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Monday, October 16, 2017

Q&A Planner Edition

A couple of weeks ago I asked you all to send me your questions, and I was thrilled with the responses I got from all of you! Today I'm tackling the planner questions I got, but be sure to check out my other Q&A posts on home life and music teaching as well! And if you have any other questions for me, feel free to leave a comment below. I'd love to do another Q&A in the future :) For each question I've included a video and written answer.

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1. Do you only organize one month in your planner book at a time? What about the weeks? Or do you roughly decorate the pages with washi tape as the minimum and fill in more as you get closer?

When I first started using anything besides pen and pencil in my planner, I got super excited about stickers and washi tape and thought I would save myself some time during the school year by pre-decorating some pages and marking in dates that were already set (like vacations, birthdays, school holidays etc) with stickers. About 2 months in I realized what a bad idea that was for me. My 2 biggest reasons for decorating my planner are to 1) give myself a regular creative outlet each week/month, and 2) help me organize the information in my head. Both of these aspects help reduce my anxiety and stress, and help me be more organized. When I was pre-decorating, it took away that regular time each week to relax and organize!

So instead, I now use page flags and sticky notes to pre-plan dates and events, and I don't do any pre-decorating at all. Besides the benefits I already mentioned, I'm able to decorate my weekly and monthly pages with whatever matches my current mood/taste/style, so it's more inspiring (which is another reason I decorate- to feel inspired when I open my planner).

That said, I do know people who pre-decorate and enjoy doing so. The best example I've seen is from Plan2Create- she does a lot more "crafty" decorating than I think any of us would do, but she has some great ideas for basically setting up a color scheme/ theme for the whole month in advance and then going back to fill in details later:

If you want to hear more about how I decorate my teacher/life planner in a way that allows me to be creative without taking too much time (or taking too much space on my pages for "frilly" decor), here's a video I made with some of my favorite tips:

2. How can I print the monthly page on my half size arc planner? I want it to span two pages so it is big enough to write on.

First of all, for printing for half size/ junior size/ mini planners, you need to know how to change the printer settings. It will be slightly different for every printer/ computer, but once you understand the general idea it's really pretty simple. Here's a great tutorial from Creative Clementine if you're not sure how to do that.

For this specific situation though, you're wanting to print 1 page over 2 pages, which is a lot more complicated to do. BUT I have a solution that will make life much easier: I actually have a 2-page monthly calendar option. You have to fill in the dates yourself, either by hand or on the computer before printing, but for anyone who's looking for a bigger monthly calendar (or just hates turning their planner sideways to see the monthly pages) these are great whether you're printing on smaller paper or not!

3. Just out of curiosity, could you show us a flip through of your planner since school started?

Sure! :)

4. I have tasks that I need to do every week, but I don't want to have to write them down each time. I'd like to make customized stickers that I can type and then print out for this purpose. What would you suggest?

The easiest way I've found to do this is with Avery labels. I've included the link to get these on Amazon if you don't have a place to buy them locally, but honestly I would go to Walmart, Target, Staples, or any other similar store with office supplies and see what they have. They come in circles, squares, and rectangles in all different sizes, and many come in white or clear sticker paper options. If you want to cut out different shapes for your stickers, go for the full-page labels and cut them out yourself with scissors (or a cutting machine if you have one).

Once you've got your labels, go to the Avery website and you can design your stickers to fit the labels you have. Print them out and you're done!

If you want to save on ink or don't have access to a good color printer, you can also do it by hand (and it doesn't take as much time and effort as you might think). Make a bunch in advance while you're watching your favorite TV show and you'll be set for months. Here's how I make mine:

I hope you enjoyed reading and watching this Q&A- I loved putting it together and hearing all of your questions! I'll be back with one more set of teacher questions tomorrow- stay tuned! And if you missed any of last week's posts you can check them out below:

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  1. I love all of your planner ideas! You inspired me to decorate my planner this school year, and I am so glad that I did. Just opening the book and seeing all of the bright colors makes me happy, and I feel way more organized than I have in other years. Thank you for sharing such fun ideas with all of us!!

    1. That's so awesome Amy- thanks so much for saying that, it totally made my day! I feel the exact same way. I'm so glad that you are enjoying your planner and feeling more organized :)