Everyone has a different way to plan their days, weeks and months. A million different kinds of planners, digital and non digital, to do lists and much more. But it’s what you do with them and the time you have to make a plan that counts. There’s a few things I do to be my most productive and scheduled self during the week. Here’s a peek into the strategies I use through the week…
First of all, knowing what you need in a planner and how you’re going to use it is the starting point. Do your research and look through as many as you can. Also waiting for sales periods like end of the year or spring when they tend to go out a second time with shorter amounts of time in them but still useable for 6-10 months out of the year! A student is going to need something much different than a mom on the go or someone who has an online business or blog (like me). Brands have all sorts of layouts (and some are fully customizable) and can be really fun to decorate like the one I used last year, The Happy Planner. Before that I used Erin Condren, Panda Planner and now I’m currently using the Peacefully Productive Planner from Hustle Sanely.
My VA and I have set weekly and monthly planning sessions and we assess when and if we need more. This includes a virtual Sunday planning session that is held online in two apps called Zoom and Voxer (walkie talkie and messaging app). Sunday planning always happens every week around the same time 5-6pm PST, we jump on Zoom to do this and talk through everything while we problem solve and plan/work. In a way to stay on track with goals and checkpoints, we message through the day sometimes so I can stay on track. We hold each other accountable by planning our weeks in our calendars, co working on projects, social media and writing we need to do. Checking in on goals and progress is what makes this so beneficial for all of us. We also all keep in touch this way through the week because we live all over the country and this app makes it so simple and convenient. Every quarter, we have a longer meeting online through zoom- about an hour or more, sometimes we get sucked into chatting and dreaming about how to reach our goals best.
I am a big supporter of using Trello (app) for organizing thoughts, planning and keeping all the things that you need to remember or list out in one place. It’s been a great way to keep strategy and planning accessible to those who help me with my blog and my VA who is the one I plan with most.
Leaving your planner or to do list out where you can see it to use and it’ll be handy is the best way to set yourself up for successful. Because after all, if it’s not written down and planned then nothing gets done and forgetfulness creeps in.
When things get frustrating or at times when I get stuck writing something or creating new ideas, checking in is helpful. I text or email a friend and usually and that really helps to re-motivate and inspire me. When my VA, Pam, recently had a baby I consulted with another friend of mine who also works in an online consulting space- she helped me find new topics and flush out some outlines so I could stick to my posting days. Leaning on each other for brainstorming and inspiration or just a simple opinion is one of the greatest parts to using Voxer with my friends.
When I am feeling chaotic I use to-do lists or make a brain dump to get it all out of my brain and sort everything. My mind gets bogged down with all the “open loops” of things that I’ll do someday or need to remember at a certain place or time. Consistently I use my notes app to jot down all kinds of random things, a recipe, a password, a website or things to remember to buy or something to do or watch. Also it’s a place where I logged all my donations which made that easier for me.
I constantly love using reminders and notes app in my phone. I check them multiple times a day and having alarms for appointments and important things helps me very much. It’s great to easily date and set a time of events, appointments and more so they don’t slip my mind.
Recently I’ve been reading books to help achieve goals and be super productive while you’re working on each step. “Eat That Frog” is a great book to help you with techniques to be your most efficient self and get more done with less effort. It’s a book that I highly recommend checking out. It’s an easy read with big rewards.
Well I hope that some of the ways I use my planner and make myself most productive and efficient resonated with you. You just have to find what works and what you enjoy using the most. If you’d like some advice or to see what my planner looks like- I have a few posts on it here in the blog.
Thanks and I hope you all have a great week!