Beginning as you mean to go on

Beginning as you mean to go on

First up, I want to thank everyone for their well wishes yesterday! Through the wonder of antibiotics, each day I am feeling the tiniest bit better! Today, I even managed to do a short bit of Pilates and that is a very good thing! No chances of an afternoon walk today though – it is wet and rainy outside and those few minutes of Pilates were enough to expend my energy. No overdoing it for this girl!

Last week, Juliann asked what changes I made this year to my planner system. I managed to work a bit on it yesterday – and I am happy with my results! I need to make a trip to Joann’s to get some Tombow markers – but yesterday, colored pencils worked just fine. I have been finding some really helpful things on Pinterest and have implemented some of them this year. Previously, I had been using a Traveler’s Notebook weekly calendar with the week on one side and grid paper on the other side. This worked well when I was “working” and spent my day attached to my PC and my planner. I used it to track hours worked, and things I needed to complete and by when.

This system was great for that, but in my non-working-for-pay life, its functionality was just not functional for my daily life. First, I am not at the PC like I was when I was working and, therefore, not “attached” to my planner in the same way. Too many pages were unused and so when I needed to replace it, I looked at what I wanted my calendar to do in my day.

Enter my take on the “BuJo” craze. On Amazon, I found a set of 3-dot grid books that fit perfectly in my traveler’s notebook. They are stitched, and the paper works well for fountain pens!

I will set up each month with the calendar and my focus for the month. As you can see, my focus right now is moving and thanks to this pneumonia that is not off to the most auspicious start, but that is okay. It is there, and I am well aware of it. Each week has a section, and I can fill in things that I need to remember that week. I still need to make that page of my yearly “remember” things, i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, prescription refill dates, etc. I am also contemplating adding something in with a gratitude/mental health/focus list, but I am not entirely sure how to work that in yet.

My morning routine now includes, checking in with what is “yet to be done” this week as I spend a few minutes writing in my journal pages… a much better and more productive start to my day!

What about you? Do you “BuJo”? And, if you do, how do you make it work for you?

The Art of Planners

The Art of Planners

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”?

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