(Yes we do!!!)
Okay here's the truth: I had originally planned to post this on Monday, but it turned out to be so amazing I just couldn't wait. Also, some good friends of mine (Rori, Zoe, you know who you are!) are rockin' new 2PPD inserts so I thought I'd give this to you to play with over the weekend. And, here's a secret: because of Patty's setup, I have ordered FC 2PPD inserts myself, and I really hope they arrive today because I am ready to launch this setup!! So hang onto yourselves for this post.
Huge, enormous thanks to Patty at Homemakers Daily for this wonderful post with tons of photos and details on how she uses her Franklin Covey binder and inserts!
First of all, if you don't know Patty and her excellent blog, you really should go check it out. Even if you're not a homemaker, it has excellent tips for managing life in general including recipes, household cleaning and time management. No matter who you are, you have to eat, keep a clean (or at least reasonably hygienic) home and manage your time! It should be called "Life Management Daily" if you ask me!
I'm ashamed to say I only just discovered Patty's gold mine of a blog very recently. She hooked me with her posts on using her Franklin Covey planner. I asked her if she would be interested in doing a detailed post here on Plannerisms and she very graciously agreed!
Ok I'll shut up now and hand it over to Patty! Go get a beverage and something to take notes on, settle in and enjoy!
My planner journey hasn’t been a very adventurous one. I started out with a week-at-a-glance calendar purchased from the local discount store and then a few years later graduated to my first Franklin Covey Compact. I’ve been a faithful FC user for the last 20 years. I’ve dabbled with other planners but I always come back to the Franklin Covey Compact.
The Compact pages are 4-3/4” wide by 6-3/4” high and the pages have six rings. As far as I know, there isn’t another planner with this size of pages. Comparable planners have pages that are 3-3/4” wide by 6-3/4” high. That extra ½” of width makes a HUGE difference to me.
My preferred binder style has 1-1/4” rings with a snap type fastener. Most of the planners available at the FC have 1” rings. I can make those work but I really prefer 1-1/4” rings. Several years ago I learned that FC keeps extra ring sizes on hand and for certain binders they can replace the rings with a different size (at the stores, not sure about on-line).
I’ve had my current binder 3 or 4 years and it has 1-1/4” rings. I don’t love the large fastener at the front but it was all that was available at the time. The binder only has one pen loop and it’s on the left side. I don’t like that either. I like two pen loops. FC went through a phase where they only put one loop. Hopefully my next binder will have two. I like to carry a pen and a pencil.
The inside cover of the binder has a flap for storing papers, a pen loop and a page lifter (there’s one of these at the back, too – they allow the binder to close easily).
Next I have my address pages. These are FC pages on heavy paper with plastic tabs. I’ve had this set about 15 years. I really need to replace and update the pages but I can’t bring myself to do it. It sounds like too much work and I’m afraid I’ll miss something in the transfer process!
I keep these pages in the front of the binder because I refer to them often (I include more than just addresses – I have account numbers, part numbers, refill information, etc.) and also because having them here helps level the planner. When my daily pages are open, there are an equal number of pages on the left and the right. Putting the address pages in the front makes it so the daily pages are more level. The first picture shows the pages with the calendars at the front and everything else at the back. The second picture shows the difference when you split it up and put the address pages at the front. It doesn’t make a huge difference right now but when I have more in the planner, it definitely makes a difference.
Next are the monthly pages. These are Franklin Covey Leadership pages. Each month has a front page which is an index. The index is for recording important information from your daily pages for that month. These pages make it a lot easier to retrieve information. Instead of thumbing through all the daily pages, you skim the indexes to see if you can find what you’re looking for.
Turn the page and you have the monthly calendar. It’s split between two pages with a Notes column on the far right. I use the Notes column as my pend list. Whenever I’m waiting on something, I make a note in that column with the date, the company and anything else that’s important. I mark it off or highlighter when the item is received.
The next page is the Master Task List. This is a list of things that need to be done sometime during the month. If an item has a specific day, you record it on the specific day. But if it doesn’t have a specific day, you record it here.
Behind the current month is where I keep my daily pages. Sometimes I use my homemade pages:
And sometimes I use Franklin Covey two page per day. I prefer the Original style because it’s clean and simple. Some of the designs have printing in the margins and it gets in my way. I write EVERYWHERE on my pages, including the margins, so I purchase pages with clear margins. They may not be as pretty but they’re more practical for my needs.
You’ll notice that the two pages per day have a task list on the left side of the page, a schedule on the right side of the page and a Notes page on the right. I use the Notes page for everything, including notes about phone calls, things I need to do, things my grandkids do, interesting things that happen, etc. I nearly always fill up the page.
At the top of the notes page I record information about my husband’s day. He’s self-employed so we need to keep track of what he does each day and where he works. I record it there.
At the very top of the left page I record my menu. On this particular day I made a to do that was just the things I had to do. The box at the bottom left was my daily chores and the area at the top right was my blog to do list. I highlighted my schedule to show when I was busy with commitments.
You’ll also notice the page finder. The FC page finders have a pouch that allows you to insert a piece of paper called a Weekly Compass. I usually record things I need to do sometime during the week on the weekly compass. I use the front of the Compass for the really important things I need to do and the less important things go on the back.
I keep two months worth of pages in my planner. I keep the previous month until about the 15th and then I remove it and put it in my archive book and pull the next month’s pages and put them in my planner.
Between the monthly calendars and the information tabs I keep blank paper. FC sells a Swing Pad Refill that I really like. It’s white paper with wider lines. It’s a pad, though, so I pull the pages apart. I don’t mind, though, because I really like the wider lined paper and I think it’s a better deal than the individual packets of paper.
Next are 12 tabs.
1. Bills to be paid. I have a year calendar taped to the inside of this divider so I can see dates for the whole year. My bills to be paid list is set up by week and is divided between business and personal (remember, we’re self-employed).
2. Business Accounting. This section includes a payables page (for materials that we’ve been reimbursed for but still need to be paid), a paint company page (showing all current charges and which customer they belong to), a page listing outstanding invoices, a page for the business savings account, and the business check register.
3. Personal Accounting. This section includes a payables page (for things I’ve used the credit card for – I deduct them from the checking account and place them here until the bill comes due) and a check register. Here’s a sample of the FC check register page, which I love:
4. Savings account ledger. I have four savings accounts for four different purposes but I have them all listed on the same page and keep track of the balances on one page.
5. Business Calendar. Since we’re self-employed, we have to keep a written record of what we do each day (for mileage). I record it at the top of the daily pages but once a week or so I transfer it to a calendar page like this:
6. Info. This section includes miscellaneous information including car and truck repair records, birthdays, license numbers, and passwords (in code).
7. Church. I have various responsibilities at church and keep information relating to my responsibilities in this section.
8. Blog. When I think of articles I want to write or things I need to do for my blog, I jot them here.
9. Food Journal. I write down what I eat each day and that goes here. I also keep a page finder here so it’s easy to get to the food journal page. The page finder is upside down so it doesn’t interfere with the one for my daily pages.
The last three tabs are for odds and ends that come up – temporary projects. I usually don’t label those- I just remember what’s in there.
At the back of the binder I have another page lifter and then the back cover. I rarely have anything in the flap or the zipper compartment.
The only other pieces to this planner are my archive books. I have one for each year that I’ve used my FC planner. I save all the monthly and daily pages plus any other pages relating to the year. The unused pages are stored in the archive book and as pages are completed, they’re put back. The books are stored in my office closet. You’d be surprised at how often I pull those books out to look something up.
And that’s it. It’s a small book but it holds a LOT of information!!!
Thank you again Patty! I am in total awe of your planner system! I can only aspire to this level of planner consistency and detail.