Let’s talk general monthly planning.
Using your planner can be overwhelming and will take time finding what works for you. It took me several years before I found what worked. Let me start by saying, I do not fill all the white space with tons of color or stickers. For me some areas will be color coded, but you will see more writing than anything else. I prefer a much simpler, functional look—if it is in my planner it’s there for a reason.
In the video below, I go into detail about the specifics for planning out the month. I go over what I am currently using to plan with, why I plan, and how I update it throughout the month. Since this is the first monthly plan with me, I thought it’d be helpful to pair the video with a more detailed post and some links to help you get started. This way, as the months go on, you can reference this detailed monthly spread.
Disclaimer: all you need to start planning is a pen and planner.
About a week before the new month begins, I sit down and collect the events or things to remember. Everything is covered for each person in the family (appointments, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.), monthly bills or payments, major monthly and total family events (weddings, family/work functions, date nights, paydays, dinners, etc.).
From here, I work in order of importance. My priorities are:
- monthly events per person
- holiday and family events
Bills: When I first started out, I was using the Avery stickers. While they work and are inexpensive, I find that they are just a little too big for the provided space. Here are 2 different options.
Avery: I chose 2 sticker colors for the month and use one for household (recurring) bills and one for debts. I label them with an abbreviated name and amount to be paid.
PlannerKate: When using the PlannerKate stickers, I follow the same method, but they are a bit smaller and fit the space better.
All of my bill stickers are placed in the upper left hand corner.
Major Monthly/Total Family Events: Since the monthly calendar is for everyone, everything has an assigned color and some have an assigned space.
Household events (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc.)—green
General information (times and payment amounts)—black
Dinner—purple, bottom of day
Anything of importance (holidays, weddings, etc.)—highlighted
Personal Events: These events consist of appointments, classes, paydays, or anything person-specific. The only assigned placement within this group are paydays and they are listed on the bottom of the day, below dinner plans.
Dogs—brown or dark red
Notes: On the right hand side of the planner is a notes section. Here I write, in black, anything that I want to have completed by the end of the month. I usually write in this section throughout the month.
Lastly, here are a list of supplies (and their links) that I use!
• Sharpie Highlighter
• Functional stickers
The stickers I have are from the PlannerKate shop on Etsty, but you can search through different shops to find what you suits your needs.
I used the Avery Coding labels for the last 2 years. You can write on them in pen or marker and they don’t smudge, they come in different colors, and they stick to the page nicely. The only downside is that in the monthly layouts the labels are a bit too big for the space. This is the only reason I’ve made the switch to more decorative functional stickers.If you want to see a detailed walk through of how I plan, watch my Youtube video below!
Hopefully, this helps to get you started and find your way in the world of planning!