Hello, fellow Planner Enthusiasts! My name is Jen and I’m a midwest gal who blogs and vlogs from home over at Pretty Neat Living. I have an amazing husband (who cooks!), the hairiest
dog princess pup you’ve ever seen, and a sweet four month old daughter named Charlotte who is the light of my life.
I’ve been a planner enthusiast since I was old enough to keep a calendar. My first planner dates back to fifth grade! Fast forward twenty or so years and I still enjoy taking notes, writing down goals, and keeping track of tasks in my planners with color coding and stickers.
I was introduced to the wonderfully colorful world of Erin Condren a few years ago and I’ve kept a Life Planner to help plan my posts, videos, and related tasks since January 2014. Over the past year it has become my one and only planner where I organize not only my online content but also my daily goings on. I prefer the vertical format for easy day to day planning. When I became pregnant with Charlotte I knew I wanted to keep a planner for her as well. As someone who is particularly fond of documenting life’s happenings in writing, I decided a Life Planner would be the perfect tool to help me track Charlotte’s growth, development, and milestones both big and small.
I opted for the gold coil Life Planner for a bit of pizzazz and ordered a lace interchangeable cover which I had personalized with Charlotte’s name. A beautiful planner for a beautiful girl! Charlotte was born on December 28, which just happened to work out perfectly to start documenting her days with a 2016 calendar.
The monthly spread is perfect for an at a glance overview of Charlotte’s milestones and special moments. I use planner stickers that I purchase on Etsy to highlight certain dates. I sum up Charlotte’s milestones in a list on the sidebar.
I use the weekly spread for “the daily report,” as I like to call it. Custom stickers from Paper Loving Mommy on Etsy mark off each section. I track Charlotte’s feeds and sleep to note any developing patterns. As a new mama it helps me navigate this unknown territory as I figure out what’s best for my daughter. I document anything noteworthy from the day in the lined space at the bottom of the spread, such as Charlotte’s moods, any new tricks she’s showing off, outings we take together, people we see, etc. I use the sidebar on the left to sum up our week each Sunday and always make sure to fill in the thankful thought section.
I love using my Polaroid Zip Mobile Printer with Charlotte’s planner. I take lots of pictures of her every day with my phone and thought it would be fun to include a daily snap in her planner. There’s nothing quite like a photo a day to see how much she grows and changes! One sheet of the Polaroid ZINK photo paper is perfectly sized for two photos that fit neatly inside one of the sections on the Life Planner vertical weekly spread. Every other day I use the Polaroid Zip mobile app on my phone to design a two-photo collage print out, cut the photos into two, and stick them to the page using the self-adhesive backing on the photo paper. It’s quick and easy to do and is the perfect finishing touch to my documentation of Charlotte’s first year.
I make a daily practice out of filling out Charlotte’s planner. I use an acrylic tray to corral the planner, a notebook (to document longer stories), and the Polaroid Zip on my bedside table. Every night before I go to sleep I fill out the day in the weekly spread using information I keep track of during the day with the BabyConnect app. The whole process takes less than five minutes. On Sunday, I’ll write out my thoughts from the week on the side bar and fill in anything noteworthy on the monthly spread. It’s a quick and easy practice that helps me track patterns and document moments both big and small from my daily experience of my daughter.
I haven’t been able to find the time to start working on Charlotte’s baby book yet, but I know once I do I’ll have all of the information and memories I need to make a beautiful keepsake for our family. The planner in itself is its own little time capsule of this sweet time in my life as a new mama. Having the daily photos makes it all the more special. I’m sure how I keep track of Charlotte’s growth will change with time, but I hope to keep up the daily photo documentation practice over the years.
I’d love to hear if you use a planner or something similar to document life with your little one. Feel free to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram if you care to share!