I get asked a lot about how I keep track of my schedule, to-do’s and calendar. What system should I use? is a question just about all of my clients ask.
The first thing I tell them is, you don’t have to go digital! Digital is just one option out of many. I personally prefer pen/paper, because I like to see every single To-Do task and appointment for the week in one glance. A tiny screen on my phone or tablet can’t show that much detail all at once. Plus, research is showing more and more that the physical act of writing down your to do’s makes you more likely to actually get them done.
So I use the Planner Pad (no, I’m not getting paid to promote their product. I genuinely use and love their Planner Pad.) Turns out this is the favorite system of professional organizers everywhere. The Planner Pad lets me keep track of To Do’s, schedule To Do’s and keep track of appointments for an ENTIRE week all on the SAME page! Woo hoo!
Here is what a typical blank week looks like in the Planner Pad:
And here is what each section is for:
Each week, I write my categories at the top. I use mine for my organizing business reSPACEd, so my categories are all business-related. Your categories will probably be different. I write my categories at the top and write all of my To-Do tasks for each of those categories in the columns below. At the very bottom of the page, I enter any appointments I have (I choose to highlight client appointments in pink, and mandatory, non-client appointments in green.) :
Here is the MOST IMPORTANT PART of getting your Planner Pad to work: After I write all of my To-Do tasks down, I ASSIGN a day to each task, so I can get them all done that week. I think we all know that writing down your To-Do tasks is easy — it’s finding the time to get your To-Do tasks DONE that is so hard! That’s why the Planner Pad is so brilliant.
So when I’m all done, my planner looks like this:
Now, I can be super-productive (which is really important when you run a small business!) because I am getting essential tasks done each day in addition to seeing clients and attending to all my home life obligations. Needless to say, this is the planner used by many professional organizers.
Want to get your own Planner Pad? I order the Executive Size (8 1/2″ x 11″), which is about $35.
Whether you choose to use the Planner Pad system or not, I highly encourage you to use a system that allows you to write down AND schedule your To-Do tasks in the same place that you schedule your appointments. It really does make a difference in Getting Stuff Done. Happy Organizing!
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