Plan It: Fundamentals


Well. It’s finally happened.

I officially had to join the ranks of the planner world. It’s not like I’ve never had a planner or used one. Heck I even designed specific planners for our team at WordPerfect back in the early 90s. But overall, I’ve always been able to keep track of things in my head. I’d write some of the kids’ events on the calendar over the years, but really, I’ve never had a need for a planner. Not to mention, I always felt like it took more time than it was worth for me.

These days, planners seem to be all over the place. There is so much that people keep track of. People love decorating and going all out…and that’s amazing and a wonderful creative outlet.

But it’s just not for me.

I need something that’s simple and gets right down to the very basics of keeping track of the essentials of life. For me, that primarily means I need to keep track of work.

What’s that saying? Necessity is the mother of invention?

Well, a couple of months ago I decided I had a need and invented something. Technically it’s not an ‘invention’, but it is a planner created to suit my needs.

A few months ago I had anemia for a while. I don’t think I really realized just what anemia can truly do to a body. Not only are you tired and lack strength and stamina, but the lack of iron and blood pumping oxygen to your brain can do a number on it. I hear it takes some time to get back to normal–and I’m eagerly waiting, but in the interim, I just can’t keep track of things in my head like I used to.

what. a. bummer.

So I plotted out what I needed in a simple planner: 

  • I wanted something fairly compact to keep with me at all times. Hello my trusty Midori.
  • I wanted something that was never ending…something that never needed updating (meaning, no dated calendars).
  • I wanted something that I could add to, if needed. (Rubber bands are awesome for that!)
  • I wanted a place on a calendar that I could write additional notes.
  • I wanted options, in that some people like a start day of Sunday, some Monday. Some people like a little shading to distinguish the weekend and some don’t.
  • I wanted lines that are more wide ruled, but provide a college ruled option for those that like smaller lines. I personally like having more space.
  • I wanted something that would come together in a no-brainer kind of way.
  • I wanted to have a little color option but keep the base in simple b+w—or, grey and white.
  • I wanted a traveling to-do list. One that could be placed in the current month and moved to the next when it was over.
  • I wanted a lovely color scheme and simple covers made from it.

For me, it’s not about the fluff, it’s about the write stuff. ;) Not that you couldn’t fluff it up, but the fluff isn’t my personal style here for how I’m using my planner. I need to keep it simple and workable. But my style isn’t everyone else’s style. Shocker. I know. So if you need a bit of fluff…you do you.

For me, it’s just about basics. The essentials. The fundamentals of planning. That’s what Plan It: Fundamentals is all about.

But, if you’d like more detailed printouts, where you can do it by week and such, I highly recommend the printouts from Marcy Penner / Goldenwood Farms. I have used her weekly planners to journal and they are wonderful! She and I have very similar styles so they would complement each other nicely–or perhaps her setup would suit your needs better. Plus, she has different sizes, so if you’re doing A5, she’s got ya covered. At this point in my life, I only have the Traveler’s Notebook size.

So perhaps you’re like me in saying too much is too much and so this ‘back to basics’ type of planner will work for you too.

Let’s take a little peek in my planner.


Here are my intentions for each part of the planner.

This is for the items that need to be done and/or need scheduled to be done. This is designed to give me a more solid guideline of things that need to be done. To give them purpose in time rather than this vague ‘Oh yeah, I need to do that’ as the thought crosses my brain…from time to time. It will now give priority to those thoughts and I’ll actually remember them. :)



The Lists for my setup are for all the ideas that I have in different categories. The intent is to review these at least a coule times a week

I have kept lists of certain ideas on my computer and some of been expounded on. I will continue to keep the expounded subjects on my computer as I can write more freely and quickly there than in a book. Many times I have a lot to say. :) Or in the case of Blog Post ideas, I may actually write a chunk of a blog post and I don’t need that in my planner.

To section out the different lists, labels have been included in the kit. Fold them, cut them in half, use them elsewhere…it’s all up to you.

The Lists in this kit have some different options. There are wide and college-ruled styled sheets as well as checkboxes or no checkboxes. Something for everyone. :)



Traveling To Do List
The purpose of this list is to keep some things at the forefront of my brain by keeping them where I look every day so I can see them. They may originate from my Lists or they just may be things I know I want to do more presently, but don’t either need to be put on the calendar or I don’t know when I want to do them just yet, but that I want them to be done sooner rather than later. If I decide I need to carve out time for items here, they will be transferred to the calendar. Once done–they are crossed off.



Pretty Papers
Of course, each section needs its own pretty papers to cover it, right? These are three of the patterns. I have a serious crush on these three right now–warm grey, blush pink and mustard. Also included are two other patterns. Each pattern also comes in a couple different colors so you can mix things up to suit your own needs.


On another note, the Time Again stamps–with updated years 2017-2019–are available now for preorder. They should be shipping at the beginning of September. These are perfect for this planner! And the other stamps I used are the Annie alphabet. They will be fun to use as well.


I know this planner is truly about as basic as it gets. But it totally works for me! The idea of seeing all I need to do laid out on a calendar (I hate flipping through weeks), helps take a load of my brain. Add in a couple of list options… and it’s perfection.

Even if you want more from a planner system, the labels, to-do lists and papers are great to incorporate with what you’re using!

It may seem simple in design, but for me, it’ll be powerful in execution.

off doing the happy dance now…

2017-08-23T12:55:12+00:00August 23rd, 2017|planners, travelers notebook|8 Comments


  1. Tracy Grandas August 23, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Now I think this could be my kind of calendar/planner/notebook…I bought one last year that had a lot of “fluff” as you say and wow that did not work for me. This one the other had looks like it might just be perfect. I’m still going to really think about it because I’m tired of jumping on the bandwagon and then not using what I buy…ugh! But I really like the simplicity of your pages and beautiful colors. Thanks for thinking up this one Kerri!!! Also for the tips on the paper you use, always good to know.

    • Kerri Bradford August 23, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      I totally get it! That’s why I wait so long to do things. I didn’t even get a smart phone until the iPhone 5. haha I’m always the late one to the ____ party. ;)

      The one plus to doing a download–whether it’s from here or elsewhere–is that they are usually fairly inexpensive…as opposed to buying a big kit with fluff or the hardbound planners that are like $30. You could print only a few pages of the calendar and the lined paper, print one cover and the to-do card, rubber band them together and test it out. Don’t go to the expense of a traveler’s notebook unless you’re sure you like what you’re doing. Just a thought. :)

  2. Michelle Bradtke August 24, 2017 at 8:44 am

    I also commented in Instagram – love the functionality. I just don’t get all the “fancy” of many of the planners/accessories. What do you do with those pages at the end of the year? Anyway, I’m heading to Italy in a few weeks where I hope to get a nice leather traveler’s cover before I download your kit (as well as Marcy’s weekly calendar). Also, re: your comment about using pencil, I agree that you definitely have to be able to erase. So, for the last year, I have used the Pilot Frixion erasable pens. Truly a miracle. Please keep us updated on how you are liking your new planning system!

    • Kerri Bradford August 24, 2017 at 10:05 am

      I can see keeping them. I’ve kept calendars over the years. It’s another form of documenting life. But I can only handle one creative form of documenting life though–and that’s my journal/scrapbook. Simplified, of course. ;)

  3. Virginia August 24, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Looks so neat and clean. I love it. Do you print out everything and fold it into the Traveler’s Notebook? Do you stitch or bind it with anything? I kept a travelers notebook journal for a week long trip to Florida and I loved the size.

    • Kerri Bradford August 24, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      I do print it and then bind it with rubber bands.
      Not sure if you had a chance to watch the video, but all that’s explained in there. :)
      And that TN size is just awesome, isn’t it? Love it.

  4. Virginia August 24, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Ah ha! I hadn’t watched it – sorry! Great detail in the video. Thanks so much!!

    • Kerri Bradford August 25, 2017 at 5:39 am

      Haha! I kind-a maybe thought so. No worries! :)

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