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SML January Organise Challenge Year Planning

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Here we are at part 2 of your January SIMPLIFY MY LIFE challenge. Part 1 saw us cleaning and decluttering our kitchen, from top to bottom. Hopefully you have made a good start on this already or at least have your declutter underway. If you are only new to the Simplify My Life challenge, you have plenty of time to catch up.


Part 2 for January is our Organise challenge, which is all about preparing for the year ahead. For the first organise challenge, your task is to work out all the events, special occasions and other relevant agenda items and get them mapped out in a planner or system that suits you.

Organise My Life

While our year will start filling up at rapid pace soon no doubt, getting a head start now helps us feel prepared and organised for what is to come. For me that is about having things such as birthdays, anniversaries, milestones and events all mapped out in a calendar or planner so I know what is heading my way.

It is up to you what planner format suits your lifestyle best. For many of us, computer or phone calendars are a fabulous on the go way of keeping track, with many allowing us to sync between devices. I will admit for appointments, I do use my phone calendar so it is linked to my PC one and I get alerts to remind me a day before (very important with baby brain like I have right now). There are also some fabulous phone Apps to help us organise our time.

However, a paper version is a highly recommended back up or primary organisation option because as most of us have experienced, digital devices can fail. Nothing worse than losing all your saved data. So perhaps a traditional style paper calendar or planner is just what you need to keep track of the what’s happening in your life. And since 2015 is already here, you will be able to pick one up pretty cheap.

I am currently working on a complete planner to help myself and others to get themselves organised, but it is still a work in progress so to help you out, I have created a basic birthday calendar as well as a month at a glance which can be printed monthly or yearly in advance so you can keep track of all those upcoming events and special occasions. You can download each of these free printables below. Simply add in the dates for your monthly calendars and away you go.

Birthday Calendar

Month at a Glance

Now if you are anything like me, with a big family who mostly seem to have birthday’s at the start of the year, my calendars are already pretty full. 3 birthday’s and a family anniversary in January, a holiday and 3 birthday’s in February (mine included), and another 3 birthday’s in March… just within the immediate family. Add to that other events, like my current busy antenatal medical appointment schedule and there’s already plenty to keep up with and prepare for! 

As an extra organisation tool, I also created a calendar whiteboard in my office to track 3 months at a time, mostly to keep on top of uni assignments, but while I take a step back from that soon, it will be useful for general life organisation. Erasable and HUGE, so there is no missing it!

Don’t forget to pop back next Tuesday for Simplify My Life challenge part 3 for January – SIMPLIFY… which is all about evaluating our time and where it goes.

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter and follow on social media so you don’t miss a challenge. Together we will have 2015 in our hands!

What are you go to methods for keeping track of events and appointments? Do you use a planner, your phone or something else?

Mackenzie Glanville

Friday 8th of January 2016

Just discovered your blog through twitter, I love this post. I have been thinking about doing th pepper option, as although I am a blogger I am just finding that the digital calendars are not my thing. I tend to leave everything to the last minute and feel disorganised quite a bit. With 3 kids I think a visual reminder will be better, anyway going to check out your printable now!


Friday 8th of January 2016

Since kids, paper has become a bigger part of my organising too. It helps when on the go as well :)

Sharon - Her Organized Chaos

Tuesday 20th of January 2015

I'm kind of crazy. I use a planner, my iPhone, wall calendar AND a chalkboard wall to keep track of everything. It's like I need it everywhere so I FOR SURE remember what is going on. Thanks for linking up to Totally Terrific Tuesday last week. Our party is going LIVE tonight at 9pm CST. Hope you see you again!



Tuesday 20th of January 2015

My approach is a bit that way this year. Life gets hectic. Lots of visual reminders are great. And imagine how organised your time is!


Monday 19th of January 2015

I use my phone to remind me. I even write it down, so forgetful.


Monday 19th of January 2015

Life gets busy... We get forgetful. I hear ya! ;)

Delia @ Happy Blogger Plaza

Monday 19th of January 2015

I'm using my phone but I noticed sometimes I forget to set the alarm notification for it. Oops! I think I need a backup method as well.

Thanks for the tips, Holly!


Monday 19th of January 2015

The phone is good for noisy reminders haha but I thought I lost my phone last week so that is why this year I started paper back up too :) scary times...


Monday 19th of January 2015

Organising is a huge task! Good on you for getting into it though!