In middle school and high school, teachers were on our backs constantly to keep track of our assignments and academics in a flimsy little school planner, a tedious task that everyone complained about incessantly. I didn’t mind too much, per say, but there wasn’t much incentive for me to use mine – it wasn’t really equipped with the layouts and pockets I wanted to organize with, and frankly, it was ugly xD Now that I’m older and have significantly more things in my life to juggle and keep track of, my hot pink Filofax planner is my best friend; it’s in my purse without fail!

The pages themselves are fairly customizable; Filofax has a number of different layouts for your calendar (monthly, weekly, daily, etc.) and a number of different inserts such as to-do lists, address book pages, and daily schedule sheets. This is my second year with my lovely Filofax, and I think I’ve finally nailed down a plan that works for me. The best part is, if my general organizational lifestyle changes in 2013, all I have to do is change around my pages!

I keep the whole year’s calendar at the front on a month-by-month basis. Maybe it’s just habit, but I like being able to see the whole month at a glance, which makes planning blog posts and getting a big picture view of what events I have coming up that month.

One of my favorite parts is the to-do list pages! Now, just because I have an “official” to-do list spot doesn’t keep me fromt making to-do lists everywhere else, but it’s nice to put the sort of big picture tasks all up front. At the beginning of the term, for instance, I put a list of all of my assignments here. Though I usually make up my daily to-do lists with “do this assignment today”, etc. I know that everything on the master to-do list needs done at some point, like discussion board posts and final papers. So no matter how I ultimately divy up the workload, I have a master task list. Things like “buy birthday card stash” and “clean iTunes library” also get written down here, as there’s not usually a major due date for them.

I’ve got a few clear pockets in the front to stash business cards I’ve collected and a few spare of my own, as well as notes and loose papers that I need to hang on to or file. Not to mention a few inspirational goodies, like a Matt Cooke hockey card, Yoda quote, and expected graduation date xD Gotta have something to cheer you on each time you open up your planner!

I splurged on the little daily schedule sheets this time around, but so far haven’t found a good way to use them. There aren’t quite enough to use daily, yet there are days where I have so little planned I have no reason to use them. They’re nice to toss in by the ‘today’ tab if I do have a jam packed day, but I find I tend to use my Google calendar/Teux Deux to sort those kinds of daily things since they’re easier to drag-and-drop around.

Now this is really the meat of my Filofax. The bulk of the planning is laid out week-to-week; on one side I’ve got my weekly schedule such as classes and office hours, work schedules and payday. Doctor appointments go here, dinner dates, etc. Since I’m only taking a few classes this term, I’ve got them colored coded in my schedule to match their assignments on the next page. Sometimes I even get fancy and doodle accompanying pictures to things!

This week is a little weird looking since it’s Spring Break and I basically don’t have anything planned except getting some school work done and going to work. Normally it looks like it does below, instead of this week’s skimpy-looking schedule. The flip side of the page is a big open space for notes. Currently, I use the top portion to write down my assignments for the coming week – what needs read, what needs emailed in, and big project due dates as well. They’re all checklist style so I can mark them off as they’re complete, as well as color-coded to match what class they’re for.

Little notes get scribbled around there too, though lately I’ve been testing out jotting down my little daily tasks down bottom. I just cross them off as I go, and it’s not like those things need done exactly that day, but based on my schedule and what things are looking like I like to come up with a game plan of what I should and/or can do. Normally I scribble these down in the margins of notebooks, so it’s nice to keep them on me at all times. This is probably overkill (this is basically just a hard-copy of my Teux Deux list) but I’m addicted to writing things down xD

The back contains a little notepad; an address book that I don’t use much, but would like to convert my contacts into to have a physical copy that’s not on my phone or in my computer (might as well not have a separate address book either, since that’s an extra book to store!); and some divided pages that I keep my blog ideas, dinner ideas, notes for class, and little fun lists (like travel ideas and favorite songs, etc.) in.

And there you have it! This is just how I keep my life organized, and I’m sure it’ll change as I go along, but I love working towards finding a way of keeping things on task. All in all, it works for me, and what doesn’t, well, I just have to keep playing around with things to find out!


How do you stay organized? Do you have a planner? How do you keep on task?