Tracking bill paying in your planner

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I used to track bills paid in my planner by writing the information directly into the day spaces. However, my mom recently showed me her method which is much more organized and convenient. I immediately implemented her method for my own use.

She uses a Notes page in her planner (you could also use a Notes booklet in the back of your planner) to keep track of bills paid, dates and amounts, confirmation numbers, etc.


She designates a page for each bill and credit card. This way it’s much easier to reference than my old way of flipping through my planner pages. It’s also an easy way to see if you are making headway on paying down your credit cards.

Do you track finances and/ or bills in your planner?


4 thoughts on “Tracking bill paying in your planner

  1. Laurie,
    The Principal still jumbles days into blobs. I need to be able to scan across the week to see what appointments are next to each other on adjoining days.

    Here’s my fantasy:
    1] Love paper LOOSE or capable of being cut apart to put into a disc system if I need to expand from the bound book or ditch earlier pages for weight.
    2] 8×11 (US notebook size) paper
    3] Week spread across 2 pages with the columns running vertically from EARLY in the morning, 7AM for breakfast meetings, to 10PM at night to cover conference dinners.
    4] I need the time slots to run vertically like an old-fashioned appointment calendar
    5] SEVEN DAY WORKWEEKS!!! – 21st century self-employed don’t have standard work weeks. My day(s) off, if I get any at all some weeks, might be Monday/ Thursday on week and Tuesday/Saturday the next
    6] Light colored gray or purple printing so that anything other than the date is a suggestion that I can write over. That way if I need to jot addresses, directions, expenses, or any other information, I’m not struggling to read it through the printer’s ink
    7] None of this gray background alternating or blocks like some calendars that make the page a nightmare if I have to copy or scan it for someone else’s records.
    8] Lose the maps. I have a smart phone if I have to look it up. The area codes are changing so fast, they’re out of date and I need quick access to country codes to know who’s ringing from where before my cell data won’t cover it and I need to switch apps.
    9] Since over half the major religions are getting left out, don’t print religious holidays unless it’s a national observance. You’re wasting space if I or the people I’m working with don’t belong to the regional majority.
    10] Let’s talk discs. I use Staple’s ARC, a lot of people have Circa or other variants. Rather than trying to sell me tiny bundles of notes pages that won’t cover the notes from an appointment or address books I won’t use because my contacts are on-line, how about putting the pages in loose bundles that I can punch to fit my particular system with it’s my discs or someone else’s Filofax notebooks? Page sizes are pretty standard in the US, with metric for Europe. Rather than try to cut apart a bound notebook that’s not meeting my needs, I can take a few minutes at the start of each year to punch and load the covers I own in the colors and textures I prefer. Then I can add plastic pockets, biz card holders, etc if I want.
    11} Pen loops if you’re going to try and sell me a cover. Sturdy FAT expandable pen loops that hold more than a finger-cramping gimme pen or pencil.
    12] Availability of future years! This is HUGE! With Print on Demand an option for novels, I’m willing to wait a few days or a week longer to be able to get future pages for planning, whether it’s 6 months at a time or an entire year. I have to buy an entire year of a Staples ARC academic calendar and toss 6 redundant months just to track my already-scheduled conferences. This is not the 19th century. Some of us have commitments through the end of 2017 already, but have to create work-arounds by butchering multiple products from multiple vendors to accommodate archaic printing practices. What century is it?

    Yes, I use fountain pens. Yes, I want good paper. But I need paper products that fit my work practices and record-keeping demands. Easier to slip a half-sized sheet in the center between two halves of a week to expand my records than be flipping back and forth between tabs trying to log expenses and information away from the point they’re happening. Inevitably the planner explodes off the desk or falls apart while I juggle a phone, calculator and whatever else I’m trying to balance on a knee, the seat of the car, my hotel’s bedside table…And being able to punch the itinerary, hotel confirmation, and any other needed paperwork and file it in the week I’ll need it is my idea of heaven.

  2. Unfortunately that creates more work when you’re having to also link time worked, project, and location. It’s the reason I continue to beg for planners that have full working days including weekends, plus larger blocks to allow more information to be logged in the same place. It’s a great system if all you’re tracking is personal or one project payments.

    All too often it seems planner designers are clueless to the complex demands of users working more than a simple 9-5. A lot of us are self-employed and have to be able to document information on the date. The one page block planners are simply too messy when trying to block out appointments and add information, even if they have a great deal of space.

    I’ve got to be able to see a week at a glance, but then drill down to more detail than most of the current planners seem to offer without juggling multiple inserts or notebooks.

    • Beth this is very interesting, a lot of people do work from home and have to do their own billing on multiple projects. If you could design your ideal planner, what would it look like? Feel free to email me if you like: Laurie (at) Exaclair (dot) com.

      I wonder if the Principal’s weekly layout with daily spaces for schedule, notes, and daily categorized lists would work for you? You could adapt the lists to whatever topics you need, to have an organized space for each day:

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