I’ve never been a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of girl. I need to have a plan. To have an idea of what I need to get done today and when I need to do it. Not only does it keep me sane, but it also keeps me productive and allows me to cope with the busyness of my life (but more on that in tomorrow’s post).
Today, I’m going to share with you all my planning routine – for future, monthly, weekly and daily planning… the whole shebang! Using a combination of my bullet journal and, my oracle, Google Calendar.
Hopefully you guys find this useful! You never know, it might even inspire you to revamp your own planning game for Spring.
Stage 1: Future Planning
I know lots of bullet journalers include a ‘future log’ at the beginning of a new year, in an effort to keep track of commitments they have in the coming weeks and months. For me, that just doesn’t cut it for two reasons. 1. I don’t take my bullet journal everywhere and 2. I certainly don’t whip it out in public to fill in an appointment.
Instead, I use Google Calendar, either on my phone (when I’m on the go) or on my laptop (when I want to feel more official).
After much deliberation, I’m going to do a separate post on how I organise my Google Calendar (it’s a little too complex to explain here.) But in essence, it’s the place where I plan my blog post, keep track of uni assignments/deadlines and put in appointments (like those dental check-ups that you always schedule 6 months in advance and forget about). This way, when I’m filling out my weekly spreads, I can go to my Google Calendar, look at the weekly view, and have an overview of all my appointments in one place – simples.
Stage 2: Monthly Planning
At the start of every month, I have a little planning party and fill out as much as I can into my monthly log and my desk calendar. But, in reality, I never end up adding anything to them (or even looking at them again) over the course of the month.
Google Calendar has really nullified their usefulness – maybe next month I can forget about them altogether.
Stage 3: Weekly Planning
For a long time, weekly planning was the main place I did my planning. Since every day is different when you have uni, a job, a blog etc, this meant I could get a good balance over the course of the week and didn’t accidentally focus all my time and energy on one aspect of my life.
Now, since my to-do lists became much too long to be included in this spread, I’ve gone back to daily planning, and instead use these pages keep track of my classes, events, deadlines and work schedule.
If you want to see a more detailed post on how I set these spreads up, I did a post on this a few months back so check it out!
Stage 4: Daily Planning
Since I don’t have a post on this spread separately, I’ll try to give you a quick rundown.
I’m guessing you can figure out why I include the day and the date, so I’ll just move right along to my time tracker. I use these in my weekly spreads too (but going vertically, rather than horizontally). Essentially, this is a place for me to see how much ‘free time’ I have in a day and to assign my to-do list accordingly.
Below that, on the first few lines, I use circular bullets to mark any appointments, bus times or classes – essentially anything that must occur at a specific time that day.
My actual to-do items are marked with a dot.
When items are completed a \ is put through the bullet,
if I don’t get an item completed it’s marked with a →,
and if I decide to postpone a task indefinitely, an X is put through the bullet.
I know many bullet journalers have more complicated systems, but this works just fine for me.
And that’s it! I love the simplicity of my current system, it’s quick, it’s easy, and the bullet journal allows me to tailor my system to fit the demands of a specific day or week – it’s the ultimate customisable diary.
How do you guys plan out your days? Or are you an improviser (if so, I’m jealous!)? Let me know in the comments below!