I used to run my planning & daily schedule on my computer. It was in Outlook so I could check it out from my phone when I was out. These were the days were I was working in the IT world, not running a creative business, so all meetings, deadlines, project work, etc were on either a project management tool or in my outlook. Soooo boring.
There is something magic about writing down “stuff” on paper. Since I started running my creative business I have written down my planning, goals and schedule and I must say that I love it. I keep my notepads with lots of notes and scribbles which I can review later on and I also convert short and long term goals in tasks, actions and numbers. It works. And it is more fun.
This year I have decided to invest in a good planner. I got mine for my birthday in November and I was sooo looking forward to January to start using it!
Ready for planning? Here is a short list of the most talked-about planners:
- Leonie Dawson Life and Biz Planner: a great planner full of guidance, motivation and wisdom, although a bit too colourful and hippy for me. I like it a bit simpler!
- iBloom Life & Business Planner: great format with weekly planning, pages for goals and monthly reviews.
- Visual Journal: a combination of a vision board, task manager and day planner. Great to get things done.
- Erin Condren Life Planner: a bit too simple and not enough space to plan my business.
- Get to Workbook: a daily planner & goal setting workbook designed to help you make progress on your big goals.
- Passion Planner: Although it has space to write down your goals, the weekly format is too focused on appointments.
- Daily Greatness Business Planner: great for planning your business, but the weekly view dedicates too much space to appointments.
- The Happiness Planner: Available in two versions, 100 days & 2016.
And there are plenty of printable options out there too ..
In terms of planning, I have also changed the way I plan & work. I have now a system to get things done, a combination of two methods that really work for me! (Recommended reading: the 12 week year). Here is how I plan my work:
- Define your SMART goals for the next 12 weeks (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results oriented & Time based).
- Break your goals down into actions.
- Assign each action to one or a number of weeks, depending on how long you think it will take.
- Break your actions into daily tasks.
- Plan each day with:
- Blocked time (to do those tasks which require concentration and continuity, for me this is business management, content writing or teaching my classes). I also classify each day by category (Monday is management, Tuesday is marketing, Wednesday is classes, Thursday is operations and Friday is admin)
- Buffer time (for those tasks that need to be done but are not critical, for example, respond to emails, buy materials, review the bookings)
- Break time (your own time to do whatever you like, but most not be business related)
- Evaluate each week and check what you have achieved.
Planning for 12 weeks is achievable and you can rectify quickly if something doesn’t work.
Forget about to-do lists without a purpose. Move the to-do lists to the buffer time and use the actions and tasks to help you move towards achieving your goals. This system can be applied to almost anything!
Do you use a planner or any other way of tracking your goals? How do you plan your week? I would love to know!
pssssssst! You can also check out our Project Planer with great trips to keep you on track.
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