Planner newbie: A guest post from Gretel

I think it is pretty safe to say that most of us bloggers write for others to read our work. Granted, there are some who host private blogs, but the rest of us are hoping for someone other than just their fiance's grandfather to be amongst the loyal readers (just kidding, Pop, love you!)

Fortunately, mainly through the amazing Philofaxy community, I have gained a few additional loyal readers. And while I love writing for you all and communicating with my blogger friends via Twitter and Facebook, you can't even imagine how excited I was to get an email from Gretel last week- a reader I didn't even know I had!

Not only did I receive an email from a reader, but she thanked me for helping her organize her insane undergraduate schedule. And I, of course, not only thanked her in return, but asked her to do a guest post on her new organizational system. I gotta say, for a girl who said she had never owned an actual planner, Gretel is catching on quickly!

Instead of just taking a peek at her new planner (not a Filo... yet!) I asked her to talk a bit about her overall system. I think we can all take a few tips here and there. So without further ado...


I don't know how I found your blog but I'm so so glad I did. I'm trying to organize my crazy undergrad life and I have never owned an actual planner. Since reading your blog, I bought a great one from Target and bought FC refill pages from Amazon and my life feels strangely on track (totally not normal for me). Thank you so so much! 

 I use a meal planner on my fridge for during the week because sometimes I forget to bring my lunch. If I look at it the night before as I'm getting water or something, I'll remember to look at it and pack for tomorrow. Plus it's so pretty. :)

The activity planner is another reminder of to-dos and things that are not so important or pressing (like catching up on the ABC show Revenge!). Also, because I'm such a ditz, I keep a list of what I have under my bed and in my closet. I frequently forget what I put in those places since I can't see them, so I don't freak out the next time I'm trying to find my hammer or something (which is surprisingly often). The grocery list on the fridge is super-convenient and I just rip it off on my out the door to the mall.

The planner is my baby (I'm sure most of you understand ;) ). It's just long enough to put in a rent envelope and zip up completely (which I LOVE). And it looks like a cute clutch purse! I bought the FC pages on Amazon since they're slightly cheaper there than the website, and it was free shipping. I mainly just put classes and club meetings, plus e-mails I need to send and specific homework I need to do. I usually fill it out the night before and at the bottom I put things to bring the next day and leave it open on the counter to see in the morning. At the end of the day in Daily Notes I write one thing that made me smile that day and names of people I met that day (so I don't forget).

All in all, it's been a pretty successful set-up. HUGE improvement from what I had before...which was nothing. I'm getting assignments done much in advance and I'm not forgetting things I need to buy from the grocery store. In the back I have my Books to Read, Movies to Watch, and since Sunday is my official cooking day, Recipes to Try. 

I honestly have to thank J for getting me started on this planner kick, and hopefully it's not just a kick. Also, The Happiness Project started me thinking on planning and I'm also keeping a short resolutions chart for my own little project. I'm always on the lookout to improve my planner set-up (as we all are I guess) but I'm glad I even have a planner for the new year. I'm going to do costume and makeup for a new Rave play on campus and I just know my planner and I will become best friends. :)


How ADORABLE is that planner? Even though it's not a Filo, I was pretty shocked to hear it came from Target and is made by Mead. In addition to that, I'm totally digging the meal planner calendar right on the fridge- I could totally get out of my tuna-sandwich-every-day-for-lunch rut if I implemented something like that!
And did you notice those beautiful FC inserts? Look familiar? Yep, I am FINALLY the enabler- these are the same inserts I'm using this year. I'm glad Gretel is loving them as much as I do.

What is your favorite part of Gretel's system? If you have any questions for her, or would like to have a guest post at The Crazy Life of J, shoot me an email at thecrazylifeofj[at]!

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