How do I plan?

Hi guys,
Today I would like to explain how do I plan. Probably all of us have so many things going on. I keep finding myself in situations, when I have so many things to do, so I have no idea where shall I start. Everything seems to be urgent, all the time household chores are pilling up (especially clothes to wash and iron; add to this a sink full of dirty dishes – where are they coming from? – and you could possibly spend all day doing just this).
To try to stay on top of all my things, never ending to-do lists and new things to do continuously coming up, I needed a great planning system. As you might have read in one of my old posts, I am using a bullet journal. I used to use nozbe, which worked great for me, but unfortunately, I kept forgetting to charge my phone and there were a moments, when I needed to write very important event or appointment and my phone just died.
So I came back to using a bullet journal again. If you haven’t heard about bullet journal before, it is a customizable planner (basically notebook, where you can include any spread you can think of – but you are setting it up by yourself), which allows you to assign how much space for each month, week, day as you need. There is an original system designed by Carroll Ryder (you can watch how it works by clicking on creator’s name).
I use my bullet journal slightly different, because I found out that I can get more things done when I plan it in kind of funnel way. So let me explain three stages of my planning.
First stage: long term planning
I make long term goals approx. every  9 to 6 months. In this stage I include all goals, projects, appointments, etc. which are going to happen any time from now to up to 12 months. I simply create a future log (you can see it in almost every bullet journal set up video). It allows me to write all deadlines, events, appointments, which are meant to happen later in the future. I also include my long term goals, divided into smaller steps (it will be helpful in my next stage). And having all this written down, I don’t have to worry about them at the moment and I am ready to move to my next stage.
Second stage: monthly planning
As you can tell by the name, this planning happens every month. That time I have a calendar for that month, where I add all events and deadlines from my future log plus anything what comes up mean while. I also make use of my goals divided into steps in the previous stage, as I am including these steps as a goals in my monthly goals spread. I also divide them for smaller steps to make it easier to work on them during the month (just small tasks I can handle during one working session). At this point, I have my weekly spreads already set, so I assign each of these steps into a particular week. This allows me to visualise how much stuff I am able to achieve each month and see what will be left in any given project.
Third stage: weekly/daily planning
This is the last stage of my planning. At the end of the week, I assign tasks for each day in the following week. After that, every day I revise what have been done, keep adding any tasks which could appear mean time. Any task which wasn’t done at planned day is being migrated to the next day or if there are a lot of tasks waiting to be done, for any other loose day.
Also, there are a lot of other stuff, which I include in my bullet journal, like finance tracker, budget planner, savings log, sleep tracker, mood tracker, etc. All this is giving me great insight into my life and helps me to implement any adjustments, whenever I notice that something doesn’t go well.
This is all for today’s post. If you have your way of planning, I will be glad to read it in a comment section. For now I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.
Daria

Keep your bullet journal with you at all times and set it up before you are going to use it.

Hi guys,

Today I will continue my little series about New Year resolution. As you must have seen in the title of this post, I will explain why I’ve decided to include keeping my set up bullet journal with me where ever I’ll go.

Let’s get right into the topic. Firstly, why bullet journal? And answer for that is very simple. As the idea of bullet journal is that you are designing it by yourself, it gives me flexibility to include everything I need in one place. Also, I can alter the amount of place needed each month for my planning accordingly to the amount of things I have to do. Thanks to that, I can’t run out of the space and be forced to keep writing my important things in random places and have to look for them when I need it. On the other hand, there is no waste of space when I don’t need as much space as I could have in pre printed planner.

Another advantage in my opinion is that process of setting it up itself is very relaxing. This year I’ve decided to make my bullet journal very colourful, with a theme for each month and a lot of doodles. This way I hope to practice drawing (at least exercise my hand to be able to make decent simple pictures). This was one of the reasons, why I went for a traditional journal, instead of any app (they are apps for bullet journaling available too, if you are more of I-keep-everything-online person). The other reason is, that I am not relying on battery level in my phone. I don’t have to be worry that, if app I am using will disappear from the market, all my schedules, plans, etc. will be gone with it.

Very important thing in my opinion is the fact that drawing and playing with colours in my bullet journal really boost my creativity, which is very important for me now, as I am working on my own apps. It will require a lot of decisions to be made, problems to solve and ideas, which will allow me to make my app a decent product. Creativity will be very appreciated, when I will run over a difficult problem.

Also by setting it regularly, I hope to work on my responsibility. As you might have noticed, there are a lot of things ‘I will do’ and I mostly end up not even starting them. Having this one thing I have to do on a monthly basis, is a beginning of working on my personality. But this is a subject for another post.

Let’s get into the part of keeping my bullet journal with my all the time. There are a lot of situation in my life, when idea comes to my mind. Although, I do all my best to remember it, I tend to let it be replaced by every day things. Having my bullet journal with me, will allow me to record everything and think about sense of it whenever I’ll have some time to spare. This way, I hope to be more focused on present, instead of trying to think about the future. Having it set up upfront will make prepared for anything popping out throughout the day (hopefully).

I hope that this short post explained you the reason, why having bullet journal on hand is so important that it became my 2020 resolution.

That’s it for today’s post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

How do I plan and why?

Hi guys,

As I said last time, today I am going to share with you the way I am planning my tasks. I was supposed to prepare it for Friday, but my son decided that he is not going to sleep for longer than an hour at the time, so I was not able to finish it by then. Any way, here it is 😉

If you are follower of my blog for a longer period of time, you could see my older post, where I explained it generaly. Tools I am using are Nozbe app and bullet journal. You might ask, why do I use both of them? Let me explain. First of all, I’ve been searching for a long time, before I found an app I really like. A lot of them, were good, but there was always some aspect missing, which for me was crucial. When I first came across Nozbe – it was just love from the first use 😉 It was so simple to add projects, tasks within them, reschedule. It allows me to see my tasks by project or day, it automatically generates list of overdue tasks. There are just two words to describe it: almost perfect.

While I was searching for a perfect app, I’ve been using only a bullet journal. It was perfect way for me to plan, as I could include whatever spereads I need, assign as much space for each feature as I want and it lets my creativity live. However, there were things, which made me look for a new solution. One of them is the fact, that I haven’t taken my notebook with me all the time. When I went to shop or for a walk, my notebook stayed at home. As I thought about something I should do on any of these journeys, I could either go back home and note it, write it on any piece of paper (or my phone) or I would just forget it. As I am the person, who carry her phone always when she can, I needed an app allowing me to add tasks on my device. The other thing was rescheduling. As I started my work through agency, I couldn’t make my schedule strict any more. Very often I needed to reschedule some tasks, or move them from the next day to current one, if I weren’t going to work at that day. All this made my bullet journal looking bad and simply distracting me from actual goals and tasks.

So why Nozbe? Nozbe gave me a lot of flexibility. There are options to add tasks by sending email (I used it few times already, while visiting my family with my phone being dead), creating as many projects and tasks as I need, simply adding, removing them and rescheduling. But also it allows me to view them by projects, categories, or just days – whatever I need to see at the time. It also allows me to syncronize your computer, mobile phone and other devices, but also log in through internet browser on any other device, where Nozbe might not be installed. All this saves me a lot of times.

However, Nozbe doesn’t allow me to see what have been done at any period of time easily. They provide some general reports (if you wish them and they are being sent to your email for free), but they don’t serve me as I wish. Also, sometimes happen that my battery is dead and I have no other device available, that time my bullet journal plays it’s role. And of course, working on creative aspect of me is very important thing.

So how I make these two tools work together? Whenever I am on the go and there is new task to be done popping out in my head, I am adding it either to project called Inbox in Nozbe or to monthly master to-do list in my bullet journal. Every evening I am assigning each of these tasks to right date and in case of my app, to each project. If there are any tasks for the next month, I am keeping them in inbox (in case of bullet journal they are written in year at a glance spread) and when I am planning that month, it is when I am assigning them to right date.

Also, every Sunday, I am assinging tasks for the following week. As at the moment I can’t really tell how much time I am going to have each day, I am prioritizing 5 tasks which I have to do (in the worse case scenario, when my partner is back) and rest is being rescheduled for the other day. Fortunately, there are not that many days, when my son doesn’t sleep for at least three hours at the time, so mostly I am able to accomplish all or almost all what I plan.

It might seem a lot of work, especialy with setting up my bullet journal and planning every day. However, in reality, every day I spend up to half an hour on assigning tasks (except for Sunday, when it takes me up to one hour) and setting up my bullet journal is actualy great way for me to relax. Also, by doing it in advance, I don’t have to do all at the time and I can actualy have some days off too. So this doesn’t cause any stress to me.

I hope that this post explained, how do I plan and turned out to be usefull for you. I will tell you in more details about mh bullet journal itself, but that’s all for today’s post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria