New Year, New Rules | Giftie Etcetera: New Year, New Rules

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Rules

I feel pressure to make sure that my first post of 2014 is FABULOUS. (It's all internal pressure from my perfectionism, rather than external pressure from my wonderful Loyal Readers.) This post should teach you something new, be witty and sparkly, and motivate you to be successful, happy, and beautiful inside and out.

My nails are fabulous. Isn't that good enough?

The truth is that a lot of what I post here isn't new. If I borrow an idea, I try to give credit for it. Some ideas are just buried so deep in my brain that I can't remember if I thought of them myself or if someone planted them in my brain, but they certainly aren't new ideas.

The new thing that I do offer (besides the social support for wearing weird nail colors, which is priceless, y'all...priceless) is a new perspective. The rules that I share in my blog aren't set in stone and can be tweaked to fit any situation.

I don't advise my Loyal Readers to do things MY way. Instead, I want to create for you an opportunity to do things YOUR way.

Lots of my Loyal Readers, for example, use an e-calendar or a spiral bound planner. They still use some of my suggestions. Some manage entire households of people. Others work outside the home for themselves or others or are single. I am not the typical day planner person. That person does not exist.

Since each of us is different, I suggest that revisit some of my older entries (mostly, I only talked about planning or organizing in the last year, so that should help), consider some of your personal struggles with a planner, and think about all the planning advice you've gotten from other blogs. Then, make three rules for yourself that YOU plan to stick to this year.

Three Planner Rule Challenge

I invite you to post YOUR top three planner rules for the upcoming year in the comments. In exactly a week from today, I will select one "top three planner rules" comment at random to receive a small RAK (random act of kindness, in planner speak) from me. I will announce the winner in the comments and on my blog on Wednesday, January 8. The winner will have 24 hours to respond with his or her email address so that I may communicate about sending the RAK.

Sorry, the RAK opportunity is only open to U.S. residents, though anyone may share his or her three rules. 

I've never done this before, but a small motivation might be all that you need to get you thinking about how you want to handle your planning this year.

My Three Planner Rules for 2014, just to get you started:

1. Plan for tomorrow TODAY.

I've been slacking about looking at my planner at night before I go to bed, as you can see here. It makes the mornings too difficult.

From now on, I will look at my planner each night, reschedule or do what is not done, and pack my bag for the next day (or take the meat out of the freezer, if I am staying home to cook).

2. Keep up with menu planning.

I am trying a new thing with a page in the middle of my weeklies. The page is from Target dollar spot and hole-punched (with my new Rapesco...thank you Santa) on both sides so that I can move it on Thursday nights to the other side of the page.

Menu planning always means that we eat healthier and better at a lower cost than going out to eat, so it helps my budget, my waistline, and my health. How can I skip something so critical to achieving all those New Year's Resolutions that I've been encouraging you not to make yet? :)

3. Write low priority household tasks and grocery items on the weekly pages, but in a low priority spot.

I am writing the tasks and grocery items right behind the new menu page. It's always out of sight, but available if I want to look at it (like when I am cleaning anyway or doing a grocery list). I was writing household tasks elsewhere and not actually getting around to them, but they clutter up my weekly tasks that are far more important (paying my traffic ticket, for example :( ) so that I miss things that I MUST do if the household stuff gets written on my normal weekly task schedule.

ASIDE: The little checklist stamp was a gift from my high school friend Heidi. She is smart and sparkly. I liked her in high school, but I did not appreciate and love her the way that I do now. I especially hope that she comments, even though she is probably not in the U.S. right now.

TIP: I also use the checklist when I need to group related items together in the planner itself, like errands for an errands day or cooking for a feed the freezer day. It creates a great visual for my brain to organize the like items.

Happy New Planner Day, Plannerds!

(For any non-planners reading this post, New Year's Day is when new planners get broken out and used for the first time, unless you are a school teacher, student, or on an academic schedule.)



Vanessa said...

My three rules are:
1. It's ok to get messy. My planner is supposed to be messy. I'm allowed to cross off things as much as I want. It doesn't have to be neat or perfect.

2. I don't have to wait until things are "right" or "special enough" to use the stuff I buy. I've broken myself from the habit of buying a nice pen/cute stickers/washi tape and then never using it in case of "ruining" it. Just do it!

3. I'm never going to remember so write it down, NOW. It takes two seconds and avoids frustration later.

Simple rules that I've (mostly) applied to other bits of my life. :)

Vanessa AT mixedmartialartsandcrafts DOT com in Minneapolis MN

AiseleT said...

My three rules:
1. Open my planner every single day even on lazy stay at home days
2. Process the papers I've put in my planner atleast once a week
3. Budget section is no longer for looks this year it's a must.

Unknown said...

My three rules:
1. Plan for the next day before I go to bed.
2. Use what I have, rather than let it sit and not use it.
3. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, if one is made, learn from it!

yezenia said...

My rules for this planner year are:
1. Focus on one area of my house each month. Tackle all those projects I've been putting off because I lack the funds to remodel. I AM a DIYer dammit, if I can't afford it, I can McGuyver something to at least deal with a situation until I can afford my ideal.
2. Make a habit of doing a weekly review on Sunday, or Friday if working the whole weekend. Incorporate the tick system to keep track of how many times a task gets bumped to quantify my procrastination.
3. Record future dates of things I'd really like to do to be able to ask for time off in advance. Too many times I forget that I want to attend an event only to miss it due to work.

Anonymous said...

My three rules are:
1) Look in the planner before committing to anything.

2) Plan to use the leftovers I put in the freezer right away. Write it down.

3) Check my running list on a weekly basis. Make checking it a routine thing to do.

Stacy said...

Well, I'm still waiting for my planner to arrive (it's been ordered) so I'm a newbie :) but my 3 rules for this year is:

1) USE IT every single day. It's new so I've got to get used to having it :)
2) TAKE IT WITH ME everywhere. I might need to get a new purse in order to do that but hey that just adds to the fun ;)
3) Make a menu every week - it makes things so much easier when I have my menus planned out.

Heidi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidi said...

Awesome post as usual!! Really like the smaller menu plan page in between your weekly and using the back for lesser priority to dos!

My rules for this year are:

1. Menu planning - Finish the plan (i.e., photocopy all remaining recipes for my binder) and stick to the plan.

2. Stop work projects at 4pm so I can review what I've accomplished and jot down what remains to be done for the next day's to do list. That way, I hope to be out of the office by 5:30pm daily.

3. Use my new "launchpad" every night so I don't forget the things I need for work the next day.

Anonymous said...

3 rules: Check the silly thing each night. Carry it with me everywhere. And lastly, write in it the dates I do things.
Thanks for prompting us.

Unknown said...

Here are my three rules:
1. keep my blood sugar log on my daily page so i remember to do it daily
2. finish one unfinished project per week.
3. Keep my planner updated daily...if i have time to be on facebook i have time to update...

Proverb Adams said...

HI Giftie!!!
I love your blog and read each new one to feel better about my planner ordeals.
My three new planner year goals are:
1) Do not be afraid to "make a mess" in my planner--no one sees this but me or family so who cares if it is messy?

2) Change is good; I am not married to one method of planning. If something doesn't work for me change it.

3) Use what I have and do not feel guilty or inadequate if my things don't keep up with the Jones'. I am a college student and a mother of three teenagers (one in college and two in junior and senior years) it is okay to not have the latest "stuff" or gadget in my planner. I can save up or get a cheaper option.

These may sound common sense to others but I need to remind myself of these things sometimes to curb my over-spending or over-thinking a new product. I am also very visual and OCD so when things don't look good I tend to redo and redo until I don't want it anymore cause there is no joy in the thing.
Happy New Year Giftie and everyone else...

tammies00 said...

My three rules are:

1- Stop trying to make it perfect. It will always be a work in progress. It does not have to be neat and perfect.

2- Open it every day and often during the day including a morning review of today's tasks/activities and a nightly review of tomorrow and the upcoming week.

3- Let hubby and kids add to my calendar/notes within reason. Since I am using mine as a journal/ planner. Having notes from them will be a blessing one day! Also, let them look at it for scheduling issues.

Anonymous said...

Here are my three:
1. Keep planner with me and up-to-date at all times.
2. Meal plan a week ahead; maintain a current food shopping list.
3. Record all spending to stay on budget.

Sandra Tirado

Unknown said...

My three are
1. My planner is always open on the counter every morning at my to do lists. Write down chores store errands, social events.
2. My planner is always color coded.
3. In my planner I like the month in a glance. I see ahead. My appointments, school events, bills, Birthdays. Which I will buy all my cards at once for the birthdays in that certain month.

Unknown said...

1. look at your planner at least 3 times a day.... are you on task or missing anything??

2. Write everything down, not committed to it write it in pencil!

3. Make lists! Keep ongoing lists of all your thoughts, meal plan, brain dump, shopping, parties etc! List's keep you organized!!

Keep on planning!
~Heather E.

Trish said...

My top three rules are:
1. Make it work for me. IF something someone else does is not conducive to what works for me or too complicated that I'll never remember it or even do then find a simpler way to get it done.
2. "On the paper off the mind" If it's on my mind put it in my planner,
3. Like Franklin promotes-make sure that your to dos are matching up to your to bes. If a task isn't going to further your goals or lines up with your overall self mission than it is probably a time waster and should be chucked out.

Kate said...

1. All to dos get written down, no matter how small. It's the little things that often get forgotten.

2. Review each week on Sunday and outline the week ahead.

3. It's ok to personalize. Just because I use my planner for my profession as we'll s my personal life does not mean that my planner hs to be all business all the time. Color, washi and stickers are ok"

Dicksi said...

My 3 are...
1-Review/modify my planner nightly. Plan for tomorrow TONIGHT before bed.
2-Planner should be easily assessible at all times to refer to, check off, modify, or add to...When a thought or need occurs, write it down ASAP.
3-Spend more time accomplishing plans; less time making plans cutesy & perfect!

paperscribe said...

1) Self-care is a task worth doing. Regularly include it in your to-dos.

2) Recognize that there will be days when things fall apart and nothing that was planned gets accomplished. That's OK. Keep Calm and Keep Planning.

3) Be a Planner Evangelist. Carry yours everywhere, pull it out and peruse it in Starbucks, the doctor's office, the grocery store. You may inspire someone to get organized, no matter if it's digital or paper they choose.


herthing said...

Top 3 planner rules for 2014:
1. Use planner to take multiple websites from half-hobby to legitimate businesses.
2. De-stress by brain dumping, constantly.
3. Evolve as I learn. Let go and grow.

Unknown said...

My three rules:

1. "If it's not written down, it doesn't exist." Every task gets written down.

2. Function before form. They're not mutually exclusive, mind you. You can have both, but I have to keep in mind that my system has to work for me. I don't work for my system.

3. Daily and weekly reviews pay huge dividends. Do them consistently.

TJ said...

#1. Have fun with my planner. It's not rocket science.
#2. Don't compare other people's planners!
#3. Stick to what works for me.

Skaerup said...

My three rules:
1. One life, one planner
2. Carry it EVERYWHERE and use it daily
3. My perfect system is not hiding on the WWW, it has to evolve organically, to suit my specific needs.

Annie N. said...

i am a planner newbie at age 55 :) i have felt overwhelmed with the possibilities of decorating and customizing it, was not sure where to start. so my first rule is ... use my planner every day and think about blinging it up later.

my 2nd rule is to facilitate menu planning so i will keep menus/shopping lists up to date in my planner.

my 3rd rule is to add the info. i need to it immediately ... e,g, if i am going to be crafting something make sure i put my store coupon and fabric swatch in it right away so i'm not at the store saying "D'OH what color ribbon do i need?"

for my first planner i selected a FC Boston, classic size in green. i love the color and the buckle. and it was on sale.

Anonymous said...

I just watched your planner hacks video that I found on Pinterest then followed the link to your blog. I'm so glad I found it. Thanks so much for posting and showing such great ideas. I used a planner for years way back when my daughter was little and I couldn't live without it, but at some point it got hard to find refills for it (this was before internet was big *ack-I'm showing my age*), anyway I got out of the habit of using it. I don't have access to stores that sell all that stuff (I live in a very rural area - I'm in Louisiana, too, by the way) so I just ordered a new planner and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. I teach so I actually got another one for school things. My rules will be simple (1) Write EVERYTHING down, (2) Carry planner EVERYWHERE, (3) Consult planner AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE. I'm babbling and I don't usually leave comments on blogs or anything, but I wanted to tell you that your ideas are really great and thank you for sharing them. I will definitely be consulting your blog and youtube videos often!

Ashley and Jason Faucett said...

My three rules are:
1. Use my planner, even though I stay at home I can still use my planner.
2. Make sure my planning system is efficient for me and what I need.
3. Set up and have an efficient archive system

Unknown said...

My rules for this year are to BE CONTENT; just because I am bored with my planners looks does not mean the whole system needs to change. Also, it is ok that my planner pages are not mini works of art. Rule number two BE SELFISH; if my planner shows 2 hours available it is okay to make them two hours about me. Third rule FOLLOW UP; planners are for planning, that includes meals and do-nothing family time.

Anonymous said...

My number one rule that I find extremely hard to master is..... "You are the boss of what goes on your list but then the list becomes the boss of you". It's kind of a "plan your work and work you plan" saying but with teeth. :)

Take Care

Kristy C. said...

1. Everything gets crossed off each day, whether rescheduled or done.

2. Bills will be scheduled and paid on time! No more pointless late fees because I forgot to pay a bill!

3. Prepare for tomorrow today- pick out clothes, pack a bag, etc., to limit last minute surprises.

Unknown said...

1. Schedule the fun things...time to play with the kids, family movie night, family game night, and date night. I schedule appointments and kids activities...why not schedule the fun stuff instead of waiting to find the time for it to happen, which if course rarely happens.

2. Use the planner now...not when I think it should be "done". Obviously, it is always going to be a work in progress:)

3. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Menu plan, plan for fun time, and most importantly, plan for time for me ...scrapbooking, photo organization, craft time.

4. Schedule the laundry!...if I map it out, I won't be washing the cheer and basketball uniforms the hour before I need it.

Antonisha said...

My three rules are
1. Open and USE my planner everyday, even when I'm sick and in bed.

2. Acknowledge the fact that I don't remember anything and the obvious things to most people (like washing their hair and shaving) still need to be planned and written down in order for me to get them done.

3. Stop comparing my planner to everyone else's. As long as my system is functional for me, that is all that matters.

Unknown said...

My three rules:
1. Open it and leave it open on my desk each morning when I arrive at work.

2. Keep it with me and use it.

3. Take the time Sundays to review the upcoming week.

Unknown said...

My three rules:
1. Open it and leave it open on my desk each morning when I arrive at work.

2. Keep it with me and use it.

3. Take the time Sundays to review the upcoming week.

Holly H. said...

I have 4 rules for this year.
1. Use it everyday and ifi decide the set up isn't working for me, know that it is on to change mid-year.
2. Write EVERYTHING down! The chores I hate doing will get done if I can highlight them at the end of the day.
3. Communicate with my husband and write down his appointments and plans too.
4. Use the finance pages to stay within our budget.

Unknown said...

Love..Love..LOVE your blog!! Thanku!!
My 3 rules
1. Each Sunday review week past and week ahead
2. Use my "weekly" as a gratitude, blessings journal and write 1-2 sentences the following morning. Describing a special memory, moment or blessing!
3. Sunday review recipes and write up a menu plan, to save time, money and to eat healthier!!
Here's to a FABULOUS New Year my friends!!

Lori-Anne said...

1. Collect it
2. Review it.
3. Do it.

Anonymous said...

Giftie, I love your posts, long may you continue blogging.

My 2014 rules:

1. Check daily, and throughout the day, because just thinking about things on or to add to my weekly 'to do' list is an organic and creative process. (Yesterday it occurred to me to plan to book all my kids' 2014 year haircuts for a week before their birthday / Christmas / concert photo opportunities so they stop looking so scruffy in photos - this would never have even occurred to me if I didn't have a planner.)
2. Face my fears in my Filofax, by naming what I am procrastinating about, and working on a 'next action' plan to keep moving forward.
3. Integrate my 2014 goals achievably either on my daily Filofax pages (I tick through a template page with hole-punched columns in the middle, identifying my progress on simple daily goals) or with easily accessible functionality (as I am a perfectionist and procrastinator and lousy at housework, one goal is to tick off as many items on my tabbed one-page housework checklist as I can randomly do in one hour, like some crazy exercise workout.)

Wilted Acres said...

1. Tweak my system to find something that works with the understanding that this is a process that will continue to evolve.
2. Relax if pages aren't decorated. It's a planner, not a scrapbook!
3. Review it every. single. day.

Unknown said...

My three rules:

1. Don't be afraid to change up your setup - but make sure it's NECESSARY!

2. Keep absolute "must do today" tasks SEPARATE from the "would like to do," brain dump-y tasks.


I love your rules! Definitely good to keep organized. :)

Maby said...

My 3 rules are:

1. Use it! make time daily to look at it and keep myself accountable for what I say I'm going to do.

2. Follow my house chores list. I have created what I think is a very doable (for me) list so I should be able to do that

3. Stop trying to make it perfect. change as I go if things need to adjust but be open to change and to things being a work in progress.

Unknown said...

My three rules are: 1. Take it EVERYWHERE. If Im there, its with me and generally open. 2. Write it down. No more thinking "I'll remember that" or "I'll write it later neatly." At a minimum, I write it on my dashboard for now. 3. Figure out what works for ME (not everyone else) and know that what works may change over time. I'm still working on my perfect balance between my work and personal planner needs.

Ashley Fontana said...

My three rules:

1. Look at my planner everyday, it's a must to make it through the day! I've added color this year to make it pretty so open the dang on thing!
2. Don't worry about making it neat, no one sees it but me and maybe my husband. If my handwriting is a little jacked up its ok!
3. Write everything down, even the little details I don't think will matter, they will at some point! I'm going to be prepared! I use my planner for to-do lists, bills, menus, appts, etc. But this year I want to recap at the end of everyday. Who I talked to on the phone, what we discussed etc. Just a quick recap so next month when someone says they mentioned something to me I have a slight record of it.

A "Mild" Child's Mom said...

My 3 planner rules are:
1. Keep it neat, not perfect.
2.white space is not a bad thing.
3.WRITE IT DOWN in the planner.

Pam said...

Rule#1: Check planner each nite to checkoff and plan for next day
Rule#2: plan for and document 2014 word "action" in planner daily
Rule#3: Daily meal planning and protein intake.

Pam said...

Rule#1: Check planner each nite to checkoff and plan for next day
Rule#2: plan for and document 2014 word "action" in planner daily
Rule#3: Daily meal planning and protein intake.

FaithfulRunner262 said...

Love, love love your blog! My three rules:

1. Keep my planner open and write down all my thoughts in the "brain dump" section; at the EOD, move only the really important items on next day's "to do list".

2. Write down 3 and ONLY 3 tasks that MUST be done in one day. If I have more than 3 things I need to re-evaluate my set up!

3. My planner is fluid and a constant WIP. I tweak it each month to better suit my needs and way of thinking. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so if something in the planner isn't working for me after that period of time, it's time to change it.

ZoeAnn Yussman said...

My planner rules:

1) Look every night at the next day's page so I can be prepared

2) Use sticky note for tasks which are not time sensitive (people I need to contact, cards to be sent) and move it day to day until complete

3) Quit worrying about what COLOR I write in- its my planner so I can do what I want… if it looks a mess OH WELL. As long as I use my planner I am a happy girl.

Team Meadows said...

First, thank you for all your posts.....your topics are spot-on....with the right amount of humor inserted! Love reading them! :) are my 3 planner rules for the new year....
1) Make more effort to update my planner....on a more regular basis. (Which essentially means quit relying on PostIts...transfer them onto that day's list frequently)
2) Sync calendars! I need to do a better job of, personal, & organizations planners will be soooo much happier!
3) Continue to allow my creativity to flow in my planners..... I ♥ doodads in them! Makes my heart happy to have pages that scream joy! :)
Enjoy your day....and hope you're feeling better today!

LeAnne said...

My top 3 rules:
1) Look at it every day.
2) Plan meals for the week.
3) Follow my daily list of "bare minimum tasks to keep things moving forward at home so I don't get too behind.

PamF said...

Giftie, thank you so much for sharing such great tips/advice with us. I have truly enjoyed reading and gleaning from your blog. I've caugt the "Plannerd" bug.

So my three rules for my planner are:
1) Carry my planner with me EVERYWHERE. I am transitioning from a rather larger Classic Franklin Covey zippered planner to a Bullet Journal, using an Office Max Moleskine-like gridded journal that I have hacked to include my modified version of DIYfish's Life Mapping Version 2 monthly/weekly task inserts. This I have placed in an At-A-Glance Zippered Planner Cover. I am also transitioning into my 2nd (and much larger) crocheted/lined totebag I made to my own specs so that I have more space to carry it with me EVERYWHERE.

2). Be proactive and review my planner weekly/daily, "get'er done", and be consistent. Set aside time to plan my week and review daily so that I'm not running around all willy-nilly and don't skip over the hard tasks and wait until their deadlines are on top of me (too much stress).

3). Plan our weekly menu and my craft/home projects. Up 'til now I have been flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to getting meals on the table and my projects get in where they fit in, which usually meant trying to do a little before bedtime and eventually staying up late into the night/early morning or stealing the time away from something more important that needed to be done (this is called not prioritizing with a little bit of procrastination mixed in when it come to those hard more important tasks). :)

This is the plan and I endeavor to stick to it.

Giftie Etcetera said...