If you would have told me even two years ago that I would be designing my own planner and publicly sharing about my OCD, compulsive list making, organization obsession and the fact that I enjoy planning and making lists the way someone enjoys sitting and playing video games I would have laughed in your face and told you you're crazy. I have always been so embarrassed and thought I was a total freak for how much I love organizing and planning. My obsession started at a very young age and I still remember when I received my first planner and my whole world changed. Haha, just kidding. Kind of. But really, I was going into the 6th grade. My parents had just bought a new house outside of my current school district and I thought it was the end of the world that I was having to start junior high with all new people. At orientation, good ol' Pacific Middle School (yes PMS was our junior high acronym, GO VIKINGS lol) but Pacific Middle School handed out planners for all the new little 6th graders at orientation. That planner saved me on the first day of school when I knew absolutely no one and I ate lunch by myself at an empty table like you see in the movies. I spent the entire lunch writing in my planner to look preoccupied and try to hide the fact that I was all alone and wanted to cry. If you knew me back then, I was the SHYEST, QUIETEST, little girl around. No pity party though, my loneliness didn't last long because Taylor Braunstein (now Bonnett) took me under her wing and by day 2 I had lunch with friends. Hey Taylor if you're reading this :) but point being, that is when my obsession with planners started and I have used one ever since that day 15 years ago.
I have lists or a calendar for just about everything you can think of. I have my normal day to day to do list, my weekly schedule break down, my monthly schedule break down. I plan my entire month in advance with my important dates to remember, my cleaning for the month (I have usual cleaning I do weekly and then I plan extra deep cleaning each month to hit different areas of our house) I plan my entire fitness routine for the month. I plan our meals weekly with a grocery list break down by department in the store. I have my monthly bills with a budget plan for saving, paying off debt and my weekly allowance that I go over once a week. I have lists on lists for school and I had my entire 4 year degree planned out with what classes I need to take and when before I even started my first quarter. I have a break down of my goals - monthly, yearly and a "5 year plan." To say it's an obsession wouldn't even begin to cover it. For me, being planned and organized is the best way to set yourself up for success. Don't get me wrong though, there needs to be flexibility and balance which is something I've learned the hard way over the years. You can plan all you want but life is still going to happen so you need to be flexible and maintain a healthy balance - insert The Balanced Planner.
The idea to design my own planner didn't occur to me until I was a full time student while working at the bank using 4 different planners to maintain my hectic schedule because I couldn't find just one that included EVERYTHING I personally wanted. So I thought, why not just make my own? For just me. The idea to share it publicly wasn't even on my radar. I came from an environment where I was made fun of for being so "obsessive" so I never even thought that other people were like this or that other people could relate and benefit from this. But the more I started putting it together, the more I wanted to share it with others. As I started embracing these quirky qualities about myself instead of feeling ashamed that I'm good at planning and organizing things, the more passionate I became about designing these not just for myself but to also help people. To help people maintain balance in their crazy busy lives and live without feeling overwhelmed and lost in the sauce with all the chaos life throws at us. The hardest part for most people is finding a way to get organized in balancing EVERYTHING we deal with on a day to day basis. But having all of it in one big planner laid out for you makes it easier. The less decisions you have to make through out your day, the less exhausted you are going to be. The more mental energy you'll have to put towards genuine conversations, your children, your work day. Organizing it all ahead of time in The Balanced Planner, utilizing the calendars and templates I already made for you, makes it so you can just go through the motions during the day and make sure you are keeping up on everything you want to keep up with.
What will be in the planners?
EVERYTHING that I already use and listed above. All of my personal lists, templates, goal setting/reflecting and calendar break downs that I use will be included in The Balanced Planners along with how I use them to stay balanced and organized. As most of you know I am still pursuing my degree in Accounting and I have 8 years experience in banking so I do plan on creating a more detailed section on money management and offering assistance in teaching people how to live debt free but still maintain great credit, how to pay your savings like a bill, how to break down your different types of savings, how to pay yourself an allowance and stick to it along with so much more. There is SO MUCH I have learned in my short 8 years of banking and my schooling that I want to teach others. Which if you are seeking any advice in regards to this never hesitate to reach out, I will answer any questions and offer my help. I'm just not offering to sell these specific services until I finish school and I'm officially a CPA.
I want YOUR feedback too!
I am designing these planners with everything I already use BUT I want to hear from you! I want you to tell me the things you do and don't love about the planners you've used and what you would love to see incorporated into The Balanced Planners. Some people have already started giving me feedback but in order for me to organize it all into one place I would love for you to email me your ideas. You can do so through the contact box on the bottom of my website or my email is email@example.com.
Eventually I also plan on making multiple different versions after the original Balanced Planner is complete. Some people have reached out wanting ones specifically for new moms in tracking sleep, feedings, potty cycles, etc. Some people have reached out wanting ones designed specifically for their schooling or small businesses. The limit is endless and I want to meet YOUR needs. So don't hesitate to reach out and give me feedback.
When will The Balanced Planner be available to purchase?
Right now my goal is to have them ready to sell December 2, 2020! Under my blog page you will see a category "all about the planners" where I will consistently update the process of the design. I have never done anything like this so I am learning as I go and I expect hiccups but I'm so excited to share the entire journey with you guys! Some people have asked about an app and I do eventually plan on creating an app too but that is something you will see in the far, far future.
Again, your support in all of this means the world. & I have to shout out my awesome partner in crime in this crazy life because I would have never had the confidence to do this if it weren't for the support of my honey, AJ, who believes in me more than anyone ever has. He constantly pushes my growth and pushes me to expand my mind to new levels of thinking. He's stayed up late helping me build this website, he's spent afternoons taking photos of me for blog content, he's listened for HOURS to me go on and on about all my ideas and has encouraged every single one of them. He was the one that planted the seed that my organization might be able to help other people. Not to mention, on our first date he pulled out HIS planner, talk about soul mate! I never met a man that carried around a planner and I knew we were meant to be.
On a serious note though, I have never embraced this as a positive quality because I allowed one person in my life to convince me this was a weird way to live. It made me feel embarrassed and ashamed of who I am, like something was wrong with me, because I literally NEED this structure in my life to be productive. Then after moving away from home and coming to California I went through a bit of an identity crisis. I always felt like I didn't have a lot of hobbies and I had no idea what I felt passionate about in life other then the fact that I knew I loved to help people. This is a topic for another post but I struggled with insecurity, confidence, needing constant outside validation and truly loving myself for who I really am. I went through a major soul searching period, praying to God every day to just open my heart and mind up to what my purpose is. When I stopped being ashamed of how God designed me, when I stopped constantly seeking outside validation because I believed I was boring and had nothing to offer and instead I started embracing the qualities God gave me, like being super organized and good at planning, THAT is when The Balanced Planner came together. If you are feeling lost, confused, not sure what you are meant for, take a step back, make a list of all the things you are good at - even if you think they are dumb things - and pray/meditate/whatever you believe in over that list every dang day. The answer WILL come to you. We all have unique qualities and traits that God put within us for a reason. You may think you won't be able to help someone but you have no idea how badly someone could relate to what you have to give. So run with it. Run with your weird ass traits that you feel ashamed of. Don't be afraid to truly get to know yourself and learn to love all the weird parts about yourself because you never know what could come of it and who possibly needs it <3
As usual, thank you so much if you read this entire post and stayed with it through my rambling and weird grammar.
Make sure you subscribe by email to get all updates from The Balanced Planner :) I don't spam your email, the only email you will get is when a new post has been shared or I have updated something with the planners. & please give me feedback so I can design these planners to the best they can be for YOU!
Nothing but love, always.
-The Balanced Planner