Hello, fellow Planner Enthusiasts! As I mentioned in last week’s OLJ Q&A, I have recently received some requests to share how I use my planners and there was a good amount of interest there, so I am back this week with a look into my planning sessions. I have two different kinds of planning sessions: Daily and Weekly.
Daily Planning Session:
Every night before bed I pull out my Erin Condren Life Planner and my Filofax to plan for the next day. I enjoy doing this right before bed as it helps me focus on what I’d like to accomplish the next day while simultaneously taking care of it in a way that allows me to go to sleep with a clear mind. I used to have issues falling asleep until I started this nightly practice a few years ago. It acts very much like a “brain dump” for me; I no longer experience racing thoughts scrambling through my mind of tomorrow’s to-dos since they’re all nicely laid out for me. You’ve got to find what works for you, right? Fortunately, this short practice, which generally takes me about 10 minutes, helps my worrywart mind sleep easy.
I like to start with planning my work for the next day. I use my Erin Condren Life Planner (which you can see more about here if you’d like) as my posting planner. The planner comes with two calendars built in: a monthly 2-day spread and a weekly 2-day spread. I use the monthly spreads to plan posts and the weekly spreads to plan out the actions I need to take on a daily basis to get my videos and blog posts up. The weekly spread is broken down into morning, day, and night time blocks. This works for me as I typically film videos and take blog photos in the morning and edit videos and photos and write my blog posts in the afternoon. I try not to do any work at night, so I leave that spot open for post-its where I’ll jot down post-related ideas or longer action lists.
I keep my Erin Condren Life Planner open while I work on my Daily To-Do’s, which I house in my Filofax. I use an A5 Filofax (which you can read more about here if you’d like, including a look at all of my favorite accessories) as my personal calendar and planner. I keep month on 2-pages, day-on-a-page, and yearly spread calendars in my Filofax. I use the yearly spreads for trip planning only. The month on 2-pages is where I keep track of my personal calendar, including any appointments, events, or gatherings I have planned. I use the day-on-a-page calendar for my Daily To-Do’s. I always check my monthly calendar before starting my Daily To-Do list to make sure I’ve filled in anything I have scheduled on the left column of each page. Since I usually have quite a bit of space left on this side, I use that for any sticky notes or labels that help me keep track of certain tasks I’d like to accomplish that don’t necessarily fit into my to-do list. I use the right column for my list. While I do refer to the time increments that are preprinted on the page as a guideline, these tasks are not set in stone. It truly is just a tool I use to help me visualize the next day and have a plan so that I can use my time efficiently. I rarely ever exactly follow the list and usually have to bump a few things around or onto a different day. I even write in my workouts, meals, when I get ready, and when I take my dog out and groom her just so I can visualize the timing of my day better. Over the years I’ve found that this system works best for me. I recommend trial and error for finding what best suits your needs and preferences.
Weekly Planning Session:
On Sunday evenings I dedicate a bit more than my usual 10 minutes to a longer weekly planning session, which typically takes about 30 minutes. During this time I think about the week ahead and what I’d like to accomplish. I start by checking the monthly section of my Erin Condren Life Planner where I keep track of my posting schedule. I use labels I custom made to color code my schedule. I find the use of color in this way helps me visualize better. I will add more posts I’ve come up with and/or move some around to fit my personal schedule. I add and move around posts other times during the week as well, but I do like to make a point of checking in every Sunday.
I also look at my personal monthly calendar in my Filofax during my Sunday weekly planning session. I use iCal on my iPhone as my on-the-go calendar since I don’t like to carry my large planner around with me everywhere and I usually always have my phone with me. I like to sync up my two calendars on Sunday so I don’t miss any appointments or other plans I may have made on the go. Again, I fill in my monthly calendar as things pop up during the week, but like to touch base on Sunday to make sure I am synced up properly.
I use a May Book Weekly Agenda from May Designs as my weekly planning tool of choice. I keep this tucked into the back of my Filofax and only really pull it out on Sundays as I use it exclusively as a planning tool and not an actual calendar. I love how thin and light the book is, but it’s also cute and unique since you can personalize it to make it your own. Here you can see the exact design I chose for mine.
I start by filling in any appointments or commitments I have for the week on the left side of the 2-page weekly spread. This helps me think about how I can fit in filming and editing for the week. I then take a look at the posts I have planned in my monthly view from my Erin Condren Life Planner and fill in my May Book under each day what needs to be filmed, edited, and posted that day. Again, this is a guide to help me visualize the timing of my week. I then fill in the right page which leaves room to brainstorm general to-dos, errands to run, and other things I’d like to remember. I always feel like I have a better sense of how my week will shape up having completed this task. After this point I will run through my daily planning ritual for the next day and I go to sleep ready for the new week to begin.
If you’d like to watch me talk through my planning sessions, check out the video below:
If you’re interested in Erin Condren products, you can receive $10 off your first purchase when you sign up for the Erin Condren website (which means you receive the occasional email on current promotions and new products from them) by clicking here.
I would love to hear about your planning sessions if you care to share. Happy Planning! 🙂
* Post contains referral links. This is not a sponsored post. All products shown were purchased by me. All opinions are genuinely my own. *