Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting those ducks in a row... Step 1

A few weeks ago I mentioned how one thing that makes my heart flutter is my planning time in the morning. I adore these few moments of my day where I get my head on straight and sip my coffee.

Some of you may be great planners and time managers, but some of you may struggle in that area. I thought I would spend a few days letting you know what works for me, in hopes that it might spur you on to find what works for you.

First a few disclaimers.
  • I am not an expert in time management, in fact I don't even consider it one of my strengths.
  • My way is not the only way or even the right way, but it is something that seems to work for me.
  • We all are capable of and have time to plan, now whether you will choose to spend your time doing it is your call.
  • I believe taking time to plan saves you time. It kinda sounds like an oxymoron when you type it, but I really think a few minutes planning can save you hours of make up time.
Now that we have those out of the way, let's move on to step one.

1. Think through and choose a planner that is right for you.
Often we pick planners on a whim around the beginning of the year, so we choose what is the cutest or the cheapest. But we end up never using it and eventually you have a stack of unused planners that are good for nothing.

For me, a planner must be cute (so I will want to look at it), big, and able to fit in my purse. I like them to have two pages per week, and to have the tiny month at a glance on the top of that sheet. Does that seem specific? It should. It has taken me 27 years to figure out what I daily seem to want or need and why other planners just got on my nerves. So look at planners that haven't worked for you and think through why. This year I got a super cute planner like the one below from Target that was cheap and big. Love it!

So your challenge for today is to find what kind of planner will work for you. Here are a few ideas that might work for you:

  • a dry erase calendar on your fridge or wall
  • a small checkbook sized calendar that will fit in your purse
  • your cell phone (I hear iphone calendars are great)
  • your laptop
  • a simple piece of paper or spiral notebook
  • a printed out blank calendar
  • Use a download from
The first step in being organized is to quit making excuses on why something doesn't work, and instead figuring out what will work. So get to it! And remember this needs to be something you can keep close by all day!

Up next: the good ol' To-Do List!

What kind of planner works best for you? What totally doesn't work?


  1. i heart my planner! i love picking it out every july and only wish that i could do it more than once a year! i never leave home without it and even carry a big purse just so i can always have it with me (you look kinda dorky if you just carry around a planner all the time on its own!).

    thanks for this post! i can't wait for the next one. if there is one thing i love more than my planner, it is making lists, especially to-do lists!!

  2. From your non-planner friend, thanks for the ideas. :) I like having a cute planner...writing in it is a different story...