I have a planner obsession that goes way back. I have tried, and spent a lot of money on, every planner system or gadget that has come out since the late 1980’s. Franklin Planner, Filofax, Palm Pilot, Blackberry, MomAgenda, Erin Condren, Martha Stewart, Levenger…they all have my money. LOTS of it.
I am always in the hunt for the perfect planning system, that will finally put my life, and my brain, in order. My husband has been working in Saudi Arabia since July of 2013, so I have a lot on my plate. I don’t have a traditional job, but I homeschool our 13 yo, I have a blog about the 1880 Victorian we are restoring, an antiques business, I am a Plexus ambassador (and I have a blog about that), I try to keep to a workout schedule, my 13 yo and 16 yo sons both play travel baseball, my 16 yo son is a cellist, has weekend orchestra rehearsals and lives during the week at the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, and has lots of performances…I have to keep up with the house and yard…sometimes it all makes me want to cry!
At the very heart of every planner I use is this awesome system called the Bullet Journal, developed by Ryder Carroll. You really need to go to the website and check it out.
My bullet journal is also a great excuse to play with my washi tape and markers.
Basically, it is a way to process all of that stuff running around in your brain. Take the dog to the vet, make cupcakes for the class, pick up the dry cleaning, sign your son up for drivers ed, find a cleaning lady, find a psychiatrist…you dump all of the stuff in your brain on to the page, then you process it.
I am going to use my 2015 Hobonichi Techo Cousin planner as my guinea pig. I am going to be reviewing mine on Saturday, and doing a giveaway!!
It has a monthly view:
A weekly view:
And a daily view:
At the beginning of the day, I write down any appointments I may have on the little time grid they have. I then start to write down a list of things as they come in to my head. It may be things I need to do today, or maybe later this summer. I write them all down together, and place a little block next to it if it is a task, a circle if it is an event, a light bulb for an idea…here is the key I made for the inside cover of my planner…
At the end of the day, this is what I have:
I now go through and color in any blocks of tasks that I have already completed.
Now I need to see what I have left. Everything should either be completed, something that I don’t need to do after all, or something that I need to do at a later date…
So what do I do with all of those things I need to do later?
This is where I may lose you.
I am a big believer in David Allen’s Getting Things Done. The GTD workflow consists of five steps: collect, process, organize, plan, do. Contexts are “tags” you put on the items on your task lists saying where the action can be done, or what equipment you need to perform it. I have @buy, @call, @computer, @paperwork, @go and @house for my personal tasks, and @odc for my blog and @tpdc for my Plexus business. When I am ready to make my phone calls I look at @call, when I am at my desk I look at @paperwork and @computer. Simple, right?
Back to those tasks that I needed to do another day. I make one of these to do lists each week, and I just write those tasks down in the appropriate spot. Every day I can look at this and see what needs to be done when I am running errands, or have time to make phone calls. I love using big 5×8 post it notes so that I can move them around!
And that is my bullet journal system. All you do is dump everything in your head, process it and organize it!
So what do you think, is it as clear as mud?