I decided to give the good, ole planner a shot again in 2019. Some may think that physical planners are a thing of the past, but I disagree. To me, there’s something very satisfying about writing down tasks and crossing them off your list once complete. Since switching back to a traditional pen and paper planner, I feel more organized with work and social activities. And it’s a bit of stress reliever! I pretty much live by my planner. I use it to plan my gym routine, work tasks, social activities, and also to write down experiences throughout the week.
In 2018, I was doing more of what I would call journaling, using a blank notebook to create weekly goals and to do lists, and then logging notes or highlights at the end of the week. It was a half planner, half journal, and it worked pretty well for me. So when I decided to switch to a real planner, I knew I wanted a similar format alongside the days and months of the year. The planner I picked up at the turn of the year includes just this: regular monthly and weekly calendars, task and priority lists for the week, and then small victories, coming up, and notes for the end of the week.
Having a planner also lends to having something fun to look forward to during the week and each month. I usually spend a few minutes each morning and evening reviewing the day prior and the day ahead. I’ve also been doing my monthly
planning with a friend! We get together at the end of each month for thrifting, lunch and planning. Not only is this a great way to plan for the upcoming weeks, but it’s a fun way to spend a few hours catching up.
I wanted to share this post for those that enjoy seeing how others plan and stay organized. YouTube has tons of Plan With Me videos that I get inspiration from. It’s always nice to have inspiration, but it’s also important to make things work for you.
plan with me
Review the Week Prior
My planner includes a Coming Up Next Week list at the end of each week that I add personal items to during the week. On Friday afternoons, I like to review my work calendar for important meetings and deadlines to add to the list. I’ll also add birthdays, important appointments, and other reminders.
So my first task is to review these items and move them to either the regular to do list or on the Top Priorities list, if it’s critical to complete that week.
Add the Major Tasks
Next, I’ll review my phone`s calendar for any appointments I may have and check with Jake if there’s anything he has coming up that I should note. These are usually doctor’s appointment, work schedule changes, or social activities we’re doing together. Don’t forget to add in a date night every once in awhile!
Plan My Workouts
Once I have my big appointments and tasks in the planner, I’ll add in my workouts for the week. It’s important to get in my workouts and keep on track, but I’m flexible as needed. I can’t always make it to the gym in the middle of the week if work gets busy, so I tend to cardio at home on those days. Generally, my gym days during the week are Monday, Thursday, and Friday with my other workouts being on the weekend or at home.
Here’s a quick gym split update that’s been working great for my schedule (to be updated soon – stay tuned):
- Monday – Back / Abs
- Tuesday – At-Home Cardio Circuit / Abs
- Wednesday – Active Recovery / Rest
- Thursday – Chest / Triceps / Shoulders
- Friday – Squats / Glutes / Hamstrings
- Saturday – Rest (if I didn’t on Wednesday otherwise I’ll do quick 20 minutes on my elliptical)
- Sunday – Quads / Abs
Make My To-Do & Priority Lists
My to-do list tends to be pretty random and carries over from week to week, if the tasks aren’t urgent. Often I’ll have house chores listed or things I need to follow-up on (usually phone calls and wedding stuff these days). I’ll also include reminders to declutter my clothes and shoes (usually once per month) for my Poshmark or to take to my local consignment store.
Based on everything planned for the week, I’ll write in a grocery shopping day, when to work on personal stuff (like my blog), and if I want to do some thrifting.
Add Some Stickers!
This is not a necessity to a planner and it’s an extra cost to buy the stickers, but it is fun. Stickers add a bit of a personal touch to your planner and can be relaxing (in my opinion). Michael’s sells loads of planner stickers and there’s endless options on Amazon too.
Next year, I’d love to invest in the Happy Planner which my friend uses. Do you keep a planner to stay organized? Or are you more of the electronic calendar type?