Tag Archives: planner

Adventures with planners

I’ve been keeping planners some time now. Originally, I used one of those planners you get from an office store, but didn’t like the size or the cost. Insert packs also cost money and many layouts didn’t work so well for me.

composition notebooksI shifted to bullet journaling. A bullet journal uses blank pages or pages with a dot or graph sheets. You design whatever you need using the dots or squares to help guide you. I used a regular composition notebook with lined pages, and where bullet journals can include very artistic styles, I kept pretty simple.

But I grew tired of having to draw out the calendar and weekly spreads. I wanted something printed.

pageI shifted to a mini 3-ring binder. This was fine because I could use lined, graph, or dotted pages, or just design my own layout to whatever I needed. Even then, I got tired of the time spent designing. I wanted the pre-printed stuff.

happy plannerThen I discovered <dramatic pause> the Happy Planner! It comes in three different sizes so I went with the classic 7×9 size. I can remove any pages, including the cover, so I could design my own pages or buy inserts. I can add sections, move them, or remove altogether. I can keep the entire year in the planner, but prefer to work with three months at a time, so this gives me room for my own sections.

Personal– Here I have a list of crafts I want to make, a list of books I want to read this year, a worksheet entitled ‘this is me’ where you list fears/weaknesses vs courage/strengths. It gives some perspective on myself. I have a page dedicated to accomplishments. I have a ‘reward list’ where I put things I want providing I achieve goals for myself.

Business– This includes a brain dump section for products/service ideas, and pages for various things I work on such as my Learnthepc.net business or my online Zazzle store.

Finances– This tracks income versus spending.

Writing– I keep a brain dump page for random thoughts and ideas, a writer tracker, blog title list, story ideas, brief plots for novels, and ideas for non-fiction ebooks.

Meetup– Here, I keep ideas for workshops, writing games, a list of food I can make for the group for snacks, and a brain dump page for things I want to add to the site or newsletter.

stickersI make my own stickers to add things like when my husband works, when I babysit, or go to my mom’s to clean, when the moon is full, birthday and other events, holidays, and bill payments. I even made blood donation stickers for when I give to the Red Cross.

I hope to publish my pages and stickers so others can use them. I even have plans for sticker themes packages, and pages for things like students, teachers, homemakers, business owners, and more. So many ideas, so little time.

I want the month of August to the be the month I focus on action, getting things done. While I do this, I will blog regularly and share freebies from time to time.


Well hello, 2016!


I was so glad to see 2015 fall behind because the year was less than successful for me. Hopes for this year are high, and I intend on plunging into things pretty quick.

My Resolutions:

  • Write and publish regularly. If I call myself a writer, I need to be writing. This means also sharing what I write with the world. I’m also keeping this a general goal because I will publish non-fiction as well as fiction.
  • Lose 30 lbs. I’d love it if I could lose the weight by Summer- typical, I know, but I’d be happy with losing anything any time through the year. I also include getting fit because I’m not liking this ‘old lady’ body I have now.
  • Cultivate Focus! I’ve started on this goal by cutting way back on tasks and responsibilities. Where my brain was scattered over 20 or so things, now I focus on a handful of top priorities.
  • Develop and implement online courses. Local business just hasn’t worked out so I want to explore providing lessons via the Internet instead.
  • Get Daniel ready for college. This is perhaps the most challenging goal- being responsible for another human being to find success in life. He’s in 10th grade now, and will graduate in only a few years.
  • Be more active on my blogs and web sites. I’ve narrowed down my list of blogs/sites and figured on a schedule that doesn’t overwhelm or burn me out.

There are other little goals, but these are the main ones I will focus on.


I setup my planner by altering a Composition Notebook with scrap paper and using a pretty blue duct tape for binding. I stamped the quote on the cover.

I made ones before for the month, but this time, I will use it for 3 months, making another notebook for blogging/sites. This will be tasks and daily stuff.


Inside, on the left, I made a pocket for calendars so I can switch them out, with the lower purple area (an envelope) to put in my goals. This is printed and slipped in, but I can also include the minor goals in the same pocket.

The right side includes bills for the month (printed on a card), with post it notes for ideas that I can paste onto pages for my task list. I will also include a page for writing word counts, minutes of exercise, and weight changes.

I’ll be sharing my blog planner when I finish it too.

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What I’m up to… trying to focus

findingfocusThomas Frank on YouTube “How to Focus Your Priorities and Narrow Down Your Interests – College Info Geek” really struck a chord in me. I look up tips and tricks for focus and productivity, but this video really helped me understand what I was doing wrong.

He talks about a story about Warren Buffet’s advice on prioritizing success. Basically, you make a list of the top 25 things you want to do. Now make another list of the top 5, from that list, you want to do most.

One might assume you focus on the top 5, putting aside the rest for later, but the advice is that you don’t- you avoid the rest at all cost. It distracts you from those top 5 things.

taskThis was serendipitous for me since I’ve had issues focusing and having too much to do, then not doing anything. I’ve been cutting back on meetings, events, and things that don’t serve me in the long run.

Give yourself fewer choices. Too many choices tends to cause indecision for people, according to the Paradox of Choice. (see his video here).

I’ll be posting more in the way of current events, but in the meantime, this is what I’ve done lately;

  • Compiled and published a Writer’s Planner, which is for sale for $2.99. This is for printing, cutting out, and adding to any composition notebook to create a planner.
  • Updated my sharonpoffinber.com web site by switching from a paid hosting to Weebly (free). Streamlined the pages and what I’ve added.
  • Played a lot of Dragon Age Inquisition on Xbox 360.
  • Skipped Halloween/Samhain this year after being sick for so long. It worked out because we didn’t get the crowds of trick-or-treaters we did in past years.
  • Had a falling out with a friend/client over a misunderstanding. I doubt it will work out. You live and learn.
  • Put off publishing the Writer’s Group anthology until later this month. I’ll post more about this later.
  • WP_20150829_14_12_13_Pro 1Made myself a planner from a composition book. Looks good and functions great. This includes a calendar, charts to track writing, blogging, exercise, and business. It is designed for only a month, though.