So you have your planner all set up and ready to work some major magic in your life. You have your different sections divided up, your inserts all printed and ready to go and you are ready to do some planning! What next? Well you're going to plan your planning, that's what!
Yes, you heard me right, I said you need to plan your planning. I am a strong believer in having a planning routine, so you don't forget to actually use your planner, and get things scheduled. With a planning routine in place, you will never be faced with having no idea what you need to do today, simply because you forgot to write it in your planner.
So today I'm going to share with you my planning schedule, and what works for me. My planning routine is very simple and easy to follow, so don't be scared that I'm giving you one more thing to schedule into your days. Taking a couple minutes each week to sit down with your planner is all you need to successfully plan your planning!
The first thing that needs to be done is planning out your full month. I take about 5 minutes on the last day of each month to plan out the upcoming month. Since I only plan out the basics on my monthly calendar, 5 minutes is all I need.
If you'd like to read more about how I use my monthly calendar, you can find that here.
When planning out the month ahead, there are a few things I go over to make sure I'm not forgetting anything. First, I always write down Melissa's class and work schedule. This way I can see at a glance, what days we have free for other activities. Next I write in any major holidays or events. Finally, I jot down any plans or appointments that we already have scheduled for the month.
Once those three things are in my calendar, I'm done planning out my month! Throughout the month, if any additional appointments or larger events pop up, I will go back and add them to my monthly calendar. This way, I always have an up-to-date month at a glance.
Once my monthly calendar is all sorted out, it's time to focus on my weekly plans. Since I organize my week in a Monday through Friday format, I plan each week out on the Sunday before it begins. So every Sunday night I sit down, and think about the week ahead, and what we have going on.
First thing I do is transfer anything I have on my monthly calendar for that week into my weekly calendar. I'll also add a few more details (like time or place) if necessary. Next I'll look through my financial planner to see if I have any bills due. While I do use my financial planner for the bulk of my money organization, I do like to have bill due dates written in my regular planner as well. This really ensures that no bill gets forgotten.
You can find the planner stickers I used for free here
I'll also add additional scheduled events that didn't need to be written on my monthly calendar. You can see that I wrote in on Friday that we need to drop Dakota off with my parents before leaving to go to the wedding. I really didn't need to include that on my monthly calendar, since it's not a huge event, but it helps to have it clearly written out in my weekly planer as something that needs to be done on Friday.
The weekly calendar is really where I get the bulk of my planning done, and what I refer to on a daily basis. I will also add in more plans as I go through the actual week and things come up. So if on Wednesday we decide we want to take an Ikea trip that weekend, I'll write it in so when the weekend rolls around, we don't forget that we wanted to get that done.
The final step in my planning routine is writing out my personal to-do list. I write out my to-do list for the upcoming week at the same time as I'm planning my week, on Sunday nights. Anything that didn't get completed the previous week gets immediately transferred into next week's to-do list. I'll also think about anything that I've been wanting to get done around the house, and jot it on the list.
As I go through the week, I'll slowly work on chipping away at things on my to-do list. As they get completed, they get a green check mark. I will also add things into my to-do list as they come up throughout the week. If I get to the end of the week and something still isn't completed, I'll put a red arrow in the box to indicate that I've moved it to the following week.
And that is how I plan my planning! It really is simple once you sit down and decide what you're going to do when. All it really takes is 5 minutes at the end of each month, 5 minutes at the end of each week, and a couple minutes here and there throughout each day. Easy!
What's your planning schedule like? Do you break it down into monthly and weekly planning sessions like me? Or do you follow another routine?