Planner Format: Weekly, Daily or Both?

This one is a twofer. I had two major grant applications due on Thursday and Friday, so I wasn’t able to upload the #PlanWithMeChallengeDecember blog posts. So here they are! I sprinkled a little extra to make up for lost time.

Day 4: Weekly, Daily or Both? 

I use the weekly format in my planner because it saves space. I tried the Whitney English Day Designer for about a month and loved everything about it except the size. My planner needed to be small & compact enough, to be able to travel with the other things I carry: a laptop, a Kindle, a pencil case, an iPad, my cell phone (with it’s heavy Mophie Charger Case). The Day Designer I had was in the daily format, and it was simply not practical for me. I wrote about the day I abandoned by Day Designer here.

Although my planner is in the Weekly Format, I am very big on a daily to do list where I write down the 3 most important things that need to get done. If I don’t have enough space, I’ll write my list oa small post it note and stick it in to the planner. I also use my Weekly To Do List to make decisions on what I need to do daily.

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Finally, I use the monthly pages to track important events and dates. When someone wants to schedule a meeting with me, I like being able to flip to one page and see what’s going on for the entire month. It’s also important to be able to control the pacing of life and to ensure that I get enough family time and “me” time. With the monthly calendar, I can look and see when I have a big grant deadline or meeting so I build in prep time the day before and the day of, to ensure that I don’t have a heart attack or have to lose sleep due to poor planning.

I came across this awesome Index of Inserts that includes FREE weekly & monthly pages and it also includes Health Trackers, Financial Trackers, To Do Lists & so much more!

Day 4: Goals?

I have never tracked my goals in my calendar, but am planning to start doing this in 2016. I have written a bit about goals here and here.

In the past my goals have always been like my surrounding environment – something that surrounds me. In 2016 I want my goals to be my compass and as much as possible for my daily tasks to be somehow connected to those larger goals.

I have always been very good about accomplishing academic and professional goals – applying to and completing college, submitting, preparing for interviews and accepting employment, and most recently making the transition from employee to entrepreneur. I honestly think that is because the tasks that it took to complete those goals were pretty much already defined. In order to get the degree – I had to finish up a set amount of classes each semester & the classes had a pre-defined role. In order to get a job, I had to complete the application, create a portfolio and interview. My most recent professional goal of becoming an entrepreneur had less defined tasks, as there are multiple ways to make the transition. (Side bar: I will be writing soon about how to make that transition for those who are interested).

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Motivation quote: “Be stubborn about your goal, and flexible about your methods.” – GnomeAngel.com

When it comes to my personal goals – traveling, scrapbooking, blogging… those things have not been connected to my daily routine or to-do list.

My plan is to write a MASTER LIST of my goals, and then from that master list, create my daily task list to ensure that I am actually making progress on each of those goals.

I’m also a big fan of quarterly planning. I received that tip from Ronnie Tyler of Black and Married With Kids. Many people set goals or resolutions on an annual basis, and unless they are incredibly disciplined, don’t check in on the status of those goals until the following year. Quarterly planning builds in accountability, because it’s just enough time to try to get something done, but not too much time so you forget. The business world, in terms of assessing the health of the company also works on the Quarterly System, and I think they are on to something.

I am taking this entire month to work on my 2016 goals, and will be sure to post some of them later. What are your favorite tools for goal setting?

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