Archive of ‘Planning’ category

The 2018 Charmed Life Planners are Here!

2017 Charmed Life Planner

The 2018 Charmed Life Planners are Here!

It’s back and better than ever and I want to spend just a few moments giving you some important details about this year’s launch! First of all in case you didn’t know, the Charmed Life Planner is available in A5/Half Letter, Filofax Personal AND A4/US Letter sizes!

2018 Charmed Life Printable Planner A5/Half Letter

The A5 version, pictured above, has a vertical week on two pages layout for your daily planning, along with month on two pages layouts, a master monthly task list and an expense sheet for every month! It’s a complete printable planner solution but this year I’ve made it even better. Printing inserts at home isn’t always the easiest, printers are not all created equal and there are different paper sizing standards around the globe that make designing a single usable file difficult to manage. After talking to many customers who use and love the Charmed Life Planner, this year I’m adding 2 additional files to your A5 Charmed Life Planner purchase to give you options when printing your planner at home.

The three (3) files you will now get for this size are:  

  1. US Standard Half Letter File (same as last year’s design)
  2. US Bordered Printing Option (so those with printers that cannot print borderless don’t have to guess on how to scale the file)
  3. True A5 File designed to print on A4 paper (for those of you who use A4 as your standard).

Click here to view the 2018 Charmed Life Printable Planner A5/Half Letter

2018 Charmed Life Planner Personal

2017 Charmed Life Personal Planner

The 2018 Charmed Life Printable Planner in personal size is the same great day on one page design as last year with the muted time table for scheduling a full day of events and tasks! Due to its more compact size that prints well on US Letter or A4 , this planner was easier to print without issue and so there is no major design changes or additional files necessary. This size, as well, includes the month on two pages layout, a master monthly task list and an expense sheet for each month of the year.

Click here to view the 2018 Charmed Life Printable Planner in Personal

2018 Charmed Life Planner A4/US Letter

The 2018 Charmed Life Printable Planner in A4/US Letter size is a unique design introduced last year and comes with two design files, one week on two pages and one week on one page. When you purchase the A4/US Letter size you get BOTH styles so you can choose which layout works best for you. Not only does the A4/US Letter design excel in providing amazing space and dedicated planning elements for multiple areas of your life, but it’s also very easy to print in the full size design.

Click here to view the 2018 Charmed Life Printable Planner in A4/US Letter

Bundles & Bonuses

2017 Functional Planning Bundle

This year I am continuing to offer the Functional Planning Bundle for all three Charmed Life Printable Planners. The bundles will include the Charmed Life Planner in your choice of size, the Yearly Project Tracker, Project Planning Sheet and an additional Task List.

Click here to view the A5/Half Letter Functional Planning Bundle

Click here to view the Personal Functional Planning Bundle

Click here to view the A4/US Letter Functional Planning Bundle

And don’t forget the bonuses!

For a limited time, when you purchase ANY 2018 Charmed Life Planner or Functional Planning Bundle, you will receive two (2) great freebies!

  1.  #CharmedGTD Quick Start Guide: Inspiration and instruction for working smarter, not harder
  2. Exclusive Downloadable Graphic “I’m a List Lover with a Planner Problem!”

Both Freebies are included in the downloads for your purchase automatically!

Make sure to check out my recent planner set up video for my full announcement and my updated planner set up video and I can’t wait to see how you set up your 2018 Charmed Life Planner, so make sure to take a picture and share it on Twitter or Instagram, tag me @MissTrenchcoat and use #CharmedGTD so everyone in the community can get inspiration from you as well!


September FREE Planner Inserts & Tech Wallpapers Are Here!

Can you believe TOMORROW is September 1st? To be honest, I feel like September is starting a little late this year haha! After a fun in the sun- filled summer, I am more than ready to get back to the grind! Which is why I am hosting a September #FALL4PRODUCTIVITY Challenge to help us all get back to our daily hustle as accountability buddies. If you haven’t signed up for the FREE Challenge yet, click here to get on the list which gives you access to FREE printables, graphics, giveaways and MORE.

Wishing you the best for a productive and successful September!


August FREE Planner Inserts & Tech Wallpapers are Here!

FREE August 2016 Tech Wallpapers

August has arrived and as we enjoy the end to our summer vacations, don’t forget to grab your FREE Planner Inserts and Tech Wallpapers to help you make the most of the month!

I hope you had a wonderful July and a productive August ahead!


Discbound Planners 101: How to Get Started Using a Discbound System

How to Get Started Using a Discbound Planner System

Discbound Planners 101: How to Get Started Using a Discbound System

For quite some time now, my planner binding method of choice has been the discbound system. If you are not familiar with the disc binding concept, it is similar to the idea of a spiral notebook, but instead of a solid metal spiral holding the notebook together, you have metal or plastic discs that can pop in and out of a cover. These discs being removable means that you can add and remove paper to your disc bound system as you like, so long as the paper has been punched with a disc binding punch. I love the custom planner I created with the help of the discbound systems, so today I would like to share some key information and resources with you to help you get started creating your own custom planner system using discbound notebooks and binding accessories.

The BEST Features of a Discbound System

1. Customization: The main reason I love using a discbound system as my planner is because it is completely customizable. I can create my own custom planner inside the binding and add and remove items on a whim. I find the disc binding to be very secure, but also easy for you to add and remove elements at the same time.

2. Interchangeability: The next feature I love about discbound system is that they are interchangeable for the most part. Below I will outline some of the most popular discbound planner systems to give you an idea of the options available, but with each system the discs, refills, accessories are interchangeable so you can pick and choose what you want to use from one collection or another to build your perfect system.

3. Flexibility: The final feature I love about discbound systems is that they fold over onto themselves like a spiral bound notebook. I love this flexibility because I am someone who does like to fold a notebook over to write. Although my personal discbound planner is kept inside a notebook cover, I frequently remove my planner portion from the cover to write in it, and of course I fold the system over like a notebook when I do!

The Most Popular Disc Bound Systems

As I mentioned earlier, there are a number of discbound planner systems out on the market currently. Here is a list below with clickable links to help you browse some of the most popular systems to find the right elements to help you build your perfect system.

1. Arc from Staples

2. Levenger Circa

3. MAMBI Happy Planner from Michael’s, Hobby Lobby etc.

4. TUL from Office Depot

5. IQ 360 from Walmart

6. Martha Stewart for Avery from Staples

Disc Bound Planner Essentials

1. Discs: The major element of a discbound system are the discs themselves. Across the different branded systems you can find a variety of sizes, colors and materials like plastic or aluminum.

2. Front/Back Covers: Each different branded system for discbound has a variety of different binding covers from thin plastic covers that make simple notebooks to thick leather covers with built in organization elements. Even Etsy and Amazon sellers now make personalized or custom covers for discbound systems, so you can find a style that fits your personal preference.

3. Punch: Of course, if you are interested in creating a customizable system like me, you are going to need to get a discbound punch. I recommend getting one from the system you use most. I personally use the Arc version and love it because although it is a bit larger, it has wonderful guides to help you punch a variety of sizes of paper.

4. Inserts/Refills: Another very necessary element of a discbound system are the inserts or refills you use. Now, as you may already know, I use the Functional Planning Bundle of inserts from my own shop to create my planner system, but most of the major brands also sell calendar, project planning and note taking pages and refills, so if you are not into creating a custom planner with printable inserts like I do, you do have some options. More and more, however, I see that sellers on Etsy are also giving the option to purchase pre-printed and pre-punched discbound compatible inserts, so you have that option as well. You could also use another set of inserts and punch them with your discbound punch as well, if you are looking for something very specific that might not yet be available. I’d recommend checking on size compatibility for your inserts with the system you are using before proceeding with this option.

5. Notebook Cover: Although there are a variety of discbound system covers as mentioned earlier, I also use a leather notebook cover to protect my system. My cover comes from Gigi New York, and is no longer available, but I have also removed the rings from a Filofax to create a cover for my discbound system and with some searching, you can find other notebook cover options online through places like Amazon and Etsy.

How to Create a Custom Planner with the Disc Bound System

If you are interested in a creating your own custom planner using the discbound system, here is a video tutorial I created that walks you through the very simple process. Definitely check out this video and the links I’ve left in this article to help you find the different elements of your ideal planner system so that you can build a planner that is all your own and custom to your needs!

I hope this information has been helpful to you as you evaluate the discbound planner system for yourself. If you have any other questions about the system, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you get the information you need to create your perfect planner system!


My Current Favorite Planner Supplies

My Current Favorite Planner Supplies

My Current Favorite Planner Supplies

As a frequent planner user, I find that I am always changing up little bits of my system from my planner cover, to my inserts and of course my many planner supples and accessories! No matter how much I change up, however, I always find that there are a few favorite planner supples that I rely on over and over again. If you watch my YouTube videos on planners or follow me on Instagram, these may be items you see frequently inside my planner, so if you’ve ever wondered what they are and where you can get your hands on them, here is a quick reference list for you!

  1. Staples Arc Customizable Durable Poly Notebook: If you’ve seen any of my planner set up videos from recent years, you know that I use and love the Staples Arc Discbound system of notebooks to bind my planner inserts. I use one of their standard black notebooks, remove the Arc notepaper and add my own Charmed Life Planner Inserts and then this simple, lightweight notebook cover slips inside one of my planner covers for extra security and functionality.

  2. Russell+Hazel Sticky Notepad Set (Marble): I am a sucker for sticky notes AND marble print, so when you combine those together, it’s a no brainer for me. You’ll always find a number of these throughout my planner pages with extra notes, details and phone numbers and I like to keep a stack of them in the back of my planner inside a zip pocket so I have them with me on the go as well!
  3. Sweet Water Decor Boss Lady Pen: I feel like the pen you keep in your planner is a major choice. Not only does it need to write well and be the proper point width for your writing preference, but I think it also needs to look good. I love this beautiful turquoise Boss Lady Pen because it fits with my branding and I love the extra reminder in my planner that I am in charge of my life, business and plans!
  4. Post It Notes 1.5″ x 2″: Like the marble sticky notes, post-it notes are a frequent supply found in my planner, but specifically I love the 1.5″ x 2″ size because its compatible with the vertical square boxes found in many planners like the Erin Condren Life Planner, MAMBI Happy Planner, and of course, my Charmed Life Planner! These little sticky notes fit perfectly in my planner columns so they integrate nicely for adding notes to my days without using a huge post it that takes up space across numerous days.
  5. Empire Building Favorites Notebook: Along with my discoid planner, I like to keep a spiral notebook in my planner cover for extra notes that may be more permanent or need to be referenced again in the future. But I’m soo picky when it comes to notebooks, I always want that perfectly inspiring quote on my cover with the perfect chic blend of my favorite colors and patterns. Which is why I end up designing my own! Yep- this lovely notebook has a cover designed by yours truly, so if this check list of my favorite things resonates with you, definitely check it out!

I’d love to hear about your current favorite planner supplies as well, so please make sure to leave me a comment below and let me know what you love to use in your planner!




How Many Planners Should I Use?

How Many Planners Should I Use to Optimize Productivity?

I’m always surprised that one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from my community revolves around how many planners one should use to optimize their productivity. To me, the answer is pretty obvious, but I think within the planner community there are so many options for planners and different uses for planners that many of us begin to suffer from shiny object syndrome and want to use all the planners and have a dedicated planner for different aspects of our lives. The thing is though, we all have the same 24 hours in a day and we all have just this one life right now to plan for, so separating aspects of our lives into multiple different planners seems counterintuitive to me.

Check out my recent video on the topic linked above and make sure to subscribe on YouTube for more!

The rule I like to use is one planner, one life! That’s right! I think each of us only needs ONE planner to get the job done, organize our schedule and keep on top of our tasks. Why? Well, I think it’s important to keep all of our information for what we need to do and where we are expected to be in one place. When we separate out our calendar or our tasks into different planners we end up only seeing one portion of our life and obligations at a time, thus missing the big picture. This can cause us to overload our schedule with too many tasks or appointments, since we don’t see a full picture of our days, weeks and months. I think many of us already struggle with putting too much on our to do lists, so streamlining into a single planner system, if you are using multiple planners, should help you get more realistic with the expectations you set for your day.

Now, I do believe their are circumstances where using more than one planner is reasonable. If you are someone who works outside the home and your work stays at work, clearly separate from your personal life, then it makes sense to me to have a second planner for your job that you leave at work! This also stands in the event that you have a job where you keep sensitive information or appointments regularly and may need to keep a separate work planner for legal or privacy reasons. I also believe you can use more than one planner IF you get clear on the difference between a binder and a planner. Now, for example, I use a Filofax binder to house my planning system, but you could use a Filofax binder as a journal or to store reference information- it doesn’t just work as a planner cover! So, if you are using more than one binder and one is dedicated to your schedule and tasks, and the others are being used to house specific information or for other purposes, than using more than one is fine. The point is just that you don’t want to separate out information that pertain to your schedule and tasks because it will ultimately overwhelm you to have that information in more than one place.

I know many people bring up the fact that they use more than one planner because they like to use a smaller, more compact planner to travel with outside the home or work, and they might use a larger desk style planner to stay at home. To me, this scenario is baffling because ultimately you are duplicating information which isn’t optimizing your work, just causing you to do more! If you are someone who needs a smaller planner to travel out and about with, my recommendation would be to then keep your schedule and tasks in the smaller planner, and then use the larger binder for extraneous information that you don’t need away from the home or office. Yes, using a smaller planner may mean you can’t store a full year of inserts at one time, BUT ultimately, I believe it will help you to see the bigger picture on your short term items so that you are keeping on top of your schedule and tasks.

If you are using a single planner system and still struggling to get your schedule and tasks organized, I have a great FREE resource you won’t want to miss. I have created a Functional Planning eCourse that will teach you the ins and outs of my Functional Planning process and how to make the most of the 24 hours in your day with just one single planner! Click here to sign up for the FREE eCourse which will be delivered by email on a weekly basis!

So I hope this gives you some food for thought if you are wondering how many planners to use. Of course, I am not the be all and end all on this matter, so if you are using more than one planner successfully outside of the scenarios I discussed, let me know how you manage it and what systems you are using.


FREE May To-Do List, Dashboard & Tech Wallpapers Are Here!

May 2016 Freebies and Downloads

Your May Tech & Planner FREEBIES are ready for download over on my shop!

I hope you all have a wonderful end to April & a fun filled May to come!


Spring Cleaning Your Planner: Clean or Replace Your Binder

Spring Cleaning Your Planner: How to Safely Clean Your Binder or Replace It!

Spring Cleaning Your Planner

Happy April Planner Friends! Well- I am officially back from my Entrepreneurial Spring Break and now that it’s over all I want to do is fill my planner with new ideas and inspiration to carry me through the summer. While I was on spring break, I did some decluttering around my home, sent a bunch of clothes to goodwill, and gave away some of my unused accessories to family members. I really wanted to do what I could to make room and pass on what I could from my life, primarily to show gratitude for many wonderful blessings that have come into my life recently, but also to keep myself in balance. Balance for me is one part streamlining of what I already have, and another part planning for what’s to come. So, in that spirit, the time has come to Spring Clean my planner as well! While I am going through this process, I thought that I would share some ideas to help you spring clean your planner as well! So, this topic is going to be a 10-part series during the month of April, BUT you can come back to this series or use these ideas year round to help you reset your planner when you need it. I hope you enjoy the series and that you will come back to my site often this month to see it unfold! Feel free to share and posts you particularly enjoy as well- that would be lovely!

Part 1: Clean or Replace Your Binder

Depending on the age and wear of your planner, one of the quickest ways to spring clean it is to literally give it a good scrub or replace it altogether. Many of us in the planner community see our planners as an accessory, not just a productivity tool, so keeping our binders in good condition or swapping them out for the season is reasonable. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

How to Safely Clean Your Planner

Correctly identify the fabric of your planner: Depending on the type of fabric or material used for the interior and exterior of your planner, you will use different cleaning products. Make sure to identify each material by checking and labels or paperwork that came with your planner, or by contacting the retailer directly. If you aren’t 100% sure of the material, I wouldn’t risk damaging it by using a product made for a specific material, however, a mixture of warm water and mild soap are a safe bet if you just can’t find the information. For any product you use, make sure to spot check the formula in a small, hidden area of your binder to ensure it does not do any damage or cause the color to run or fade.

Find the trouble spots: Before you begin cleaning your binder, I recommend assessing the damage and determining if there are any trouble spots. Cleaning up your binder is one thing, but dealing with specific stains is another. Don’t proceed with cleaning your binder until you have given it a once over and checked or any trouble spots like pen marks, stains or areas of rust/oxidation on any metal pieces. You will want to address these issues first with spot treatments specifically tailored to your binder material and the trouble spot. There are many different stain specific products available to help you spot treat your binder, like these.

Empty your planner: This may seem obvious to some, but remember to empty out your planner before you begin cleaning it. Check through and pockets and zippered areas and ensure everything is removed so you can get down to work!

Use a light touch: Whenever I’m cleaning any of my accessories, even my planners, I like to use a light touch so I don’t damage the item. You can always go back over areas with heavy build up if you are too gentle on a first pass, but if you are too rough you can do irreversible damage. Just be smart, work gently in small sections and don’t rush!

Let it dry: Once you’re done cleaning your binder, make sure to give it time to dry. Leather and faux leather binders tend to dry in a few hours, but if you have a cloth planner that required more product to clean, let it dry overnight before returning paper to it just in case! We wouldn’t want to ruin our inserts now would we?

If you’d like to watch my cleaning process, check out my 2017 Planner Setup Video where I give my leather binder a thorough clean at the start!

Replacing Your Binder

Of course, if you don’t simply want to clean your planner and want to replace it altogether- that’s a legitimate option. If you’re looking for something new, think about whether you want to swap your style or your entire system! It’s easy enough to swap one 6 ring planner for another in a coordinating size, but its a little more involved if you want to change from a ring bound to a travelers notebook style, for example. To get some great inspiration for your next planner purchase, check out my Planner Resource Guide Post on Picking a Planner! It covers some great basics for what’s available planner-wise to get you thinking about your needs.

I’d love to hear about your experience with cleaning your planner or picking out a new one for the season! Feel free to share your favorite products or planners down in the comments and be sure to share this post if you found it helpful!


MARCH FREEBIES: Dashboard, Monthly To Do List & Wallpapers

NEW January Planner Printables You Won’t want to Miss

MARCH FREEBIES: Dashboard, Monthly To Do List & Wallpapers

Let’s get our March planning started with some free printable planner inserts and new calendar tech wallpapers, shall we?

March 2016 Free Tech Wallpapers


Of course, I love to see pictures of your planner inserts and wallpapers at home on your planners and tech gadgets! If you share a picture, please use #CharmedGTD so the whole community can see your setups and of course tag me @MissTrenchcoat as well in your pictures on Twitter & Instagram!

Happy March Planning!


How to Use Functional Planning for a Busy Work Week

How to Use Functional Planning for a Busy Work Week

How to Use Functional Planning for a Busy Work Week

For the last few weeks, I have been prepping for the upgrade launch of my new webinar ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK, so naturally, I’ve had quite a bit to handle and very little room to waste time. So, of course, I’ve been using my functional planning method inside my Charmed Life Planner to ensure I have a game plan for each day. Yesterday on my YouTube channel, I shared a video walking you through how I functionally plan during busy work weeks. The video gives you a birds eye view of my planning process and thought process for how I will lay out my tasks for a full week. Now, if you are familiar with my functional planning process, you know I don’t normally lay out all my plans for a full week at one time, I prefer to take it day by day, but during busy weeks I find it necessary to lay everything out so there is no room for error. That doesn’t mean that I don’t allow for wiggle room in my schedule, just in case, but it means that I’d prefer to walk into my week with it set up for me to just knock out tasks and projects without having to plan and replan on the daily.

If you haven’t watched the video yet, I recommend checking it out! The following are some major points that the video covers if you want a summary of what you will see:

• Functionally Planning for a whole week begins with setting my Top 5. These are the 5 projects I need to complete or make progress on during the week because they are priority items.

• Next comes the Secondary or “Other” to do list. Of course, there are always tasks outside of my Top 5 that need my attention during the week and listing these out keeps me on track so I don’t forget anything else that may be important. Although these tasks may not be part of my highest priority projects, I do make an effort to complete as many as possible.

• Daily Top 3. In order to functionally plan and create mental focus for my workday, I set a daily top 3. These are 3 individual tasks that are the highest priority for the day. Generally these are project based tasks that must be completed in order for me to move on to future tasks in a project, but they can sometimes be tasks from my secondary to do list as well.

• Organize special information in open boxes. The Charmed Life Planner layout that I use for A5/Half Letter includes a blank open space at the bottom of each daily list. I use this space to break down special information, lists or project details that belong together. I find this is the best way to ensure I keep relevant information in the same place for tracking and completion.

• Build in white space. You will notice in the video that I do not fill up every inch of my planner before the week begins, I like to leave white space for me to add other information that may pop up during the week. I also make sure to balance my top 3 list so that I am mixing more time consuming tasks with some easier “lay-ups” as we can call them. This ensures I don’t over do it with my top 3 and end up with too much on my plate.

• Other weekly prep. In the video I also explain another weekly prep ritual I’ve been using, especially during busy weeks and that is meal prep. I will prep my lunches and dinners for the week ahead so I don’t need to think about them during the work week when I may be too busy to bother with cooking. It’s too easy for us to just autopilot to take out or skipping meals when we are busy and a bit of meal planning and prep before the week begins is the perfect solution.

I hope you enjoy the Plan with Me and my functional planning process. I’d love to know what you thought of the video and what points stood out to you. Let me know in the comments below!


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