Wednesday, July 16

Custom Tab Sections

Last week I mentioned the sections in the back of my planner and promised I would give more information on how I customized them to fit my daily life. Here is that update:
My Franklin planner has the large rings, but it still tends to be really full. I started thinking about all the tabs and whether I needed them or not. Franklin is great about keeping their system right under your nose so you stay on track. There are three tabs just for that, one describing how to use the planner, one for working out your mission statement and values, one for goals. Every year when I get new pages I seem to just transfer those sections from the last year, with slight updates, stick them in my planner and not use them again the rest of the year. My values are ingrained in the way I live, so I don’t use the pages with daily planning. I took out those 3 sections.

Next is Key Information and Financials. I don’t use the Financial section because my husband takes care of our obligations. So, I removed that section too. I also removed the Leadership section and the address book section since my contacts are all on my laptop and in my cell phone. That left me with the numbered tabs. Each one had blank lined paper, and I used none of them regularly because I never remembered what was behind them and would only flip back there when I needed note paper. Out they went. So now my planner was empty except for the daily pages, planning calendar and key information.

What would make my planner the best tool for my life? Custom tabs! You see, I was also working on Carrie’s sketch rolodex idea and had started altering everything. What better than my daily planner customized with my favorite printed papers?! I started with the tabbed pages I had removed. I cut prettier papers to size and adhered them. I punched the holes using the tabbed page as my guide, and covered the tab with a rounded tab punch (SU!) In less than an hour I had all new tabs (except for the calendar pages) and set to decorating and filling them. That took days. Literally! I wanted to make the perfect planner…

But finally I figured it out… I only have 6 tabs. My planner is not overly full anymore!

My first tab behind the daily pages is the Planning Calendar. For those of you who don’t know Franklin, these are pages allowing me to note plans for the coming couple of years. And I love planning ahead so these are staying! The next tab is Info, previously labeled Key Information. This tab has things like website logins, medical information, Insurance policy numbers etc.

The third tab is Zones. Here I have the multi-colored page protectors with my Fly zones. Each zone has its own color. Following the FlyLady system, I deep clean in each zone for a week each month, rotating through the 5 zones. These pages tell me what jobs need to be completed in each zone. And to remember what zone I am in, I note on my calendar grid pages as I start the month.

Next I have a To Do tab under which I note things I want to do SOMEDAY. These aren’t things I need to do today or this week or even this month… but are things I want to work into my schedule, projects, if you will.

The fourth tab is Garden. I enjoy my plants. I have a problematic flower bed (too much moisture, too little sun) and have had to try many different types of florals and foliage to find some that will live. I was keeping the garden stakes they came with… you know, those little plastic things. I would leave them with the plant when I stuck it in the ground. That worked for a while then my daughter started plucking them out. Then my dog started copying her. So then I would plant it, remove the stake, dump it in my garden bucket and forget about it until I needed to know something. Then I would look at it, look the plant up in my gardening books, do what I needed to, and promptly forget everything, including the name of the plants! I had to fix that! So I started a garden journal with notes on my plants, dates when changes are made and why, as well as sketches of the flower beds and where plants are located.

I am thinking about keeping track of the birds that visit my feeder too. I see so many different birds and I am curious about their names and calls, so I may start noting interesting birds in the garden tab.

Behind that tab, my last one, is a Notes tab. As I mentioned earlier, historically, the only thing I have used the back sections for was notes. So I suppose I will continue to take notes here when what I have to write doesn’t fit under one of the other categories.


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