Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright March 17, 2018.

I Finally Found a Planner!

posted in: Your Success Needs | 0

Isn’t it pretty. I can’t even remember how many years ago I bought my first planner. I’ve tried a new one each year – store-bought and homemade – and always ended up discouraged because none of them seemed to work for me. I’d use them for a few weeks, and that was it. Everything after that point was an unorganized mess. Not good when you are working toward success.

I’m happy to report that I’ve finally found a planner that I can work with. We are 2 1/2 months into the year, and I’m still using it religiously. This is a wonderful planner. (Notice the lovely bookmark that my daughter Skye bought for me. I’m going to put a picture of my granddaughter in it after she is born. <3)

(NOTE: I bought this planner myself. No one paid me to write a review, or gave it to me for review purposes. I just love this planner!)

Bloom 2018 Vision Planner. Hardcover Vintage Floral. Great for Building Success.

I love this planner for so many reasons. It’s the first hard cover planner I’ve had, making it the sturdiest. And it’s an attractive one at that.

The first page has space for a mission statement, which is helping me to stay focused. Believe is my word of for 2018, so I used it as the basis for my statement:

“I believe in myself, my ability to reach my goals, and the ability of women everywhere to be successful, no matter what success means to them.”

There are 2018 and 2019 yearly view calendars that are each a full-page, and a Bloom This Year page where I have listed 5 goals, things I’m looking forward to this year, new things I would like to try, books I’d like to read, places I’d like to visit. things I want to improve on, and things I am grateful for.

And there is a page for This Year’s Vision. (See the third photo above.) I printed a few pictures to tape onto this vision board.

There is a 2018 bucket list page that I just love. On it I have included things like:

  • Save money for a better place.
  • Have a regular Yoga routine.
  • Spring picture-taking session.
  • Serve a meal at the homeless shelter.

And there even are five pages for notes, thank goodness! So far I’ve listed some things I want to do for this website, as well as what I want to do for my fiction blog, and how many books I want to publish this year.

There’s also a section for each month, and the setup is amazing. You have a vision board for each month, plus a Making It Happen page where you can list goals – and check them off! (Have I ever mentioned that I love checklists.) There is also a two-page calendar with blocks to write in and a notes column, as well as a challenge. Then there is a two-page spread for each week of the month that includes a full column for each day, Weekly Goals & Notes, and little pictures of glasses of water to circle to keep track of what you drank each day. At the top is a weekly focus. One of mine: Be present in my life.

I put my main goals for the month on my calendar. For example:

  • Edit new story to publish.
  • Create graphics for new story.
  • Create a promotional plan for new story.
  • Publish story.
  • Promote story.
  • How much saved for new apartment.
  • How much saved for homeless shelter.

In the notes section I write out any office supplies I need, and anything else I want to remember. For March, I noted that I was going to Claire’s while my daughter Skye worked one day, to take advantage of sales + her employee discount, and that we were going to lunch and to do more shopping. I did not know the exact date when I wrote it in, so the note served as a reminder for me to contact her and make plans.

Then, each Sunday, I fill out the next week’s two-page spread. These can fill up quickly. Using the calendar as my guide, I break things down into manageable steps, filling in the next week when I’m done with the current week’s work. It doesn’t take much time because I already know what goals I need to work toward. I just put in the steps I need to take to reach each goal. I also make note of my Weekly Goals & Notes on this two-page spread. For example, one week in March I wrote in:

  • Publish story.
  • Promote the new story.
  • Shopping for the baby.

Each day, as I complete the tasks from the two-page weekly planner, I highlight the items completed. I like to use different colored highlighters. On Sunday I go back to that month’s two-page calendar and highlight all the goals for that week that I accomplished. It feels good to be getting things done! This is what a full two-page week looks like for me.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright March 17, 2018.

Sometimes I decide not to do something, so I cross it out. Other times I may need to change the date I do something, so I cross it out and add it to the week I will do it. Toward the bottom I make notes on questions for my daughter Zowie, who does social media posts as part of her job. She is very helpful. The arrows from one item to another indicate further notes for a project, or that the two projects are connected in some way.

Just a note, I do not necessarily go by day each week. I may do some of Sunday’s items on Monday, or hold off on one of Tuesday’s items until the weekend. I have that flexibility with some things, but not others.

I also note my workouts and walks. I’ve stopped noting water intake, only because I’ve discovered I already get in more than I need most days.

The back-end of the planner has a 2018 Highlights page. When I’m all done with 2018, I get to go back and look over all that I have accomplished, and make note of the important things on this page. I will be keeping the planner for years to come, and it will be nice to look back on these pages.

And the back cover has a pocket, which holds a few important documents. This is also where I put the post-its indicating what I need to schedule for ongoing promotions in 2019. I’ll be able to add these items to the new planner as soon as I get it.

What planner do you use? How do you make it work for you?


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