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: Save your rings

Almost 20 ring binders 🙂

I LOVE ring bound binders! They are my favorite because I can move things around as much as I want or simply take out sections that no longer serve my current season of life. I’m also not limited to what inserts I can use. There are pre-printed inserts, I can create my own inserts, I can hole punch a cute sheet of scrapbook paper and put it in my binder, or purchase printable inserts. The possibilities are endless!

Ring bound binders can be an expensive investment so taking care of them is critical. One of the things that is vital in taking care of my binder is saving (protecting) my rings. Constantly opening and closing my rings can and will cause damage eventually. This is a problem because the damage to rings means that they won’t close all the way and your pages will snag when trying to flip through.

The solution to this issue is to grab a pair of sharp scissors and cut a small slit (on the left side) in each of the holes of the paper. This allows you to pull paper out and pop paper back in without having to open and close my rings. Once I’ve made the slits in my paper and want to take the paper back out of my planner. I will grab the top right side of the page and pull down GENTLY! I want to be able to put the paper back in the binder once I’m done. If I pull too hard I risk tearing my pages. You can fix this with hole reinforcements or by adding washi tape and punching the paper (but try to be gentle to keep from doing this step).

Creating a slit in my pages also solves another problem that I tend to have which is writing in my planner. Taking the sheet of paper out of my planner gives me plenty of room to write and flip through my planner if I need to reference information.

Quick Tip Wednesday – Gather It!

A great way to stay on track with accomplishing your goals, working on tasks and completing projects is to do a weekly review but this can only be done after you’ve gathered your information into one place and decided what to do with it. These things are something that David Allen talks about in his Getting Things Done Methodology. Here is what I do and suggest for you too. Pick a day of the week to sit down and gather all of the information from all of the places you have written them down (the list on the fridge, notebook beside the bed, sticky notes on the mirror in the bathroom, notes or reminders in your phone, outlook task reminders, etc) and put them all in one place. I suggest a notebook that can hold everything but you could also use a digital option like Evernote or Google docs to name a couple of my favorite digital platforms. Whatever you use make sure it’s something that you can quickly and easily access. We will talk next week about what to do once you’ve gathered the information in one place.