Those who know me know that I am an organized person and I’m a planner. I have to write things down in order to ensure that it happens. Since I was younger I loved planners and that obsession has carried into my adulthood. Towards the end of every year I start my search for a new planner for the upcoming year. For the past 3 years my go-to has been the Happy Planner because of the customizations, the various options and the tons of stickers and accessories they offer.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions about why I use a paper planner versus digital, what I look for in a planner, how I set up and use my planner so I decided to just share all of that in a blog post.
Simple, monthly and weekly view
When choosing a planner it has to have a simple and clean monthly and weekly layout. I prefer the horizontal weekly view because I tend to write a lot and this gives me the space I need. I prefer paper to digital planner because writing helps me to remember and stay on track with goals. I also just find joy in writing things down and I find that a planner helps keep even those random notes organized.
I like to be able to make my planner my own, which is why I look for simple clean planners. This gives you the option to completely transform your planner to your liking. I love writing in different color pens, using stickers and washi tape and just being creative. I watch YouTube videos of other planner nerds decorate and plan out their weekly view (yes, there are videos for this which I’ve found to be quite helpful). I love esthetically pleasing things so seeing my weekly views of tasks in a bright, fun, cheerful and inspiring way makes me excited about what I have going on. I feel like after a while planning can get boring and monotonous, but using colorful pens, stickers, inspirational quotes helps to make it enjoyable 🙂
The Happy Planner has tons of sticker books, washi tape and other accessories. I’m kind of obsessed 🙂
Break goals down into action steps
So when it’s time to plan, I start with my monthly view and write down all the appointments and deadlines I’m aware of for the month, I do not write down what I hope to do. For instance I will write down meetings, doctors appointments, and deadlines on their dates as those things are most likely going to happen. I want to start working out again 3x a week, but I do not put that on my monthly view because if it doesn’t happen, then I’m crossing those things off and it makes me feel like I haven’t accomplished my goal, if that makes sense. I save the action steps for the weekly planning and not the monthly planning. I do have a section at the beginning of each month for monthly goals that I utilize, then I incorporate that into my weekly view.
When it’s time for my weekly view, I take into account all of my goals for the month. Those goals usually include spiritual, family, health, She Experienced and the Ladies Lounge. (I also have sections in my planner that are specifically for SE and LL, but I will share that in another post and talk about how I organize all of that.) I review my monthly goals and what I hope to accomplish and break those things down into small weekly action steps. It will include things like:
- Sunday – Planning
- Monday – Conference call for the Ladies Lounge
- Tuesday – Developing social media posts
- Wednesday – Blog post
- Thursday – Date night
- Friday – Cleaning
- Sabbath – Resting/church related things
With your weekly view you want to make sure you are realistic with what you can and are able to do, otherwise you will have a bunch of to-dos and at the end of the week may have only accomplished two – that doesn’t make you feel good at all. I typically start with small simple tasks that I know I’m able to do. It’s important to break down those goals into small attainable action steps that you’re sure to accomplish!
Monthly view – Appointments, deadlines, engagements, birthdays, and other things that are most likely going to happen.
Weekly view – Small attainable action steps for your goals.
Just have fun with your planner, get creative and remember that you are planning the life you want to live! Let me know in the comments how you plan out your life, what planner you use and anything else planner related. I’d love to hear from you 🙂