You thought you had it sorted. You even made plans before you broke for the holidays but now you’re here the nagging content gremlins have set in. The beginning of the year is always tough.
It’s not just you, it’s me, it’s a lot of business owners.
I know I get my happy face on when I get something done, when I know I’ve achieved something. To ensure I regularly have a happy face, I use planners.
I have them all over my wall, I have one on my desk, I even created my own as part of my Strategy template training and workbook. You may say I’m a tad planner mad.
But why bother?
What’s the point of a planner?
1. It makes planning easier
It sounds obvious doesn’t it but for years I had random methods of planning.
I had spreadsheets here, Google calendars there, notebooks somewhere else. It was a mess and it meant I got very little done, I achieved fewer of my goals.
This year I’ve started using planners. Having built my strategy I’ve used a diary and a calendar to map out how I’m going to get it done. One glance and I know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing today. It seems easy now.
2. You get more happy face
I think you’ll agree that ticking items off a to-do list is a highly satisfying act (as long as you don’t look at all the things you haven’t ticked). A planner is a to-list on steroids. Each day as you achieve your goals, as you get the work done your smile gets bigger.A planner is a to-list on steroidsClick To Tweet
Of course, there are days when you don’t make it, you don’t achieve what you intended but that gives you room to assess what went wrong.
Some planners have space to note down your achievements big and small. This forces you to stay positive and ignore those gremlins that want to drag you down. I use the Five Minute Journal for this (see below).
3. It forces you to think differently
At school I wrote all my essays longhand. I’d spend hours drafting and re-drafting and finally writing it out in my best handwriting.
Now I type into a computer or a phone, I draft and redraft quickly and there’s no need to finesse my penmanship. After a while holding a pen can seem painful.
Paper planners force us to write again. Maybe it’s the slowness of writing by hand, maybe there is some hocus pocus in the physical act but we think differently when we write. We have different ideas, we are creative.
You don’t have to buy a fancy planner. You could use a diary, a whiteboard or create your own. But for those of you that find stationary motivating (and I know you’re out there) I’m going to share three that you could choose to use.3 Planners for those of you that find stationary motivatingClick To Tweet
1. Lucy Hall’s Social Media Planner
This popped up in my news-feed just as I was thinking about my 2018 strategy. It’s got flamingos on the front (I’m awfully fond of flamingos).
At the beginning of each month, there are todo lists and planning pages. The calendar itself includes some ‘special days’ that you can focus content on.
It gets bonus points for coming with stickers to mark those really important days in the year.
On the downside the binding makes it hard to have open on your desk. You’ll need some sticky notes to mark the pages as you go.
Pick up your copy of the Social Media Planner here.
2. The Five Minute Journal
The Five Minute Journal isn’t about planning your whole year but each day is it comes.
Each morning you record What you are grateful for, what would make the day great and daily affirmations. Each evening you record 3 amazing things that happened that day and how you could have made the day even better. It’s a little book of happiness.
More than a planner or diary, The Five Minute Journal it’s a way of life.
Unlike the other planners this isn’t tied to a specific date. You can start on it at any time and work your way through until you run out of pages (and then buy another).
On the downside it’s not as pretty as the other planners and I put off starting it for ages as there’s a bit of reading to do at the beginning.
You can pick up your copy of The Five Minute Journal here.
3. Janet Murray’s Media Diary
This is by far the highest quality planner of the three. It’s spiral bound which makes it easier to flick through and it’s nicely designed.
There’s lots of guidance and room for planning. The diary section, like the Social Media planner includes special days that you can focus content on.
You’ll also find lots of support for using it in Janet’s Facebook group.
On the downside it comes with a higher price tag than the others particularly if you need it shipped to Ireland.
Pick up Janet’s Media Diary here.
Whichever planner you choose, do choose something. You’ll find your content schedule falling in to place if you have a daily prompt for what you have to do.
Oh and don’t forget…
You get a planner as part of my 2018 strategy template and eWorkbook. Find out more about that and the training that comes with it here.
Eleanor @ Kreativ says
Nice tips. I use a wall calendar and also make use of a social media content planner. I also have a multitude of scrap paper and old envelopes all over my desk. I know…I know…but hey…works for me 🙂
Great post. Planning is so super important. I generally use digital planners, but I do keep a paper to do list with checkboxes on my desk. There’s just something about checking an item off the list that feels great!
Amanda Webb says
There is isn’t there. I used to have a typed list and just delete stuff. It’s no-where near as satisfying.
Amanda Webb says
Whatever works for you works 🙂 I think I may have too many planners.
Jill Holtz says
Such a handy post. I was thinking of moving to a planner and it’s great to see what’s good (and bad) about some different planners.