How I Use Planners and Notepads in my Everyday Routine & TWO New French-Inspired Notepads Now Available this week Only! (plus TSLL Shop is on Sale!)
Wednesday August 16, 2023

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Over the years I have written quite a lot about organization, planning, time management and simplifying, but after a TSLL reader inquired earlier this summer about the planning system I use, I realized I hadn’t written a detailed post about how I plan my days, my weeks, months, essentially my life.

As the years have passed, I have designed and shared planning pages in TSLL’s shop inspired by the system I used as a young girl in high school when my father taught me how to use aFranklin planner. As my business has grown, and as I have learned what works best for my well-being to stay both organized, but also create time to mentally and physically relax away from my computer as it can travel with me anywhere, I have fine-tuned it further and further, ultimately simplifying it to a point where all of the ideas I need to keep track of are where I need them, yet I don’t have to hold them in my head until I need to put them in a post, episode or book. As well, my appointments, running my house and garden, taking care of my pups and all the life have-tos that when forgotten can create chaos, how to keep those best organized for what I need without feeling like I am overwhelmed or overbooked as been a positive game-changer.

Over the years of running TSLL (since 2009), I have gone through a few planners and planning systems, including the one I created, and it wasn’t until about two years ago that I found the planner I have returned to and continue to use today.

To accompany my planning system, the notepads I have designed and make available in TSLL’s Shop each came about because they are what I use and find helpful in my own life, and to this day, I still use each one.

So today as the two new notepads are French-inspired in their design/text, I wanted to write the post that should have been written quite a while ago, but then again, based on what I shared above, it took time for me to realize the benefits of different approaches and also simplify to the point of being able to let go and enjoy my day knowing all is well and I need not fret.

Shop TSLL’s Sale during French Week

BEFORE I begin, I want to bring your attention to the limited time opportunity.

  • TOP Tier Members, yesterday I sent directly to your inbox the email with the exclusive promo code that will save you 10% off the two new notepads and all other items in TSLL shop (check your inbox – this would be the same newsletter you receive each time A Cuppa Moments goes live on the blog)
  • The TWO New Notepads (weekly and daily schedule) will only be available for purchase during French Week, and they will become available again each French Week.
    • Depending upon the response to the new notepads, I may bring them back in the shop at the start of the New Year.
  • Standard shipping rates apply and are not included in the discount.

Now to explore how I use Planner and notepads in my Everyday Routines.

1.The Planner

I use a planner that is far from fancy (and nicely priced – $38) yet exactly what I need in its page offerings to suit my personal and business life. I used to have one planner for each and that just became too hectic. In other words, not simple. Recognizing this, I began the search two years ago to find a planner that offered what I needed to keep my entire life in one place, yet as simple and clearly as possible. Enter Gallery Leather’s Academic (18 month) 9″x7″ planners.

Why do I like this planner:

  • A week’s view on each page (left-side)
  • A blank page for each week on the right-side to accompany the weekly schedule
  • A monthly calendar for 18 months
  • That’s it.
  • Oh! I can personalize it (on the front), if I want to for filing purposes.

Part of the reason I love this planner is because there isn’t too much rigidity. Yes, there is a weekly planner, and dates are set for each particular year on the day of the week, but then you have an entire blank page on the right side – 9″x7″ to write down whatever you need. I have my particular notes I write each week: This & That items that will be included in the weekly post for the blog, my personal to-do list of things to complete that week (bills to pay, appointments to keep, home tasks, etc.), and depending upon the week, I will keep other lists for upcoming blog posts and projects. In other words, I am not too hemmed in and can really tailor this planner to my needs as well as be flexible each week to make it what it needs to be.

Two accessories I attach to my planner for further efficiency are a pencil clip (this one is from a different brand, but the same idea in design) and metal bookmarks from Poketo.

2. The Notepads I use regularly

My Daily Schedule Notepad:

Over the past year what I began to do, so that I didn’t have to lug around my planner and remember what I was supposed (and wanted) to do throughout the day, was to look at my planner (shared above), and the tasks and appointments for the current day, then on a separate sheet of paper, written in order, I wrote out my daily schedule. My makeshift daily schedule piece of paper at that time was one of the other notepads that TSLL offers, but what I realized was that these were too wide and not long enough to clearly lay-out my schedule linearly.

Also, I found, since I don’t remain in my office all day, that I wanted to bring this written schedule with me so I didn’t have to always been checking my tech to see what I needed to, but it was sometimes too wide to tuck into the small pockets I would have in a particular outfit or slide into my phone or purse without getting lost. And then I began to think about a bookmark size as I usually take a book with me when I say go to a café to work or an appointment and wait in the lobby for my time slot. What about a long, narrow notepad!

And so the new Daily Schedule notepad was born. When I write my daily schedule down, it becomes my anchor throughout the day. I don’t peek at my large planner once I have written out my schedule, and I feel, for whatever reason, less burdened by ‘have-tos’. I guess what is happening is that I am not distracted by the next day’s have-tos, and so on and so on. A better focus occurs that holds me in the Present.

One last thing that I do, at the end of each day (unless it has been a long one and I am exhausted), before I shut the office door or conclude the day, I step into my office, look at my large planner and write out the daily schedule for the next day. I then close my large planner and place the daily schedule piece of paper front and center on my desk. I go to sleep knowing what the next day will bring, and that clarity helps me sleep knowing I haven’t forgot what I need to be prepared for the next day which helps me start the day with focus.

Explore the new Daily Schedule – À one bonne journée ! notepad from TSLL

  • English translation: To a Good Day!
  • English translation for subtitles: The Morning (le matin), The Afternoon (l’après-midi), The Evening (le soir)
  • tear-off notepad
  • exclusive, custom Sarah Löcker full-color illustration, three options: sunflowers, copper pots, daffodils
  • 3″ x 8″ (the longest/tallest and narrowest notepad available from TSLL)
  • 50 pages
  • white recycled paper 20lb wt.
  • magnet included
  • only available for purchase during TSLL’s Annual French Week (the 2nd full week in August each year)
  • TOP Tier Members will receive a 10% discount if subscribed to the TOP Tier Newsletter (automatically signed up when becoming a member)
    • look for the promo code to be sent to you 12-24 hrs before the notepads go on sale on the blog
    • Learn more about becoming a TOP Tier Member here.

SHOP the Daily Schedule Notepad

My Weekly Notepad:

The addition of my weekly objectives planner was a game changer for approaching the days and weeks more mindfully.

About a year ago, I began using a scrap piece of paper each Sunday evening after I had planned out my week (a ritual I enjoy doing on a leisurely Saturday morning which enables me to let go and fully enjoy the weekend as I know what lays ahead of me when the week begins) to list just 3-5 things that if I completed or did I knew my week was one to bring satisfaction.

And part of the reason I wanted to write these handful of things down was so that I deepened my appreciation and didn’t take for granted all that was accomplished, what had improved and/or what no longer was causing stress that had been previously.

Something as simple as the house being cleaned on Monday would almost be forgotten about come the weekend, but by having this list, I would be reminded of how good it felt to have a clean house and be grateful of that task being tended to which enabled me to focus on other projects, responsibilities or just as importantly, relax more fully when I would sit down at the end of the day or for my afternoon tea.

I was reminded of the importance of mono-tasking as well as weekly objective setting recently upon reading an article in The Financial Times. They shared that David Allen, author of the book Getting Things Done, advises the importance of “a full ‘weekly review’ not only of the diary ahead but the diary behind, along with tasks, projects and sundry scribbles on Post-it notes. This weekly review is arguably the cornerstone of his entire system. It’s also the step that people are most tempted to skip.” They go on to share “looking ahead matters for all the obvious reasons, but there is a hidden benefit, too. You feel calmer when you know—rather than just hope—that you are aware of what predictably lies ahead. And if you get into the habit of checking your calendar and your lists of tasks, you are more likely to trust them. This allows you to write things down and then relax, knowing you’ll be reminded of them at the appropriate moment.”

And the important part about using the weekly objective approach is to allow yourself to relax.

Even if you don’t get every to-do done that you have listed in your daily planner, knowing that these 3-5 things are your focus and a priority to you, when you accomplish just these 3-5 things, you are saying, I let go. I acknowledge weeks will sometimes take on a life of their own, and I accept this, but I will do what I can to give my full energy to these priorities.

You will no doubt notice that I have eight lines on each page of the weekly notepad pages, and this is for those tasks that run longer than one line. I am not encouraging you to include eight tasks. I have found that fewer than three I don’t feel productive, but more than five (major priorities) leaves me lost and spread too thin in my focus, but the lines are there to acknowledge that sometimes we need two lines to explain what the task or behavior is we want to focus on. 

Also, an objective need not be a major project completion. In fact, as I shared in August’s A Cuppa Moments w/ TOP Tier Members recently, I would encourage you to include Objectives that are well-being focused as well. For example, I have included “enjoy living at my pace and trust and honor what works well for me”.


Explore the new Weekly Objectives notepad:

  • English translation: Ingredients for a Good Week!
  • tear-off notepad
  • exclusive, custom Sarah Löcker full-color illustration, French market basket filled with fresh produce and dahlias
  • 4.25″ x 5.5″ (the widest notepad available from TSLL)
  • 50 pages
  • white recycled paper 20lb wt.
  • magnet included
  • only available for purchase during TSLL’s Annual French Week (the 2nd full week in August each year)
  • TOP Tier Members will receive a 10% discount if subscribed to the TOP Tier Newsletter (automatically signed up when becoming a member)
    • look for the promo code to be sent to you 12-24 hrs before the notepads go on sale on the blog
    • Learn more about becoming a TOP Tier Member here.

SHOP the Weekly Objectives notepad

A significant reason I have brought these two new notepads to TSLL Shop is that I want to provide tools that help readers strengthen the contentment in their lives, strengthen the mindfulness practices they are actively trying to nurture in their daily lives, and by using tools that clarify our intentions and help us focus, we are more likely to welcome habits that will become healthy defaults into our way of living that will ultimately find us living with more fulfillment, more peace and less of a need to always be doing and looking down the road. Life is meant to be lived in the present moment, and in my past, I was as guilt as anyone of planning too much, looking too far ahead and not living entirely in the now. I don’t want to do that anymore because contentment, real, deep, true contentment can only be experienced in the now.

I do hope you find these tips and notepads useful.

It has become such a relief and pleasure to only use these two systems. This really is all I use when it comes to planning and organizing my days to ensure I accomplish what I need, but also ensure I enjoy my life, finding balance in the dynamic constancy that is life.

May you find what works best for you and may you enjoy cultivating a life you love living each and every day.


Explore all of the posts shared during TSLL’s 8th Annual French Week here | The Simply Luxurious Life

23 thoughts on “How I Use Planners and Notepads in my Everyday Routine & TWO New French-Inspired Notepads Now Available this week Only! (plus TSLL Shop is on Sale!)

  1. I love this, thank you, Shannon, for sharing your system and why it works for you. I have been looking for a ‘central planner’ for a few months, along with a more cogent and concise WAY to plan, and this just might do it, so thank you! Let me ask, as far as keeping notes and/or a journal for your gardening–supplies, suppliers, successes, planting/buying guides, wish-lists etc–do you use something separate? And just had a thought–I’ve never done, but do you do the same for your cookery/kitchen?
    Love the new notepads and I can’t wait to receive my order, thanks for the generous discount!xx

    1. Ma chère Rona , Shannon to the rescue 😆 I use a bistro type chalk board ( mine was bought in France but Amazon does some) in my kitchen for menus and reminders for shopping. It has the days of the week for easy listing.For my gardening tasks. I have a folder with plastic pockets for bits and bobs as I mentioned before and a large wipe off board for all my gardening tasks. This is kept in my garden shed as it can sometimes get damp I use the board instead of paper. I also have a gardening wheel with planting and other tasks. Hope thus helps Kameela😍

      1. Chère Kameela! Yes, I LOVE your garden wheel that you have described before, it sounds practical, useful, and decorative! I too have a chalkboard where I post the weekly menu and then I create my weekly shopping list around that. Favorite recipes I’ve come across or ones that I have created are stuffed in existing cookbooks on loose sheets, and I never save my old menus. For gardening, I’ve tried various methods, a loose-leaf binder with graph, lined, and blank paper, and pockets files for all the receipts is the current one, but with no dedicated space for a cohesive journal. My dilemma, and to my chagrin, it all seems like messy little bits of un-organized papers and excruciatingly chaotic. I want a place, a system, whereby it’s all in ONE PLACE for squirrel brain to function, if not correctly, at least clearly.🤣

        1. Hello Rona, I have spent many years trying out various Planners. They have changed over the years depending on what season of life I was in. Now that I am retired I have less items to list, but I love to keep a record of my days. My favorite one is called Tidbits Day Planner. It is beautiful, well organized hardcover with plenty of pages for you to journal. It has pages for daily, monthly, weekly and hourly planning. I use mine to list dinner menus, daily to-do’s, appts. etc. You can explore the video online at Tidbits Daily Planner at Tidbits & Company. Xx Karen

      1. I’m sure you did share, but I couldn’t remember, thank you, Shannon! You know, I think the crux of the matter is, I just don’t do well with unstructured time. I really have to treat my retired?semi-retired? life just as I did when I had outside work six days a week–schedules for all projects, both at work and at home, including ‘down’ time. Some people might dream of doing it, but drifting around the days does me absolutely no good.
        I do like Papier, good reminder, thanks again from Squirrel Brain.xx

  2. I used to use my own note pads for lists but now use TSLL’ s which I won. I still have many left. I .use one list as I’m retired but only use headings and then few tasks under each heading otherwise I find it overwhelming with a long list of to do’s . I’m retired so don’t need a planner. The rest of thongs like appointments are on my phone. Kameela😊

  3. Where were you when I was living a corporate life? How I could have used the new notepads! Retirement for me means just that: No planning…but I’ve ordered the lovely blank notepads and will use them daily. Thank you, Shannon, for the generous discount. Now, I have to figure out how to navigate back to my cart! ~ Teresa

  4. Once I became an empty-nester, I did not purchase a planner because I thought I wouldn’t use it, and I was utterly lost. There is just something about ticking things off as they get accomplished. I also have a block-style list at work, but am looking forward to purchasing À one bonne journée to brighten the day.

    Happy Planning!


  5. Hi Shannon, thanks for the planner tips. I am recently retired and feel like I spend lots of time spinning my wheels. I want to be more productive! I also have my husband’s and dad’s schedules to consider. I can’t wait to start the planner and notepad system you outlined. Thanks for the discount!

  6. Shannon, thank you so much for taking the time to outline your methods and what works and doesn’t. It’s always helpful to see how someone else is managing and get ideas to incorporate. I love the planner, especially all the beautiful leather colors, and am hoping to find a spiral one similar. I prefer to be able to open it up without needing space for 2 sides. I especially like the whole blank page of notes for each week, mine are scribbled beside the days or at the top right now.

    One thing I’d like to ask, would you consider designing a post-it size pad? Not sticky, just a little one to keep beside my bed, living room chair, etc. I find that I scribble a short list or some thoughts at (very!) random times and then later they make their way into the planner in a more organized manner. I’d love to have one of your special designs to look at as I’m freeing my consciousness!

  7. Love these pads – I might just have to purchase the complete set! They are beautiful and practical; well done Shannon!:):)

  8. All the notepads are great and I appreciate your sense of all the little details and possible uses of these lists =)

  9. I find there is a special pleasure in making lists !

    For me, planning my daily activities is part of the fun , even if some of them may seem quite ordinary to someone else .

    There is something so satisfying in being able to cross completed tasks off once they have been done 😂

    These little notepads are sure to find good homes .

  10. I can’t wait to get these lovely notepads. Sadly I never got the email for the top tier discount. I checked spam but no such luck. I use notepads all day at work and my weekend to do lists. These will add just that little touch of personality the back of a junk mail envelope lacks LOL

  11. Thank you Shannon for creating this post. I have been loving my planner that I bought in June and use it everyday. It is of very high quality for the price. I like your idea of having and additional daily and weekly notepads because there are times when
    I don’t want to carry my planner with me. You provide your readers wonderful content and I look forward to reading each one. For others to know, Top Tier access is so worth it!!

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