I have shared a couple of posts on how I set up and use my planner. I’ve even done a video walk through going into a little more detail. These posts have been some of the most viewed on my blog, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Because of these posts popularity, I thought I’d give a closer look inside my planner section by section. So, for today and the next 4 Fridays I will take you through each of the sections of my planner. I hope you will come away with some ideas to help you manage your time and your life whether you use a paper planner or some kind of electronic method.
Let’s start with the first section which is the calendar section.
The calendar section is made up of three sub-sections:
- Monthly Calendar
- Weekly Calendar
- Daily Calendar
I can hear you saying now, “Why does she need three calendars?” Well, let me explain below. You’ll see that each calendar serves a different purpose in helping me to manage my time.
1. Monthly Calendar
I use the monthly calendar to keep track of all appointments or commitments for my time that have set times and dates. You’ll see I have things like dentist appointments, church, hair appointments, and school activities.
I get these dates from my calendar on my iPhone. I use that calendar as my reference point when I’m scheduling appointments. If it’s not on my iPhone, it doesn’t happen.
The monthly calendar in my planner helps me to see the broad view of my month. I color code events so I can assess when one area may be taking over my schedule.
I like the monthly view because I can see everything that is happening at once. This is something I can’t do on my phone. It helps me to be more aware of how I commit my time.
2. Weekly Calendar
The weekly calendar helps me see a week at a glance. It’s here where some of the nitty gritty details start fleshing themselves out.
You can see my weekly pages are divided in three sections. I have to-do lists by context at the top, my appointments/schedule in the middle, and then specific to-do lists for the day at the bottom.
I begin the week by filling in the to-dos I’d like to accomplish by context. Then I put in any appointments to which I’ve been committed. Finally, I fill in specific daily to-dos with tasks that make up my routines for the week.
Then, each night before I go to bed or first thing in the morning, I plan out my day and decide what other tasks I should be able to accomplish that day. I’ll talk more about this with the daily pages below.
The weekly calendar keeps me focused on the work I need to get done that particular week. I love these pages because I can even write down my dinner plans at the bottom, and I can see clearly what needs to be done for the entire week.
3. Daily Calendar
The daily calendar guides me through the day. While I could probably record what I need to on the weekly calendar, the daily pages give me more room to write things down and make any notes I may need for a particular day.
As I mentioned above, I try to plan out my day the night before or first thing in the morning. With the daily pages I record the top three to-dos from my weekly pages. Then I list any other tasks I feel like I can take care of that day.
I also write in my appointments for the day to make sure I don’t miss them. Then I begin to think through my day and start assigning times to the tasks I need to complete.
For example, I try to mark off at least a couple hours at a time where I am working on my blog or other writing projects. Often I’ll also block out time for household chores and exercise.
Blocking out time for all the things I need to do forces me to think about how much time it will really take to complete some tasks. It also helps me see how much time I really have in the day. Sometimes I can do more than I think.
So, there you have it. Three calendar types that all serve a different purpose.
Join me next week when I walk you through the Getting Things Done section.
Leave a comment below and share how you use your calendar.