Last week we talked about the 7 Benefits of using planners for organizing work, family and personal life. This week I wanted to talk about using different types of calendars specifically in your planner system. Calendars in planners can completely revolutionize how effective you are with your time and how much free time you have each day. Let’s explore the reasons why and your options for yearly, quarterly, monthly and daily calendar planners. 

Yearly Planning

Where you start with calendar planning depends on how big of a picture it is useful for you to look at. Some people start with a Yearly planner and the goals they want to accomplish in the next 12 months. This is helpful if you have projects or aspirations that will take a lot of time. 

Quarterly Planning

Next up is quarterly planning. Some people refer to this as 90 day sprinting. Or doing a 90 day sprint. You start with one big goal and establish milestones over a 90 day period. You can also identify obstacles that might hold you back and assets you have to help you achieve your goals. Then look at the big picture strategy for solving your challenges and achieving your goals during the next 90 days.

Monthly Planning

This brings us to monthly planning. Monthly planning is a combination of working through your 90 days sprints and also looking at specifically the next 4-5 weeks and what you want to do, keep track of and accomplish. Specific appointments, travel plans, business responsibilities, events, birthdays, etc. When are they, where are they and what do you need to be prepared for to be successful.

Weekly Planning

Now we are down to weekly planning. This type of planning gets even more specific. What is in front of you this week. Make sure you have one day of the week you get clear on the week ahead (for me it is Sunday). For example: If something is happening at the end of the week, do you need to do more in the beginning to account for having less time later? Meal planning, exercise, school events, doctor’s appointments etc are all good things to be aware of before your week starts. 

Daily Planning

Daily planning is the most in depth and specific type of planning. Here you get down to hour by hour what you are specifically going to do with your day. At the beginning of the week you laid it out. Now you are actually doing it. Much of daily planner pages for me are doodling, making lists for groceries and keeping track of to do’s. This is a creative space where I am physically writing and coloring things in.

Habit Tracking and Goal Setting

Daily and weekly planners are great places to track habits you want to encourage or change. Write down what you want to track at the beginning of the week and then track it daily. At the end of the week, see how you did. Did you meet your goals? Then in the next week, see if you need to adjust your goal or your action steps…

Creativity and Mind Mapping

The cool thing about calendar planners is that you can get really specific and detailed or very loose and creative. Choose to use as many as you want as often as you want. I have noticed that the more detailed people get the more success they achieve. Many times when you give your brain a roadmap to follow by being specific then the brain works with the subconscious to make things happen. You are also more able to use time wisely by identifying what options you have and how to use them. Prioritizing what is important and letting go of what are time wasters can add much more free time to your days.

There are quite a few benefits to using any of the calendar planners mentioned above and one of the main ones, for me anyway, is that I am more prepared in my biz, family and personal life. I know what I need to do, why I am doing it and what I want to accomplish by completing specific tasks in order to achieve my goals. Being prepared hugely increases the chance of success.

Time Management

When you use calendar planners you are effectively scheduling your life which is a crucial part of time management. Prioritizing what you do in a day can save you literally hours every day. This way you don’t work on things you have not identified as important. The stuff you care about gets done and done well. You know what to do and when to do it. This helps you stay focused and productive each and every day.

There might be a desire for more time in a day but the reality is that we need to manage the time we actually have. If it feels like there isn’t enough time in a day then it is a good idea to write down everything you feel like you ‘have to do’. Take a good look at it and the first thing to do is cross off what isn’t critical.  Then use a planner to organize the rest.

November 2019 Creative Planner Page

One sure way to feel stressed out, overwhelmed and anxious is to run around and constantly go from one thing to the next without really thinking about everything as a whole.

Using a planner allows you to schedule each event, appointment, errand, and task, so that you know what to expect and can plan accordingly. Set specific due dates and deadlines for everything to help you stay on track, and have plenty of time for your biz, yourself and your family. If used consistently, calendars can transform your biz, family time and personal life.

Don’t forget that spending more time doing things that are enjoyable and taking the breaks you need are a great way to feel refreshed and help you enjoy life. Creative planners are also a great way to help you relax and reduce stress with creativity, color and movement. 

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