How I Set Up My Planner Right Now (Featuring: ways to make time for MULTIPLE hobbies/jobs!)

by - June 22, 2020

Hello, everybody! It's no secret that I am a major fan of Planners, keeping track of my time, and ensuring that I always know how I'm going to use my time. I also have a million and one hobbies, jobs, commitments, and things to do. So today's post is going to be: how to manage all of that! (Or at least: how I do it.)

First off: My planner.

I currently have this Wonder Woman planner, and it's been the one I've used throughout this last school year. I plan to continue using it til I get to college, when I will revert back to my Passion Planner (which is AMAZING because it has everything organized by the half hour for the busiest bees, but I digress). My absolute favorite thing about this planner is the three different sections. I like to organize them as follows:

1. SCHOOL. I am actually doing summer school (one college class, I'm so far over my head, help) so I use this section to write down my assignments and, more importantly, WHEN I plan to do them. I use this in correlation with the app MyStudyLife, where you can upload all your assignments and then check to see what's due by the week. I find that especially helpful for tracking reading assignments when you don't want to pull up your syllabus over and over.

I also write down my piano practice and my workouts in this section, because I see those things as more school than anything. During the school year, this section was much more full of assignments for my 5-6 classes, but it's less full now, for obvious reasons. I expect to have MANY more such things in my planner once college starts.

2. WRITING. THis one could more generally be "the arts", because anything I see as related to my arts is in here. It starts off with my WIP tracker-- ItSF all the way across, a.k.a. my new WIP (If the Sky Falls, the sequel to Holding Up the Sky.)

Then I write down the book I'm currently beta-ing--while I'll typically have multiple beta projects in the works at a time, I try to only work on one per week, and only that one util it's done.

For the longest time, I would just write "art" in here instead of specifying which drawing I was working on. But now that I have so many projects and I'm trying to be way more serious, I'm trying my hand at assigning a certain project a certain day. It's especially nice now that I can try to use different mediums and different pads *wink wink*

Finally, I try to write down "Read" as an item on my to-do list every day. I also have to write down days when I plan to watch shows or movies, because I won't spend any time on those things (or I'll waste time trying to make decisions) if I don't. I have a firmly set TBR this year, and making my way through that is something I need to be intentional about. And then I have enough shows and movies I want to get through that I need to make a plan.

This is, in my opinion, the most important place in my schedule as a creative. For many of us, there isn't time in a day to write AND draw AND make music AND read AND watch something AND edit AND critique AND paint. Gosh, that's a lot just looking at it. But since it's my summer, I try to get as many of those things in as I possibly can, and I want to be intentional about it. Not just "Oh, maybe I'll write today, if I get time for it."

No, I've found that the best way to make time to write is to put writing ON YOUR TO-DO LIST FOR THE DAY. Make a list of things to do and MAKE SURE WRITING IS ON IT.

3. LIFE. This is the most general--I write down my meals on here (it's more fulfilling, somehow, to check those off after spending half an hour a day on each), my shifts for work, my chores, things that NEED to happen, my bills, my family time, shopping, and anything else I want/need to do in a day. Some days have WAY more than others. Sometimes I'll go through and add more stuff in after I do them so I can check them off.

So what do I want to say about this?

First off: PLANNERS DO NOT RUN YOUR LIFE. THEY ARE A WAY FOR YOU TO RUN YOUR LIFE. Making lists of your priorities, making to-do lists, getting things done: It should not dictate your every move. If there's something that isn't life or death (or the death of your grades) if you don't do it RIGHT NOW, if you aren't feeling it, don't do it. The world will not end. *Me, a Type A, breathes heavily into a paper bag*

Secondly: Organizing your life is NOT just for planning gurus and it doesn't take lots of time or lots of money. Buy a planner! Make a list! Check off each of the things! You don't need to have specific categories and you don't even need specific TIMES. Just put down that you're doing the things and then? During the day? DO THE THINGS.

Thirdly: you can do it, mate. Get in there and make a system that works for you. It doesn't have to look anything like mine--I know Passion Planners and bullet journals are super popular, but a simple little pad of paper and a pen can work too if that's all you want. You may have to try several different systems. I've had a different planner almost every school year. But if you give it a shot and you do your best: You can do it.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you use a planner? What are YOUR tips for getting things done? Is my system ridiculously complicated? Let me know in the comments!

You May Also Like


  1. nice layout. I like the concept of planning, but it isn't really for me. Still, this post was really helpful. I enjoyed reading it. <3 <3 <3

  2. love this post! <3 <3 my planner was such a lifesaver during college - and it's so satisfying to cross things off on a list. ;)

  3. Oh, I LOVE my planner! Although I do sometimes feel trapped in all the lists--fellow Type A right here. :) I find it so helpful even (especially?) in the summer, so that I don't waste time. I've never tried adding writing to my to-do list, but that's a really good idea. And I'll have to go check out that Passion Planner...

  4. Planners are great! I like built journals and plan a lot in them.

  5. This is fantastic! I literally LIVE off to-do lists and schedules and things. I'd be a MESS without them. I love how you section yours off in different categories. That's a brilliant system. And okay, but it makes me feel so much better that you also have to set aside certain days for reading or watching TV and actually PLAN it. Because YES. First of all, I'm a workaholic so if I don't set out time for myself to REST I just...never will. Second of all, when I DO find time to rest I often waste that time just scrolling on pinterest or flipping through things on Netflix and not just settling in to actually read or watch something or whatever. I have to be INTENTIONAL about my rest time and have a PLAN. I'm so glad that's not just me! XD

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I always love seeing how people organize their tasks because I'm ALWAYS on the lookout for tips and tricks on how to better improve my schedule. This was great!

  6. My planner keeps me from going crazy! I'm currently using one called The Happy Planner that I found at a craft store but will be switching over to a Blessed is She planner for the new school year. Thanks for sharing how you plan! :)

  7. "Planners do not run your life. They are a way for you to run your life." I LOVE THISSSS

    I usually just create to-do lists with the Tasks app on my phone...and then have it set so whenever I check my gmail on my laptop, the list shows up there as well, that way I can keep myself on track of things that need to be done.

  8. I have never heard of a Passion Planner? I'll have to check it out!

  9. I am the biggest rebel when it comes to planners, but I also really would benefit from having one. XD I like what you said about all of this and I'm feeling motivated now!!

  10. I LOVE THIS POST. *eats up alllll the productivity-ness* *what does that even mean XD*

    Honestly, I think I have the exact opposite problem: I plan out my days, and then I get overwhelmed and do nothing. #TypeBPerson XD But I’m getting there. ;) I really love your way of sorting tasks into different categories - maybe that would help relieve stress. Hmmm.....

  11. Okay but a planner that goes down to the half-hour sounds AMAZING and I feel I would either absolutely love it and become obsessed with OR get way too stressed out over planning my days to a T and become obsessed with it. Either way I'm intrigued. xD

    I felt it so hard when you were saying how you can't do THIS and THIS and THIS allll in one day. Like... I wish SO MUCH that we could. In an ideal world I would be able to fit it allll in. Every day. BUT it just can't be that way, and I have to be okay with that or I'll go crazy. So, I too am I trying to discipline myself to be intentional with my time but also to allow myself room to breathe, and not try to schedule everything into my day. It's okay if different days look different.

    Great post! I always devour posts like these. xD

  12. I really should try a planner, I am terrible with my time.
    Glad that it's working for you. You sound super busy!


Hello, friends! Do make yourselves comfortable and stay for a while--I'd love to chat with you! I simply ask that you keep it clean. :)