My Planning Routine – day, week, month

My current planning system includes a goal notebook (lined notebook) and a Day Timer 7 ring binder with Franklin Planner Blooms inserts for my calendar and Peanuts Planner Co for trackers

Today I’m sharing my planning routine that I use daily, weekly and monthly. I do have a quarter and annual planner routine but didn’t include it here because this is already a pretty lengthy post. I like using routines to help me to stay on track with my goals and to set my planner up for the upcoming timeframe (day, week, month, quarter, year). My routine evolves as my needs change and the season of life I’m in changes as well. I use a combination of routines that I’ve seen online and read in books. So you might see some familiar tasks (hey GTD, bullet journal, and of course 7 Habits!).

Daily:

  • Update my wellness section (blood sugar tracker, mood log, headache tracker-if applicable, and menu/workouts tracker) and add any outgoing money spent (i.e. receipts, bills paid, etc) to the daily tracker throughout the day
  • Review weekly page for follow-up on @waiting on items, chores to complete, and meal prep that needs to be done
  • Review daily notes and add tasks to the next available day, a future monthly task list, or master projects list in the project section
  • Forward incomplete tasks from daily task list to the next available day, a future monthly task list, or someday/maybe list in the project section
  • Turn to the next day and prioritize tasks on the daily task list
  • Add any new appointments from the daily notes to the appropriate day and month
  • Update finance section in home tab with information from daily tracker
  • Add important information from the daily notes and appointment schedule to the current months index (medicine ordered, taxes done, oil change, annual review, etc)  & yearly foldout (sick time-brief description of illness, PTO, etc)
  • Put a check in the top left hand corner of daily page to mark as processed/complete

Weekly:

  • If daily pages have not been processed/marked as complete (see above), add important information from the daily notes and appointment schedule to the current months index (medicine ordered, taxes done, oil change, annual review, etc)  & yearly foldout (sick time-brief description of illness, PTO, etc)
  • Add appointments and events to dailies (appointment schedule)
  • Review current month’s goals & create actionable steps; add to Compass card (relationships), weekly page (home), menu/workouts weekly (personal). Info in parenthesis are my focus areas that I use to create my annual goals.
  • Review email @action folders (work & personal) & add tasks to appropriate sections (the daily task list, a future monthly task list, or master projects list in the project section)
  • Review email @waiting on folders (work & personal) & add follow up tasks to weekly page under waiting on section
  • Add chores from current month’s master task list to weekly page
  • Create meal plan and add to weekly page; add any needed items to weekly grocery list in home section
  • Review project section for current projects & add next actions for each project to daily pages as time allows (if a day is too busy, skip it and put it on the next available day)
  • Complete a review of the previous week (at least twice a month, but preferably every week)

Monthly:

  • Update fridge calendar with appointments, events, holidays (use Google calendar)
  • Migrate incomplete tasks from previous month to appropriate sections (a future monthly task list or master projects list in the project section)
  • Complete the monthly budget and budget by paycheck forms in the finance section of the home tab
  • Update Financial Wellness Planning whiteboard with budget by paycheck amounts in finance section of home tab
  • In the goal notebook complete a review of the previous month using review questions
  • Create goal pages in my goal notebook
    • 1 main page that has my word of the month (should be closely tied to word for the quarter), scripture to focus on this month, the theme & feel for the month
    • 1 page for each focus area (Personal – spiritual, wellness, self-care, hobbies, education & professional development; Relationships – marriage, parenting, family (everyone except the kiddos), & friends; Home – financial wellness planning, meal planning & prep, chores/zone cleaning, & projects)
    • Break down goals into action items using the quarterly goal section in goal notebook
    • 2 pages to complete a review at the beginning of the next month
  • Review the master projects list & the important dates list in the project tab for possible project(s) to begin this month; add them to the current months master task list and focus of the month section on monthly budget in finance section of home tab
  • Add monthly and quarterly chores to the current months master task list
  • Archive dailies, weeklies, menu/workout tracker, and monthly budget pages out of planner binder in to appropriate years storage binder

Do you use a routine in your planning system? Am I missing something that you just can’t live without. I’d love to read about them. Share your tips in the comments!

Quick Tip Wednesday: 5 Review Questions to Check Your Goal Progress

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Today I’m sharing my 5 questions that I use during my monthly, quarterly and annual reviews. These questions help me to check in with my goal progress to see if I’m on track or if I need to pivot.

  1. What victories or accomplishments did I achieve in the previous month? These can be goals or projects successfully completed, life events or milestones, and of course happy memories.
  2. What was planned that I failed to start or were left incomplete? Think goals, projects, scheduled events, habits or routines.
  3. What roadblocks to productivity did I face last month? For my Franklin Planner peeps think quadrants 3 and 4. Things like external interruptions or other people’s priorities, lack of self-accountability, or fire drills. Stephen Covey goes in to detail about this in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  4. What insight can I take away from these roadblocks to learn how to plan better for the future? Refer to what was written in question 3.
  5. What in progress or new projects do I want to work on this month? For me this includes house projects, annual chores, birthdays, holidays and our anniversary. Anything that requires multiple steps becomes a project. David Allen goes in to detail about this in his book Getting Things Done.

Quick Tip Wednesday: Goal Check In

It’s never too early to review your goals. I sat down this year and set goals on my birthday (Jan. 1) for the year. I chose six areas of my life that I wanted to focus on this year and wrote why I wanted to focus on these areas (I did add one more area later on). Since I started late I went ahead and wrote goals for the first quarter and broke them down for the month of Jan. I just finished writing my third quarter goals, reviewing second quarter and reviewing June.

When I completed my recent reviews I went back and reviewed what I had wrote down during the 1st quarter review. I was shocked that I had let some really important things slip through the cracks during the second quarter. This was primarily because I didn’t go back and review my notes from the 1st quarter review when I wrote my second quarter goals. Argh! This is so important because it helps me to see where my roadblocks were so I can make adjustments. Otherwise I’m just repeating the same behaviors and getting the same results. So, yes I need to review my notes from my most recent review. It sounds silly but it will save me time and keep me accountable.

This week’s tip – Check in with your goals by reviewing your goals at least monthly but as often as weekly to make necessary adjustments as needed. Bonus tip – Keep all of your goals in one place (binder, notebook, etc) for easy retrieval and review.

3 things you need in your planner system

My current planner stack!
  1. Capture
  2. Plan
  3. Retrieve

I really enjoy researching different planning systems. There is no shortage of them out there and they all fit different needs for different people at different stages of their lives. Some of the most popular include the Franklin planner system, David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, the Bullet Journal method, Tonya Dalton’s Inkwell Press productivity system, Jenny Penton’s Planner Perfect method and Lara Casey’s Powersheets just to name a few. There are also a plethora of planning systems and calendars, both digital and paper.

Now you might be wondering what’s the difference between a planning system and a calendar. A planning system is a tool used to be productive in accomplishing your goals and completing long term projects. A calendar simply holds your events/appointments and due dates for projects/tasks. For the longest time I’ve used my planner as a calendar. It wasn’t until recently when I decided that I wanted to increase my productivity and accomplish my goals that I switched my planner to an actual planning system.

There are three common themes that I have found after researching the most popular planning systems and that is you need a place to capture information, a place to plan the information you capture and a easy and quick way to retrieve the important information that you captured. Each of the above planning systems have their own way of completing all three but I use a combination of the Franklin Planner system and GTD. It’s what makes the most sense for the way my brain works and is perfect for this season in my life. There are several other parts to my planning system but the capture, plan and retrieve are vital to my planning system. It’s whats helping me crushing my goals this year.

What are you using to crush your goals? What are some planning systems that I didn’t mention above?