How MB Uses Her 2016 Planner January 21, 2016 08:00

Hi Everyone,

Mary Beth here! As you all know, since you've been blasted by all of our social media, we released a 2016 Planner. We designed and created it ourselves, and it is something we are pretty proud of. Even though we meticulously thought through every decision regarding the layout, we too are experiencing it for the first time with you all. We did trials and felt it out in short bursts, but regarding the long haul, we are newbies just like you. One of the key features that sets our planner apart is the versatility. The layout is set up so that you can choose what you utilize each section for. Today I'm going to share the different ways I've been using my planner so far. Next week, it will be Becky's turn.

(As a side note, in case you don't make it to the end of this post, we really want to hear how you are using your planner and any positive or negative feedback you might have. We are already working on the 2017 UPstudio planner and desperately need all your thoughts. We want next year to be even better!)

So, let's start at the beginning... The double sided folder. Including the folder in our design was a non-negotiable in my mind. I have had so many planners in the past that either didn't have a folder or had one that was inconvenient to use (cough cough Moleskine). I also really wanted it big enough to put a folded 8.5x11 sheet of paper in, so that ended up driving our final planner size.

In the front folder, I put tons of miscellaneous stuff. (Note that for the pictures, I've blurred out stuff that is personal, or that gives away fun upcoming UPstudio stuff! But yes, I just upgraded to a new iPhone with Verizon.. haha)

UPstudio Planner has a double sided folder!

You can see in the picture above that the corners of my cover are getting a little worn. One of our goals for 2017 is a cover that will be more durable.

In the back side of the folder I keep all of our UPstudio receipts and miscellaneous things like envelope samples. Essentially a holding ground until I file things away.

UPstudio Planner has a double sided folder

My gold binder clip then takes me to the current monthly goals page. I've decided to use this area to put my monthly goals for UPstudio. Plenty of space. I think I'm going to like how it is divided into three sections. 

UPstudio Monthly Goal Sheet

The goals sheet is followed by the monthly layout. I'm using it to track UPstudio happenings. I include things like our social media posts, our blog posts, meetings, and events. I also have randomness on the side. I'm really focusing on collecting my random scribbles (the ones I used to write everywhere and not be able to find when I needed to reference them later) in my planner, anywhere I find space.

UPstudio Monthly Layout

Then my gold Christmas tree clip takes me to the current week... this is where the fun stuff begins!

UPstudio Weekly Layout

  • For the first two weeks I tried using the times on the left of the large section as a guide and boxing out my appointments. But I felt like I was wasting a lot of space, so I switched it up and decided to use that section as my daily to-do list. So far its been working out great. This way I can schedule to-dos in the future, like things I want to follow up on.
  • I've struggled with finding three things to fill the bottom section. The first two weeks when I was using the top section for appointments I tried using the three sections to subdivide my daily to-do list. I ended up overflowing the boxes regularly. 
  • I moved my daily appointments to one of the bottom three sections. 
  • I love to track things, so I decided to use one section for tracking stuff like steps, sleep, glasses of water I drink, etc. The options are endless. I'll probably try tracking different things each week to hone in on what I like to see weekly. I've also calculated averages at the end of the week to easily compare week to week. Tracking really helps me hold myself accountable. It's like a personal guilt trip!
  • In my final section I have my meal planning, or really tracking. With a newborn at home I've been eating out a lot, so this section is two fold in it's purpose: 1. to meal plan and 2. to make myself feel bad for eating out too much.
  • I'm in love with the graph paper on the bottom. I use it for my UPstudio weekly to do list. I put my shopping lists down there. I put misc. notes that aren't tied to a specific day. IN LOVE!

My third love (after the folder and graph paper on the weekly layout) is the 5 pages of graph paper at the end of the month! 

UPstudio graph paper in Planner

UPstudio Planner Plain graph paper

I've already used three of the pages to take notes at meetings, make lists, and brainstorm ideas. Sorry for the tons of blurred items. Don't want to give away all of the fun things UPstudio has in store for you!

If you can't tell, UPstudio is taking over my life, in a good way. Was our planner or our company created for the other? 

Tune in next week to see how Becky has been using her planner.