Last week I introduced your to my multi-planner system and talked about why I choose to use multiple planners. In that post (Multiple Planners- Can It Work For You?) I mentioned that I would be doing this post on how I use my planners to plan out my week. I am going to go through my planning process and how I try to keep myself organized and productive throughout the week.
First things first, my planning process starts with a cup of coffee or tea. Usually most my planning happens on a Sunday afternoon. I like to take time to myself, sit down reflection on the past week and think about the week to come. I like to give myself enough time to do the majority of my planning, and planner set up on one day. It may take a little longer doing it all at once, but it makes me feel more productive and ready for the week.
I like to sit down with my drink, a notepad (preferably seasonal) and write out anything I know that needs to happen in the upcoming week. It may be an appointment, a lunch date, or even something on my to-do list that I really need to get done. I like listing out Monday to Friday and organizing my thoughts that way. I have been on the search for a weekly desk pad, but I haven’t found one I really like yet. Plus I like using seasonal notepads. I look back at my prior week, see anything that I have accomplished, and see if I need to put in on this upcoming week, and try to plan out how I will accomplish it. I also at this time look at anything I have put in my calendar app on my phone and write that information down to go into my planners.
Next I choose the tasks that will take the least amount of time. So that is the set up of my fitness planner. This is not so much a set up but a reflection of the last week. Since I don’t do any decorating, just colour coding in my fitness planner, this doesn’t take me much time. I use my monthly spread to record my calories, steps, and glasses of water for each day. I also total them for the week, and write them in the sidebar. Once I have this info in, I am done in my fitness planner. My goal for January is to improve my eating habits. Next month I will be focusing more on fitness, and when I do this, I will be writing in the weekly pages my plans for exercise that day, until then I am just using the weekly as a food journal. I want to start using this planner to plan my fitness and meals, not just record them.
Recollections A5 Planner
I wasn’t going to include this planner, because I do use it as a planner, but it is part of my weekly planning session, so I decided to keep it in. I use my Recollections Planner to record my daily devotional reflections. During this planning session, I get this planner ready for the week by putting washi tape across the bottom box that I use for reflection, and fill in the date since this planner is undated. I will be doing a review on this planner and show how I use it for devotional sometime in February.
A note on prepping planners
I know I could just prep these two planners on the Monday when I go to use them, but by prepping them when I have my planner supplies out and am in my planning mode, makes it much less time consuming, then having to do each planner at an individual time.
Next I move onto my work planner. I do this because it is another quick planner. I write in my hours for the week, any appointments I have for work, or plans that I know I have. Since I use this planner as a daily planner, it gets filled up day by day. I usually fill it out the day before for most of my daily to dos. I like filling out my standing appointments, ahead of time, but I plan better day by day for my to-dos at work.
Finally on to the fun planner. This planner is the one I most enjoy to plan in. If you read my previous post, you know I use my Happy Planner for one of my personal planners, and is my most decorative planner. I like to keep it productive but decorative. So my planning process in this planner starts with me deciding whether I am using a planning kit or not. If I decide on using a planning kit, then I go through my box of new sticker kits, and decide which one to you. I am a sucker for holiday kits, so usually I use one or two of those a month depending if there is a holiday. So this week I actually chose my first ever Happy Planner kit (I usually have to adjust Erin Condren kits to fit my HP. ps. I am hoping to have a blog post up soon on my tips of fitting EC kits into HP) Once I pick my kit, I usually will start by laying down the stickers that stay in the same placement most weeks, the washi bottom strips, the to do lists. Then I will decide if I want to grab a washi tape out of my collection to add with it. This week I used a pink sparkle washi tape. I wish I was organized to pull out all the corresponding stickers, and washi I would need for the whole spread, but I’m not, so my desk usually looks like a mess after I am done, from grabbing from boxes of stickers, books, washi, etc. I only plan half a week at a time, unless I know of specific appointments or events happening later in the week. I add new stuff in daily when it comes up. I think this is why I have a hard time using my sidebar, because I don’t plan far enough in advance. My sidebar by the way is usually the last stickers I will put down. I have come to find that white space planning makes me more productive, I like being able to clearly see all my tasks and to-do lists, and although I do like decorative, I like a balance. Once I have the stickers down to frame the outline of my spread, I then go in and put in my plans for the week, pulling cute stickers from my collection when I think they fit and don’t crowd out my plans. I also will pull corresponding coloured stickers from my collection and have them in my Happy Planner Deluxe Cover pocket, to use for the week. I am a colour coding and colour coordinating freak. so I like have matching stickers ready to go. Then it is onto the next planner.
Recollections Personal Size Planner
This is my last planner I plan in but it is one of the most important, because it is my on the go planner. You can see more details of how I use this planner here –>Multiple Planners- Can It Work For You? and here —>2017 Planner Line Up. But the quick summary is that I use this planner for goal tracking, blog post planning, and daily to do lists/ shopping list. This planner is the go between planner for every other planner. Since it is on the go with me, if I think of an idea for blog I have it to write in. If I am going shopping and next a list, it goes in there. If I am out an about and remember something I have to do that I want to put in my weekly planner, it goes in this planner. Since I don’t use weekly spread inserts for my to-do lists in this planner, it is more like a notebook. However I choose to use this planner instead of a notebook because of it’s rings, I can move things around and add more to the planner when necessary. I like that I can add my to-do list to the front if I want it there that day.
So how do I set this planner up for the week. I will write in my blog plans for the week. Since I post on Thursday, I am mid week through a blog post by my Sunday planning session. So I check in to see where I am at, and adjust the schedule as needed. I then will go to my to do list section, and write in any of my to-dos or information from my HP or work that I will need on the go with me. This might be appointment times ( I have a really bad, and I mean bad memory, especially when it comes to time. I can look at my Happy Planner in the morning and know I have an appointment at 1:45pm that day and I won’t be able to remember what time my appointment is a couple hours later. Once I am done transferring any info I need into my personal planner. I will take a look at the goals I tracked the past week, see where I am at for those, and decide if I want to add in new goals to track for this week.
It seems like a long process, and it can be. But for me, I really enjoy the time to takes to prep and plan my week. I find it makes me more productive throughout the week. Plus because I really enjoy planning, it doesn’t feel like work to sit down and plan. It is time to myself, with my thoughts and reflections and my cup of coffee. I really see my planning session as a self care session, and it makes it very enjoyable.
Let me know how you plan your week. Have you created a planning session for yourself, or do you quickly plan throughout the week ?