Organisation is one of my favourite topics.

I’m not claiming to be particularly good at it, you understand: I mean, I still have a long way to go before my home looks anything like any of the Pinterest boards I’ve been trying to model it on, but I do try, and that’s at least half the battle, right? Oh, and I’m just a little bit obsessed with stationery… which means that every January (or December, rather), I get to go through the thoroughly enjoyable process of working out how I’m going to organise my blog and my life over the course of the next year.

I’ve done a couple of these posts in the past, but my methods of getting organised tend to change slightly over time (plus, I never get tired of talking about them, apparently), so here’s how I’m doing it in 2017…

notebooks and tulipsYou're Better Than Unicorns and You Rule So Hard pens by Ban.do

organization for bloggers

pile of pink and gold notebooks

how to organise your blog and your life : how I'm getting organised for 2017Paper Vs digital

Although my iPhone is rarely out of my hand (other than those times when I’m randomly dropping it on the ground, and shattering the screen, obviously…), when it comes to forward planning, I much prefer good, ol’ fashioned pen and paper. I’m not really sure why, because my handwriting is so bad that I can barely read it myself, but I just prefer to get some things down on paper, so while I do use the ‘Notes’, ‘Reminders’ and calendar apps on my phone to keep track of things on the go, if I’m sitting down to plan a week’s worth of blog posts, or brainstorm ideas, say, I’ll want a notebook for that. Preferably a pink or gold one, as you’ve probably guessed from the photos. Believe it or not, I actually didn’t choose to give 2017 a colour theme, it just sort of picked itself. Not complaining, not judging…

Because I know someone will bring it up, I did toy with the idea of a Bullet Journal, and even briefly started one last year, but, I dunno, it all just seemed a bit too complicated for my liking? I realise that will sound ridiculous to those of you who have one, and that the beauty of the bullet journal system is that you can make it whatever you want it to be, but I kept forgetting what all of the various symbols were supposed to mean, and would constantly forget to number my pages, or update the index, so I gave up after a couple of weeks and just accepted that I need some kind of predetermined structure to my planner if I want it to work. (Also, I know it’s not obligatory to decorate them, but I kept seeing all of these beautifully illustrated journals on Instagram, and as I have neither the time nor the talent for all of that, I felt a bit like I was letting the side down, to be honest) So, here’s what I’m using instead…

ban.do I Am Very Busy planner

January blog planner

calendar page in blog planner

ban.do I Am Very Busy planner

diary page in Ban.do blog planner

stickers from Ban.do blog plannerThe Blog Planner

Yeah, it’s that same Ban.do planner every second person on Instagram has right now. What can I say? It would appear that I’m as basic as it gets – please pretend you didn’t already know. In my defence, I didn’t just buy this because I thought it would look good on Instagram. I mean, it was mostly because of that, but the fact is, over the years, I’ve tried quite a few different planners for my blog, and so far this is the one that best meets my requirements. Those are actually pretty simple, as it happens: I basically need a month-to-view calendar, with boxes big enough for me to write in the titles of each blog post, plus some kind of weekly diary which I can use to note down goals and tasks for the week. And that’s pretty much it, really.

This planner wasn’t specifically designed for bloggers, but it has both of those options, plus a bunch of blank pages for notes, and a whole lot of stickers… which I confess to not having used at all so far, because, like I said, I’m not really into decorating notebooks, and I never really know what to do with stickers. (Er, I obviously know I should stick them on things, it’s just deciding which things that stumps me. What if I put a sticker on one thing, then I decide I don’t like it there, and that I’d rather stick it somewhere else, for instance? WHAT IF, people? I just can’t commit to stickers. Maybe therapy would help?)

OK, so maybe I don’t need the stickers, but I do use everything else in this, which sets it apart from my LAST planner, which seemed awesome at the time, but which had a ton of pages which I just never, ever used. As for how I use this one, meanwhile, well, that method hasn’t really changed: basically, when I have an idea for a blog post, I’ll pencil it into the next available slot (taking account of any “‘themed”days: i.e Fridays are for ‘Three Things‘, Sundays are for blog tips, etc…), then, once the post is written and scheduled, I’ll go over it in ink, using a different colour for each different category – fashion, beauty, life and blogging.  That allows me to see the month at a glance, and to quickly decide if there’s too much of one topic and not enough of another, or whatever. (That’s what it’s supposed to do, anyway… sometimes I will end up posting about the same damn thing all week, but I try not to worry about it too much). I use the weekly diary section, as I said, to write down my tasks and goals for each week, and the blank pages are for yearly goals, passwords, and other blog-related things I might need to remember.

I feel guilty about not using the stickers. I will write it down as a ‘To Do’ for next week.

gold glitter 2017 diaryThe Diary

Everything (or most things) blog-related goes into the pink planner (Not to be confused with The Pink Panther…), so everything else I need to remember goes into this little gold diary, which I picked up in Sainsbury’s last month. This is basically where I organise my life, so any appointments, birthdays, anniversaries etc go in here. Er, I mean, I’m sure you’re familiar with diaries, aren’t you? I’ll stop explaining this one, then, and simply add that I went for a pocket-sized diary this year because I don’t really have a life find that most of the planning I do tends to revolve around work anyway, so I don’t need a huge amount of space for everything else. I no longer keep a “proper” paper diary – partly because I do so much “journaling” here on the blog that I don’t really feel the need for one, and partly because I really wasn’t joking when I said I can barely read my own handwriting.

(I did briefly take up “proper” journaling last year, but I ended up transferring it all to a Word document on my laptop, because although I said I prefer pen and paper for organising, that definitely isn’t the case with writing. It’s just much easier and quicker for me to type something than to write it by hand, and it also has the benefit of being legible, too, so if I ever do get the urge to spill my guts to a blank page, it’ll be a blank page on a computer screen, thanks very much.)

I do, however, still do some writing by hand, and I do it here:

collection of notebooks and planners

selection of slogan notebooksThe Notebooks

Notebooks are one of the great joys of life, as far as I’m concerned, and no matter how many I have, I can never resist the lure of just one more … especially one with a bit of a motivational slogan on the front, because, like I said, basic. (All of the notebooks in the photo came from TK Maxx, by the way, which is an awesome source of stationery – just don’t blame me if it ends up bankrupting you) I currently have three main notebooks on the go, with a bunch of other ones also in regular rotation. Of the three you can see above, however, one (‘Good Vibes Only’) is for anything blog-related that didn’t go into the planner: so, random ideas for posts, lists of things I need to do but know I’ll never get round to – that kind of thing. The ‘Just Be You’ notebook, meanwhile, is for a top secret project I’m working on at the moment, and contains everything pertaining to that, and the ‘Fear Less’ book is my daily gratitude log, which my ‘Three Things Friday’ posts come from.

And that’s about it! Well, sort of: as I said, I do use my iPhone’s calendar and ‘notes’ app from time to time, plus a bunch of other, random notebooks which contain anything that doesn’t fit into the three above. Er, it’s much less complicated than it probably sounds, I promise: and it works for me… for now. I’m sure I’ll have another one of these posts for you next year, when I’ve decided to change things up again (or to buy a new diary and planner, at least), but for now, this is how I’m organising my blog and my life.

How do you organise yours?

15 Comments
  1. These pictures are so pretty – they just make me want to run out and buy stationery!!! Why can I never have enough? I have so many notebooks, but always want more. I used to have a habit of not using the prettiest notebooks as they were too nice to ruin by actually writing in them! I’m getting better at that, though, after giving myself a stern talking to! I’d find that I’d save them for some unspecified special reason that was to be worthy of the beauty of the stationery… but I’d end up going off it before that ever happened – so I decided to just use them when I was still in love with them!
    You made me laugh regarding the stickers!! I always see other people use stickers and decorate planners and they look so good, but I just don’t know where to start – like you say, a sticker is a BIG commitment… well I ever be THAT sure this very sticker belongs in this very spot???
    Thanks again for an interesting post on the methods you use to organise, and for the gorgeous stationery eye-candy.
    Maria

  2. very envious of your stationary collection after these photographs – it’s amazing.. those pens! I’m completely with you on the paper vs’ digital planning. I feel like once I’ve wrote something down on an actual piece of paper it’s more likely to get done!
    jen | velvet spring

  3. I’ve never been able to use a planner, not once in my life. I’ve trying to get into them because you know- organisation, but I just can’t. I use them a few times, write a few things and completely forget about them. Appointments, exams, important dates, they all just stay in my head without me having to write them down.
    I actually never write anything down. Not my plans, not my thoughts, not all the imaginary worlds I spend most of my time in. One day my head might just explode, I reckon. Maybe that day I’ll start being a regular human that doesn’t rely solely in memory to remember everything?
    Anyhow, great post as always. Those are some very beautiful notebooks!

  4. Amber,
    I love all of your journals, agendas, and of course your color scheme for 2017. I use the notes app on my phone for things I need to do. Bonus points because it shows up on my laptop too. But I am obsessed with calendars. I have 4 at work and 2 at home that I use all the time. They are nowhere nearly as cute as yours though😊

  5. I’ve found the bullet journals to be unnecessarily complicated too, and I know that if I had one, I’d always feel a little inadequate because I’d never be able to make mine look as pretty as all of the ones on Pinterest.

    For me, I use a to-do list app on my iPhone that basically lets me schedule out every single thing I need to do, and then reminds me to do those things. I also have a planner, but I mainly use that in situations like a college lecture or an employment information session where I can’t pull out my iPhone without looking like a Rude Millennial Always Glued To That Cell Phone. Later in the day, I go back and transfer my planner entries into my iPhone app, because it’s nice to have everything in one place, and because it’s harder to forget things when you have an app that’s nagging you every time you open your phone.

  6. Those pens are amazing – may I ask where you got them from? I think I’m the opposite of you – I like scheduling on my phone or PC but prefer my diaries to be handwritten. I keep a gratitude log like you (it really is an amazing therapy tool) but it occasionally slips into a daily diary. I like the feel of writing for a long time. I also love stickers but more for dividers between entries on my journal – I also don’t know how else to use them!

  7. I love notebooks too, and there is more than one that is too pretty to use. Love yours and I’m glad you’re using them.

  8. I’m another person that could never quite adopt a bullet journal. I do keep a paper diary since I’m a very visual person. Actually writing appointments on a monthly calendar makes me more likely not to double-book myself. All of my appointments are also entered into my iPhone so I can get reminder notifications. It’s cumbersome, but the system works best for me. I keep blog plans in Trello. I can drag links into the cards for planned blog posts and rearrange entries at will.

  9. I’m using a planner for the first time in my life and I have fallen in love. I’ve always been a paper and stationary junkie (I get most of mine from TJ Maxx!), but I’ve never committed to using a planner before. I thought I could do it all on my phone, but I’ve realized that just doesn’t work for me. I’m living alone for the first time in my life, so I really need to work on being accountable to myself and getting my stuff together, which a paper planner really helps with. I’ve gotten so obsessed with it, that it sleeps at the end of my bed, along with the book I’m reading and the notebook I use for every day notes. I find that writing appointments and goals down helps me stop stressing about appointments and goals. At least a little.
    I totally feel you on the sticker thing. I’m having to force myself to use them. It’s not that I don’t like them (I love a cutely decorated page), I just have commitment issues. I can remember hoarding stickers as a kid and waiting for the PERFECT opportunity to use them. It never came and now all of those stickers went unused. Do they even have sticker/commitment issues specific therapy? 😉

  10. I like having a bit of structure to my planner as well. I’ve never tried bullet journalling, but I know that I’m lazy and would prefer to just have everything pre-made for me to fill in. I’ve been using a Moleskine weekly planner since 2009 and I don’t think I’ll ever look back. It functions perfectly for me! I don’t use it as much as some people use their planners, though – now that I’m not a student anymore it’s mainly for to-do lists and appointments. I don’t use it daily. I think I just have a good memory…

  11. I used to be a big planner girl but now 99% of everything goes into my phone. I like being able to set re-occurring appointments, all that sort of thing. I also have a notebook where I jot down to do lists and things like that.

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