How I Use My Simplified Planner(s) | Salt Air Entrepreneur

YES QUEEN! Here we go! I love my planner(s). I have to pluralize that because I have a weekly academic year planner (August 2019-July 2020) for the girls and their life priorities and my big mama daily calendar year planner for all 654 of my jobs, LOL! It was SUPER freeing to me to be able to honor my personal priorities and businesses by giving them their OWN space versus letting the girls stuff overrun it, because let’s be real…I’m already doing a lot of selfless dedication to make all of their things work so the least I could do was give my business/self a clean, easier planner space to work with!


Have you ever bought a planner and thought…yes, this is going to make me SO much more organized!” But in reality, you have a little feeling of doubt that tells you it may end up sitting on a shelf all year unused? If you buy running shoes, you don’t just BECOME a runner…you have to show up and do that WITH the tool you purchased to make it happen…and YOU CAN DO IT with a very very very simple routine and process. But you have to promise me, and yourself, that you WILL show up for it! The trick is keeping it simple. You-can-do-this!

This does NOT need to be extreme.
This does NOT have to take up a lot of your time or overwhelm you.
But… you do have to show up to some capacity.

People tend to think things like scheduling and budgeting restrict them and take away freedom…but let me flip the switch on that. Budgeting means you have to watch what you spend and be strict(er) with your money. An immature way to view that is that it’s not allowing people to be carefree and that’s not “fun”. Also not fun? Massive debt. Not being able to have electricity and running water because of that “fun and carefree” spending. And swiping your credit card on something you don’t need when you don’t have the money already in your account to purchase it is not a way to live. If you budget, pay off debt and watch what you spend, that is the REAL, adult version of freedom. Please see Dave Ramsey for any further inspiration on this subject 🙂

Scheduling works similarly. Using a planner to note your to do’s and to schedule when you’ll get things done ALLOWS for more freedom later on and makes being spontaneous and quality time more of a possibility but with the peace in your heart that all of the important/adult things have been taken care of. Scheduling when you’re going to edit, for example, as photographer is VERY IMPORTANT. I know so many people love to wing it and “just get to it whenever”… but at what point is that fair to your client OR to you as you dread editing more and more day by day as time goes on, because you couldn’t have just scheduled it in and SHOWN UP!? If you schedule in your adult and professional responsibilities in your planner, and then you honor it and show up – you have MORE time to take vacation or breaks or just…do nothing! Or anything! In conclusion – the “discipline” of doing things like scheduling and budgeting will ultimately bring you more freedom and more peace of mind. I am totally down to stay signed up for those feelings!

So in a few simple steps, here’s how my planner works for me and what I do with it that helps keep me on track.

1) Every single weekend, usually on Sunday, I sit down and open my Google calendar (the home base of ALL the activities, obligations and scheduled events) and I start to fill the pages out for the following week only: Monday-Sunday.

2) Events come first, and that’s easy enough right? You just write in your events and when they are happening!

So you’ve opened your Google (or other) calendar, taken your scheduled obligations from that location to your planner…what is next? Why have a planner when you have a Google calendar if you’re only creating a double of what you already have on your digital schedule?

3) Look at those events and determine was needs to get done to make sure they happen smoothly and successfully. This is what the to do list space/lines in your planner is for and WHY it can serve you better than just a “schedule”! Example: If I have a session on Wednesday, I’ll write that in my planner obviously..but I’ll also include “charge camera batteries/check memory cards” as well. These are not things that would probably be listed in your online calendar and YES they may be obvious and second nature but if you’re busy, you could TOTALLY forget this. This helps set you up for success! 

Also, you don’t usually have things like “run to the post office” and other small errands in your online calendar, which is why hosting these smaller tasks in a planner is perfect so that you show up and don’t repeatedly forget to do them/put them off.

This is how you run smoothly through your days. You don’t just write in events you are showing up for, you aim to be more prepared for those days by a little forward thinking on the details.

Anyone can use a planner to just tell them where they need to be, but what needs to happen so you can make it to those things successfully?

By sitting down for a few minutes weekly, you can shape the energy and tone for your upcoming days. It is and always has been my belief that because we can’t control so much of life, if we control/aim to shape the upcoming hours/days of our life with intentional planning – we can make things so much easier for when the inevitable chaos ensues. It makes life easier and to me, using this planner is about something so much bigger and more than just organization. It’s about making time for what matters most.

Below are the images of the DAILY planner I use and how that looks! I’ll include the weekly (the girls planner) below!

I LOVE this laminating paper! You can laminate your color key if you want to make one, your work hours/details, your children’s schedules, it’s awesome to keep a guide like this tucked in your front pocket or paper clipped in! Laminating sheets on Amazon found HERE.


Can you tell mine is well loved? It goes EVERYWHERE with me, all year long, shoved in bags and even taken to the beach to sit in the sand with me. LOVE IT.


And now… the girl’s planner! This has already helped me SO much this year and we’re barely into school starting! It’s so much easier to note their schedule details and needs in here than in my planner. We decided on the weekly Navy blooms for this!!! 🙂

If you want your color coding stickers to fit in the front weekly pocket, you can cut the sheet into thirds!

If you want to see my FAVORITE planner accessories – there’s an entire post for that HERE!


Hi pal! I’m an Outer Banks photographer, mom of three little mermaids, wife to my absolute best friend, founder of Homeless Looks Like (501c3 nonprofit) and I also run Outer Banks oils! I’m a Type One (Ennegram) and I make time for what matters most while soaking up all the salt air with my family. Thank you for stopping by the blog! 🙂



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