So we are a little over a month in to 2015. I know a lot of people have “Get organized” as a new years resolution. Was it one of yours?
For me, I usually don’t do new years resolutions. Generally, I might have some goals i want to do for the year, but I don’t write them down and commit to them with any sort of significance at the start of a new year. However I do find this time of year to be good for revamping, cleaning out, reorganizing etc.
In particular, this new year meant a new planner for me! I had heard about the Passion Planner from New Faculty. It was a Kickstarter that grew to epic proportions. (Sidebar: I do know they have had issues filling orders, the strikes at the west coast ports have slowed them down, and a lot of people are unhappy. I ordered mine in November and it got here the last week of January. I can’t find much to complain about, she offered the printable for free, you can’t predict when something is going to go viral…or shipping issues. I still think it’s a great company.) Last year I didn’t use a planner much at all and relied mostly on Evernote and google calendar. (More on how I use Evernote here) I missed the physical list-making and planner. I like organizing my week and day.
I really love the Passion Planner’s features. It has several writing and goal-setting prompts. These aren’t available in the free printables as far as I can tell. At first I thought it was a little corny but then I went through the exercise and it’s really helpful for me right now, as I’m trying to finish my dissertation, find a job, graduate, and work on some personal goals. This systems helps me be able to sort through all the different projects and zero in on the specifics I need to attend to each month and each week.
I discovered this world of stickers, planner communities, etc. So my planner does get a little crazy looking, but it makes me happy.
Right now, my system is that on Sunday I take some time to plan out my week, then I fill in parts as I go through the rest of the week. Do I need all the stickers and washi? No. But it makes my heart happy. I actually find it fairly relaxing. It’s like painting or drawing but without all the materials and mess. It really does engage the artistic part of my brain, and I need that sometimes after hours and hours of lit review.
But mostly, taking dedicated time each Sunday to plan my week helps me to consider what’s coming up, what projects I need to focus on, weekly goals, travel, and other things.
Then Monday is when I double check my google calendar and Evernote system. I rely on these for most of the week if I’m out of the office or in a lot of meetings. Anytime I have an idea or reminder to myself, it goes in Evernote. Anytime someone asks for a meeting, I pull up google on my phone. However I have started to integrate these in to my planner, just as a secondary verification.
Why the duplication, you ask? I like having the physical planner that I can go back to and say “Oh yeah, I DID do that project with Joe Smith on Tuesday 3 weeks ago”. Accountability. Paper trail. It’s so easy to delete, change, or mislabel something on my computer. On the planner, it’s clear. Cross the meeting out if it was canceled. Check it off if it happened. On Google? It’s there or it’s not. That doesn’t tell me enough.
Let’s look at my google calendar, shall we?
Did I go to dads? Did I meet with Matt? Who knows?!?!
Then there’s email to sort through. All sent to Evernote.
And yeah, I can totally check it in my phone and sort all my emails in to their respective projects.
For me, I’m really enjoying having an integrated paper/digital system to get this year under control. I can use the digital part on the go, and the paper to sit down and really focus.
Do you set aside time to plan each week? Are you all digital or all old school? Do you love planner stickers too?! Are you using Evernote to keep track of those little thoughts throughout the day?? How do you keep it all organized? Stay tuned for a post on how I organize my dissertation literature!!