For the New Year :: An Organized Life

December 13, 2012
I’m old school in many ways, but one way that is surprising, because my career is digital, is that I still use a physical, paper planner. Yes, the planners our teachers made us write in. You know what? My planner won’t crash and it’s software won’t fail. I still keep a digital version of my calendar, but I love having the physical planner.  (A planner isn’t the only part of this post – keep reading!)

Writing things out helps me remember what I need to do, and I like the visual aspect of it. My planner keeps my life organized and what better planner for me to use than the Life Planner from ErinCondren.com I have no affiliation with ErinCondern.com, I just love their products.

The new year is upon us, and this is typically when people try to change their lives. Do something different—get organized now. I don’t like to start my diets on Monday or “tomorrow.” Because Mondays are stressful and tomorrow can always be pushed until tomorrow. Don’t plan to plan later, start planning now! 

There are many different designs and color schemes available
What do I write in my planner?
·         To-do list,  Should-do list, Appointments,  Reminders, Birthdays, When to replace my makeup  and anything I need to know and remember

There are plenty of planners out there and a lot of different styles. From hourly to daily, weekly and monthly- pick the one that’s right for you. Not sure if you want to devote you time to a paper planner? Pick up one for less than $5 and try it out before you make an investment.

The reason I love the life planner is because it’s colorful and organized into daily (morning, afternoon and night) and monthly. Plus—whenever you purchase it, you can choose the month it begins – most planners are January to December or July to June. No excuses – start planning the second you purchase it!


I pay the bills. I don’t mean that as all of my income pays the bills, I mean that I am the one that keeps track of everything and make sure everything is paid on time and is aware if we can afford certain things, or not.

I have our bills and accounts organized so that if something were to happen to me, Travis could figure it out, easily.  Here’s a modified version of my simple bills Excel sheet.

The USMC gets paid on the 1st and 15th so we have our bills split up by pay period. All numbers here are made up.

The red triangle next to the payee indicates a note, if you hovered over it (in Excel) you would see the website, log in and password to pay that bill.

I used to have columns to indicate whether or not it was automatic, but now our rent is the only thing that isn’t, so it’s not necessary to make that indication.

The ‘x’ indicates the money has been taken out of our account and the shaded boxes mean that that bill will never be due in that pay period.

It’s very simple and keeps us very organized. We don’t have bills laying around and we never forget to pay them. Making everything automated is a lot easier – some people say they don’t like to automate it because they don’t know how much it will be – who cares? You’re going to have to pay it, regardless, plus most bills are the same amount each month.

There are a lot of ways to organize your life, but if you have your calendar and budget organized, you’re going to be pretty well off.


I have made several different blog planners – a daily, weekly and monthly version. I love ErinCondern.com so much that I found the perfect notebook that doubles as my blog planner. It’s called a notebook, but it includes monthly calendars, plenty of pages for notes and all of the sheets of stickers. The calendar boxes are big enough to brainstorm post ideas and include details. Having my posts determined at least a month in advance really helps keep me on track, brainstorm new ideas and reach out to companies and guest bloggers. It’s great to have all of my ideas and plans in one spot.

It really all depends on your blogging style. I used to have a document (don’t have a picture of it) that had 2 lines for each day, a box for new ideas, a box for a to do list and a box for product reviews.  

What do you do to stay organized? What tools do you use? What are you going to start doing to get and stay organized? 

Coming Next Week in the 'For the New Year' Series :: Losing weight & eating well - the easy ways.

1 comment:

  1. I'm like you, I need to have a physical planner so I can write things down. I think i went through a million planners until last year I came across the life planners...I have been happy with it ever since!
    I need to visually see things. Also, if I write it down it helps me remember things even better. Now, that doesn't mean that I wont leave myself notes around the house...lol.
    As for the budget, I have a notebook that keeps track of everything.