Two weeks ago I published an in-depth blog post about the top 14 planners for entrepreneurs.
The most common question I got from that blog post was, “What planner are you going to use for 2018? Why did you leave us hanging?!?!?!”
I didn’t reveal which planner I picked from the bunch, because I hadn’t figured out which one I wanted to use when I published that blog post.
I adore the concept of the Desire Map Planner and was suuuuuuuuuuper close to choosing that as my main planner for the upcoming year. I don’t focus enough on how I want to feel and what I can do to create those feelings and I plan to do that a lot more in 2018.
But, I couldn’t overlook how much I loved the design and every single page of the Inkwell planner. From the moment I opened that planner, I felt like it had been made for me.
The Productivity Planner also caught my eye with its simplicity and focus. I tried it’s system of focusing on one to five tasks and rating my productivity in my bullet journal and got a lot done on those days.
And then there is bullet journaling…the planning system that has my heart and has kept me organized this past year.
I also can’t forget Lara Casey’s Powersheets which aren’t a traditional planner but help you plan out your goals for the year and then help you take action and review how you’re doing throughout the year. I immediately knew I was going to use the Powersheets when I opened that package.
So what’s a planner addict to do when she has a stack of planners she loves but she can’t use them all?
It kinda felt like choosing a wedding dress all over again.
Luckily, I found a way to take the parts of the planners I really liked and put them together.
First, I decided that I would use three planners throughout the year.
I know…that’s a lot. But, I don’t care. This is my business and I can do what I want and I want three planners and one of them isn’t even a traditional planner for those of you who are counting.
I’m using: 1) the Powersheets to plan out my goals and track them throughout the year, 2) the Inkwell planner either just for Sunday Society or BookTube (I haven’t decided yet) and 3) my bullet journal for everything else.
Seriously, it’s a big boy. It’s still a Leuchtturm1917 but it’s the size large and the difference between the medium and the large is big.
I supersized because I want to fit a good amount of stuff on my daily spreads. I’m taking things I like about each of the planners I mentioned earlier and combining them into a custom daily spread.
Before I made this decision, I thought a great deal about whether or not this would be a good use of my time–creating the daily spreads and filling them out.
I came to the conclusion that I need to make more time in 2018 for journaling and thinking about the things I’ve included in my daily spreads. So, I believe it’s more than worth my time. If I decide later that I’m spending too much time on it, I can limit what I put into my daily spreads or move into one of the other planners.
For now, I’m excited about the system I’m setting up in my big ol’ bullet journal.
Let me give you a tour of what I’ve done so far.
Here’s the yearly spread (what some in the bullet journaling community call a future log) where I can put in launches, vacations, sales, birthdays, holidays, etc:
And, here’s my daily spread:
Here’s the breakdown:
At the beginning of the day, I want to think about what Danielle LaPorte calls your core desired feelings. Basically, it’s how I want to feel. I’m going to write them in the little honeycomb shapes. This will remind me of what’s really important–how I want to feel and if I can achieve that, then I’ve won that day.
Then, each morning I’ll also write a sentence or two to respond to the soul prompt (all of those come from the Desire Map Planner).
Next, I’ll write a sentence or two in response to the business prompt. I’m putting together a list of business prompts for this part of my planner.
The picture below shows you the bottom of the first page of my daily spread.
The three things that are circled come from the Full Focus Planner (which I didn’t know about until after I published my post on the top planners for entrepreneurs or this one would’ve made the list). In the Full Focus Planner, every day there is a spot to check off that you’ve completed your morning ritual, your workday startup ritual, your workday shutdown ritual and your evening ritual.
Each day that I do my morning ritual and workday startup ritual, I’m more productive and I’m happier! My workday shutdown ritual consists of making sure my daily spread for the next day is ready, looking over my schedule and filling out my to-dos for the next day.
In 2018, I would like to post on Instagram every weekday and share more of my work on Instagram stories each day. I’ve added three boxes for exercise–they’re for 15 minutes each, so I can check them off if I break it up throughout the day or get in a longer workout earlier in the day. I also have some checkboxes for water to make sure that I’m staying hydrated.
The box at the bottom of the page is for ‘something learned’ because I try to learn something new every day and writing it down makes it more likely that you’ll retain it.
The top of the second page (picture below) comes straight from the Productivity Planner which I looooooooooove. This planner is all about focus. If you’re a creative that has a hard time staying focused, you should seriously think about investing in this planner even if you use it as a secondary planner.
Anyways, instead of a standard to-do list, I’m using the Productivity Planner’s set up for my to-do list. It gives me room for five items and the five little circles next to the checkboxes represent 25 minutes each. The Productivity Planner encourages users to use the Pomodoro technique–25 minutes working, separated by short breaks. I’ve been doing this recently and I’ve been getting a lot more done.
At the end of the day, you look at your task list and what you accomplished and give yourself a productivity score.
Below my productivity score, I’ll wrap up the day by thinking about a few more things: what I want to stop doing, what I want to change and what I’m grateful for. Each of these prompts came out of the Desire Map Planner and they change each day. For instance, ‘Stop Doing’ and ‘Want to Change’ and ‘Gratitude’ all stay the same each day, but ‘Speak Up’ and ‘The Solution Will Come’ and ‘Ask for More’ will be different the next day. I write whatever the Desire Map Planner has for January 1st…January 2nd…etc.
Then, I’ll consider the wins for that day and list them. This is something I think we all need to do more of. We constantly think about what we should do differently and how much we didn’t get done, but we need to congratulate ourselves on the good stuff.
And, I always like to have a place for notes in my daily spreads.
There you have it. That’s my planning system so far for 2018. I hope it gives you a bit of inspiration for customizing a system that will work for you!