Planning. How do you take your ideas from your head to reality? Did you buy a new calendar/planner for the new year? How do you trick yours out?
I am an excellent planner. I am always mapping out my day, weeks, months, years, life. But mostly just in my head. I know things don’t always get executed perfectly, but that gap between plan and actuality can be a major source of stress for me. Like, today it’s Tuesday and I have my whole week pretty well mapped out in my head and if an unexpected errand gets thrown in there, even if I have ample time to actual execute, I will probably throw a tiny little tantrum (at least to myself, though my poor manpanion gets victimized by these unnecessary meltdowns more than I would like to admit).
To try to stay organized and have perfect plans that can be followed perfectly, I have started approximately 10,000 paper planners, calendars, or journals over my lifetime, but I always felt like I had to have a specific strategy, and none of them fit perfectly or was I able to execute as well as I… planned.
I tried Bullet Journaling.
I tried Mind Mapping.
I tried one master paper planner for all of life– work, personal, running, etc.
I tried individual journals for each facet of my life (Field Notes were my favorite for this short experiment). I lost half of the journals or accidentally used the wrong ones.
I tried being more visual, but tore out a lot of pages when my little sketches weren’t 100% aesthetically pleasing to me.
I wasted A TON of time color-coding and creating cutesy fonts.
Mostly, I just use the tools most readily available to me. All my personal stuff is haphazardly entered into Google calendar, my work stuff is organized in Microsoft Outlook (though I did manage to create a “behind the scenes” calendar there so my tasks are entered on a calendar without giving away all my secrets to all my co-workers).
Every year I want to get more organized. Recently I found this little gem: http://commit30.com/product/undated-commit30-planner/.
There is a great preview on their website so you can see ALL the goods in the planner, but it’s got pages for goals, action steps, lists, calendars. ALL OF IT.
They also sell a sticker pack. Over 1800 stickers.
I haven’t purchased the planner (or the stickers) yet, because I feel like a total cost of $50 feels high. I tell myself now is terrible time to buy yourself something; this is the season of giving. Then I tell myself I would probably save over $50 a year if I were more organized…
I am trying very hard to wait until after Christmas to buy anything for myself. But the more stressed I get, the more I want to control that with “Treat Yo’Self!” stickers.