Whether it’s January or July, there are a few things you should always include when setting up a new planner.
Whenever I start a new planner or bullet journal, I gather up all my supplies including my new planner, favorite pens, stickers, washi tape, my old planner and any miscellaneous notes I need to include.
Once I have my supplies ready, I add the following information:
Important dates that never change, including birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and special events.
Previously scheduled appointments like the doctor, dentist or other professional appointments. This also includes any vacations and trips already planned and scheduled.
Notes for any appointments that need to be scheduled in the future.
Finally, add in your yearly goals.
Beginning of the Month
Each month is a new beginning, we get to review our plans, set new goals and to track important events. I spend a little time at the end of the month to preview the month ahead, review goals and track my progress.
I sit down with my planner and favorite accessories and look over the entire month. Then I add the following information.
Any new dates, appointments, events or activities that aren’t already written down.
Plans for any holidays, birthday’s or special events. I list out the activities I am responsible for and the tasks associated with them.
In the calendars margin I include my monthly goals. I try to keep this limited to no more than four or five items so it’s manageable. My goals are always aligned with my priorities so I am spending time only on the things that matter most.
Migrate any appointments and events that I made note of during my beginning of the year planning.
Finally, I schedule in some family fun nights and activities.
Beginning of the Week
My weekly planning actually happens on Sunday before the week even starts. Every Sunday I sit down with my planner and loosely map out the week ahead recording important events on my daily planning pages.
Some information I add is:
Any dates or appointments from the month view page are migrated to the corresponding daily planning page.
A finalized meal plan for the week with notes for dinner prep and shopping.
Lastly I add in my weekly goals that will help me achieve the goals I listed on my calendar at the beginning of the month.
Beginning of the Day (or the evening before)
I like to sit down and review my day ahead the night before. I find that it helps me relax and I sleep better when I know what has to be done the next day. This is just my preference, many people like to go over their calendar’s first thing in the morning.
Looking at my calendar helps me plan my day. I know there will always be unexpected events but I like to have a basic plan in place.
Each night when I review my planner, I add the following tasks:
A manageable to-do list. I try to keep it narrowed down to 3 to 5 home and family related tasks and 3 to 5 work/blog related tasks.
Next I mark my Top 3 with a small star. These are the 3 most important things from both lists that need to get done that day. My Top 3’s are my daily priority and I try to get them done as soon as possible.
I spend a few minutes every day looking over my planner. Those few minutes are precious because they ultimately save me countless hours. I don’t feel like I’m wasting time by planning, instead, I’ve created a system that lets me be as intentional as possible with my time. This not only helps me get more done but it also helps me enjoy the time I have with my family.
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