Organizing My Life – My Paper Planner & Accessories

I’m a person that needs to write it down on paper, otherwise it doesn’t get done. Seriously sometimes at home if I’m overwhelmed I write myself a to-do list of the simplest tasks to keep me going. Before we left for vacation I literally wrote down “shower” as one of my tasks the day before leaving haha.

I wanted to share the paper planner and products I use to keep organized because I am a GEEK about this stuff, and I know there are others out there just like me. 🙂

Fringe Daily Planner & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

I have a notebook (the tan and gold one in the above photo) for blog planning, but that will be for another post. 🙂

First, outside of a paper planner, Dave and I use Google Calendar to keep synced up with each other.

We’ve been using this system for years and it’s super helpful. Dave’s calendar is red, my calendar is purple and this year I just gave Sadie her own calendar in green so it stands out to us, since her schedule gets pretty full with activities and stuff. This way we can easily check and see if something is planned for any given day and update in real time with new events, without having to call, check a paper calendar, etc. I know there are apps made specifically for this sort of thing but Google Calendar works for us!

Google Calendar | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

Now onto the paper planner. Not only do I use it for all the various activities and events that we have going on in our lives, but I also use it as a place to house all of my daily to-do’s.

I’ve tried SO MANY PLANNERS over the years. I had a Filofax for a few years, I’ve tried Happy Planners and Erin Condren and random other ones and nothing felt right – until last year! At HomeGoods of all places I found my holy grail planner – from the brand Fringe. I can’t find the one I have online, but it’s now my 2nd year using a Fringe planner and I love it! It is similar to this one.

Fringe Daily Planner & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

On the inside cover I’ve added a key and a mini calendar.

Fringe Daily Planner & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

I added this calendar to align with some of my yearly goals – getting up with my alarm and running/working out on the treadmill. The calendar is a printable and I just shrank it down to fit within my planner. I keep track of the days I wake up with my alarm (obviously not weekends because NO) and when I run.

Fringe Daily Planner & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

The key is something I implemented last year and it works for me still. I use different colors within my planner to keep track of everything. For examples – Sadie is dark pink, work items are purple, appointments are light purple, social activities are light green, so forth and so on. I also use black for my day to day to-do lists with a light blue bullet point. If its something I know ahead of time I need to do that day, I just write it in light blue. (It just works for me!)

Fringe Daily Planner & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

And here’s a full week in action. This was right before a trip – you can see a bunch of tasks I needed to take care of (including a parking ticket!) stuff for work, Sadie, and more. I was leaving for my work trip on Saturday, so my flight information was listed there for my reference as well.

Fringe Daily Planner & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

Most weeks look like this, if not busier!

At the beginning of each month I add in any birthdays or anniversaries I need to keep track of, and I use this page as a reminder of what cards I need to purchase for the month. Here’s a peek at March’s reminders.

Fringe Daily Planner & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

I better start buying those cards now!

Last but certainly not least are my pens! Like most people I’m obsessed with the Paper Mate Flair felt tip pens. I love the color variety and the fact that they don’t bleed through the pages. I actually have two sets – one that I carry around with me and one I keep at home! I use an old Ipsy pouch to carry them around, along with some pens (I only write in blue), a Sharpie, highlighter and some Wite-Out correction tape.

Paper Mate Flair Pens | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

I really want the limited edition CandyPop Flair pen set, but I am so set in my colors that I use in my planner that I don’t know what I’d do with them. But they’re so pretty!

And that’s how I keep my myself organized with my daily planner!

Do you use a paper planner or are you digital only? What accessories do you use?

I tried doing the whole sticker things in my planner but it was just too much for me and made me feel like yet another thing I had to keep up with, pretty layouts and all, vs helping me stay organized.

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What’s Giving Me Anxiety

I’ve written before about my struggles with anxiety. I didn’t used to be this anxious as a child but a bad relationship and an extremely stressful job with an out of control boss (not currently but previously) have left my nerves dangling by a thread. You can read a some of my posts about anxiety here.

I thought it would be interesting and maybe helpful (maybe?) to share a list of some of the things that give me anxiety. These are random, written down in my blogging notebook as they came up or I had realization about what was making me anxious at that moment.

What's Giving Me Anxiety | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

Things That Make Me Anxious:

Sadie’s constant cough – Sadie has been coughing non-stop. It’s more of a throat clearing than a sick cough but still. It seems like she’s never not coughing! The doctor said its just post-nasal drip and gave us Bromfed to give her as needed but I don’t think it’s really helping and she hates it because it tastes nasty.

Not having blog posts ready – I try to post three times a week but sometimes life just gets the better of me (like these past few days) and I can’t get it together. I don’t want to beat myself up since I wanted this round of blogging to be obligation/schedule free but it still gets to me.

Thinking I’m being left out of plans or forgotten about – All. The. Time. Also see this post. This alone causes me so much anxiety.

Work – Listen, I’m an event planner. I get stressed/anxious! My job itself is amazing, but it’s just par for the course.

I HAVE NO IDEA – The fun part of anxiety (at least for me) is that sometimes I have no earthly idea why I am anxious! Literally none. It’s ridiculous, annoying and frustrating as all hell.

Sadie’s struggles in school – We’re going through some academic stuff with Sadie right now that I know will turn out okay in the end, but it gives me all the anxiety. I’m not willing to share much about it now, but once we have more answers I’ll probably write a post about it.

A plan for Sadie’s Girl Scout Troop falling through – I had set up an activity for Sadie’s GS troop and they fell through the day of. I felt horrible about it even though it was out of my control (see – anxiety). The other GS troops leaders rallied and came up with a replacement activity, and all was good, but I still felt like they were going to hold it against me (of course they didn’t) and that it would reflect badly on me (of course it didn’t.) Sigh.

That is just a small sample of what goes through my brain when I’m feeling anxious and what causes the feelings.

I hope this was helpful to someone out there. Basically just to know that anxiety can be triggered by the smallest of things, and sometimes even nothing! It’s frustrating, but you’re not alone. 🙂

If you’re willing to share, what gives you anxiety?

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