At my former day job, I lived by my Outlook calendar. It kept me organized and on task because I sat at my desk all day. It was always in front of me.
Now, on the go constantly, I can’t seem to make my iPhone calendar work for me in the same, efficient way. My notifications pop up, but I snooze them and close them… and forget about them.
In my Writer Better Faster class, R.L. Syme posted several planner suggestions for various personalities. While a part of me rebelled at using a physical planner and moving away from technology, I decided to give it a try. I bought the Passion Planner and absolutely love it!
The planner is geared toward the creative type, with an area for an annual, passion roadmap (dream or goals) and tasks to help breakdown the goals into smaller, more manageable steps. In addition to month-at-a-glance pages, it also has weekly calendar layouts by the half hour, with areas to notate weekly focus, good things that happened during the week, personal and work to-do lists, and an area for notes. Each week also has an inspirational quote and suggested action for the week.
At the end of each month, there is an area of reflection that asks questions to ensure you’re staying on task. This has been a big help for me. Writing down what I accomplished and what I didn’t helps keep my rear in gear. The back of the planner also has an area of blank pages for journaling or notes, and graph paper for more roadmaps or other planning. And best of all, I can use colored highlighters to keep tasks organized by category i.e.: personal, business, writing, family, etc!
As a visual learner, I like having the big picture at a glance. If I see a day looks like it could head into overload, I move tasks to other days or weeks. That’s not to say I’m batting a hundred on my tasks for each day. If I don’t get to something, I move it to a future date, depending on deadline. This has really helped to keep things manageable.
If I sound like I’m fangirling over my Passion Planner, I am! While there are several, very cool planners out there, this one is the perfect planner for me. There are also stickers, graphics, and other planner accessories available on Etsy.com and other sites. You can make it as fun as you’d like!
Finally, if you’re considering a planner for your own busy life, don’t forget the white out. You’ll need it. Trust me.