WHAT’S IN MY PLANNER
The beginning of the year is such a great time to get organised. Don’t we all want to perform better than we did before, achieve more, do more? I am not very good with long-term planning and I don’t really get how people manage to schedule and write down everything for the upcoming 5, 7, or 10 years. One year or even half a year is my max.
Today, I am going to break down how I organise my life and to-do’s with the help of my planner, and how it keeps me on track of everything.
Things I use
Here are some of my must-haves that I used on day-to-day basis:
My [beloved] planner;
Choosing the right planner
I used to use Moleskine and Leuchtturm 1917, and I’d try out Bullet Journal system there. Mind you, it was the original Bullet Journaling, not the modern-day pretty Pinterest-worthy one. I thought that I liked the system, it seemed very structured and logical. But. It didn’t work for me.
One of the souvenirs I got myself from our trip to Japan was a beautiful rose gold soft cover planner by Labclip with the layout that did wonders to my planning. It had a yearly calendar, 12 monthly spreads followed by a weekly spread+an empty page for notes. I’d use this blank page to write all my to-do’s for a specific week and then distribute my tasks between the days. ‘This is it!’ - I thought when I looked back at all of my tasks being marked as done after half a year of using that Japanese planner. I wanted to get something similar but more advanced for 2019 and then on Aliexpress I found this pink beauty I’m using every day now.
It is a medium sized (A5) life planner with different pockets and all the pages that a planning and tracking junkie like myself might need. Let’s look inside!
Here’s what you will find there:
Pockets in the front and back. I use them for my business cards, office key, train tickets and stickers I use most often. Sometimes I even put my phone and earphones in there. Yup, the cover is made from stretchy material, so my Galaxy S9 fits perfectly;
2019 day-by-day calendar ( I still haven’t decided how to use these spreads. There’s not so much space to write and all my birthdays and important events go into monthly calendars. We’ll see);
2 years, 1 year and x10 21-days habit trackers;
Relatives and Lunar calendar holidays (not using this page, it’s not relevant);
Blank pages for writing down your notes (would love to see more of these actually);
Annual summary spread! (Yay for journaling!);
A spread to keep your scheduled payments and passwords;
Colouring pages! (omg??)
A few pages with perforated papers to give out notes to the others.
And the monthly and weekly part has these cool features: monthly plan (work, learning, fitness, travel), monthly spread, payment details spread, weekly plan block, daily to-do’s blocks, and summary of the month pages. As this planner is for Oct’18-Oct’19, I am using some of last year’s pages for tracking my parcels, translations and for taking notes.
Sports: I’m trying to be active for at least one hour every day, so I decided to track and see what I do most: min. 10k steps, gym session, home workout; Reading; Journaling; Morning routine; Facial exercises.
I jot down all my notes and to-do’s in black color. I just love the overall look, isn’t it pretty? 😍
Calendars and blocks
For the monthly spread, I’m staying true to the original BuJo system: I mark only those events that will happen 99%. Birthdays, public holidays, meetings, events and travels go in here. This is also where I track my level of activity and other habits — you now know them from the second part of my colour-coding key.
After finishing this spread, I’d move on to monthly goals. This is where I jot down what I want to achieve during the upcoming days in the fields of Work, Learning, Fitness and Travel. After that, I write down what I have to do during each week, and then move on do my daily blocks. I fill in Payment pages when something comes up to make sure I stay within my budget. And I fill my weekly/daily spreads with all my notes and to-do’s for each day. I just tick or cross off the finished tasks - it gives me that pleasure of having accomplished something.
Apps & stuff
I’m a heavy user of Google Calendar! All my meetings and reminders go there, color-coded the same way as events in my planner. My Evernote app where I store everything else is also connected with my GCal. And just a couple days ago I started using Calendly. I’m doing 1-1 consulting via Skype and sometimes it is too difficult to coordinate time with my clients. Calendly takes all information from my GCal and shows only the available time slots. My clients can book meetings with me right away: I just need to send them a link to my account.
To make things more bright, colourful and fun, I use different stickers! These guys also help a lot if I run out of space in my Daily blocks.
So there you have it🤓
Remember: a planner is only great when it works for you & your needs. Before you pick up one, think about how you will really use it and how it makes your life easier to manage. When you have your '“why”, the “what” and “how” will come in no time.
Are you using a paper planner or you’re the kid of digital age?