I adhere to certain aspects of being organized like one does religion. (And other aspects not-so-much). For me, it’s a neverending quest to obtain personal perfection—and it’s a damn fine stress reliever. It’s a stress reliever in a few different ways, the most obvious being that when you’re organized you save time because you have a handle on your shit. However, for me, the simple acts of getting organized are acts of meditation. Staying organized is one of the few things in this world that is within my control. And my type-a personality demands I hold on to and nurture the things within my control.
It is this personality quirk that requires careful monitoring when I walk into any office supply store. I will drop a small fortune on supplies that I think will help keep my life organized and in control. And Martha Stewart brand products are a mainstay in this ever quest of mine. About a year ago, I dropped some cash on a mint colored 6.5×9 inch ARC binder and many of its accessories. The amount of time I’ve put into perfecting and personalizing this system for myself is borderline obsessive. I take no shame in this. This pride probably stems from the same feelings of pride I had over my college edition FranklinCovey planner. #BigRocksFirst
The one thing that was lacking was quality, personalized planner pages. And I’m that person that wanted a page for tracking E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.NG. Ever heard of the 1,3, 5 rule? Do you goal plan? Do you meal plan? Are you a bullet journaler? Do you pick out your clothes before you go to bed at night? Because I do. Do you have small beings you look after? Like a really cute rescue pup? Do you run a business? Manage Clients? Because I do. And I craved planner pages that could keep track of and manage all of these personal aspects and business aspects of my life. So I fucking made them myself.
I am not a designer. Like I have a decent eye for it in some settings, but it’s not a muscle I flex often. And when I do, it’s usually by cobbling together other people’s designs that have inspired me. So I won’t take credit for the beauty or lack thereof with these planner pages. In fact, the basic design came from a template in Canva. What I will take credit for is their functionality and personalization that has developed over several months.
I first started with lined paper I cut out of same-sized journals. (I don’t like wasting paper in journals) and once I had the basic idea of how I wanted to go about keeping organized on the page, I worked on it in Canva—making alterations every couple of weeks.
I’m really damn happy with this most recent iteration and how my “Martha” has come together as a whole.
There are 3 pockets, 8 color dividers & 5 wide, color dividers.
Section 1: the month-view
Section 2: goal planning by month
Section 3: weekly plan
Section 4: day plan w/ 2 months at a time
Section 5: notes I want to keep for a bit (The ARC system is repositionable)
Section 6: blank, lined paper
Section 7: dotted graph paper
Section 8: unknown yet
I’m using the red, wide divider to mark what day I’m on. And another to mark the start of the next month. The remaining three I haven’t decided on yet. I also stick sticky notes to these dividers as well. I told you, I have a problem.
They say step one is admitting you have a problem. Raise your hand, are you this structured in your time management? And how would you customize your planner?