As you may know already, as a follower of me on social media or as a friend, I have a little obsession with all things stationery. As a writer, it seems to go hand in hand with the chosen vocation. But in this digital world, I still prefer paper and pen. Lots of paper and lots of pens.
Something I still prefer to do with paper and pen is planning. Of course I have all the best productivity, agenda and calendar apps and yes I use most of them. I’m not at all a technophobe. Technology has brought us some gems of apps and software that has made life a lot easier.
But for the real meat and gravy of planning, I have always preferred a physical paper planner.
The New Year and the week before the new one begins has always been one of my favourite times of year. It is a week when I take the time to reflect back on the happenings of the current year and decide what worked and what didn’t, what I’m going to continue and what I want to change in the New Year. In this reflection and dreaming, I decide whether my planning system worked or not.
2018 As you can probably guess from my previous post, was a year of turbulence, chaos and change. It was also a year where I had all the best intentions to plan. But the year swept all those intentions away, because I wasn’t focused on planning, I was focused on just getting through the year.
But I’m not beating myself up about that. Instead, I’m realising that some years are less about planning and more about surviving by any means necessary.
But for 2019 I want a different year. I want different plans. I want to be able to plan ahead to make more room for white space in my life. More about that “room for white space” in my upcoming New Year’s Eve post.
You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. | John C. Maxwell
So a few days ago I watched a few YouTube planner videos for inspiration. Then I sat down and made a list of what I want to plan, what planner I want to compartmentalise certain life areas into and which planners I want to use. One of these youtubers I watched mentioned how sometimes you have to know what sort of a planner you are. Then you have to make your planner/s work for you how you need it to work. This simple advice just clicked for me.
So I sat down with some pen and paper and wrote down my pre-planner plans/needs/wants. I already know that I’m a multiple planner gal. I like to compartmentalise my life. I know I could use just one planner/notebook to plan my whole life in but I also know that just doesn’t work for me. I need separate planners to keep separate areas in my life. Personally, if I only used one planner, I find certain things and certain areas slip through the cracks and I feel trapped in just this one planner. I also know what type of planners I love. I already had two successful uses for two of my planners that I had bought at the beginning of 2018. Towards the end of October, I had also placed my annual Hobonichi order but in November I purchased one last planner. So I had the planners but now I needed a Planning Plan.
All Things Planning
The Planning List
- – – Calendar
- – – Daily Schedule / Routine
- – – Future Planning
- – – Budgeting / Weekly / Monthly Expenses/Income
- – – Daily/Weekly/Monthly Chores/Errands
- – – To Dos
- My Daily/Weekly/Monthly Writing Schedule
- WIP Editorial Calendar [Work in Progress]
- Social Media Editorial Calendar *
- Time-Blocking / Tracking hours spent on WIPs
- Writer’s Daily Log
- Common Place Book
- Brainstorming Space
- Mind-mapping Space
- Morning Pages
- Daily Poetry
- Multiple WIP Project Tracking
- Health Tracking
- Fitness Tracking
- Gratitude Journaling
- Word of the Year / OneWord365 Focus
- CDFs / Core Desired Feelings [Danielle LaPorte – Desire Map]
Then I made a separate list of my planners I own and decided how each would be implemented to compartmentalise the different areas I had established that I wanted to plan.
Kikki K Cream “Planner Insider” B6 Ring Binder
CatchAll | Master Planner – Life/Work/Writing
Hobonichi Weeks Mega
Bullet Journal /CatchAll On The Go Planner
- ToDos – Scheduled
- TaDas – Accomplished
- To Order
- Pets – Cat Litter / Meds / Vet Visits
– Current Skincare
– Current Cosmetics
– Currently Reading
– Currently Watching
– Favourite Things
Hobonichi Cousin [January Start]
All Things Writer + Social Media
Editorial Calendar | Social Media *
– Social Media
– Post Schedules
– Content Ideas
- Most Popular Posts
- Most Popular Time Of Day
*[Aside: I have wanted to keep an Editorial Calendar for a long time but I wasn’t certain on how I wanted to implement this. This year I am making this a new focus and a new priority.
I also want a more deliberate plan, going ahead, for posting on Social Media, whether that be here on my blog or in the various social media applications.]*
- Track hours spent working
- Track Pomodoros
- Morning Pages
- Plotting ScratchPad / Brainstorming / Mind-Mapping
- What do I want to get done that day?
Hobonichi A6 English Planner
Daily Writer’s Log
- Poetry / Haiku Per Day
- Daily Writer Log
- What did I work on that day?
- What did I get done?
- Clock Stamp – Chronodex Break Down
Kikki K Zip | Grey & RoseGold “Oh So Lovely” Personal Ring Binder
Editorial Calendar | Writer
Notes To Work On
Kikki K Lilac Stripes Personal Ring Binder
– Migraine Tracking
Desire Map / Word Of The Year
A Dream written down with a Date becomes a Goal. A Goal broken down into Steps becomes a Plan. A Plan backed by Action makes your Dreams come true. | Greg Reid
As I see out and Farewell 2018 and as I see in and Welcome 2019, my core focus is to be more intentional in my planning. I want to get into a Planning Routine. I want to make Planning a daily habit. To help me implement this Intentional Planning, I am scheduling it into my daily routine. I’m going to block off time, in my planner, on a Sunday evening to plan the week ahead. Each evening, or as many evenings as I can manage, I want to block off time to plan the day ahead and to reflect on the current day. On the last Sunday of each month, I want to block off time to do a monthly review of the current month and a forward-plan for the next month. I’m hoping that by putting this “Reviewing + Planning” as blocked off time in my planner, it will help make Planning more habitual as part of my normal routine and thereby make my Planning more intentional and less of a last-minute dash off of to-dos.
Tell me, what are your plans for 2019?
Are you a planner? What is your planning system?