If you watch any of my Plan with Me videos, you'll know I layout my planner each week nearly the same way. I am very picky about my 'little things' options, my weekend banners, my checklists, and the shape of my icons. All because my planner layout is a visual way for me to clearly see what I need.
A no white space spread may look busy to some but to others it totally works. For me, my layout is a spacial way of coding my life. Much like color coding - all appointments are yellow - this way of using space as a way to code - all appointments are on half boxes with a time icon - is a visual language you are creating for yourself. Even if you color code (or do a bullet journal type of thing) your planner may look way crazy to someone who doesn't use your same system. Pink means something to you...but I don't know what it is. A circle with a dot in the middle means something to you.....but I don't know what it is. A half box with a laptop icon means something to me.....but you have no clue what it means.
My no white space layouts are all about dividing the space in to consistent pieces. Every week is the same and that way I can go back, week to week, and see what has and hasn't been completed. The biggest example of this is that I put a cleaning checklist on the bottom of each Monday - Thursday in my ECLP. I've done this for a long, long while....and this week I can look back and see that man, I really need to vacuum the living room because for the past three weeks I haven't. (You can read more about my cleaning list and cleaning routines here) So much like another may look for a certain indicator like a color or a doodle, my indicator is the space the task/thing/item takes up. My indicator is where the task is located or how it is noted. I'm going to go through and break down one of my no white space spreads for you in hopes that it inspires you to try out no white space planning....or just helps you understand why some of us planner girls cover our pages in stickers!!!
Before I get into that though, I do what to say something - it took quite a while to build up to a no white space layout. I watched a lot of videos to find exactly what I liked. I picked on thing from this video, or another idea from another video, or combined this and that from these three videos to create my own style. A planner only works if it works for you. You have to be doing something that works for you. Maybe no white space is not your cup of tea or maybe it is just what you've been looking for - either way I hope I can make sense of the spacial aspect behind no white space planning, for me.
To Do List
Every week my To Do list is located at the top of the column (under what used to be the morning header) I always put my to do lists here as well as an Instagram icon to mark my posting schedule. When I open my planner to check my specific daily to do list, my eye knows to go there first. These are tinier tasks - tasks that don't have a specific category, on the go tasks, or things to remember. Though these tasks may go into another category (like edit PWM or create kits) they most often are done on these days to keep myself on track. I've mentioned in this routines video about how I work on specific things on specific days - blogging is Monday, YouTube is Tuesday & Thursday, Etsy is Wednesday and Thursday, etc. But if something is in a to do list on a day it isn't assigned to, I need to do it to stay on track. Or it was carried over. So in short, the first part of my daily column is a to do list
Cleaning List & Little Things
At the bottom of my daily column is my cleaning list (only on Monday - Thursday) where I mark of the area of the house I'll (try to) clean that day. You can read more on my cleaning routines in the link near the top of the post, but basically I divided the house into 4 parts and take 30 min a day to clean that part of the house. So I mark what I need to clean and either check it off....or use an arrow to push it off! Sometimes I use icons to denote where I'm cleaning - vacuum is the living room/office, dishwasher is the kitchen, cleaning bottle is the bathrooms, second vacuum is the bedrooms. This helps me because more often than not recently I've been pushing off the chores. So I can look back each week and find my cleaning checklist for each week, in the same place, and see what I've put off. Sometimes things get pushed to the weekend but sometimes I just close the door and ignore it!!
Above the cleaning checklist is the Little Things area. This term is quite popular in the planning community. I am very picky about the icons I need in this section and that is why I prefer printable kits - I can color match my own little things. In this section I track meals, tv shows, blog posts, YouTube videos, and other little things not to forget go in this section. When I'm looking in my planner I can easily see what the next blog post is, what I watched last weekend, and how often I'm eating cereal for dinner.
In between the to do list and the little things and cleaning list areas is an extended version of what used to be the afternoon section of the column. This is my Today section. I put the full decorative boxes here and put stickers marking what needs to be done. It is in this section that I add my blogging, YouTube, and etsy checklists, my appointments, gas reminders, bills due, packages, trash, meetups, etc. This section is sort of like the decorating section. I'd like to say this section is decorated because I'm excited about the things - like meetups - but that doesn't really apply to boring things - like taking the trash out. It is for everything that sort of doesn't fit in my version of the other two categories. I know where to find my blogging checklist, my planner meetup info, if it is recycling this week too, and what bills may need to be paid.
My grocery list is always a checklist on the bottom of Friday. My weekend cleaning tasks are always a checklist on Saturday. My weekend blogging and YouTube tasks are always small checklists at the bottom of Saturday and Sunday. In every layout it is the same. When I open my planner and what to see my grocery list, I know where to find it.
My sidebar is for all the things that either don't have a timeline to complete or things to remember for next week. I have an Important and a Goals section which are two different things. I also have a Next Week section to jot down what I need to remember to do next week. This will just get migrated when I plan the next week. The sidebar gets changed up if I have different stickers from different kits, but usually the content is the same.
I hope this little breakdown helped you to see the spacial relation to no white space planning. Not every planner does no white space the same way. Some change it up every week. But for me, things laying in the same place opens me up to using a lot of fun sticker kits!
If you're looking for a good example of someone who does the same type of spacial layout, Kristen Michelle on YouTube does the same sort of thing. She will layout day by day but uses her space in the same way - school goes in this area, etc. So check her out!
If you found this helpful, let me know!
What is your planning style? Did it take you a while to develop it?