For most #planneraddicts , planning is a fun and stress relieving hobby. But to general people, the technique to organize our days can be confusing.
To my suprise, There are many people out there who never use a planner before. Whattt~
Before we start, I want to say that it’s a great idea to use just one single planner for everything. Yes, that means work + school + family + medical… you name it. And that also means having it in one place – just a book or just your handphone. And that’s a whole topic to discuss on another time :p But to cut it short, having it all in one place avoids any overlapping or worse, abandoning the other plans alltogether.
There’s so many things to talk about planning, but in this post I am going to explain specifically on using the 2017 EverydayPlanners, based on how I designed it.
1. Goals & Values
The first pages of the planner (after the holidays) is the goal. As I wrote in the post Setting Your Goals Properly, it is important that we have a clear vision of our goals/values and why we want them. Having them at the front of the planner makes it easier to check everytime we’re unsure or in doubt and help us make the right decisions. If you’re a little bit confused about your core values, you can read more at James Clear here.
If you never sit down to think about your values, then you’ll be more likely to make decisions based on whatever information is in front of you at the time. That can be a recipe for regret down the road. -James Clear
2. Important Notes or Schedule
The note section gives you extra space to elaborate on your missions/hopes for the year. I write them on sticky notes and stick it on that page so in case if there’s any changes i can take it off and stick a new one. Same goes with the Schedule. I have read and experimented that it is easier to have a fix weekly schedule for repeating things – Monday is blogging day or Tuesday Laundry day or alternating Sundays is a familyday/house cleaning day. Whatever it is, keep it one thing a day so you can squeeze in your other to-do’s.
3. Project Progress, Monthly Top To-do’s, Weekly To-do’s and Habit Tracker
Now, these three things above has to relate. It’s basically a To-Do hierarchy from yearly-monthly-weekly-daily.
- In the project progress, you put in your “projects” based on the Goals/Value Table. Take things that you can work and monitor monthly (like the samples given in the book). If it’s something general/daily, don’t put it in the project progress, have it in the daily habit tracker instead. Other good examples is blogging topics, marketing strategies, events that you have to organize, a donation project, well, whatever that relates back to your goals and action plan.
- From the project progress, extract to the monthly to-do, beginning with the top 5 to get done. For example, it’s going to be February, so check the project progress February tasks, transfer the top-5 on the monthly to-do, and the rest on “others”. Once you finish all top 5, you can do others.
- The page next to this would be the habit tracker. As mentioned above, look back on your goals/values, and add daily tasks that you wanna start this month (try 1-2 things first, once you’re good with those add more). For me, I wanna be healthier this year, and my goal is to drink 2L of water everyday. So that’s on my habit tracker. Another thing is to read a book for at least 10 minutes everyday, and that\s also on my list. You can also track taking meds/supplements. Certain supplements need to be taken alternative days, and we tend to forget when we get too busy, so the tracker helps.
- Finally, the Weekly To-Do’s on the bottom left of your weekly page. Basically look at the monthly to-do and take on the tasks that you need/want to get done this week. Then add other important things on the list (if any). From this, delegate the each to-do into an appropriate day that you want to get it done.
Whatever it is, once done, tick-it with a sense of pride that you have done your duty. If I can’t have things done, I’d cross it and bring it forward if not cancel it.
4. The Weekly Layout
So you’ve extract the to-do’s. Now you extract the general weekly schedule mentioned in #2. Again, delegate/put it into the respective day. This is basically your week-and-day stuff to do. Add anything else or break it down if necessary. For example, under house cleaning you may wanna break it into toilets,kitchen,bedroom. Or under homework there’s history, mathematics and science.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS COLOR CODE!
Colors can make your planner prettier but the truth is, it is very very useful as well. So how do we color code everything explained above?
- Categorize your tasks. For example, work, personal, family. OR if you’re in school, – homework, ko-ko, tuition, family.
- Give each category a color. Personally, I use pink for work, green for health, blue for leisure, red for my husband’s stuff (I’m usually dragged along) and black for general notes. *Try to stick to max of 5 colors. Too much can be overwhelming.
- Write in your planner based on the color. Voila!
The best thing from this technique is that you’d know if you have the correct balance. If you have too many of blues, maybe there’s too much relaxing. So you can work on those too much or too little of something.
The best pens to color code
Personally, I like the Pilot G2 but that could be a little bit expensive. A cheaper alternative is to get those colorful pens from daiso/yubiso. You can also use black ball/gel pens and color over with pencil colors (I’m planning to experiment that next week).
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself. If you feel like it’s too much work, then simplify. It’s definitely okay to do it differently than I did. And most importantly, if you’re new at this, always experiment and find what suits you 🙂
If you have cute entries on your planner do snap a pic and tag us on Intagram! #EPinAction to win a monthly Giveaway!