It's now February (eeps!) and that planner you were so enthusiastic about using has just sat there-- with only a week or two that was actually filled out. That's we have someone on the blog today who knows how to actually fill one out. And isn't that what we all eventually want-- well used planners? That's why I am excited to have Kristan Kremer, an organizer extraordinaire, share with us how to best use our planners!
Q: Tell us about yourself and what you do!
I’m Kristan Kremer and I like to help busy moms and business owners get organized so they can focus on the fun things in life - their families and passions. I’ve been an organizer at heart my whole life, but I started Pink Rose Organizing Company in October 2015 after realizing my calling in life is helping other people.
Q: What mistakes are people often making with their planners?
The biggest mistake I see people make with their planners is that they’re not using it. They’re afraid to mess it up, or they don’t know where to start.
Q: What should people look for when getting a planner?
The most important thing is to look at your current system, even if you don’t think it’s a system at all. Are you a list maker? Are you task oriented? Do you like a rigid schedule? There’s a planner for everyone and every style of planning. People that meet with clients at scheduled times might do well with an hourly layout on daily pages. A maker on her own schedule might prefer a week on two pages style so she can list out the tasks she’d like to complete at some point each day. For the people that don’t want the rigidness of a certain layout, bullet journaling is a popular alternative - all you need is a blank notebook and a pen and you can design your own pages.
Other things to consider are quality and size. You don’t want a planner that is going to fall apart, no matter how pretty or trendy it is. Be honest with yourself - I’m a clumsy person. I spill and drop and tear things up. A paper backed planner would not work for me, so I chose one with replaceable plastic covers and a very sturdy coil. If you want to take your planner on the go with you, consider the size. Some planners include only 3 months so you get all the functionality of a typical planner, but small and light enough to tuck into your bag.
Q: How can people get more use out of their planners?
The more you use your planner, the more use you’ll get out of it. That sounds so simple and “duh”, but it’s true. Look at it everyday. Write in it every day, even if you’re crossing something off a list. The more you use it, the more it becomes habit and the better organized you’ll become.
The ability to customize is also a great way to get more use from your planner. Whether you choose a style that you can customize during the printing process, or you go with stickers or custom inserts that fit your needs, the options are endless. There are countless shops on Etsy with wonderful stickers to add to your pages.
You can track habits, place checklists, and even just decorate it for fun. Some planners are disc-bound or ring-bound so you can add or move around pages or dividers. If the planner exists, chances are there’s a whole community on Instagram devoted to it. Try looking at hashtags for the different planners you’re interested in to see how other people are innovating and making them work.
Q: How do you merge business with personal agendas in a planner? Should you?
I have had a lot of trial and error, and I believe I’ve finally settled on a system that works for me here. I have one large planner that is for scheduling everything - personal and business. Then I use a smaller bullet journal style of planning for my detailed business items. This is where I make business to-do lists, goal setting and tracking, brainstorming, etc.
When I plan my week in my large planner, I can see where I have time to add in extra work related items, so I open my bullet journal to see what is next on the list to be worked on and add it in. Everyone’s style of planning is different, but I think it’s important to see everything at a glance in one place so that you don’t over-commit yourself. I don’t care how much you love your business, your personal life is always more important and should be given a priority.
Q: Where do you fall on the paper vs. digital planner debate?
If I had to pick one and one only, I’d be Team Paper all the way. But in reality I’m more like 80% Paper and 20% Digital. I need to write things down in order for them to get out of my head and begin their life as an idea or goal to get worked on. But there is value in digital because I do so much of my work online. I can schedule a reminder to post on Instagram at a certain time of day. I speak into my note taking app while sitting in the school parking lot, so that I can focus on my boy instead of thinking about my idea, then later when the day is less hectic, I’ll get a reminder to revisit that idea.
Q: Where can people find your stuff?
If you’re in the Houston, TX area and are interested in a consultation, you can find info at www.pinkroseco.com. I also offer a growing selection of printable planning inserts in my Etsy shop. Keep up with me on Instagram @PinkRoseCompany for organizing tips that make sense for your life, pretty planner pics, and ongoing fun decluttering and organizing challenges.
Q: Anything else?
Just use your planner. Don’t be worried about messing up a page, because time will always go on and soon you can turn the page. Or do what I do and use erasable pens. ;)