2017 Goals and Planner Set-Up

Hello, and happy 2017!

Once again, a new post is long overdue.  It seems that I just never have time to write anymore, or perhaps I don’t make time for it anymore.  Either way, I do miss writing.  So one of my goals for 2017 is to get back to it, even if it’s only once in a while.

Which brings me to my goals for 2017.

There are many.

I’m not sure why I have so many this year, except that I have a lot more going on these days than I used to.  My life has many areas, and each area seems to have its own goals.

I had ideas for my goals swimming in my head throughout December, and shortly after Christmas, I had to get them all out.  I started with a generic brain dump, just getting every idea I had out of my head and on paper.

(Forgive the bad writing, as I was riding in a car at the time.)

Once I had all of the generic ideas down, I wanted to flesh them out a little, add more detail to each one.

Once I had the details down, I created a mind map with all of the different areas of my life and all of the different details for each one.

The blocked out portions are for my different areas of work: my full-time job, as well as two at-home side jobs, neither of which take a ton of time (because I’m doing them very part-time), but for which I have goals.  I may go into further details for the two side jobs at some point, but right now, I’m keeping them private.

My mind map is a bit messy (I used a Moleskine notebook for this).  I started out doing this in a Google Drive document, but as I tend to do, I was concentrating more on the organization and layout of the mind map than the actual mind map and its contents.  So I quickly nixed that idea and turned to paper instead.

Looking at all of the different areas of my life, I needed to look at my planning system and see how I could tweak it so that I could incorporate all of these areas without making my system complicated.

My overall planning system is still pretty much the same as it has been for quite some time.  I have 6 tabbed sections:

1.  I/K/N (the two side jobs and church) – any projects/notes I need with me (more detailed information is kept in a separate notebook for each, which I will cover in a later post)
2.  Writing – ideas for journaling and blogging
3.  Notes – random notes I need for myself
4.  Projects – any personal projects I need to keep task lists for
5.  Lists – any type of running list, mainly shopping lists and/or book lists (which will later get transferred to my digital list)
6.  Calendar – 6 months worth of monthly inserts and 2 months worth of daily inserts

The best way for me to incorporate my two side jobs was to update my color-coding system.

This allows me to quickly see what I have going on for myself, my full-time work, my part-time work, my family, and my health, as well as important notes and general tracking. 

“Tracking” for me isn’t jotting down what I ate that day or how much water I had, but is a list of gratitudes and an inspirational quote for the day. 

I used to keep these in a separate notebook (which had since changed from what you see in the linked post), but I found that I often forgot about it and it didn’t get done.  Having it in my planner helps me to remember to do it, and allows me to see what the focus of my da was, since my gratitudes are drawn from things that happened that particular day.

If I had something to add for my full-time or part-time work, that also would go on that specific day in the corresponding color.

I had contemplated buying a Hobonichi planner to keep track of my side business details and my gratitude lists and inspirational quotes.  I love the grid paper, and I absolutely adore other people’s pictures of their Hobonichis.  But in the end, I decided to try this first since it wouldn’t cost me anything extra than what I’ve already spent.  Plus, I love the flexibility of a ringed planner.  In addition, I’d then have to carry around 2 books just in case I needed to add something to one (because writing it in the one and transferring it to the other defeats the purpose of keeping them separate).

I also thought about using the Hobonichi as my everything book, but again, I love the ring planners for their flexibility and the fact that I have a continuous rolling calendar. 

Having a section in my planner for quick notes for my side businesses and a separate notebook for bigger details allows me to keep track of everything in my planner, but leave behind the details, which would definitely require a bigger planner, which is not something I want right now.

So, for now, this will work, and if it doesn’t, I do have a personal size planner I can move into.

What are your goals and planning system for 2017?


  1. Hi! Your planner looks so tidy and functional to me! Mine's always a hot mess. Enjoyed reading about yours.
    Thank you : )


    1. Hi Heather, Thank you for your comment! I always like seeing "hot mess" planners because I feel like mine is too tidy, meaning not much goes on, lol.

  2. Thank you for sharing. Thought about Hobonichi for long times well, but like you, decided that rings more flexible than bound.

    1. My ideal setup would be Hobonichi paper that fits my VDS compact size that comes preprinted and prepunched so that all I have to do is pop them into my binder and start using them!

  3. Thank you for this timely post Sue - I don't know where January goes but I am glad to have found time to catch up with you here. I have been meaning to get on with my January post for my blog outlining some of my general aims for 2017 and you have inspired me to do it. Wellplannedlife has done it again and helped me get organised, thanks.

    1. Aww, thanks, Teresa! What a wonderful comment. January has gone so fast. It will probably be some time before I get to another post, though hopefully not too long. In any event, I am learning to not stress myself out about when to get posts up. I hope you aren't pressuring yourself too much either. ;). I look forward to reading it, whenever it goes up!


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