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I have found it difficult to find planner peace and am attempting to use two planners this year. My traveler’s notebook setup helps organize a large amount of information for my blog and business and helps keep me productive, while using an Erin Condren helps me plan far in advance for things like my editorial calendar.
Planners, Planners, and More Planners
One cool thing about starting a new year is all the planner options that become available, along with all the stickers and other planner goodness! Last year I discovered the Passion Planner, which helped me to keep track of my tasks in my business as well as in my job. As I discussed in this post, I learned that having a decorated planner helped me to focus since I like to look at it. I can be quite forgetful otherwise. I started using a bullet journal and now have a traveler’s notebook setup that I believe will streamline my blog tasks! (If you want to start your own blog check out this post on quickly starting a blog and sign up for my free email course).
I’ve spent some time this month thinking about what my goals will be for the next year. Part of that is to intentionally use my planner to track and measure how I am doing on these goals. Here are the things I will be focusing on:
- Increase my blog traffic
- Stick to an editorial calendar and stay a month ahead of schedule
- Grow my email list and consistently communicate
- Increase blog income
- Stay on top of multiple tasks at work
- Bring hobbies such as reading and cross stitch back into my life
- Become consistent with journaling
- Create 3-4 new products for my business
Now I will got into my current planner plan!
I decided to try to use two planners this year. To be honest, this is mainly because I ordered a beautiful Erin Condren planner before I discovered bullet journaling. Bullet journaling is probably the closest thing I have found to planner peace; however, I want to get use out of the Erin Condren as well.
I will be using the Erin Condren Life Planner for a combination of daily planning and long term planning. This will not be my main planner, but instead will help me to plan things in advance since it is predated. For instance, I have blog posts planned out until April, and those are all written in the Erin Condren.
This is my first time using an Erin Condren. I’m excited to get started with this and have already decorated the next three weeks with stickers! That is the best part! (If only I was that much ahead consistently with blog posts!)
I will be tracking blog and social media stats in my Erin Condren including:
- Monthly Pageviews
- Email Subscribers
- Twitter Followers
- Pinterest Followers
- Instagram Followers
- Facebook Page Followers (I do not focus on this much right now)
Along with tracking those stats, I also will have a monthly goal attached to those stats each month so I know where I need to focus my attention.
The Erin Condren will house my Editorial Calendar. Once I write my post plan in there, I don’t want to mess up and get behind because the planner is so pretty!
Since ordering the Erin Condren, I discovered something that helps much more with the day to day stuff including all the things I learn and all the ideas I have. That is the bullet journal. I described in a previous post how I started with the bullet journal. I’m still loving this system because of its flexibility.
I am in no way an artist and my bullet journal does not look like it belongs on the pages of Instagram, yet it is completely functional and pretty to me. I absolutely love it.
As someone with a strong tendency toward distraction and lack of focus, I wanted to figure out a way to keep everything in my bullet journal because it is so convenient to have everything with me. Yet, I also wanted to keep some things separate. I thought about carrying two bullet journals, one for work and one for my business; however, that did not seem ideal. I do love my original bullet journal, and will continue to use it, I just needed to find another option to keep things better categorized.
I discovered the traveler’s notebook and am a believer (even though I don’t travel much)! I’m very excited about my traveler’s notebook setup.
So, what is a traveler’s notebook? Well, essentially it is a cover within which you add a bunch of inserts (or notebooks). The reason I was attracted to this when I heard about it is because it is a way to separate my work stuff from my personal stuff from my blog stuff.
That way if my work to do lists ever need to be used in a legal proceeding or something for work, I will not have to include my blog ideas or my lists about things like “things I am good at.” There is also less chance that people in a meeting will see my personal lists and encouragements that are my private business.
If I am having a hard day and want to use 300 “You Got This” stickers, no one else has to know. 🙂
I ordered my Traveler’s Notebooks from Foxy Fix. They have beautiful notebook covers. The only problem is they take forever to get to you since they are handmade items. I am not great at waiting for things. My first one took about 35 business days to ship. That was painful! The next order shipped much quicker, somewhere around 20 days (though as of this writing the order is stuck in delayed status through USPS which is frustrating!)
My Current Traveler’s Notebook Setup
I have eight inserts in my current traveler’s notebook setup. I bought my inserts at May Designs and if you are using Foxy Fix, these fit in a #7 notebook. Also, check out the pretty bookmarks I bought from Fir and Yew!
I’m really bursting at the seams excited about my insert set up. I created it just how I want it for now to help me to organize and manage a ton of information.
Here is how I have organized my inserts:
- Work To Dos: I have an insert dedicated to the things I have to do each day at work. I love the way to do lists work in bullet journals when using the original key (see bulletjournal.com)
- Weekly Calendar: Another weekly planner to keep track of stuff. Since I am using the Erin Condren for this, I probably don’t need this here (or maybe I don’t need the Erin Condren? That is probably the answer but I want to use it so I am haha). I may eventually replace this with a notebook for taking notes at work.
- Blog To Dos: Again, I am using the bullet journal system here. I have so many things to do, this helps me to make a plan and then follow that plan.
- Headlines, Keywords and Blog Post Ideas: I’m working toward certification through Copyblogger and am practicing headlines since that is an area I need to work on. I have all my notes about how to do effective headlines in this insert. I also keep track of my keyword research in this insert as well as ideas for future blog posts. Having all of this live in a single place has helped me to maintain focus. I can easily find this information when I need it.
- Notes/Takeaways from Courses, Blogs, Books, and Podcasts. I’m learning so much every day and am putting my important notes in here. If there is something I need to act on, I put that in my blog to do list as well. I can alert myself in my to do list that there are notes in my note section (I just had the idea that I should do a table of contents with page numbers to make this easier! I am going to write this in my to do list).
- Email List Ideas/Content
- Personal Journal/Lists/Collections
- Coloring Book Yes, just like it sounds! I have a coloring book insert. I am not sure if it will stay in long term, but it is fun to have in there.
My traveler’s notebook also has pockets inside both covers where I keep things like stickers.
I purchased a wallet insert so I can have money and credit cards with me when I am out and about.
Check out instagram for lots of ideas on how to decorate a traveler’s notebook! Such fun!
Since I am using so many notebooks, I decided to purchase some inserts on Etsy that I can print myself and make my own. I am a lover of all things pen, ink, and paper and it is important to me that the paper I use is nice and can handle fountain pen ink. The best way for me to do this is to make my own using this amazing paper. This is a nice heavy paper that is smooth and wonderful.
I was careful to purchase the insert size that matched my traveler’s notebook setup. I then printed and cut the paper using a paper cutter, folded the paper and stapled it together with a swing arm stapler that allows me to staple any size of paper I need to. I’ll include all these items below for your convenience if you would like to make some of your own inserts. You probably do not need the fancy printer I have though. (In fact, the ink was incredibly expensive so I am not sure I would recommend it).
What planner are you using this year and what goals are you working toward?
I would love it if you would let me know! Leave a comment with any recommendations you have and be sure to sign up for future updates about using a bullet journal and traveler’s notebook setup for blogging!
Marlena is the blogger behind apenandapurpose.com, where she writes about using journaling for self improvement and reaching goals in life and business. Using her experience as a Licensed Psychologist with a Master’s in Business, she teaches people how to break through negative thoughts and fear to do what matters. For more about me read my about page.