I’m Planning On It

So…

If you’ve been following my writing for any length of time then you know that I am an affirmed “list maker“, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been on a quest to find the “perfect planner”, (in which to keep my lists). And you know what? It’s absolutely amazing how many planners there are on the market nowadays, so what are the odds that there can be THAT MANY potential candidates out there, yet not ONE of them can even come close to meeting my minimum requirements? Unfortunately, pretty darn good! 

Check it out below!

BUT— Earlier this year I stumbled across the Passion Planner, and I LOVE it!

Here’s why…

A) the Size. My book measures 11.25″ x 8.25″ x .5″, (but there is a smaller size available as well). The cover is soft which I like because it feels great, it’s easy to carry and it fits well into whatever I’m carrying (purse, bookbag, etc.).

B) the Calendar page- (above)

Here’s the month of November (partially filled out) in my Passion Planner , and as you can see, I’ve had to alter this page some by splitting each day into two sections. That’s because I’m probably the only person in the U.S. (if not the world) who really needs TWO calendar view spreads PER MONTH… one for scheduling and another to plan my Social Media posts. But that’s OK. I know this option is probably never going to happen and this is a pretty easy fix as you can see. I can easily live with it.

Additionally, there’s space at the bottom to list your objectives and goals for the month and action items to work towards those goals. I don’t tend to use these areas as they were intended to be used, but I do like having the blank space.  🙂

C) Master Lists-for Design & Event-Specific Tasks PLUS Personal & Monthly Tasks– (above)

Writing patterns and planning for out-of-town events (like retail shows) can take many weeks/months to complete, so over the years I have developed comprehensive master task lists that help me work toward the completion of these goals in a chronological manner (doing things in the proper order can be really important at times). For this reason these task lists sometimes “stay in play” from month to month until either the project or the event is finished.  I also have many repetitive business tasks that get done every month and there would be problems if I forget ANY of them… (like paying Uncle Sam for instance), so I also make a task list for each month of the year, (not all months are exactly the same). And along these same lines, there’s household and personal stuff I want/need to accomplish so it helps me to keep a running list of those items so that I can work them into my daily plans at some point. (I can share more specific info about developing “Master To-Do” lists if there’s enough interest, so do let me know if that’s a topic you like us to expand upon.)

Once again, the likelihood of me finding a planner that would provide a place for these type of lists to “live” is remote, so here’s where I chose to park them. For every month in the Passion Planner there are two ‘Monthly Reflection’ pages. It looks as though these could be useful for goal-setting, but I choose instead to tape my master task lists here (pictured above is a monthly task list and a master design task list). It works good for me as its very handy to reference and I can move the design task list forward to the next month easily (if I need to) by affixing it with pattern repair tape (which releases w/o tearing the paper pretty easily).

D) the two-page Week  View– (above)

The weekly sheets are where the rubber hits the road for me, and I am SO enjoying being able to see a week at a time (as opposed to two days at a time in my old system). Here’s the features I use most.

1- Focus for the week– It’s helpful for me to identify the “ONE most important thing” for the week… that way if for some reason I get sidelined, or distracted I can more easily let the things go on my list that don’t directly pertain to that goal.
2 & 3-  Personal & Work ‘to-do’ lists– Beneath the daily columns, on the left side page, is a section for personal and work to do lists. On Sundays, I like to plan out my upcoming week. I jot down everything I know I need to do, plus any errands I know I need to run. For work tasks, I transfer items that I’d like to complete from my monthly task list or my design-specific task list to my ‘to-do’ list for this week, then I cross tasks off as I complete them. If something doesn’t get done or finished, it gets transferred again to next week’s list. (Please note that I did NOT get everything done during this week, and you know what? I rarely EVER do, and that’s OK.)
4- Another note section– There’s never enough places to keep up with notes and ideas, right? Except now I find there usually IS!
5- Today’s focus– I use this section but not for this purpose. For me, it’s a logical place to record anything that has the potential to increase traffic on our website. This will help me later as I analyze my web stats. This would include things like blogposts, our newsletter, or any special sale or giveaway.
6- Daily log area– This section is set up in hourly increments from 6am- 1030pm but I never use it for this purpose. My work is impossible to schedule that way. Instead, I utilize this area to record the tasks I accomplish each day along with anything else I might find interesting or need to remember a few weeks or months later. Did I send in a tax deposit? make a reservation? order something by phone? talk with a sales rep? or it might even be something random like the fact that gas was only $1.99 on 9/16/15. 🙂  You might be surprised at how many times I look thru these notes for a specific entry (to make sure it was done), or maybe just for the fun of it.

E) the two-page Week  View– (above)

The weekly sheets are where the rubber hits the road for me, and I am SO enjoying being able to see a week at a time (as opposed to two days at a time in my old system). Here’s the features I use most.

1- Focus for the week– It’s helpful for me to identify the “ONE most important thing” for the week… that way if for some reason I get sidelined, or distracted I can more easily let the things go on my list that don’t directly pertain to that goal.

2 & 3-  Personal & Work ‘to-do’ lists– Beneath the daily columns, on the left side page, is a section for personal and work to do lists. On Sundays, I like to plan out my upcoming week. I jot down everything I know I need to do, plus any errands I know I need to run. For work tasks, I transfer items that I’d like to complete from my monthly task list or my design-specific task list to my ‘to-do’ list for this week, then I cross tasks off as I complete them. If something doesn’t get done or finished, it gets transferred again to next week’s list. (Please note that I did NOT get everything done during this week, and you know what? I rarely EVER do, and that’s OK.)
4- Another note section– There’s never enough places to keep up with notes and ideas, right? Except now I find there usually IS!
5- Today’s focus– I use this section but not for this purpose. For me, it’s a logical place to record anything that has the potential to increase traffic on our website. This will help me later as I analyze my web stats. This would include things like blogposts, our newsletter, or any special sale or giveaway.
6- Daily log area– This section is set up in hourly increments from 6am- 1030pm but I never use it for this purpose. My work is impossible to schedule that way. Instead, I utilize this area to record the tasks I accomplish each day along with anything else I might find interesting or need to remember a few weeks or months later. Did I send in a tax deposit? make a reservation? order something by phone? talk with a sales rep? or it might even be something random like the fact that gas was only $1.99 on 9/16/15. 🙂  You might be surprised at how many times I look thru these notes for a specific entry (to make sure it was done), or maybe just for the fun of it.

Well… the highlighter question is easy!

I use highlighters because they make the process more fun and interesting… which makes me likely to not only use my planner, but to also enjoy the process, which is a WIN-WIN, right?!

And as for whether the Passion Planner is the perfect planner, I’d have to say no, simply because I still have to manipulate a few of the pages to suit my purposes, BUT— having said that? I’d also have to add that for right now… based on what else is on the market at this moment in time.,.. and what I’ve been struggling to use up to now, I can honestly say that I’m very happy with the Passion Planner. I’ve ordered another for 2016 and until something better comes along (or until I design it myself, which I may), the Passion Planner suits my needs very nicely and makes my job WAY easier!

(This review expresses my honest opinion. I have not been given any way merchandise by the good folks at Passion Planner. To get more information about the Passion Planner, click here.)

*********************************************************And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

Have you ever heard of the Passion Planner? I’d love to know if you make use of a planner, and if so what kind it is and if you are pleased with how its working for you? And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave them in the space provided below.

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Kat

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