Melissa’s Planning Series: Part 3 – Journals & Planners

This is the final part in our series on the best ways to plan. To round off the series I want to focus on the benefits of using a productivity planner or journal to help bring order and efficiency to your day.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I wax lyrical about my planner. When I feel out of sorts I stop, make a cuppa and write a list.

The major benefit of taking pen to paper is that the simple process of getting your thoughts out of your head can make tackling your to-do list less intimidating and far more manageable.

Much like using a spider diagram and time blocking, using a journal or planner is a process of externalising your thoughts and making your ideas and tasks more do-able.

This is a particularly useful way to plan for those of you who are visual learners, as you can clearly see everything on your to-do list on one or two pages.

What are the benefits of using a planner?

  • It inspires productivity – there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking something off on your to-do list at the end of the day or week,
  • It helps you to compartmentalise and break down tasks,
  • It brings structure to your day,
  • It helps you keep track of the important tasks, and clearly identify tasks that can be delegated or outsourced,
  • It allows you to keep separate lists for work, personal life and even self-care,
  • It encourages you to be more organised, simply through the task of writing down your list,

How I use my planner to plan my day –

My to-do list planning has 2 halves.

Firstly:

I use list software called Asana, which I have open on my computer and / or phone (app) – noting down tasks as and when they come to mind.  Those tasks to be undertaken by one of the team can be delegated immediately from Asana to their to-do list.  

When adding a task, I make sure I break it down to the component parts.  For example instead of putting ‘Instagram’, I’d put ‘film these 3 reels…’

I also use Asana for my content ideas and creation stages for Instagram, blog and newsletter planning (which I highly recommend!)

Secondly:

Next I will plan each day. To do this I select tasks from my Asana list and separate them into:

  • 1 key task / priority (the one thing that I must achieve that day)
  • 3 secondary tasks (the key to these is that they should be achievable, e.g. sending an email, making a call)
  • a number of easy ‘nice to have done’ tasks (such as a filing task, or paying a bill.  These are all manageable in a few minutes)

I find with this method, even on the worst of days, my business still makes progress.   All it takes is one completed task a day to move forward.

What planners should you use?

So as promised, here are some of the best productivity planners I have come across:

Intelligent Change

Ultimate You

Ponderlily Planner

Positive Bullet Planner

And for those of you who want to build a list online…

Asana

Trello

I would love to know if you have tried any of the tools and techniques I have recommended so far? If so, drop me a message and let me know how you have got on.

Melissa x

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