I love sticky notes – they’re one of my favoirte tools for color coding, pre-planning the week and for planning things subject to change! So I thought why not plan the entire week using sticky notes?
Setting up the week
I used my A4 Arc planner. You can read about why I prefer the Arc (discbound) planner system in this post: Why I use the Arc Planner instead of binders
To set up the week I grabbed 2 sheets of plain old copy paper, black pens and started sticking sticky notes!
I used grid sticky notes I found at Officeworks to create a habit tracker – there was plenty of room to add lots of habits – I could’ve fitted even more if I didn’t write on every second line but I wanted to keep the white space to make it neat 🙂 The pre-drawn boxes were very handy when crossing off tasks as I completed them. I ended up adding a line between each to make it clearer which boxes lined up with which tasks.
See the number 1 in a circle on the meal plan and the grocery list sticky note? One of the ways I used to use sticky notes (and still occasionally use) is to write out all of the ingredients needed to make the meals on the meal plan sticky note. Then you can move this to a separate notebook and recycle it for another week’s meal plan. Use another sticky note for the rest of the items you need to buy that week.
You can also take a photo of the grocery list and meal plan and leave it on your phone if you’re someone that likes to cross things off as you walk around the grocery store.
I used 2 x 2″ (my favorite size!) sticky notes for blog posts. More on that system in this post: How to keep track of blog post ideas using sticky notes and a notebook
Sticky notes used
These aren’t affiliate links, I just really like these sticky note brands 🙂
- Post it Note 3M 2 x 2″ for the blog posts and their workflow tasks – more on that in this post: How to keep track of blog post ideas using sticky notes and a notebook
- Post it Note 3M 2″ wide x 1.5″ high for the 2 projects for the week (i.e. most important tasks)
- Post it Note 3M lined (the big sticky note) for the grocery list and the weekly tasks list
- 3 x 3″ lined (they come in yellow, orange and green) are from Target
- Grid sticky notes for the habit tracker are the Post it Note 3M brand (they could be cut in half if you didn’t have as many habits to track or wanted to do a vertical style like more routine tracking planner stickers)
- For the bold titles on the ‘grocery list’, ‘meal plan’ and ‘other groceries; I used the Staedtler Triplus Color 1.0mm (not to be confused with the 0.3mm fine tip by the same brand)
- For the rest of the sticky notes I used a black ballpoint pen (I can’t remember which one, to be honest, most ballpoint pen brands feel and look the same)
Pros of using sticky notes to plan your week
- You can easily move them around to fit more on the page
- Come in various sizes so you don’t have to use up more space than you need. One of the problems I have with traditional planners is that the size of the planning space is fixed every week. Some weeks I may need more space for some categories I plan and other weeks, I may need less – sticky notes give that flexibility to adapt to your changing needs
- They’re great for color coding – they come in the main colors I recommend using for color coding: blue, green, pink and orange (tips for choosing colors for color coding are in this post!)
- You can add and remove sticky notes as things change. If you used sticky notes every week and something was cancelled or rescheduled just move it to the next week
- You don’t need to keep re-writing recurring tasks, just move the sticky note
- You only need a black pen as the sticky notes provide all the color!
Cons of using sticky notes to plan the week
- While you can re-use sticky notes you’ll probably go through a lot of them (as the stickiness won’t last forever) so it could get expensive, especially if you buy decent quality super-sticky ones like the Post it Note 3M
- The habit tracker on the grid paper was a good idea but the boxes were rather tiny. After I used this spread I found some graph style that had larger boxes (Post it Note super sticky 3M with the 0.25″ squares) which I would use next time
- You can’t use colored pens – they won’t show up on the color of the sticky note. If you guys have been following along on this challenge you’ll know I love a good rainbow spread which I usually create using colored pens!
- Correction tape doesn’t look good on sticky notes. This one is a rather ‘petty’ con but if you want to keep your spread pretty, correction tape is going to stand out. If I make a spelling error I tend to throw out the sticky note and use another one. I know that’s a bit wasteful but I like things to be neat!
What size sticky notes are right for you?
If you want to give this style of weekly planning a go and aren’t sure what size sticky notes to use, then always go for a larger size, you can always trim to size later on. The most common size for sticky notes is 3 x 3″ so these would be a good size to start with to see if sticky notes will work for you.
I started with the big sticky notes and then filled in the rest of the page with the smaller sticky notes – just like a puzzle!
I tend to allocate things to a certain day but then do them on any day that week of that week (it doesn’t matter to me as long as it gets done. I switch things around depending on what I’m most motivated to work on at the time and what is due). Sticky notes are ideal if you have a similar approach to me of getting things done.
Sticky notes are also ideal for recurring tasks such as cleaning. There are 2 ways you can track recurring tasks:
- I usually prefer to use a large sticky note and have it in the sidebar, especially if ‘m using a small planner that has limited room to plan and run out of space
- Or you may prefer to use small sticky notes with a separate sticky note for each individual task to allocate to certain days (i.e. 1 sticky note would have ‘clean bathroom’ another 1 could have ‘clean kitchen’ etc.
Sticky notes are also ideal for things that occur every so often (such as cleaning out your car) – once the task is done you can peel it off and move it to when it should be completed next.
They’re ideal for planning things far in advance that are subject to change.
Would I try this planning system again?
I love sticky notes but I wouldn’t use them for the entire week again. They worked well for meal planning in week 4, pre-planning the week in week 13 and blogging when I ran out of space in week 24. They are a good tool to use with a planner layout but given I like to tick things off, unless I laminated the spread with the sticky notes and used dry erase markers, I’d need to write out tasks on a new sticky note each week.
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Catch up on past weeks of the challenge:
- Week 5: Planning by category and task, rather than by day
- Week 9: Customising the Erin Condren hourly planner for task based planning
- Week 18: Making a DIY printable planner with a flexible layout
- Week 23: Using Limelife Planners Weekly Layout C
- Planners you’ve probably never heard of (but will want to know about!)
- 5 Planner supplies you should never skimp on
- How to choose the right planner pens: what to look for when buying planner pens