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Get Organized For the New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I kicked off this year with a nasty head cold, so I've been curled up on the couch binge watching all the amazing new content on Netflix. Black Mirror Bandersnatch, Tidying Up (remember my blog post about how much I love Marie Kondo?) and this awesome new series called "You" based on a book I read and LOVED a few years ago. Oh yea, and Bird Box of course.

My favorite part about starting a new year is opening up a fresh new day planner! This is how I keep my life organized and make sure I get everything done that I'm supposed to do.

I was never a day planner kind of gal. Then, one fateful day a few years ago, I happened to come across a video about something called "Bullet Journaling." This is the video I saw:

I had a great system at work to keep myself organized and on top of what needed to be done, but I had no way of organizing my personal life. Bullet journaling seemed like it might be just the thing for me! I gave it a whirl, and quickly fell in love.

I loved it so much that I ended up using bullet journaling to track my tasks at work as well. I used a blank journal and spent lots of time each month designing and drawing an elaborate monthly calendar. I'd then make a new page for each day, and carry over tasks that I hadn't completed each day to the next one.

While bullet journaling was really working for me, what wasn't working for me was spending tons of time each month drawing out a new monthly calendar. I was sick of it! So, I decided to search online and find myself a new planner that would fit my bullet journaling needs. This proved an extremely difficult task - there were so many journals that seemed ok BUT they'd be missing one thing or another that I really felt I needed.

After weeks of research, I eventually came across the Day Designer. I loved the layout and knew it would be perfect. I ordered it immediately, and checked the tracking number obsessively until it arrived at my door.

My Day Designer was everything I dreamed of and more. It came in this gorgeous tiffany blue box, which I haven't been able to bring myself to get rid of yet (I'M SORRY MARIE KONDO!)

Anyway, the cover is gorgeous and thick. It's really high quality and I'm happy to say my 2018 Day Designer still looked brand new by the end of the year, even after bringing it with me everywhere.

The Layout

Each month starts with a big beautiful monthly calendar that spreads across two pages. This is where I write all my important dates as I receive them. Save the date for a wedding? Baby shower invitation? Weekend getaway? That date goes in the monthly calendar right away so I won't mistakenly schedule anything else on that date.

After the monthly calendars come daily schedules for every day of the month. This is where the real magic happens, my friends. At the top of each of the daily pages you'll find an inspirational quote. January 1st was "The beginning is the most important part of the work" - Plato. How inspiring! I swear it's like the Day Designer knows the future - each quote perfectly fits whatever I have going on that day. I love it.

Below the quote is a list of "Today's Top Three" on the left. This is usually where I'll put the tasks that I need to tackle first thing, or the things that I really don't want to do but know I have to, like "schedule doctor's appointment."

Next to the top three are four boxes - "due," "dinner," "dollars" and "don't forget." I'll often use the "dinner" box for meal planning purposes, but I don't find myself using the other three boxes yet.

Below all that is the most important part of the page: "Today" and "To Do." The "Today" section includes a line for each hour of the day from 7 am to 7 pm. This is where I write in all my daily meetings and appointments so I can keep track of what I've got going on each day. Have you ever missed an appointment because you just totally forgot about it? You won't if you write it down! I write it in the monthly section, and on the daily page in the "today" section. Writing it repeatedly really makes it stick so you won't forget it.

I use the "To Do" section for traditional bullet journaling. I write down my daily tasks each day, and use symbols to indicate if they are completed, no longer needed, or moved to the next day. This motivates me to just get a task done so I don't have to write it every day for 20 days while I procrastinate :)

At the bottom of each page is a section for notes, which I use frequently to jot down random things throughout the day. There is also a box for a "daily gratitude." I love this section. I try and pick one thing each day to be grateful for. Not going to lie - it usually ends up being something food related. My stomach runs my life.

Why I love my Day Designer:

1. I sleep better at night. I no longer lay awake wondering if I remembered to do everything I was supposed to do, because I know I crossed everything off my list!

2. It has helped me drastically cut back on my procrastination. I would rather just get something done than have to write it again on the page for the next day.

3. It's so pretty! I never get tired of looking at the whimsical cover and I always look forward to reading the quotes at the top of each daily page.

4. I've got my life together thanks to this beautiful little book. It changed the way I work, both at work and in my personal life, for the better.

I ordered my 2019 planner in September of 2018 and I've been counting down the days until I could finally use it. Thinking about getting yourself a planner? Look no further than the Day Designer. It's the perfect thing to help you get your daily, monthly and yearly life in order.

If you are a first-time planner user and aren't sure if you'll be dedicated to it, then perhaps start with a cheaper planner until you are sure you love it. Target sells some planners made by the Day Designer company! They are much less expensive (and it shows in the quality - I'm not sure it would hold up an entire year) However, a cheaper version might be a good place to start.

You can find Day Designers on their website here, on Amazon, or at your local Anthropologie store! I have the mini because I find it's easier to carry around with me. The regular size would be great for people who like lots of space to plan.

Anyway, that's all I've got for you today! Happy New Year everyone, and happy planning!

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