Sep 20, 2016

Some Organization and Productivity Stuff

Remember how excited I was about my planner wallet a mere year and a half ago?  It was awesome, and I spent maybe a year actually using the paper planner (off and on).  But this year it's barely been touched.  And it's not because I don't like it!  But I just don't use paper.  It always irked me just a tad to repeat stuff I'd already added to my Google calendar.  And as my calendar gets more complicated (mostly with reminders to do things like water the plants and give the dogs their heartworm meds), I become more and more reluctant to rewrite all that junk.

So I gave it up altogether.  After months of searching for a replacement purse (I had this highly specific vision of a wallet with a pen loop, small pocket for chapstick, and cross body strap), I found it in the most unlikely of places: Target.  Seriously, I scoured the Internet and then, on a whim, my sisters and I pranced through the purse section of Target and found the teeniest, tiniest purse ever that somehow magically holds all my stuff.

Pictures, because yeah.

So cute!  And the strap is removable, which is handy both for clipping my keys onto the bag or for taking off altogether and throwing it into a bigger bag (which is probably what will happen most of the time once diaper bags are in the picture)

Main pocket has a divider, secret inside pocket, and even my clunky, bigger new phone fits in here, with its Otterbox.

Big Pocket: phone, checks, less-frequently used cards, business cards Small Pocket: cash, license, 4 most-used cards Tiny Pocket: chapstick!

But anyway, while pleased with the removal of the planner and minimizing the size and amount of junk I carry around, I was still not quite satisfied with my digital planning.  The calendar is great for events, and Google Tasks keeps track of my general to dos, but I really didn't have a good place to set daily priorities.  Google docs could work, but I'd have to remember to open it every day and it's a pain on mobile.

I started thinking about what I really wanted, and that was a way to view all that stuff at once.  Then the epiphany!  "There is a probably a planner app already created for this exact purpose."  Dun da da dun!!!  Only took me 6 months to figure out.

Anyway, there are plenty, but the one I picked is Planner Pro and It. Is. Amazing!  Pulls in my Google calendar, lets me add to do list items or just general notes (which is where I write my priorities and my gratitude list), and has a daily overview that displays them all tidily next to each other.

I was tempted, as I often am by shiny new toys, to buy the upgrade.  It's only $5, but it's an annual subscription, which I don't like and when I really analyzed, the free app already has everything I need.  Reoccurring tasks with reminders could be nice but I already have a Google calendar for that and it emails me as well.

The only things that aren't perfect with this app are that it doesn't integrate with Google tasks and that, although it says it does, it doesn't seem to be syncing my 2nd "reminder" calendar and it's only pulling the events from the main one.  Neither is a big deal to me, since my Task list is everything I need to do in the foreseeable future and for the planner app I really just want today or this week, and my reminders calendar is pretty self-sufficient.

To sum up: my planner still fits in my purse.  They're just both a lot smaller now.

Are you a paper or digital person?  How do you keep your purse[s] organized?

Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design


  1. Since Steph wrote her planner post last week I've been thinking about doing a big one of my own on why I (gasp!) haven't used a paper planner all year and I don't think I'm going to go back from digital. I'm all digital now—and I love it! I've got my system finely honed and I'm trying really hard not to be tempted to peruse this app... please just tell me it's not available for iPhone!

  2. I've actually always been horrible with planners, paper or digital. I get caught up in the idea of them but rarely ever use them to their fullest potential. My life is also pretty simple, so I've gotten by with my organized chaos. And I'm lazy too! LOL! But I'm glad you found a system that works for you and I really love your planner/purse. I prefer small/ish purses and will have to see if my Target has it too.

    1. Yeah, laziness is the biggest reason I was never consistent with a paper planner. But I find apps are within my laziness threshold and I do enjoy the organizing part of the day (sometimes more than the doing part) so we'll see, but I think this'll be a good long-term solution.

  3. I am digital for a lot of things but a planner is something I have a hard time with. Digital calendar items I sometimes forget about, but then paper planners I am gung ho with for about 2 or 3 months and then I sort of fall off from using them and by mid spring they are all but forgotten. I want to get better and more organized but I cant decide which one I want to get disciplined with. The paper planner is more my style because I enjoy writing things down, and seeing it tangible in front of me. I keep thinking that if I spend the money on something fancier than the cheap Target one it would force me to use it more...but then spending $40 is hard to swallow you know?

  4. love the little purse!! I'm going to look into that app if I can get it for Android :)

  5. Oh my! I think you just solved my planner problem. I have been using a paper one, but really only using the calendar part there is no reason to carry a giant planner for just the month.

  6. I prefer paper but use both because Blue and I have a joint calendar on the Google and at work we use Outlook calendar. I like using a paper planner for tasks/to dos, blog posts, and meal planning in addition to the monthly view for scheduling events and such. I also like it because I can go back and see things easier if I need to, and I remember things better when I write them down. I need a smaller purse like yours! Love that you can carry it solo or put in in a bigger bag if need be.

  7. this is awesome! love your new purse and how cool you found the app. i am the opposite, i tried to make digital work for me and it just doesn't. not because it isn't easy or convenient, but because i am super good at ignoring electronic reminders, like i don't do it on purpose, i just do it, and then i have missed a birthday or an appointment. if i take the time to look in my planner at something, chances are at that moment i have a spare 5 minutes so i can think about/order a gift etc etc. i don't really use it for things like water the plants though, because i have no plants inside and my outside ones are dying because i don't water them. i am such a good owner of things! lol.

  8. I like your new purse! I also have a Target purse, but much bigger - probably way too big, but it ends up being the bag we throw everything in when we go somewhere. That will probably change to the diaper bag. I have a paper planner that I was using a lot while I was at work and had extra time to look busy while not actually doing anything. Now that I'm at home, I just use it off and on. I still mostly use my phone, so a planner app may be the way to go for me, too.


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