Today’s blog post is going to be more personal, and less informational, so bear with me! I want to do a quick update on my planning, and what I am using to plan at this point in the year.
Zigzags & Zebras March 2019 Planning Update
You’ll know from my 2019 bullet journal setup, that I was using a bullet journal and a digital planner at the beginning of the year. For a couple of reasons that I am going to go into, that is no longer the case. I’m going to dive into why I’ve needed to change up my planning, and what I’m doing now in terms of planners to stay organized!
Why I’ve re-evaluated my planning system:
- I am SO busy. Seriously. Way busier than I thought I would be this year. I’m currently writing for this blog, doing guest posting for Perfectly-Penned, running my sticker shop, working full time, doing a licensing course online for my day job, and trying (key word is trying) to have a social life. It’s a lot going on.
- I wasn’t utilizing my digital planner, at all. I have lots of fun creating digital planners, but when it came to using mine, it didn’t work. I created a few months of digital planner setups here on the blog, but honestly, after making those spreads, I touched it maybe 2-3 days out of the month. Clearly, that was a waste of precious time.
- I loved my bullet journal (don’t worry I still do), but when it came to day to day planning I was spending a lot of time creating layouts but I would quickly run out of room/it wouldn’t be a layout that worked for me.
What I needed in a new planning system:
- I needed a planning system that would allow me to:
- Plan daily, and have a corresponding hourly schedule to go with that, because time-blocking rocks.
- Track my continuously growing to-do list
- Organize my editorial calendar & all things blog/Etsy related
- Allow me to maximize my time every day (no time wasters) – I want to be able to get things done that are important
- Track my expenses and budget
- Utilize collections & other monthly planning
By figuring out what I needed to do, and what was and wasn’t working in my current schedule/workload, I could sit down and figure out what I needed in a planning system.
I am saying planning system because I am not the type of person who can use just one planner and call it a day. The mix of digital planning and paper planning does really resonate with me, due to the large variety of tasks I have on my plate. What I’ve decided I’m going to use will, at least for this season of my life, work for me. It might not work for you. That’s okay.
I do strongly recommend evaluating your current system, what you need to be productive, and going from there. If you have found planner peace that is fantastic! For myself personally, I don’t think a planner I am using now will be relevant 10 years from now. My planner will likely evolve as I do.
My New Planning System
These are the systems I’ve decided will work for me, at this point in my life. I’ve decided on 3 separate systems, and I’m going to walk through them for you.
My Bullet Journal
You didn’t think I’d give this up, did you?! Don’t worry. I am modifying the system to work for me though. You’ll notice this in my March bullet journal setup.
I am definitely going more functional with my planning. I still will use colour in my pages, and stickers from my shop, but at this current point in my life I don’t have the time to draw a bunch of intricate pages every single month.
My bullet journal‘s main purpose is going to be budgeting. I have been really focusing on my money (I want to pay off student debt, and I don’t want to rent the rest of my life). The budget pages in my bullet journal work so well for me, and it’s been really beneficial to track my expenses every day.
I am also going to be using my bullet journal for a brief month overview, as well as to do brain dumps. It’s a great place to jot down thoughts or project ideas.
The last thing I’m going to be continuing in my bullet journal is collections. I love collections, and I love designing them as a way of self-care. I haven’t had a chance to do that many yet this year, but that is something I am hoping I will now make time for!
You’ll still be seeing tons of bullet journal content here on the blog, and I’ll still be doing my monthly bullet journal setups. Don’t you worry!
If you don’t know, todoist is a computer based project management system. The interface is simple and clean, and not distracting. I can use it on my computer, phone, and iPad.
I have been using todoist for a while now, and I really love it for keeping a running to-do list, and breaking down my projects and goals.
This is going to be my system for all blog and Etsy tasks that I have. It’s a great system for tagging tasks, and I can easily move them around as things change. I can also have tasks repeat which is great for when I know there is something I need to do week after week (i.e. I don’t have to write it in my bullet journal every time)!
Interested in taking Todoist for a run? They have a free version! Try it here.
A Day Designer Planner
This is my final addition to my planning system. Yes, it’s a really paper planner. I did feel like I was cheating on my bullet journal, but I’ve realized they can coexist and we all have a happy relationship now. It’s great.
I did a bunch of research on planners, from Erin Condren to Happy Planner. Then I stumbled on the Day Designer by Whitney English. It instantly spoke to me, and I bought it almost immediately.
It’s a big planner, so it might not be portable for everyone. I do most of my work (that requires the planner), at home. However, I also lug around a lot of stuff with me everywhere I go, so I really don’t mind carrying it with me.
Reasons I chose the Day Designer:
- Quality – it’s a beautiful spiral bound planner, and there a ton of hard cover designs to choose from.
- Daily Planning – this checked the box up above of needing enough space to plan every single day. This planner has that. Each day is on its own page and includes a schedule from 5am – 9pm, a top 3 list, a to-do list, and some other notes sections. The only bummer is that the weekends share a page, so there isn’t a to-do list for the weekends, just a schedule. The good thing is that I like the schedule more, so I’m glad they kept that for the weekends. I am thinking I will just tape a to-do list in for the weekends.
The day designer also includes some prompts at the beginning to set goals, and create a routine schedule. There is also a month at a glance page every month.
I will be using the Day Designer planner for my day-to-day planning as I said, as well as tracking my editorial calendar, and my online class assignment progress and due dates.
I’m excited to work with these three systems to be super productive this year! I can already see the harmony that I have between my Bullet Journal, Day Designer, and Todoist. Each has pros and cons, and by using these three systems I am able to cover all of the bases.
Have you ever re-evaluated your planning routine/systems? What are you currently using to get everything done? Let me know below in the comments!