Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Planner update

Earlier in March, I was talking about my planner and how things were working for me.  Yes, I am still working on getting more and more organized, and of course that has meant that I have made a few more changes to how I do things.

At the beginning of March, I realized that my to-do list wasn't working for me, and I was keeping too many things in my head.  The keeping everything in my head also meant that I wasn't getting things done when I wanted to, and I ended up bouncing around too much. After a bit of thinking and trying to find a time management system that worked for me, I ended up with developing my own planner, and it seems to be working pretty well.

The planner is once again using the ARC system from Staples which I love and what I do is I work with a new page each day and I list out the things that I want to do during that day. I started with the things that needed to get done on a day and dated the page.  It seemed to work, and then I set up a key that makes it easy for me to move things forward or mark as completed.

Through this process I have figured out things that I do every day and things that I do every week and things that are done only once in a while.  For the things that are done every day, I have a monthly checklist for those items so that I don't have to rewrite them each day.  It means that the little things that are done quickly get a check mark when they are done, and then it is onto the next thing on the list.  I have even developed a checklist for a couple of the other things that I work on, as some of these are nine different little steps that are done over various times.

What is nice with using the ARC system for this daily to-do list is what when the day is over, I can move the day to the back of the book, and I am ready for the next day.  Sure, it means that things are rewritten a few times when I don't get around to working on them, but it also means that I am seeing that I am getting things done. The key that I developed also helps me quickly figure out what the item is and what I really need to do.  When I have a bunch of things that need to email, it means that I can do them all together instead of messing up and forgetting to do the emails. Thoughts and notes are also put down, and then I am able to put them into the correct spot when I go back and review my list at the end of the day. Another great thing about the ARC system is when I am going out to events or meetings, I can quickly take the day or two worth of to-do's with me so that I know what is ahead of me.

I still have the longer term to-do list in my big ARC planner, but now I have all the little things that I want and need to do with me and I can see that things are getting done.  I normally have things written even for a couple of days ahead because then the day starts to get too full, I know it is time to start to move things to another day and then see how it goes.  

Sure, my planner has meant some work at the beginning and end of each day, but at least I am now starting to see that I am getting things done, and I am not having to try and remember everything.  I hope to be able to continue to improve on my planner method and maybe one day I will be back to only have one big planner and one little ARC book, but for now I have the two little ARC books and the big ARC book, and it works for me.

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