in this post, i show you how i set up my 2018 and 2019 year at a glance pages at the front of my new happy planner.
i brainstorm what i want to mark on these pages and exactly how i’m going to do it.
first, figure out how this spread can be most useful to you.
the first question to ask about any section of your planner is how best it can serve you. what can this two-year spread help you accomplish?
in my years of planning, i always reach for a bird’s-eye view like this spread when my husband and i are trying to plan vacations. the rough landscape of my year helps us discover when we can take some days off for travel.
with that in mind, i can proceed with my planning.
next, decide which types of events you need to see on this spread.
i brainstormed all the things i could mark on these pages. holidays, birthdays, days off work, pay days, even my period! but the endless possibilities are exactly why the step before this one is crucial. what is this spread supposed to help me do?
besides being a quick reference for long-term planning, it helps me see when i have some slower, quieter weeks for potential travel or taking on bigger projects or commitments. so, pay days and ovulation don’t really matter for that. what does matter for me when planning vacations, for instance, are:
- the starts and ends of my semesters (since i teach);
- days off of school (again, since i teach);
- major holidays; and
- important anniversaries and birthdays.
as for other things like when bills are due, dodger home games (i am THOROUGH when i brainstorm!) and more, i can better keep track of those things on a monthly or weekly spread.
then, decide how you will mark those dates.
once you decide what dates to mark on this spread, figure out HOW you’ll mark them.
sticker-lovers often opt for transparent dots. erin condren sells her own brand. many etsy shops sell a variety of colors and styles as well.
here are some classic ones by MPDesignsCo on etsy:
these circles by etsy’s Plannertopia are blank in the middle if you like that cleaner, more bare look:
and PandabirdDesign on etsy even makes them in squares:
highlighters work well here too.
lastly, you can use your favorite colored pens. i’m using my stabilo fine-tip pens in this happy planner.
but before you start marking, get your color-coding system down.
assign a color to each category of events you decided on a few moments ago.
here’s a special tip: keep in the color scheme of the planner if you want these pages to look super pretty. for my happy planner, i chose light blue, bright orange, dark green, and yellow.
now go through and circle all your dates!
i love the bold colors and the fine tip on my stabilo pens. plus, they don’t bleed through the happy planner paper.
finally, create your key.
the final step is to create a color coding key to remind you what each color means.
i used the blank spaces toward the top of the page.
alternatively, you could put the key on a small page marker or insert instead of directly on the page, especially if you don’t want to write directly on the page like i did.
so, what do you guys think? what do you mark on these days and how do you do it? share all your ways in the comments below.