I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, as I noted how many of my creative friends struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my quest for wellness as I stumble along the way– literally!
If you are reading this you likely already know that I am sort of the Accidental Planner, as a creative spontaneous type I eschewed formal list-making and such, until I became a mom. I happened upon the Planning Community only two years ago and it really has changed my life. Now I enjoy planning! There are so many creative tools available to personalize your planning experience. There are so many etsy shops with creative and functional stickers. There are Facebook groups and instagram for sharing layouts and ideas. It has taken me a little while to get into the groove, but now I know how to really USE my planner- in a way that works for me.
What Works for Me:
I use a vertical weekly planner with 3 sections and no time stamps. I like to list and use color, and of course, sticker! This was working very well for my life and life/work management. I wanted to keep work details separate, so I keep a work-only notebook on my desk. I used to keep To Do lists, but I found that to be somewhat anxiety-producing, so now I keep a Success Log.
I keep a running list of what I do all day, as I do it. This allows me to feel more accomplished. Instead of getting stressed about what I need to do, I feel satisfaction at having completed it. At the end of the day, it looks like a To Do list, only it’s all Done.
When I Stumble
Recently I took a bad fall and had to recover at home for a week. My planner was a great tool for me during this time, as I had previously decorated it with inspiring stickers for the week. I also used some stickers that said “Over It” “Survived Today” and “Let myself rest.” And my daily list became Reminders: Rest, Meds, Ice, Repeat.
But What About Deadlines?
I do keep deadlines & priorities in the forefront of my mind by using the weekly sidebar on my life planner. For my Success Log at work, I use a project management spiral notebook which has a blank sidebar, and numbered lines. I also use the reminders feature in Outlook to keep my digital work calendar up to date.
Memory Keeper & Gratitude Journal
My life planner weekly spreads are so fun to create and decorate! I often write in what we actually did, and even name the shows we watched and food we ate (or the amusement park rides we rode!). It then becomes a memory keeper, which I can reference as I write in my separate Gratitude Journal. This is a good practice to keep staying positive.
Quotes of the Month
There is a blank page following the last week of each month in my planner. I use this area to write funny or significant quotes that my family members say. I found this was a really neat way to memory keep, as well. Each member of my family has a different color for their events and quotes in my book. My daughter is pink, and my son is orange. So I can tell at a glance who said what.