The new year is a great time to set new goals and nearly everyone does it. Where people tend to lose their goals is in their daily planning. Today, I want to share a few tools & methods I’ve found that have helped me to get to the important, not just the urgent, on a regular basis.
Quick & Easy – Planning For Your Best Day
7 Minute Life Planner
As a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I got to review the 7 Minute Life Planner. While I am no longer using the planner itself, it has several features that I use in my life today. You can view the YouTube videos explaining the whole 7 Minute Life System and even get free 7 Minute Life planner printables on their website. They even have a full-on learning/training system you can purchase!
My favorite pieces of the 7ML planning system are:
The 5 Before 11
With 3 under 6, I call these my 5 before 5 instead :). These are the most important 5 things for me to do each day. I use these spots for tasks that help me reach a goal, focuses on one of my top 5 priorities, and/or helps foster relationships with loved ones.
The 7 Minute Life Connections
As an introvert, I honestly need to be reminded that in order to have friends, I need to work at it :). While the 7ML folks have 3 contacts, I try to make 1 per day, for both IRL & blog friendships.
Because the 7ML planner is really designed around sales professionals, they suggest writing several thank you notes a day. Obviously, as a mom, I don’t use it as intended, but I love to write letters. Where the 7ML suggests sending 3 thank you notes a day, I use this to plan who I will send a card or letter to.
Thanks to my buddy Sarah over at CatholicMom.com, I learned about the bullet journal. If you are a list maker and can never really find a planner that works for you, the bullet journal might be your new best friend.
The idea is that you can track to do’s, appointments, ideas, and more in a checklist style. There is a website from the creator of the bullet journal and dozens of awesome bullet journal hacks on Pinterest.
Set your timer. Trust me.
Key features that make the bullet journal better than a scribbled list of notes in a notebook are:
Index & Numbered Pages
Unlike typical lists in a notebook, the bullet journal has an index and the pages are numbered. Seems simple, but have you ever thought to do it? Me neither.
There is a list of symbols that help with decoding items. Ideas, important, events, web searches, books to read, to do’s, and more. And if you have categories special to how you think or work you are free to make one up!
Monthly Calendar Page & Task List
Each month starts with a calendar to mark important days. Rather than a grid of boxes, the calendar is in list format. There is also a list of tasks. Tasks populate this list by being carried over from the previous month or during the weekly review.
Built in Weekly Review
In order to not lose track of all the notes and ideas, it almost forces you to do a weekly review (a la GTD). Every week, you should go through your journal and update the index and add unfinished tasks to your monthly to-do list.
Every evening after the kids are in bed, I start my entry for the next day. On Mondays, I write the top 5 articles and/or guest posts I need to work on that week, too.
I use a half-page size notebook that hubby bought me for Christmas a few years ago. I will probably use a grid Moleskin notebook when this one fills up.
These are a few tools & tricks that I use to help reach my goals on a daily basis. If you haven’t set your goals, check out last year’s post about setting goals. Just by picking 5 items to help you reach your goals, planning to nurture relationships, and having a system for capturing your thoughts, you can feel like you are living your best life in the season you are in. Also, be sure to visit Successful Homemakers’ Planner Inspiration Pinterest board for more inspiration!
Do you have a plan for your days?