Thursday, May 14, 2015

Making a Planner Work

How does one make a planner work? It cannot be put it in a time out in the corner if an appointment is missed. Whose responsibility is it to make the planner work? Of course, the answer is each person is responsible for making sure their own planner works.

On April 26, I posted a blog on my opinion that some people have turned their planners into scrapbooks and/or journals. I am one of the people who uses my planner as a journal, of sorts, but more like the business record books of times (mostly) gone by.

My memory is not what it used to be, so I keep a record of phone calls and important information I may need, like a list of medications, in my Passion Planner, the planner I am using this year. The image below is from, and the website can give a lot more information about the book, but the graphic can give an idea of its uses.
On a daily basis, there are half-hourly times from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. I have a very light schedule of appointments, so I have used Washi tape to cover over the time slots. I use the top of each date to write in any appointments I might have that day. There is a monthly calendar where I record my appointments as they are made; then I transfer the appointments over to the specific week when I plan out that week, usually on a Saturday night.

As can be seen, there is a note section on the bottom right. I used this space this week to make some notes about important things I need to follow up on. If my notes are in conjunction to an ongoing project, I add the information to the notes page(s) used for that project. There are two notes pages at the beginning of each month, plus several notes pages at the back of the planner.

On the bottom right, there are personal and work to-do lists. I like the little boxes next to the items so I can make an "x" when something is completed. I use these lines to make a general to-do list, but I transfer the to-dos to the specific day I plan to do something.

On the top right is a place to put the goal of the week. At the top of each date column is a place to record that day's focus. As can be seen, I have not written any this week. As I said before, it is a light week for me, so I do not need to write in a particular focus on any day. An example of what I might write is, "Deep Clean the Bathroom." 

At the end of each month, there are two pages of questions about that month. It is a good place to check on goals and whether they were completed, what still needs to be done, and more. At the beginning of the book, there is a goals section, plus another goals section at the end of June to revisit the goals from the beginning of the year, possibly setting new ones for the last half of the year.

I had bought another planner to use for this year, but it was a much smaller size with narrow columns and split one week over four pages, so it was necessary to flip pages to see an entire week. I prefer to see my whole week at one glance, and I only used that planner for a few weeks before switching to this one. (I have not come up with another use for it yet.)

This planner works for me mainly because I actually use it. I open it daily to see what lies ahead, write any chores I am going to take care of that day - I usually have to plan each day that day because of my fibromyalgia. I like my planner, because using it is something I...