If you Google “planners” you will get about a zillion results almost instantly. (Actually, I got 139,000,000 in .39 seconds) There is so much information available from Pinterest boards, to blog posts, to YouTube videos all with volumes of information on what people think is successful.
Perhaps the reason that there is so much information is that there is not one perfect system for everyone and this is absolutely true for me!
So, what I have done is taken parts of things from a variety of “planning styles” to create a system that works very well for me. This took a bit of work, because when I worked in the corporate world – Outlook worked perfectly for my needs. I combined that with some other online programs and my work life was well-organized.
However, now that I am self-employed and I work from home a digital planning system did not work as well. I am not sure why – perhaps the fact that I am a team of one, and what I am doing does not need to be accessible to others.
Now, I do use some excellent online resources for my work, Trello, Slack, and Harvest are wonderful resources for working on projects – and they make working remotely seem less remote! But, for my daily, weekly, and monthly goals – I really like a paper planner.
Last year I moved to the Midori Traveler Planner. It has become the best thing I have ever used. I did a bit of modification to it (thanks to Bradley at Stuff & Things) and now it is just perfect for me. I am not an “art” planner person. You won’t find stickers, washi tape, or collages of stuff on my pages – just simple planning – daily, weekly, and monthly/yearly. I use this insert for my planner. It helps me “stay in the week” and focus on the tasks that I need to complete. It helps me know where I need to focus my hours and how many hours I am spending on a project.
I borrow a few things from the Bullet Journal System – not many, just a few.
Sometimes, I have a task that cannot be completed in a week – a little arrow shows me I need to move it to the next week. In the new week, it gets an arrow to tell me this was a carryover project. Sometimes it gets cancelled entirely. I can easily look back to see how my week’s went and can keep clear records of the work I did. I think this will make tax time next year infinitely better.
I also have a journal insert for my Midori, which I use daily for my creative writing. This year, I have been trying to work on my creative writing so I am using Spunky Eclectic’s monthly journal prompts. I look forward to expanding my writing as the year continues.
The last insert I have in my notebook is just a simple graph paper insert. I use it to keep track of inks I like, of projects I would like to make, recipe ideas, Breed School notes, and just plain doodling.
Not in my planner – my monthly calendar – this sits on my desk open and visible. I use this to remember birthdays, anniversaries, personal appointments, etc. Things that are not work related, but I need to remember.
There you have my planning style in a very portable planner. Tell me – what is your “Planner Style”?
I love posts like this, it makes me feel like I really know what’s going on with you. Thanks for sharing your planner and how it works for you. I’m all about the iPhone for tasks and planning. I use Google calendars and also EverNote and ToodleDo to keep track of the things I need to do. I am journaling now for personal use but that’s more artsy and doodle-y and stuff.
Thank you for a truly useful post. My current “planner” (I hesitate to even call it that) is a spiral-bound set of index cards that I write my lists on. It works on a daily basis, but it’s very poor for planning week to week. I think the MTP might help me get a much better grip on days, weeks, and months. I don’t need fancy, just a simple planner that works and more importantly, one I’ll actually use. I’m going to sleep on it, but something tells me I may be ordering my own in the next few days!
It feels great to put together a planner system that works for YOU! Your notebooks looks quite small — as in packs-a-big-punch-in-a-small-space small. I want to check out those Midori notebooks now! As for me, I’m liking my non-artful, slightly-bastardized, ever-evolving bullet journal (in a Moleskine).