Organize to Simplify: Using a Planner
Organizing and planning are my jam. I can’t count the number of times friends or family members have said to me, “You should be an event planner” or “You should be a professional organizer.” Part of me would love to do nothing but organize messes and plan shindigs all day long.
As a teacher, I was always organized and planned ahead. Well, almost always. I’ll be honest – every teacher has those days (or weeks) where the plans hit the trash or you’re so overwhelmed with work that things just get placed here or stacked there. It’s a mess. But for the most part, I knew where everything was (in it’s proper place, thank you very much) and knew what I was teaching days (or weeks) in advance.
One tool that has always kept me on task and on top of my game is a planner. Throughout the years, I’ve had numerous versions. My personal planners were always pretty and inspired me to get things done. But, my first few teaching planners were those run-of-the-mill green plastic covered ones with the small squares inside. When I tired of looking at something so plain an uninspiring, I began creating my own pages.
When I decided to start my own business, I knew I would need a mac daddy planner. It needed to be all-inclusive – something I could use to keep track of personal appointments, but also one that I could track sales, plan blog posts, and sketch products. I began to create my own pages but couldn’t get them finished fast enough. I needed something right away and so I purchased a couple of planners for bloggers. Although I was excited about each one at first, I soon found that neither worked for me. So – I was back to the drawing board.
I created all sorts of pages and tested each one for several weeks - sometimes months - making adjustments and tweaking until they were just so. Each time I made an adjustment, I tested the page myself just to be sure it worked how I needed it to. Over a year later, I have a complete business planner for sellers.
Now you may find, like me, that this doesn’t quite fit your needs. And that’s ok – we’re all different. But, if you’re the kind of small business owner who likes pretty pages that feature clean design, minimal graphics, and lots of space for working – then this planner is be for you!
I’ve shared this labor of love with my friends from the Northeastern Regional Teachers Pay Teachers Meet-up in Rochester, NY and would love to share it with you! For the next 24 hours, it will be on sale for 50% off the regular price. To help you decide if this is the right planner for you, let me tell you all about it.
The bulk of the pages feature black and gray designs with pops of rainbow watercolor dots on the corners and edges. Just enough color to make the pages pretty without draining your color ink cartridge. The pages were designed in a book format using facing pages. When you print your pages, you will see that the graphics are different for each facing page - almost as if they were mirror images of each other. This is a perpetual planner and is not editable. The pages were designed so that they are not year specific and can be reused year after year.
Many of the pages include labels for specific sections. (For example, on the blog planning pages, I’ve included check boxes for posting to social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.) Because not everyone uses the same terminology, social media platforms, etc., I’ve also included template pages without labels. This way, you can customize it for your specific brand or process.
Each type of page has been saved as its own file so that you can pick and choose which pages work best for you. I’ve found that printing, hole punching, and keeping my planner in a three ring binder works better for me than having the planner printed and bound. Keeping my planner in a binder allows me to change the order, add, and delete pages whenever I need to. I would recommend printing the divider pages on heavy cardstock so that they last longer.
I’ve included every resource I typically use on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Here’s a short overview of what is included in each section (sections are listed in alphabetical order):
1. Blog Planning File - This file contains two separate types of pages: those for listing blog post ideas as they come to you and those for planning the details of your posts. There are four sets of idea pages and six sets of planning pages. (20 pages in all.)
2. Collaboration File - Use these pages when planning projects with others. Two sets of planning pages included. Also includes sheet for keeping track of collaborative Pinterest boards (board names, owner contact info, rules, etc.) (6 pages in all.)
3. Cover - This file includes two covers and two pages to complete with your contact information in case your planner is misplaced. (4 pages in all.)
4. Dividers File - This file includes a divider for each section of the planner. Two versions are included of each. (28 pages total.)
5. Giveaway and Donations File - These pages will help you keep track of your contributions towards giveaways and other donations you make throughout the year. Perfect for helping you plan for tax deductions. Two versions included. (4 pages total.)
6. Monthly Calendar File (Horizontal) - Blank horizontal calendar pages that you can reuse year after year. I use these sheets to provide an overview of my month and keep a separate set on my refrigerator for personal tasks such as meal planning. (12 pages total.)
7. Monthly Calendar File (Vertical) - Blank vertical calendar pages that you can reuse every year. Each month is printed on a two page spread. (24 pages total.)
8. Monthly Planning File - I created these pages so that I could keep specific planning notes on various parts of my business. It’s where I list a monthly goal and create an outline of what I plan to accomplish each month. There are several versions included:
- Two page spread with labels (two versions)
- Two page spread without labels (two versions)
- List of holidays by month (two versions)
- Two page spread with weekly columns and labels
- Two page spread with weekly columns without labels
(64 pages total.)
9. Note Pages File - Pages to keep notes for specific categories and others without labels. (8 pages total.)
10. Product Planning File - This file contains two separate types of pages: those for listing product ideas and those for planning the details of your resources. There are four sets of idea pages and five sets of planning pages. (18 pages in all.)
11. Promotions File - Used to keep track of promotions you run on Teachers Pay Teachers. Keep data on followers before and after, how you’ve paid for each spot, the days of the week that are more successful than others, and more. Two versions included. (4 pages total.)
12. Sales File - Keep track of sales that you throw individually and how your store performs during sitewide sales. Two versions included. (4 pages total.)
13. Statistics File - Keep track of weekly or monthly stats - several pages included:
- Weekly TPT stats (with and without labels)
- Monthly TPT stats (with and without labels)
- Weekly social media stats (with and without labels)
- Monthly social media stats (with and without labels)
- Weekly blog/website stats (with and without labels)
- Monthly blog/website stats (with and without labels)
- Weekly sales stats
- Monthly gross sales stats
- Monthly net sales stats
- Monthly number of sales stats
- Monthly sales stats without labels
(50 pages total.)
14. Taxes File - Keep track of expenses throughout the year for single and recurring expenses. Also includes forms for tracking expenses by type such as travel, food, graphics, and more. (18 pages total.)
15. Weekly Calendar File - Two page spread to plan by week. Three versions included. (6 pages total.)
To find this product in my store, click here. If you have the planner already, I'd love to hear what you think! Let me know how it works for you.