Planning Essentials

Planning Essentials – Planning Post 3

Yesterday, I talked about some of the digital planning and project management tools I use. Today I’ll start talking about paper planning.

#PlannerPeace is something that’s hard to find, but I’ve gotten pretty close with my main planner. This planner is the one I use to help me plan personal stuff (everything from doctor’s appointments to house cleaning schedules) and I use it track my author tasks. All of those tasks I mentioned yesterday, I’ll put in my paper planner.

The main planner I use is the Get to Work Book. I LOVE this planner.


Things I love:

  • Chipboard cover. It’s held up really well and it’s really sturdy.
  • Space for reflections. I love having that space at the end of each month. I’m not crazy about the prompts given (they don’t work for how I usually do introspection) but I can easily adjust these to work for me.
  • Motivational quote and art. This page is removable, so I can pin it up on my board for the whole month if I want to. It’s also on a thicker cardstock for that purpose, too.
  • The neutral layout. I love adding my own colors depending upon the week and how I’m feeling. For example, I color-code the monthly layout (these colors match how I pre-plan). There’s also a lot of space to write everything in and make notes along the bottom.
  • The project pages before each month. I list things here months in advance (travel, personal or business tasks, things I want to get done that month). That way, when I reach that month, I’ve already got a list to start plotting out my month.
  • The weekly layouts. I love having the three boxes at the top for my priorities for that day. There is also a lot of room for lists and to-dos! Slim washi (see the pic in the bottom right) fits perfectly and easily divides out my weeks if I need it. For example, I track words written each day; splitting out the list like this gives me dedicated space to do that.
  • The month end and start. Because I do track things like total written per week and month, I love the way GTWB is set up. The month ends on one page in that month (my pic above is the end of September 2017). And then starts fresh in the next month (above is October). It’s split between both months so all of September is in September, and all of October is in October. Most planners would place the week where the months overlap either in September OR in October, but GTWB does both, so you can decide where/how you want your month to start.
  • Calendar and weekly starts. The calendar views are Sunday-Saturday, but the weekly views run Monday-Sunday. Some people don’t like that, but I LOVE it. My brain reads calendars Sunday-Saturday. But, on my weekly view, I need my weeks to start with Monday so my weekends are together (I do a lot of author stuff on the weekends).
  • The bookmark. This doesn’t come with a GTWB purchase, but I highly recommend picking it up. It is super sturdy and works great in this planner (plus other planners with similar O-ring binding).

This planner was created by Elise Joy (who I recommend following on Instagram, or even picking up her book 100 Pep Talks). There are a lot of other features in the GTWB, these were just some of the highlights. There are lots of walk-throughs on YouTube about this planner, too (including this one from Amanda’s Favorites).

As for accessories, here are some of my essentials (not including stickers or washi, which I’ll talk about in a future post).

Pen Essentials

I love Pilot Frixion pens because they’re erasable (but the good kind of erasable, not the kind of erasable pens there were in the ’90s). They work really well on the GTWB paper, too (at least in their standard planner; I’ve noticed some differences in their A5 planner paper). There are a few Pilot Frixion items I love:

Some other tools:

  • Slice Tool. This is great for cutting stickers or washi tape you might use on a spread, and for many other crafting and non-crafting uses.
  • Spatula. This was made to work with a Silhouette machine, but is great for placing small stickers, etc. on your spreads.
  • Ruler. I prefer a stainless steel ruler because I can also use it to easily cut washi, as well as use it to create boxes or other layouts on project pages, weekly spreads, etc. in my GTWB.
  • Pencil/Pen case. Essential for holding your writing utensils and I LOVE this one. I bought it at a local independent bookstore. Sadly, they don’t have it online on their site but it is available on Amazon here (they also have this case which I absolutely need to buy).

Pencil Case

If you’re wondering what planner I use for my day job, I’ve been trying out different ones. Right now, I’m using the Passion Planner (available on Amazon and their site). I won’t go into depth here, but here are a few differences and/or things I like about it.

  • You can choose either a Sunday start or a Monday start. This means that the Monthly Calendar and the Weekly layout will both start on the same day (either Sunday or Monday depending on the option you choose). This I don’t like (as I mentioned above); I’m continually entering things on the wrong day in my weekly layouts, but I do like other things about this planner.
  • The weekly layout is hourly. This allows me to easily see my meetings (and color-code them!).
  • Lots of space to write tasks. Because I don’t usually have meetings all day, every day, that means I’ve got lots of space to write tasks I need to do. Very helpful.
  • They also have a lot of goal setting tools built in. I don’t use these (I don’t need them as our goals at work are tracked differently) but other people might find it useful.

Overall, I’m liking using the Passion Planner for the day job. I’ll see how I feel at the end of the year before committing to using it next year.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about some of the other planners that are out there, and some of the other tools I sometimes use.

Do you use a paper planner? Comment on this post and let me know (if you’re receiving the blog by email, just click “Read More” to navigate to the blog page to comment).

This is Post 90 of 100 as part of the #100DaysofMKAuthorLife.

P.S. – Shameless Plug Time! Ripple (Persy & Sully) (Seaside Valleria #2), is coming out next Tuesday, July 3rd! If you haven’t pre-ordered yet, you can do so via the links below.

1 thought on “Planning Essentials – Planning Post 3”

  1. Pingback: Other Planners & Products - Planning Post 4 | Discover Valleria

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