As I recently admitted to you, life has been a bit hectic lately. But what do you do? Do you run around like a chicken with your head cut off? Or do you do a 180 — stay in bed ALL day, day after day and hope it just goes away? (Here’s another admission — sometimes I secretly like when I come down with a cold — it’s a good excuse (reminder from Spirit) that it’s time to slow down and stay in bed.)
Seriously, there is an art to managing our lives. Have you figured out what works for you? Is it the 10 apps on your iPhone? It is multiple Post-It notes stuck to the car dashboard, bathroom mirror, and coffee pot?
We all have our system(s). What works for you may not work for me, and what works for me, may not work for my next door neighbor.
What I do know is that I’ve tried lots of systems… with varying degrees of success. And I’m okay with continuing to try ‘til I get it right. I think I might be there this time!!
Here are three simple questions that will help you choose the right method for keeping track of your daily activities. Ask yourself:
1) What Exactly am I Managing?
Before deciding on the right system for you, decide on your purpose. How you respond to the two questions that follow will depend a lot on your personality, but also on your purpose. By that, I mean, what are you attempting to manage? Your work calendar? Your home calendar? Both? Those are completely different beasts.
With purpose declared, it’s time to choose your system. Here is the second question to ask yourself:
2) Digital or Paper?
Do you like the ease of having everything right there on your phone, small enough to fit in your pocket or purse? The simplicity of using your finger to tap, tap, tap away? Or, is your computer the best place to manage your calendar? Does it offer the tools you need so that you feel organized? Do you like the option to sync to your phone and print out a hard copy as well? Maybe those features are important to you.
Or do you find all of the computer/phone stuff simply too much, but in a constricting way? Not giving you enough doodle room? Perhaps you need thinking room and simply a place to write. Or like me, you need to feel paper and pencil, flip pages.
I’ve tried both over the years, and because I gave them both a shot, I know that the paper method is what I prefer. (One year I even tried both at the same time, thinking it would be easier to compare that way — boy was that a flop!)
Have you been completely digital for the past few years? Switch and see how it feels*, or vice versa. I suspect you’ll know pretty fast which suits you better.
Now that you’ve chosen between digital or paper, the last question is one you’ll repeat for the rest of your Organization-Exploring-Journey:
3) How Does It Feel*? More specifically, how does it make ME feel?
Whether you go with digital or paper, you are sure to find bare bones varieties, as well as super deluxe models with every bell and whistle imaginable.
Keep asking yourself, How does this make me feel? Overwhelmed? Too sparse? Keep asking yourself, and eventually you’ll score the right device.
Now, you may be asking yourself why I’m writing this post in July, opposed to December, right before the New Year. Well, because like many moms, my year runs from school year to school year. It’s how I manage my house, thus my life. So now is the time I get myself organized. (Besides, my new planner just arrived in the mail!)
After declaring your purpose, decide for yourself, which planner would work better for you? Digital? Paper?
If you chose digital, go for it! There are plenty of good options to choose from. And hey, if you already have a digital system that works great for you, leave a comment and tell us which one. I’m sure there are plenty of interested readers who would love to know.
And if you chose paper, how about a super cute paper planner that you design specifically for you?? One that will no doubt feel like you?
In the next TLT post, I’ll share my planner, along with my favorite features with you. (Thank you, AP!! You turned me on to a winner!)
Here’s a sneak peak of the cover:
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