Deconstructing Kate: The Summer Slim Down

I generally carry a stuffed planner in anticipation of it being able to handle or answer anything that I need at a moment’s notice. Currently, I’m using my Kate Spade Wellesley Zip planner in Deep Pink in personal size. In it’s current state, I can zip it with no problem. However, truth be told, it is the heaviest item in my bag.

Before

Before

 

 

Before

Before

 

I have pocket size planners (Coach and Filofax) however, I’m not interested in switching to a pocket at this time (maybe later). I need my personal that is already set up with useable inserts, dividers, etc. to work for me without any additional expense. I needed to make it lighter and easier to carry.  I do not want to lug around a heavy bag all summer long and I decided to deconstruct and slim down what I carry in my personal Kate Spade zip planner.

I first emptied the contents of my binder. Starting over with a set-up is easiest this way because you are really forced to evaluate what’s necessary to carry with you and what can stay in a home binder (or storage).

Kate: Deconstructed

Kate: Deconstructed

 

Emptied and ready for a change

Emptied and ready for a change

I then sketched out what I thought were the most important “everyday carry” sections and items that I needed.

 

I also decided what was not needed – what I did not need to carry with me most of the time. Some of these items are note cards, post-its/sticky notes/flags, a plastic divider pocket (a second one), and notes that can be stored away at home.

Didn't make the cut

Didn’t make the cut

 

I then started to rebuild with items that I think I need to have with me on a regular basis. For the most part, I stuck with the plan sketched out on the above sticky note (with the exception of the hot pink journal, which is my food journal and I decided that I’d like to keep that with me throughout the day).

So now my planner is lighter to carry and streamlined. I have five sections:

  • Franklin Covey Her Point of View monthly and weekly pages for May and June; and the Kate Spade monthly and weekly inserts for July – September (I use a note page for future planning for the rest of the year);
  • To-do section, which contains my master task list and a work board;
  • Notes section with note paper cut down from a Target Dollar Spot list pad, and some lined loose leaf paper from Office Depot;
  • Exercise/wellness section, which includes a weight loss tracker, body measurements, and other trackers and lists; and
  • Contacts in case of an emergency.

I also have the mini-food journal and a Moleskine expense tracker tucked in the back secretarial pocket. It’s the small blue journal shown above and contains grid paper – perfect for expense tracking!

Food Journal

Food Journal

Notes

Notes

 

Notes 2

Notes 2

 

Exercise/Wellness Section

Exercise/Wellness Section

 

The summer slim down just in time!

After

After

 

K.Y.S.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Setting Up a Planner for a Friend

Setting up a planner for a friend, family member, or colleague can be very helpful. You get the job of being able to create a system for someone that will hopefully get them and keep them organized. As we all know, organization can lead to increased productivity and goal attainment.

I had the opportunity to set up a couple of binders for others and thought I’d share some tips for setting up a planner for another person.

Some things to consider when helping out friend with their planning systems:

  1. Talk about their specific needs for the planner. Is it for work or personal or a combination of both? What are they interested in tracking? How do they usually work? Is there a way to incorporate their strengths into the way they work and downplay any weakness?
  2. Choose the right planner – binder, spiral, or bound.  There are a variety of planners on the market and so the selection of the right planner is a matter of personal preference. There are pros and cons of each to consider. Be sure to discuss them with your friend and determine which one would be better.
  3. Choose the right layout or planner inserts. This is probably the hardest of the tasks. People are very specific about paper quality, information that they’d like to track, specific layouts, and the like. Some folks will not have too many preferences or they will be fairly simple to address as they may be “novices” to the whole idea of paper planning. I would suggest looking for pretty standard layouts and allow them to live in and customize as they go along.
  4. Show them how to use it, how it is intended to be used. There will likely be some need to tweak the set-up as the person lives with it for a while. Ask them to live with it for at least a week before changing the system. Ask them to make notes about what they like and what they would like to change.
  5. Keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm your friend with an overly complicated system. If they haven’t used a paper planner before or haven’t used one in a long time, it is probably not a good idea to create a system that they don’t get or that requires too much maintenance. They may give up on it before realizing the potential of what the system can do for them.

Let me know if you’ve set up a planning system for someone else and any advice you would give.