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Monday, March 30, 2015

Details of a Daily Plan

There is one question that is universally common among non-planners and newbies. They are want to do, "what do you put in that planner thing, anyway?"

Understand, the motivations for asking are completely different. Non-planners don't understand why you need to write things down. Newbie planners want ideas for what to write down.

The answer, however, is the same. I write down anything that I might forget and that makes my morning (and life) easier.

I made a list of the details that show up in today's daily plan to help plannerds and future plannerds think about what a daily docket could do for them.

daily docket, planner, dailies

What to put in your daily planner?

Approximate Times

I put approximate work times (since I don't have set hours) or times for anything else that is partially flexible in brackets. Workouts sometimes go in brackets. Errands also might go in brackets. Mostly, these things can be done anytime during the day, but are easier to do while the kids are otherwise occupied

TIP: If something is not time sensitive at all, but just must be done today, it goes on my Must Do list.

Not Duplicated Elsewhere

Once I write something on my daily plan, I highlight to cross it out anywhere else that it appears in my planner.

TIP: It is better to have an inconsistent placement of items (e.g., work going on my schedule one day and my must do list on another day) than it is to have a duplicate placement of items. In other words, never have the same thing written in two different places at once!


I make a section of the daily docket cover things that I will tote out of the house other than my purse.

Details in Notes

Why have all that space in a daily plan if not to write detailed notes to myself? Plus, the notes are separate from the timed events and marked with an * so I can find them easily.

Must Dos

I keep this list short.

Specific Times

Specific appointments go on a schedule. I build the rest of my day - my approximate times - around the specific times.

Timed Tasks

Some tasks go on my schedule, either because they are particularly time consuming (like work) or must be done at a certain time (like cooking dinner after homework).

What to Wear

This part is only necessary if I don't put out clothes the night before.

Should Dos

This list is generally long, but it is the most important. I only do it if I find extra time.

Repeating Tasks

There is no point in skipping the movement of repeating tasks to the daily docket, as I don't want to look at two different pages to make decisions.


Having a menu saves so much time and money.

If you are thinking of using a planner or simply trying to use your planner in a better, more dedicated and effective way, save this post to go over in detail later. You can pin it to Pinterest or simply share on your Facebook wall. Either way, start planning!


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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tech Trick: Printing to OneNote 2013

Surface Pro 3 owners know that they can double-click on the Surface Pen to capture a screen shot in OneNote 2013 (a free download for anyone, not just Surface users).

But I've discovered printing to OneNote, and that has changed my life. The best part of this discovery is that, since it is OneNote functionality and not Surface functionality, it works for ANYONE with a computer and OneNote, not just Surface Pro 3 users!

Now, when I do research in Google, I can download entire documents, pdfs, or websites to OneNote and highlight or notate them there. I can also dock the downloaded documents to my desktop and work with notes along side of whatever else I am working on, like a Word or Excel document or a blog post.

One cool thing about OneNote is that you can print anything that can be printed to a printer to OneNote instead.

Print to OneNote:

technology, Surface Pro 3, OneNote, print

1. Select print just as you normally would. On a Surface Pro 3, that means a right-click on the screen & select "print." (Or, in something like Word, select "File" >>> "Print.")

2. Select "change" >>> set "Print to OneNote" or "OneNote" as the destination.

3. Select "Print."

One Note will then pop up a screen allowing you to choose the OneNote Notebook where you want the document to print.

technology tips, writing

4. Once you choose the destination, press ok.

The document is now printed to OneNote!

Another cool feature of OneNote is that you can now Dock to Desktop (click here for instructions) anything that you printed. That way, you can view the printed document and your own work together (examples of your own work include a Word document, a blog draft in Chrome, or many other things, including just another OneNote page).

oneNote 2013

Note that a very long document will be shown as multiple pages. You can rename any or all of the pages. I tend to only rename the first page.

Documents in OneNote are completely searchable and can be copied and pasted.

Using this feature means I can do all of my legal research by printing Westlaw cases to OneNote. It means I can research blogs and write them while looking at the research. I am loving this feature.

Visit on Saturdays for more technology tips!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Planner Fit: The Importance of Handbag Size

I found a major score at my local Goodwill. A Baggillini Sydney Bag was only $4. Sure, it had an ink stain right across the front of the bag. But I am a planner guru. I could get out a little ink (with a stain stick and a toss in the washing machine).

See my planner in there? A Franklin Covey compact or a Filofax personal fits just right! And there are still plenty of pockets for cell phones, a small wallet, and keys.

what's in my bag, planner, Filofax, Franklin Planner

The bag came out looking brand new. I've been using it ever since and, well, wow. This may be my favorite bag ever.

The size is almost as tall as my water bottle, but it's a fairly thin crossbody, nylon bag.

NOTE: The first picture is truer to the actual color of the bag, but I provided this second picture for a size comparison.

Planner, Water Bottle, Baggillini

I realize these bags are usually more expensive (and I would definitely pay a lot more than $4, now that I know how lightweight, easy-to-clean, and high quality this bag happens to be).

But I would have made a bad deal had I not stood in the Goodwill store, pulled out my planner, and made sure that it fit nicely in the bag.

It did. In fact, this bag is about the smallest bag one can have and still comfortably fit a planner that measures under 5 X 7 inches.

So many people with planners use a huge handbag, tote, or leather briefcase. But I use my planner every day and everywhere. I use it to grocery shop, when hanging with friends, and at work. Why would I want to leave the house without it?

Next time you purchase a bag, consider whether it fits your planner. And if it doesn't, you might want to pass on that purchase, even if it is under $5.