Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
Vincent Van Gogh
While the new year officially begins January 1st, for me, it lags a bit. Why? Well I need a bit of time to recover from the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays and visiting family, but I get excited about new beginnings once things quiet down.
To me, “new beginnings” means planning, lists, goals, deadlines, to-dos etc. For the last few years I have been using the electronic calendars and task lists available on my computer, phone, and iPad. Last fall I went back to paper. Oh, I still have my electronic calendar, but my to-dos and goals and notes are now on paper and I couldn’t be happier.
I list appointments on the calendar sections, work to-dos on the bottom left, and personal to-dos on the bottom right. [Work items are typically take more time than personal which are usually quick things]. Then the top right side I use for bullet journaling of my day. And yes, I love to color code things using my Muji pens and highlighters. I fill in the boxes when things are complete and mark with an arrow if the to-do is moved to a new day.
My interest in going back to paper was piqued when I saw several Instagram photos of planners including those by designer Corina Ferguson of PicnicKnits. So I researched the ARC system, available at Staples. I love that the pages are held together by disks and can be pulled in and out. I wasn’t thrilled with the ARC pages available to be purchased. No problem…. I researched a bit and found the DIYFish Life Mapping System.
The choices of sizes and layouts was overwhelming. I tried the 2 pages per day as I like to take notes of my day. After using this 2.2 version for a few months, I decided that I really didn’t need that much room for notes and if I did I could easily add a blank page.
In addition to the calendar, I made up a project template (legal size) where I can plan tasks for KathiS Designs. As General Patton said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
I’m not sure how good my plan is, but I am setting goals and working on the tasks. A couple of things about my planner:
- I am using my favorite .38mm pens from Muji in a variety of colors. I write with the purple like I have for years. Pink is for creativity, dark blue is for Boy Scouts, light blue is for family, and orange is for work (I work at a University and this is one of our colors). I also have Muji highlighters which I love.
- I printed the monthly calendars and the weekly charts for the year and will print the daily pages about a month ahead.
- I like to print blank graph pages to use as note paper.
- I created a template for monthly and quarterly projects. I print these on legal paper and fold it over. I used them to a small degree of success in the fall and January. I think it will get easier. I realize I need to reduce what I want to complete or schedule more time – just “fitting it in” isn’t working for me. February is going better.
If you want to learn more, I highly recommend visiting Carrie Harling and her blog Dispatches from the Frat House. She has some great videos showing how she uses her planner to manage her boys as well as projects.
Happy Planning and more blog posts in 2016.