Get It Together: Agenda Tips & Tricks


I finally ordered my 2015 agenda. After much deliberation, I ended up buying the same one I had last year. I was very tempted by this one, and eventually I’ll just find a Filofax style refillable. I’m really picky about the week layout, and couldn’t find a refillable I liked this year. I just can’t kick paper – lists or notes in my phone never get looked at again.

Determined to get organized, I sat down and set this one up to be my one stop information book.


1. Tape or staple paint chip cards for all your house colors, with notes on where the paint is used, or what you’d like to match / coordinate to it.

2. Ditto fabrics if you know you need to match them.

3.  Take measurements of things you know you need. For example, I’m looking for a bed frame with a height of less than 43″, a smaller sized screen door, and tablecloths for my extremely long dining table. I never remember all those measurements, so I wrote them all down on one page.

4. Keep an ongoing list of things you’re looking for in thrift or antique stores. China patterns, silverware patterns, lamps or light fixtures, etc. Sometimes I get to a store and totally space on what I’ve been keeping an eye out for.



1. Between Facebook, Google calendar, and emailing my mother-in-law, I tracked down everyone’s birthdays and wrote them in. I did not write them in the birthday list at the back of this agenda, but on the actual days. I am seriously TERRIBLE at birthdays. I hope this will help.

2. I love this agenda because it has one side for the days in that week, for appointments or “must-dos” and then an open to-do list page on the other side. It helps me to sit down on Sunday and list all the things I need to do that week.

3. I wrote down some goals, resolutions, and POWER PHILOSOPHIES, so I can flip to them if I need a grounding check in.

4. I don’t use this planner for work at all (unless I’m speaking at a conference / traveling and need to put details in) – my work calendar is wayyyy too convoluted. This is personal life only.

5. If you’re not one to schedule regular massages / retreat times or make time for yourself, go through the year and randomly put “make spa appointment” on the to-do list side.

6. If you’re on a health issue hamster wheel, like me, consider making a “health” section to track appointment results, make notes, and track money spent for tax purposes.

7. I don’t keep business cards. If I need to know someone for business purposes, I follow them on LinkedIn. If it’s for personal / doctor / car repair, etc, I just add them as contacts in my phone.

8. I also don’t put bills due in here, because that’s all set up on auto-pay already. I’m a big fan of automating anything that can be automated.

How else do you use your planner / agenda? I’d especially love to hear more house renovation tracking tips!

Also! We recently moved the secretary desk into the living room – it’s much brighter / warmer / more social to work from here than in the spare room, and I’m definitely using it more. Willoughby likes it too. I need a big fern to go next to that globe!




  1. Oh planners. Every year I start a planner and by May, I’ve left it at the bottom of my purse and forgotten about it. Sigh. Best intentions. I too prefer paper to my iPhone calendar. No matter how many alarms and reminders I set up it’s just not how I think.
    I envy your organization.

  2. This is awesome. I just started printing out a simple format 1-week-per-tabloid-page planner to use at work, and another to use at home for things like meal planning, keeping track of what we’ve got going on in the evenings, and reminding ourselves to do big things, like our taxes (I wish I was kidding — time slips between my fingers, I tell you). I love seeing how other people work!

  3. I am impressed. I have the hardest time sticking to a system (any system!). I’ve tried it all, too. Paper, digital, a mix. I really, really wanted the bullet journal to work for me but I got lazy. So it’s keeping track of things in my head and Evernote, when I’m browsing (though I forget things are there a lot of the time). Maybe this year I will find a system that works for me….

  4. I swore the planner people would never get me, never! But after several missed appointments I realized my organized chaos was no longer working for me and I’ve a year filled with travel and events and I need to keep on top of it all…so I caved. (Also I need room for perfume lists and bad poetry scribbles). I looked at a bazillion planners but remembered seeing your post here about it and I ended up getting this one!

  5. I work for a Dutch person, and there are loads of Dutch people in our company. It was in this position I was introduced to the uniquely Dutch concept of… perpetual birthday calendars. Which are kept by the toilet. I am not kidding (the 1st two times I saw it in co-workers’ homes, I thought it was a joke). I love the idea (of course, not everyone will)…

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