How I Plan My Upcoming Month
So it's about that time that I start preparing for the upcoming month. Of course I preplan further in advance on my Google calendar and elsewhere, but mid-month is the time when I really set up my planner for the month ahead.
The first thing I do is prep the inserts I need. Right now I'm using:
I print them, crop them, hole punch them, and cut slits in the hole punches. Here's a blog post showing how I print and cut my inserts: How to Print and Cut Our Printable Inserts.
Next, I use my Monthly To Do list and go through everything item by item. This is a helpful reference list for recurring monthly tasks. I use it when planning my month so nothing slips through the cracks. Click here to get the free download of the set for this insert.
The first thing on the list is to decide on a health habit for the month. I use this yearly insert from Peanuts Planner Co to track my health numbers and note my health habits. I started this back in July and it's so helpful to see my progress through the months all in one place.
I printed four copies of this monthly insert to plan projects in four main areas of my life: personal, school, creative and work.
For personal, I use this sheet for my "Friends & Family" plan, which is basically a way for me to make sure I'm connecting with family and friends regularly. Life gets busy, and this is a way to make sure I don't lose touch with my loved ones. The top part is for date-specific events, and the bottom part is for specific people I want to reach out to, plus ideas for family dates.
I use a separate sheet for my girls' school stuff. The top calendar is to note tests, projects, games, fundraisers, etc. In the bottom section, I list fundraising and volunteer opportunities for the month.
Then for creative projects, I use this insert to plan out The Planner Spot releases, projects and content: blog posts, videos, new releases, etc.
Finally, for work, I use this insert for communications planning. The calendar section is for events that I need to plan communications for, then the bottom section is to list social media campaigns and photo ops for the month.
On the back of the monthly insert is this long task list that I use to plan out other projects for the month. I have separate brain dumps or running task lists, but this section is for bigger projects that have multiple tasks to complete.
And then there are a couple of misc things I add to my planner for the new month:
I add some copies of the check register insert I printed out to track some specific expenses for the upcoming month. I separate them into categories: business expenses, bills, groceries, eating out, personal spending (a.k.a. planning supplies!) and entertainment. This is helpful for seeing where my money is going and where I need to cut back.
And I add this monthly sticky note from Peanuts Planner Co to log my work hours.
Next I remove all the old daily inserts from the first half of the month, date all the daily inserts I just prepped and pop them into my planner. So at any given time, I have 1 to 1 1/2 months of daily inserts in my planner. At the time of completing my November setup, I had October 13th to November 30th all loaded and ready to go.
And finally, I look at my future planning pages. This is the Important Dates insert from Peanuts Planner Co. Throughout the year I add items to these inserts as they arise, then I reference it when I am setting up a new month. If there are any items listed, I transfer them to my monthly and daily pages.
And that's it! That's what I do to prepare for the month ahead. I posted a video on my YouTube channel sharing specifically how I set up my planner for November.
Hope you found some useful info to use for your own planning. Leave any questions you have in the comments!