While I was in college, my days were very structured. Every week, I either had 50-minute classes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or 80-minute classes on Tuesday and Thursday. To stay organized, I used a planner and I put down everything I had to do for the week (i.e. when assignments were due when quizzes were and everything in between.)
After I graduated, I noticed I spent my days aimlessly. I knew I had responsibilities to tend to, like finding a job, cleaning the apartment and so on, but I would always tell myself I could do it “tomorrow.” A huge part of this was because I no longer used my planner. I thought I was freed from a strict schedule and that it was no longer necessary. I was wrong people, I was so wrong!
Eventually, I decided to start using a planner again. I knew I didn’t want to go back to using a basic weekly planner. I wanted to be a little more creative in my planning and set up of my day, so I did some research. I’m not sure how many of you have been on the hunt for planners, but if you have, you may have noticed the ABUNDANCE of planners and styles out there. Here are some of the planners that I looked into:
- Erin Condren – LifePlanner: What I loved about this planner is the ability to customize the cover. They have so many beautiful covers and designs. You also have the option of different layouts for the inside spread. You could either do it horizontal, vertical or hourly which I think is a wonderful selection!
- Dated Passion Planner: The Passion Planner is more than just a weekly planner. It really focuses on your goals and aspirations. Inside the planner there are monthly reflection questions that allow you to stay on track with your progress. It also includes little sections that focus on positives, motivation and other great influences to make for a happier you.
- The Happy Planner: The Happy Planner is wonderful because the pages and covers are interchangeable. There are separate add-ons such as fitness trackers, to-do lists pages and so on which makes it an extremely customizable planner.
- Bullet Journal: I noticed on Instagram and Pinterest, a ton of posts of people using a bullet journal as their planner and tracker. Each page is ultimately a reflection of the person’s style and needs.
After a lot of thought, I decided to start my Bullet Journal journey. Every month, I would sit down and plan out how I wanted my monthly spread to look. What is my theme going to be? What items are important for me to keep track of? What are my goals for the month?
I have been using my bullet journal for 6 months now and I am in LOVE! It has allowed me to stay creative. Every month I choose a fun theme: November had a fun earth vibe, January was all about new and bright ideas, and March is about lavender and relaxation! If I didn’t like something last month or I just happened to never use it, I can remove it for the next month and try a new layout or spread. Best of all, it has brought a lot of organization in my life.
Here is what I have found while planning these past 6 months:
- Sense of Accomplishment – I created a habit tracker in my planner so I can make sure to consistently drink water, read, workout, etc. Checking off the days that I complete all three makes me feel successful!
- Structured Weeks – Instead of spending my time after work finding ways to fill my time, I mark down the tasks that need to be completed that day. My days have a sense of purpose to them that they didn’t before.
- Accountability – Looking at my planner every day gives me the accountability needed to make sure I follow my day. I know that every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday are gym days. If I happen to skip the gym one day, the appointment on my calendar haunts me until I can make it up.
I know planning isn’t for everyone, but I encourage those of you who have not tried it, to give it a shot. There are so many planner options out there. The Bullet Journal may not be your cup of tea, and that’s ok! There is bound to be a planner out there that will help you keep your business or personal life organized.
Peak Performers Program Coordinator
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128