Planning ahead

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.
Now, seriously, if I needed to find anything in my notes (or my house really) I could do it in less than 5 minutes. My kids call it my mom superpower. I do, however, long for a more streamlined approach that still allows me to exercise my creativity and journaling while not compromising my organization or professionalism. All of these items in the photo above stay on my desk at all times and take up valuable real estate.
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.