First of all, I want to clarify that this is NOT a planner blog. It just so happens my last three posts were about planning because that's what's on my mind right now. In other words, I can't recommend or answer most of your questions about planning/planners. In other bad blogger news, I won't be linking to any of the projects I may mention here because, a. I'm lazy, and b. most of these things I had to pay for and then they bombarded me with advertisements anyway, so I'm kind of annoyed.
The photo above shows most of the systems I'm currently using to plan/journal/track my life. I'm really organized, but not at all streamlined. From left to right:
- My Documented Life Planner- is a Moleskine planner that I use for art journaling. I'm doing the Documented Life challenge where you get a different theme to incorporate each week. There's a free FB group to join, and they do try to sell you stuff.
- Next is a regular composition book that I use for notes. I spend most of my time at my desk and I just grab it and write- not very organized or efficient. At the moment I'm using it to track Holiday shopping and wrapping so things and people don't get lost.
- Then, there's my DayRunner planner with DIY inserts. I use this for detailed scheduling and general to-do's. I also track chores (when I do them) and exercise, water intake, weight, and time spent being creative or learning something new.
- Last, is a print-out of my Google calendar for work. It's got all the schedules for people I work with and isn't very efficient for personal planning. I do update all my appointment on here (set to private) so I can get notifications on my phone.
- Not pictured is a Life Book art journal (which I paid a boatload for and they still try to sell you stuff, so I won't be doing that again) and journal pages based on the Artist's Way process, which is three hand-written pages of brain-dump/free-writing each morning (sporadically, when I'm stressed or having a manic episode.) I never go back to those pages except to reflect on how things change and I don't consider them part of my planning or journaling. Also not pictured is Project Life. I bought all the supplies and only completed about 3 weeks worth out of the whole year. That one is supposed to be for scrapbooking and journaling.
To add to the mix is a pathological addiction to stationery and office supplies. Every time I see something new, I convince myself that it is the answer to all my prayers, and of course it never is.
As I was reflecting this morning on what worked this year and what I want to try next year, my mind went back to Covey's quadrants (I go back to that often.) What is urgent/important, urgent/not important, not urgent/important, and not urgent/not important?
That system works well for prioritizing tasks, but honestly a lot of what I do in terms of art journaling isn't reeeeaaaaly important to anyone but me. So, I thought of a new system. What if I replace "important" with "enjoyable," and "urgent" with "useful?" Now, I can rate all my extras with the new quadrants where the useful/enjoyable things get a front row ticket, and the not useful/not enjoyable things don't get a second thought.
You could also make the same type of changes for cleaning out closets (fits/looks good), or culling books (enjoyable/ useful?) What about all those recipes (tasty/simple?) Using the two-criteria system for decisions makes it really easy to not over-think things. You only have to make sure your criteria are the the most important standards to what you're trying to rate.