8/16/2013

Oh how I love a good planner

{Please check out this years blog post, My addiction to my plannerswith updated information, links and pictures of the newest planners available! Including the latest Teacher Planner!}

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By now it's no shocker to any of you that I'm an OCD freak. I hate when the towels in the bathroom don't all match, a freshly made bed with even the smallest of untamed wrinkles makes my left eye repetitively twitch, and I group practically everything in my life by color. It's sad but oh so undeniably true. And because of this I bet you'd totally assume that I'm one of those sad individuals who stands in stationary stores hugging and sniffing and drooling over planners and post it's and stickers, right?

Well, in assuming that, you'd be correct. Because I do. 

Always have. Always will. 

I love planners for various reasons, but the main one boils down to this: the idea of having an organized, color coded, post-it friendly all important book of everythingness makes me about as weak in the knees as spying on David Beckham in the locker room shower after a sweaty soccer match. 
I love the convenience of carrying my compact binded paper version of my brain around with me in my Mary Poppins purse until I feel the need to bust it out in Starbucks, or my classroom, or the grocery store. Appointments, birthdays, phone numbers, reminders to pay bills, upcoming dinner dates, shopping lists, to-do's, honey-do's, addresses, passwords, lesson plans, mileage for work...it's all there. It's all color coded and highlighted and well organized in my all important book of everythingness and not floating around like soggy cheerios in my brain.
When I write it all down I can stop stressing, stop remembering, stop wondering and finally relax.
I actually fall asleep at night.

And yes, I know. There are those of you out there thinking "why the hell would you lug around a planner when you could just put it all in your phone?!"  To which I say: hell no I won't go to the dark side! Call me crazy, but I'm just one of those people who can't completely make the switch from writing lists and notes and important information on actual paper with an actual ball point pen. Even with an iPhone, the idea of everything being stored digitally freaks me right out. There's room for error there, friends. I've had many a phone break and many a computer crash. What's more, we spend so much of our time completely consumed by technology it's nice to break away from that and enjoy something malleable and real right in front of you.I need to see it all laid out. I need to be able to flip back and forth like the fancy secretary I've always dreamed of being. I need to mark special occasions with brightly color (coded, of course) post-it's. I need dividers, and zip pockets and lined paper. I need to smell fresh ink and stain my palms with fluorescent pinks and oranges and greens.

  Apple just can't give me that.

Friends, in my mind a good planner is nothing but pure, homemade, no GMO or artificial flavorings added
 awesomesauce

Over the years, my quest to planner awesomesauce-ness had lead me to some real duds. I've had planners that were too small, too colorless, too boring and too expensive. I've had everything from generic planners at WalMart, to fancy FiloFaxs to my most recent purchase, an Erin Condren planner. And while I've really enjoyed certain aspects of each - I've never been 100% satisfied. The generic planners were flimsy and bland, the FiloFax's are way too small for me, and while I loved my Erin Condren for it's funky colors and personalized cover, it was kinda pricey and I feel like with their expansion they're kind of losing that small-business-great-customer-servicesness that was once goin' on. So when my friend Jen designed her very own personalized printable planner for her Etsy shop, I thought I'd died and gone to the all mighty planner heaven. 
The Polka Dot Posie Printable Planner is less expensive than all of those fancy ones you can order online or buy in stores as all you really need to pay for is your paper, printer ink (if you're running low), and the binding of your choice. The planner comes as a digital file (no shipping fees- whoop whoop!) with a customized cover and is SO COLORFUL, well laid out, spacious and totally able to be personalized to fit your needs. In addition, Jen recently shared a ton of seriously amazing free-printables that you can print and slip in wherever you see fit.. I've never before had designated pages for my passwords, an account register, menu planning, shopping lists or lesson plans like I do now. So brilliant! 
And in addition to the Home Management Binder printables, you can (as I did) add unbelievably adorable Christmas Printables to your December section in order to help keep track of gifts purchased, upcoming Christmas parties or friends and family you'd like to send cards to. I mean seriously, you can never have too many fun Christmas related items in your life. It's the best time of the year. 

But even with all of the beautiful colors and adorable fun Christmas lists, the God's honest truth is that when Jen first mentioned a printable planner I was a teeny tiny bit weary. Ya see, technology and I have issues from time to time - a true love hate kind of relationship - so the thought of printing my own planner freaked me out. I thought it would be hard, I thought I'd mess it up and I thought I'd get halfway through and want to beat my printer with a baseball bat.  I am happy to report that, thankfully, none of that happened. We did lose power halfway through printing because a transformer blew - oh, and my sisters FOR SALE signs for her car made an unplanned appearance at one point, but aside from that all was well and smooth! 

Jen has designed a Polka Dot Posie Blog where she's done a fabulous job of explaining in detail (with pictures, thank God!) how to print your planner. The only slight adjustment to her instructions I had was when I discovered my printer wouldn't allow me to do two-sided printing. I tackled that obstacle by writing down all of the page numbers I'd be printing. I then circled all of the odd numbers and printed those first (doing 10 pages at a time to allow for drying etc) and made sure I'd crossed off the completed pages once they'd printed. After printing the odd pages, I loaded them back into the paper tray and printed all of the even numbers (again, doing 10 pages at a time). It's a system that I found really worked for me, and I was able to do other things (like watch The Little Couple, or drink a glass of wine) while the pages were printing, without fear of re-printing pages I'd already done.

Once the pages had printed - putting the planner together seriously took like 2 minutes.
Well, perhaps a little longer because Bobbi Jo wanted attention...
(check it out guys, even CATS want in on the action!)

Thanks to Jen's suggestions on her blog post, both my sister and I chose to bind our pages using the Martha Stewart Discbound Notebook (which I got on sale at Staples. Heeeey!) and boy am I so glad I did! The truth is that I'd never heard of a 'discbound' notebook before Jen suggested it, and when I got home I really looked like an ass while trying to figure out how the hell the papers clipped in (probably because they don't. Ha!). In fact, I vaguely remember mumbling"how do you even open these freakin' things?!" while poking and prodding the little black discs. But, after a little more investigation of the shiny new discbound hole punch Sister and I purchased, the realization that I was not back in the day of crappy 3 ring binders dawned and in no time I was wine sipping, paper punching and disc sliding my shiny new planner into shape. 

For the record:  
whoever invented the discbound system deserves a pat on the back, large alcoholic beverage and monument resurrected. How we survived without these things before now, I'll never know. This puppy is going to get some serious use once school starts up!
Below is evidence of my handiwork.  And while I am tickled pink with the planner itself, these overexposed sunshiny iPhone pictures are a bit craptastic. Sorry guys.

Ta-da!!

Not only am I over the moon with my Printable Planner, but I'm so unbelievably proud of my friend for having created something so versatile and awesome. Jen, you're so talented girlfriend! A true gem! Put the kids to bed tonight, pour yourself a bucket size glass of wine, pat yourself on the back and demand Eric give you a massage! Never before have I got so many compliments on a planner, or had so many people ask me where they can buy one - not even with my Erin Condren. And in all the planners I've had, I've never had enough space to write. Never loved every aspect of the funky colorful design (seriously- polka dots, chevron and freakin' quotes from You've Got Mail - MY ALL TIME FAV?!?! Pinch me please!!) And never before have I ever felt a sense of accomplishment when I opened my planner for the first time. In printing and putting this together, I had total freedom to choose where I wanted my contacts list - or the ability (FINALLY) to add a Password Tracker page (honestly, you know how happy this specific page made me). For the first time in Amanda Planner history, I've got something that totally meets my needs, something that I had a little tiny hand in creating. That's so awesome. 

So thank you, Twinnie, for sharing with all of us a little bit of your pure, homemade, no GMO or artificial flavorings added awesomesauce
You're the best!

89 comments:

  1. What a FABULOUS POST!!!! Oh my gosh...you sold me on my own planner. Hahahaha!! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see people using it and loving it as much as I do. Thank you so much for sharing all this...it will be a great resource for everyone interests in learning a little more about the set. Thank You So Much Twinnie!!!!!!! xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Twinnie! You did such a great job, I just had to brag :) Love ya! xoxoxo

      Delete
    2. Is there a 2016 version of this? Looks gorgeous!!

      Delete
  2. WOW!!!!!! This planner is like my happy place! I must get one!! With the Christmas pages and the meal planning... all in one book!!!! Oh my! I'm giddy! haha! But where did you get the binding?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's seriously amazeballs, Jess!

      I got the discbound binding at Staples! It's $12.99, unless you use a coupon like I did (Staples has one available on their website!)

      Here's the link if you want to purchase it online:
      http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/StaplesCategoryDisplay?catalogId=10051&errorUrl=&interceptedCatEntryId=589353&identifier=BI586524&langId=-1&storeId=10001&ilAutologinUserId=1108342850&URL=

      Sonya and I went half's on the Arc Brand discbound hole punch because we'll use it in the future to create additional books for work. The Arc punch is about $45 at Staples, but if you're looking for a cheaper option, you could purchase this Circa portable punch for half that price: http://www.levenger.com/Circa-Notebooks-326/Circa-Punches-328/Circa-1-2-3-Portable-Punch-8704.aspx)

      If you didn't want to go the discbound route, you could always bind it other ways. There are cute inexpensive 3 ring binders you can buy, or you could get it professionally bound!

      Either way, I promise you'll love it!!

      Delete
  3. This looks so amazing!! That's the kind of planner I need in my life. I might have to get myself a printer first though xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! You especially would love this Laurenzo! It's so colorful and neatly put together! Any teachers best friend!

      But yeah, a printer would be kinda awesome ;) xxxx

      Delete
  4. Does it come in half size?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does now come in a small size! That's the size I've printed this year!

      Delete
  5. Hi Amanda!

    I have a Junior Arc that I absolutely love and I love PDP's printables! Just a question about yours - did you laminate your lesson planner page? Is that a dry erase marker I see on it? How is that working for you?

    Thanks!!

    Alyssa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alyssa!

      I used a plastic Arc pouch, and then I made notes using a dry erase marker. I wiped the marker off using a Magic Eraser. Although, I think this year I plan to laminate some of the pages in the teacher planner I'm printing from Jen (it's amazing, and only just came out! Check out her website for more info!)
      :)

      Delete
  6. Great post! I'm currently setting up my discbound planner and I love it! Where did you get that zipper pouch? I've been looking everywhere for one!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I totally love this!!

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  8. OMG this is so amazing, so good. How do I download this?

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  9. I love this post so much, I have some questions. What did you use for your planner cover? And what size did you get the binder rings?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Amanda...is there anyway possible you could bless me by making me one just like the one you did with every and all goodies? I have no access to computer or printer and would be willing to pay for time and supplies and shipping and handling. Please email me at amyejoyce2009@y7mail.com

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  14. So, how much would you charge to put together a complete planner for the calendar year 2016? I'm a full-time student and single mom. Putting this together would involve more time and energy that I have at my disposal. Please let me know.... Thanks!

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