone’s bad behavior. I no longer accept anyone else’s crosses to bear. I no longer accept not being respected. I no longer accept not being on the level that I should be.

I’m gaining a new love for myself, and you loving me is no longer a requirement. I have to say no to what’s not healthy for me. Hopefully you move forward in 2019 with the same mantra. What is not healthy for me does not belong to me. It does not belong with me. I will not carry it in my bag. I will not carry it in my mind. I will not carry it in my heart. I will only carry what is healthy for me. Happy New Year everyone

Getting out of the Holiday blues

For years I hated the holidays. I’ve always seen the holidays time as full of hurt, and a lot of headache. I have a huge family and I love my family very much. But over the years I’ve tended to separate myself from some of my family because of their negativity and attitudes.

This year I decided to go at the holidays alone and to my surprise I didn’t contract holiday Blues this year. I’ve been spending way more time with my kids. Who’s hilarious, by the way. My kids help to keep me grounded. Sometimes I think if I didn’t have my kids I wouldn’t be as much fun.

So this Thanksgiving, my family and I had Thanksgiving here at home. I cooked all the traditional Thanksgiving food that I love to cook for my family each year. We ate, we talked, we drank, and repeated until we all passed out for the night. I must say it was the most fun that I’ve had with my little family here, my husband, my two kids and his brother who currently lives with us.

There was no drama, no fussing, no stress. And this is how I would like every holiday to go but unfortunately I know it won’t be so, or can it be?

I’ve been working on the rest of the Holiday season and how I would like for it to go. Remember, plans will always change. Leave room for the unexpected. I have delegated certain tasks so that I’m not overwhelmed. Done is always better than perfect.

I’ve opted out of heavy decor this year. I have two little monsters that I will keep busy by letting them make the decorations (that I have strategically located online) and put up the tree. Michael’s craft store has been a real time saver for all of the decor and crafts for kids.

Finally, my menu is simple. Minimum leftovers predicted. I’ll have plenty of time to mingle and celebrate. I’ve also gotten plenty of disposable dishes and pans. Minimum cleaning predicted also. This planning didn’t take long and wasn’t complicated. Mostly clever and common sense. I don’t know why I didn’t think of all this before.

I realized that most of my stress and anxiety associated with the holidays is caused by my constant pursuit of perfection. I’ve been chasing a ghost. Perfection does not exist. I don’t have to impress my family. They could care less about the decorations or our outfits for that matter. They’re just happy to celebrate with us and that is just what the holidays are about. Family.

I wish each and every one of you a happy, safe and blessed holiday season. I hope to see you all in 2019.

Happy holidays!

Have I found planner peace?





So here I am, two years into my official planning journey and I end up with multiple planners. I was the girl calling other girls crazy for having multiple planners. I didn’t see the point in planning in multiple planners. I had no idea why certain information needed its own planner. Now I am one of those crazy people and surprisingly I feel more sane now than I have ever felt in my life. I am finally at the point where I feel like I don’t have to buy another binder or another accessory. I am really fine with what I have.
I also have a confession to make, I didn’t spend over $20 for each of the planners that you see in the picture. I got the two Happy Planners from Michael’s and I got the Webster’s Pages from Jo Ann’s. I used reward coupons and got each of my planners for pennies on the dollar. I also got stickers and accessories for 60% off at Michael’s. So far my planner journey hasn’t broke the bank and I’m proud of that. That makes my husband happy too.
So now it’s time for me to tell you what I use each planner for.
This little guy is my purse-onal planner. It is my planner on the go. I have sections for tracking and journaling. This is my personal planner dedicated just to me and what takes most importance in my life. It includes my routines, medication lists, mood tracker, workout log and Dr. appointment log. I keep a few sheets of grid paper to track what I have to do with my 2 kids. Each child has a small section in this planner. That’s it. I’m only using this planner for me. This is my personal domain.
Webster’s Pages A5 Color Crush 

This gorgeous beauty is my social media planner. I have multiple social media accounts and I want to keep better track of what I’m doing and where. I recently purchased a domain for my blog and I suddenly needed somewhere special to track my blog and my YouTube channel. I was torn because I wanted this one to be my purse-onal planner, but it was too much to carry in my bag. I have a section for each of my social media profiles including my Instagram dedicated to planning. @creatively_dee288 You can find more pictures and layouts there of all of my planners and accessories.

 

Everyday Essentials Classic size Happy Planner
This big guy is my home and family planner it has the gold expansion rings and it is packed with everyone’s schedules, appointments, paydays etc. I also have the Happy Planner Home Planner extension in here. I use this planner for meal planning and household management. I love how customization the Happy Planner is. I can print and punch a million and one inserts or just go to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby and purchase more. This is the planner that also gets the most abuse. It is out on my desk all the time and sometimes my son uses it as a coloring book lol. I also spend a lot of time in this planner because everything else revolves around this planner.
I feel at peace with my planner system as it is right now. Each planner has a purpose. It took me a 30 minutes to set them all up to fit my life and fulfill their purpose. I often felt unhappy with my planning systems in the past because I felt like I wasn’t getting anything accomplished. Now that I have had my current system in place for 2 weeks, I feel like I have gotten more done in these two weeks then in all of 2017 combined. It’s amazing how just a small thing can really change your life. I never would have thought that I would be a planner girl let alone a 3 planner girl. I’m impressed with myself, my system and my productivity because of it.
Let me know how your productivity has changed recently and what planner system you use. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for more lifestyle and productivity tips, tricks and most of all results.

I Almost Died

With any major change in life comes some stress. The stress of change can cause us to really freak out most of the time. I know I have damn near gone crazy with all the changes in my life right now. There are a few lessons that I have learned that I think will help some of you who are also going through some type of stress or just dealing with a full plate. Most of these lessons are common sense, but most are ones you didn’t think of. Sometimes our brain is so full of other things that we aren’t really thinking clear. That brings me to my first point:
1.) Just breathe.
This change and the stress that comes with it has not killed you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this, Just take a second and breathe. Assess the situation and calm down, You will get through this. Once you stop and breathe, the fresh oxygen to your brain will help you to think more clearly.
2.) Handle the hard stuff first.
I know we like to do the easy stuff first but, doing the stuff we want to do the least first helps to clear the table for everything else. In essence, if you move the mountain you can see the valley. Get those big, hard to do tasks out of the way and you will be able to breeze through everything else.
3.) Don’t be too proud to ask for help or delegate some tasks.
You are not a superhero. You just can’t do it all by yourself. If you have extra hands that can help, use them. Ask your spouse to do some of the small tasks that take time you can’t spare. Give the kids some chores and make them fun so they don’t even know they’re helping. All those friends and family that says “Call me if you need anything.” give them a ring. Even if they can’t at the moment, at least you know who you can really count on.
4.) No one is coming take away all your stress.
There are no superheros in your future. Don’t expect to be saved. No one is going to do it all for you. You have to do it yourself. No one can read your mind. You have to say that you are having a hard time and need help. You have to attack the situation head on. Face it and get it done.
5.) Self pity is a party of one.
Don’t play the victim. There are people going through more than you. After all, it could be worse. Pick your head up and keep it moving. It can only get better from here.
6.) Stop fighting change.
Like fighting the current of the Mississippi, fighting change will only make you drown. Flow with change and adapt to it. Fighting change will only make you tired. Take this opportunity to grow. It will challenge you to do better and be better.. Life is all about growth and learning. If you refuse to learn, you refuse to grow. Growth is necessary for survival.
7.) Don’t blame anyone for your stress.
It is YOUR stress. That means no one can cause it or stop it but you. You can’t control other people or other situations. You can however, control yourself and how you react to those people and those situation. Change your reaction and you could stop your stress from even occurring in the first place.
8.) Stop complaining.
No one is listening. No one likes a whiner. Complaining and being negative never helps anything. Period. Stop it now. Life and death is in the tongue. You can speak destruction and success into your life. Always be positive. No matter the situation. Rise above negativity.

9.) Put yourself in time out.
 If all else fails, step away. Give yourself some time. After all, this all begins and ends with you. There are people depending on you. You have to take care of yourself. Unhealthy body equals an unhealthy mind. Allow yourself some “me time”. Change and the stress of it can consume us. We have to unplug and unwind sometime. Schedule time for yourself, just like you schedule anything else. If it’s important, you’ll make time.
10.) Stay strong.
Faith is very important. No matter what religion you are, knowing that there is a higher power in control is comforting. Keep your faith. Prayer and meditation works wonders. Keep your head and your heart healthy.
I hope this helps someone. Let me know in the comments below.