Finding Planner Peace - Discovering What Planner System Works For You | Cindy Guentert-Baldo | Skillshare

Finding Planner Peace - Discovering What Planner System Works For You

Cindy Guentert-Baldo, Planner/Artist/YouTuber

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11 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:19
    • 2. Materials

      1:40
    • 3. Defining "Planner Peace"

      2:49
    • 4. Types of Planners - Format

      3:14
    • 5. Types of Planners - Paper

      6:52
    • 6. Types of Planners - Digital

      3:39
    • 7. Get It All Out!

      4:05
    • 8. Evaluate Your Needs

      4:01
    • 9. Look Deeply At Your Life

      5:40
    • 10. Create Your Planner Roadmap

      6:31
    • 11. Closing Thoughts

      1:19
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About This Class

In this world of social media, YouTube, productivity gurus and artistic bullet journals, it can be easy to lose yourself in the world of planners, planning and productivity. How do you know what planner, digital or analogue, is right for you? Have you spent time going from Instagram account to Instagram account, looking for that special sauce that will help you get your sh*t together with no real luck?

Is planner peace a myth?

Well, maybe. I prefer the term "planner contentment," but "planner peace" is the thing I always see people searching for.

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In this class I'll be going over how to find the planner system that works for YOU. Not me, not that person you listen to on their weekly podcast, not the bullet journaller who gets thousands of likes on their artistic spreads, YOU.

Planning your life out can be as simple as a to-do list each day, or as complicated as multiple Google calendars, three different paper planners and two bullet journals (or more)! If you look on Instagram or YouTube, you’ll likely see as many different planning systems as you do people posting them. Each of us has a different life, with different needs, different wants, different forces pulling and pushing us into each day. So why is it that we continually look to other peoples’ planning systems to help us solve the hectic schedules and plans that make up our individual lives?

Having a solid understanding of both the different parts of your busy life and the best ways for YOU to map those out is the key to finding what some people call “planner peace.”

In this course we will

  • Define what “planner peace” actually is
  • Look at the different styles, formats and types of planners to make you aware of what is available
  • Dig deep into our day to day lives to discover what, in fact, we need to be planning for
  • Organize those different aspects of our lives into the planning system that will work for YOU

By the end of this course, you should have a road map to a system that is tailored specifically for you, built around the things you prioritize and organized in a way that works the way you do. 

This course is for anyone who feels like they can never get their lives together, whether or not you are a beginner in the realm of planning and productivity. Whether you are constantly buried under Laundry Mountain or you can never remember what time your doctor’s appointment is, this course is for you. This course is not for people looking to hack their time or become the next time management podcast sensation. 

Materials for this class:

My goal is for you to be able to recognize what YOU need to figure your life out, before you spend all the money on all the things only to be disappointed and MORE confused. So if you are ready to take a look at your life and figure out how to plan that sh*t out, grab a cup of coffee and let's get started!

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Plan your peace; is it a myth? Is it a legend? Does it exists? Honestly, I don't know, but what I can say is that there is a planner system that will work for you somewhere. You just got to figure out what it is. There are a lot of productivity gurus out there who will tell you that their system is the best way for you, that they figured out the best way to be productive. I'm here to tell you that none of them actually know you or your life or the things that you go through on a daily basis. How can you expect their system to work perfectly for you when they've never even met you. My name is Cindy Guentert-Baldo. I am a freelance illustrator and artist, I also make YouTube videos, I record Podcasts and a lot of my YouTube videos since 2013 had been related to planners, how I use them, reviews, etc. I have made over 800 videos, many of them about planners, and that doesn't make me an expert in planners. I can promise you I'm not an expert in planners. I have figured out ways of examining my life to figure out what's going to work for me at any given moment. The systems I use now are not the systems I used a year ago, which aren't the systems I used 10 years ago, as my life is continually evolving and changing, just like yours. In this Skillshare class, I am going to help you walk through your life to help you figure out what things are important to you, to get them lined up in a way, to help you discover what kind of planner system is right for you. You, not the bullet journal person with all the likes, not the weekly podcast guru who knows how to do all the productivity things, but you. In this Skillshare class, we will define what planner peace actually is, look at the different styles, formats, and types of planners so that you can be aware of what's out there, dig deep into your day to day lives to discover what, in fact, you actually need to be planning for and then organize those different aspects of your life into the planning system that will work for you. By the end of this course, you should have a road map that is tailored specifically for you, a system that is designed for your life, built around the things you prioritized and organized in a way that works the way that you do. In reality, this course is for anybody who feels like they haven't been able to get their life together, they've spent way too much money and done way too many things and it still hasn't worked for them, and if you think that's you, if you think you're somebody who would like to sit down and really think about the things that you're trying to plan in your life, this is absolutely for you. Grab a pen and a cup of coffee and let's get started. 2. Materials: The class project for this Skillshare course is to create a roadmap for your perfect planner system, and I have some tools for you and materials that you may want to use along the way. First and foremost, check out the Project and Resources tab here on this Skillshare class, you will find a few different worksheets there. One is some questions to walk you through the process of this class. A second worksheet has different formats of planners for you to test out to help you get the feel for the different layouts in most commercial planners out there. Thirdly, it's a list of bonus resources. You don't need to print these out if you don't want to, but my suggestion is that you do, so that you can use them over the course of this class and project. The second thing that I suggest you grab is a pack of index cards. In the past, I've used just three by five index cards to sort through all of the different things going on in my brain to get them out so that I can shift them around, move them around, and visualize them in different ways. Actually brainstorming space in the worksheets that I provided. Or if you like taking notes on a computer, that's good too. I wouldn't be somebody who has spent a lot of time in the planner world, If I wasn't somebody who would recommend pens to you. Again you could go simple, just use one pen. I personally like to have two different types of writing instruments for this. I like to have just a regular pen to make notes with, to do most of my writing with, but for some of the big categories we'll be working with, I actually like using markers because I like the bright colors, I like the color code and I just like the fun of using markers. If you have colored markers or highlighters or anything like that, they will come in absolute handy for this particular Skillshare class. That's it. Once you've assembled your supplies, we can start the process of finding your way towards planner piece. 3. Defining "Planner Peace": Before we can get down the path of planner peace for you, we have to actually discuss what planner peace is. I use the term planner peace for this class and I talk about it within this class because that's been a lot of people in the planner world referred to as their ideal mythological planner system. The thing that's going to help them get their lives together. The heavens are going to open up and their laundry will always be done if they find the right planner system. But ultimately, I think plan or peace's a myth, I don't think it actually exists. I like to refer to planner contentment. But because of SEO and all of the other things out there, I'm going to use them interchangeably over the course of this class. Let's take that myth, that mythological perfect planner system, that's got to exist for you somewhere and distill it down to what it really means. What does it really mean to find planner peace or planner contentment in your life? I think it actually comes down to two things. It's a system you actually use, whether you use it daily, or weekly, or whatever else works for you, it is something that like a habit you come back to all the time. Not because you're trying to keep up with the system, but because it's working for you and it becomes part of your daily habit like brushing your teeth or putting on sunscreen. I hope you put on sunscreen. The other aspect of planner peace or planner contaminant that I feel is necessary, that's at the heart of it, that it works for you instead of you having to work for it. You don't have to feel like you're having to shape your life to fit your planner system, something that you enjoy utilizing everyday. If you can find these two aspects, something that you use every day and it's something that feels right and that it fits you. If you can get those two things you will have achieved the mythological planner piece. Now, a final thing I'm going to add to this whole thing is that planner peace or planner contentment is ever evolving. I've said this already. What I use now is not what I used last year is not what I use 10 years ago. As things start to feel a little awkward or I stopped using them so often, I start to reassess what it is that's going on in my life. What's changed? How have I changed so that the system doesn't work for me anymore? What do I need to adapt to make it work for me now? I suggest that if you ever start feeling awkward, even after you find a system that works for you to go through this process again. The whole reason I even decided to make this Skillshare class was because last year, I actually spent several months assessing my life to try and figure out what would work for me. I'll tell you, all of that work has led me to a place where I'm happier in my system than I've ever been, and I've made changes to it over the past year, because I have learned to get better at recognizing what works for me, what doesn't work for me, and being okay with letting things go and also giving new things a little room to breathe. To help you find your planner piece in this course, we will be talking about all of these things to help you get to that mythological place of a planner system that feels good. It works for you. 4. Types of Planners - Format: In this lesson, we're going to be talking about several different formats of planners and what I mean by that is different layouts, different things you can expect to find in different types of planners. Now, the first format that I'm going to refer to is monthly. Almost every planner has some monthly layout in it. Monthly planners can run the gamut from quill bound planners like a year and calendar monthly or one of the monthly at-a-glance calendars you can pick up at a drugstore, to wall calendars and desk calendars to your monthly layout in a Google Calendar. They're very handy to have, and I would imagine most people's planner piece involves some monthly calendar. Daily planning is something that can be very helpful for people who have lots of to-do lists or have many appointments in granular things that they want to keep track of. Often in a paper planner with a daily layout, you will find room for both an hourly schedule and a to-do list, if not, other extras like meal plans and goal-setting and things of that nature. Often in daily planners, there's enough room for not only hourly scheduling, but half-hour early scheduling or even 15 minutes scheduling. One of the caveats to paper daily planners that I have found, is that many of them put the weekend on a single page. If you do not work a Monday through Friday schedule or if you need a full day's page for each weekend day, that might be something that's tough to find in most planners situations. Now looking at the weekly layout, I have a list of the three most common styles of weekly layout. These are not the only styles, but these are the three most common. The first one is hourly. That can again be formatted from everything to single hours to every 15 minutes. You can look at the appointed books that are design for things like salons, if you need something with that granular of a breakdown. Other planners will just list it by the half-hour or the hour, some of them have a full day, all 24 hours, some of them have a limited amount of hours in their scope. I've seen other planners that have a short amount of hours, but then also a to-do list for each day on their weekly layout. A vertical layout is often built the same way as an hourly in a column format, but instead of hours, it's usually blank or divided into sections. Now, there are different planners with different sections, some label their sections, some don't, some like the year and calendar have three boxes in a column, others like the yellow paper house have a column with lines and then some dog grid underneath, and there's all sorts of different kinds of vertical columns, but if you like your life in a straight up and down linear fashion, but the hours don't matter as much to you, or you want to write your own numbers in, a vertical could be a good choice for you. Then the final layout I'm going to talk about for weekly is the one I personally use, and that's horizontal. I like horizontal because I like to letter in my planner, horizontal can be a dream for people who like to be creative, because if the space afforded by having a wide and short format as opposed to a tall and skinny format, I have found that horizontal can be a bit of an adjustment if you're used to planning in a more linear fashion, but that if it's something that you like, you're going to really like it. I have examples of all of these formats in the projects and resources section of the Skillshare class, you can print them out, play with them, see which one you like, so that you can start getting an idea of what kind of formats might be right for you. 5. Types of Planners - Paper: In this lesson, I'm going to be talking about different types of paper planners within the context, mostly of their binding or how they're actually held together. There are so many different companies and so many different options out there in the paper planning world that it's both amazing that you can find so much variety but that means it's also very confusing. By separating things into the binding that they use, you might be able to narrow down a little bit what it is that you want. Before I talk about binding, I do want to bring that one specific thing first and that is pre-printed versus drawing your own. You can do either thing with almost every single one of these binding. If you want to do bullet journaling, a system that was invented by Ryder Carroll, you can get adopt grid paper or a lined paper or graph paper or blank paper and draw it in yourself and create your own lists and your own style of planner that way. Or you can also get something pre-printed. You could find both options in any of these for the most part. The first type of binding I'm going to talk about is coil binding. Coil binding can come in different styles. There's the regular spiral brown books like an air and chondrin. There's the wire O-binding, which is a wire binding where the wires doubled up on itself and it doesn't actually close. An example of that would be the simplified planner. There's also plastic coils, the power sheets you can get bound, which is a plastic coil or you can create your own coil binding by printing out the planner and taking it to somewhere like Staples where they will bind it for you. The pro of coil binding is that everything stays together. It's usually pretty durable and it can look really nice. The downside to that is that it's pretty difficult to switch things in and out. You either have to uncoil it or you have to snip your pages and neither of those are necessarily easy and they can run the risk of you actually screwing your planner up a little bit. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything. The next binding I'm going to talk about is actually a bound planner. It looks more like a book, with bookbinding where everything is glued into a spine and it has either a cover or a workbook feel. Many notebooks that people use for bullet journaling, like Louise Charmine's scribbles that matter or bound notebooks. There are also bound planners out there. The Write Planner company makes a gorgeous bound planner as well. The pros of these is that they look extremely professional. They have a nice hardy feeling like a book, they look substantial. One of the problems with them is that the binding isn't great, then sometimes the planner won't lie flat or the pages will start to fall out. You need to make sure if you're looking at a book bound planner, the binding is quality. If that's something that's important to you in terms of longevity. Now what are the drawbacks that a lot of people see to both coil and book bound planners is that you can't swap things in and out. The other planners I'm about to talk about all have the ability to change things in and out of your planner. In the planner world, these are called inserts. Inserts being the pages that you actually stick into your planner. When you're using a system where you can change things in and out, you have a lot more flexibility with the planner that you have. You might have a cover you love, but you can change the inserts as your system changes. This can be both a good and a bad thing. The inserts mean that you have the ability to trade things in and out whenever you feel so inspired or when something's not working for you, or when you want to experiment. But if you are somebody who struggles with changing too often and not being able to find something that works for you, having the ability to change inserts in and out might actually be a hindrance for you when you're trying to stop and just focus on something for a little bit. That's just something to keep in mind. The first and arguably one of the more traditional styles of planners that use inserts or ring binder planners. Probably one of the most recognizable of these from back in the day are the Franklin Planners, FranklinCovey, there are Folio facts planners, Gk is in Australia and brand what these are are binder systems, whether they are a three-ring binder system or they're is six ring binder system or if like Franklin Planner, they are a proprietary binder system where the punch has to be a specific pattern. But there are basically binders with a leather cover or they sell vegan leather covers. Now they sell cloth covers where you open it and there are metal rings and you open the metal rings and you place pages in and out of the planner and you can change them out as you choose to. These are very "Fashionable planners." As in you can really dress your planner the way you want to. If you work in an office context, it is not unsurprising to see a dark like brown or leather Folio facts on somebody's desk. Or you could also get a bright green one if that's the color you want. They sell ones with flowers on them. There's all different leather binders that you can choose from. You can change your covers as often as you change your inserts or vice versa. A lot of people collect binders and swap them out with the seasons or in their moods or whatever the case may be. Big thing to look for with ring planners is, are the rings closing tightly. With some of the cheaper binder options you might find yourself with the planner where the rings don't completely close all the way and then the page is start slipping out and it becomes a big mess. That can be something that's really difficult if you're spending less money on this end. Another aversion of planners that use inserts are the traveler's notebook style notebook covers. The original of this was the Midori travelers notebook, but over the years, different companies have come out with their own versions of this notebook. Often they're leather, otherwise they could be cloth, they could be vegan leather. They could be all durable materials. They consist of a cover with elastics in the middle that you thread your notebooks through. Most of the inserts for these come in stapled or sewn notebook style. You can get them in different sizes. You can get all different notebooks. One of the things people love about these, especially the smaller ones, is that they are extremely portable. The final binding I'm going to talk about today is disc planners. These also use inserts. You can find brands like The Happy Planner or Levenger or Ark or Equal Press. These are plastic or metal discs and there's a special punch and you can punch the papers for them. They can be all different planner layouts, different covers, different inserts. Again, you could just change them in and out of the discs. A lot of people like the discs because you can completely rotate your planner around, to just have it be like one side of a planner instead of having to open it flat and you're not going to break the binding or anything like that, it just works right around. Biggest caveat to disc planners and this actually also applies to the ring bell planners I talked about earlier, is that for both of these, you often need a special punch to be able to put your own papers in. Otherwise you have to buy the papers that are made by the people who make them specifically for these planners. Often especially with the despair planners, those punches can be quite expensive. Those are some of the different types of binding of paper planners. Note that you can get all of the layouts that I talked about before in these and then some, there is a wide world of paper planners out there. But if you can think about the binding that might work for you and your lifestyle, that might actually be a good narrowing down point for when you start searching for your planner piece. 6. Types of Planners - Digital: In this lesson, I'm going to talk about different types of digital planning solutions. I can't claim to be as well versed in digital planning solutions as I am in paper planner stuff because I tend to be an analog person most of the time. I do however, utilize different types of digital planning stuff so I thought I might talk a little bit about some of those options. Now the first option is an actual calendar app or situation. Probably the most well-known of this is the Google calendar, that's what I personally use. But there's also Outlook and other types of apps for your phone and for your desktop and those that can sync back and forth. What those work out to be is basically similar to the planning formats we already talked about with yearly, monthly, weekly, daily planning options for you to make your appointments. One of the biggest reasons that these are awesome is because you can share them with other people easily. One of the reasons I started using a Google calendar was so that I could share it with my family and my husband so that we could all see each others appointments and so on and so forth. They would never look at my paper planner even though they knew everything was in there, they just didn't look. Digital calendars are excellent for that sort of thing. Something that might help you if you do a lot of project planning is project planning software. There are two that I know about that are at the top of the game for this, but I'm sure there are many more and those are called Trello and Asana. Both of these can be used in collaboration with other people, you can use them just for yourself or share them out with other people on a team or people in your family, to be able to keep track of different projects with different stages in the projects. You can see what's going on with any given thing. These can serve the purpose of a monthly calendar, but they allow you to break projects down into their pieces as opposed to beads in it feels much more like a scheduling app. The final digital planner I'm going to talk about in this, but like I said, there are many more than I'm probably overlooking, is digital planning in the style of a paper planner. The way you would do this is to get something along the lines of like an iPad Pro with an Apple pencil, which is what I hear most people use but there's other things, other tools you can use for that, and you can download an app like GoodNotes. People actually sell planners for your iPad that look like a paper planner, they even could come with digital stickers, you can do lettering, all the other things. But instead of them being on paper, they're within a piece of technology. The biggest caveat to this is that you have to be able to invest in the device that you do it on in the first place. But then you would save money because you're not buying new planners every year unless you are, there's always ways to spend money in this situation. I would argue that the least expensive version of any sort of planner is probably Google calendar because it's free. As long as you have an internet connection in some way to access the internet, but then you'd have to buy the device. There is a whole realm would go down in terms of spending money, the biggest pro to any digital calendar is the share ability of it, the ability to share with other people, the ability to access it from maybe your phone versus your computer, and wherever you are, you don't have to lug a bid Planner around with you. The big downside to these aside from the cost of the Internet and the devices you need to access them, is that you don't own any of these apps. You don't own any of these systems, and one day Google might decide to just shut down and then your calendar disappears. I remember there was a day recently when Google went down and everybody's calendar went down. I remember seeing some pretty smug people in the Facebook groups saying like why I had everything written in my paper calendar, but none of my coworkers know when the meetings are because all they have is Google calendar and Google's been down for an hour. But whether or not you think that's a risk worth taking, you cannot deny that digital planning solutions are incredibly powerful, especially if you have other people involved in your life who might actually want to see and be involved with your plans. 7. Get It All Out!: Now, that we've talked about the different types of planners that are available to you, it's time to actually start thinking about the things you'd want to put into one of them. I like to call this phase getting it all out, taking everything from your head and putting on paper. This could also be referred to as a brain dump. But in this situation, we're not talking about actual things that are happening as much as different aspects and pieces of your life that you want to categorize and think about in different ways. There are two pieces of this process that needs to happen first and foremost. They can happen in either order depending on what works for you. They are the items of your life and the buckets that they go in. You can either start by brainstorming your buckets and then filling them with the items from your life, or you can just brain dump all of the items you can think about with your life and categorize them into buckets that way. We'll start by explaining what I mean by buckets. Do you remember when you were a kid and you had things like logos and You had to separate them into their different colors, their different categories, there's just a whole mess logos on the floor and to clean them up, you could either scoop them all into one big bin, or you could separate them and put them away. The same with anything else that you need to sort. We're doing the same thing with your life. Your life buckets are the different areas of your life with things that you keep track of. They could be all things, they could be as simple as home and work, they could be kids, pets, house improvement, all different areas of your life. You can have as many as you want, I would suggest to keep them a little bit more on the general side. As an example, I have two kids. When I think about my life buckets, I don't think about each individual kid, I just think about kids as one life bucket, because it just makes more sense. I don't like to get more granular than that. If you do go for it, but just know that the more granular you get, the bigger system you're going to have it, and it might be harder to keep up with. Remember, one of the first rules of planner piece, is the system you actually use. Now, if those are your buckets, the other piece of this, are the items that go in the bucket. This would be like doctor's appointments, or meal planning, refilling your meds at the pharmacy. I come up with a lot of health oriented ones, because I have chronic illness and that seems to be all I ever think about. It could be a teacher meetings, or kids sports, or whatever the case may be. All of the different pieces of your life that you track and you plan. It could be something as big and overarching as remodeling your house, it could be something as small as tracking your water intake. I want you to think about all of the pieces of your life that you need to plan for or track. The two ways you can do these, are either to make your list of buckets and start filling them up, look at each category and write down all the things that you can think of for each category, or you can just fill out everything you can think of that you think you need to track. Then grab some highlighters and start sorting them into the different buckets. Either way, what I want you to have at the end of this first process, is a list of different life category buckets. Then underneath that, a list of things that you need to plan or track for. You can utilize the worksheets from the project section to help you through this part or you can do it on scrap paper, however you want to do it. Once you've gotten the life buckets figured out, and you fill them up with a bunch of stuff, the next thing that I want you to do, is to take your index cards, or posters, or however you want to do this. I want you to transfer all of your items onto individual posted notes. The easiest way to keep track of things, is to assign a color to each of your life buckets. Like red for household, and green for finances, or whatever the case may be. Assign a color to each of them, and then write the item for that bucket in that color, so that you always remember which bucket it goes in. You can use this with markers, you can use highlighters. If color coordinate is not for you, you can use a symbol or a letter, but my suggestion is color coordinator. It's the easiest way to go about it. What I would love for you to do once you have done this, once you have gotten all of your index cards or posted notes filled up with all of your life items, separate it into their buckets, I'd love you to take a picture of that and post it in the class project below. So that you can hold yourself accountable to the other people in this class and you can show that you are working on sorting your life out, and you've taken that first big step by getting it out of your head and onto paper. 8. Evaluate Your Needs: In this lesson, we're going to be evaluating all of the things that you brainstormed in this last lesson and figuring out the best places for them, whether you actually want to be tracking them or not, and trying to figure out where everything might best be suited. This is to narrow down the different planner solutions you might be thinking about. Its evaluation process starts with those index cards that you feel that at the end of the last lesson. The first thing you really want to do as you're looking over these index cards, is to really think about, are these all items you either really need to track a plan or want to track a plan? Do these things have to happen or do they make you happy or both, or could you possibly get rid of them, delegate them, push them off of your plate? Not everybody needs to go through this step, so people already have a great handle on not over-complicate in their lives. I am not one of them. I am a chronic over volunteer and wind up raising my hand yes. For situations when maybe I shouldn't have done that in the first place. For me this is a critical step, really looking at everything that's going on and thinking, can I really get all these done? Should I really get all these done? Or is there something I can drop? That's just always a necessary step for me anytime I'm working on a planning system is to stop and evaluate that. Now that you have everything sorted into your life buckets were going to be sorting once again in a different way, and this is the reason why color coding is really helpful because we're no longer going to be keeping things organized into your life buckets. We're going to be looking at them in a more timely fashion. The way that I did this physically was actually just take some more index cards and write daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly, and start sorting all of those items into where they need to be. Is it something you track daily? Is it something you track monthly? Is it something you need to plan for weekly? Whatever the case may be. I start sorting all of these by their time frames, of how they need to be tracked or sorted. You can do this with index cards. You can do this with a list on paper. But I've found that the easiest method is to just put the index cards and just start putting them underneath there. With the color-coding reminding you which life bucket they belong in. The next thing I would have you do is collect up each stack. Collect all your daily cards, collect all your weekly cards, etc. Collect your little stack. I want you to take your pen and I want you to look at each item and decide who needs to see it. Is it something that you're tracking just for you? Is it something you didn't share with the rest of your family? Is it something you need to share with your coworkers? I like to have all of the doctors appointments for the various members of my family visible to the whole family so everybody knows what's going on. I like my meal plans to be available to my whole family because my thirteen-year-old is constantly asking me what's for dinner. There's certain things for work that I share with different people that don't even live in the same town I do, and there are certain things like how much water I'm drinking that I just keep for myself. Like we talked about in the different planners, certain ways of planning are much more conducive to sharing with other people than others. Once you've done all of that and you're looking at your daily tasks, you weekly tasks, you're monthly things, all these things in the way that they're broken up, I want you to start looking at trends when it comes to your life buckets, that's how this is gonna come in handy. Do you notice that a bunch of your fitness tasks happen every day or a bunch of your family tasks need to be tracked weekly. Do you notice trends both in when things need to be planned or who needs to see certain things. As an example, for my family, appointments needed to be seen by everybody, whether they were medical appointments or sports meetings when it comes to like certain to-do lists that are just for me. They all could be in one spot because nobody else needs to see them and they need to happen on a daily basis. These are the trends you're looking for, for your planning. Once you've sorted everything into your time buckets, you've written down who needs to see what, and you have really looked at your trends. I would love you to take a picture of your progress and add it to your class project so that you can encourage other people who are probably at this point feeling like they're drowning and all of their lives stuff, I promise you, in this next step, we're going to be able to take all of that and start making that look like something that makes sense. So post a picture to your class project and I'll see you in the next lesson. 9. Look Deeply At Your Life: In this lesson, I'm actually going to give you a series of questions, and what I would love for you to do is think about each one, answer it, and those answers may be, will bring you to a place where you can decide what's really going to work for you. Not all of these questions may apply to you, but I would just go through each one, write your answers down on a piece of scrap paper or on the back of one of the worksheets, and by the end of that, hopefully we'll be able to start to see what kind of planner system you're going to be using, or at least see it start taking shape. The first question to ask yourself is about, the time categories, we separated things into daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Look at those categories, are some of them super full, are some of them super light, do you've a lot on your monthly, or a lot on your weekly? If you have a ton of stuff in your daily category, maybe daily planners are something you need to be thinking of, if you have a lot of stuff on your monthly calendar that also needs to be shared with the rest of your family, that might be pointing you in the direction of a digital calendar that you can share with your family. Looking at these things where everything is in terms of both time and who needs to see it, will really start pointing you in the direction of different pieces. I should also add at the very beginning of this whole lesson here, your ideal planner system might be more than one thing. I personally use more than one thing and we'll talk more about my planner system in a few. For now, I just want you to remember that don't feel like you have to shoehorn everything into just one system. By looking at your categories, you're going to start to see which systems might be most appropriate for your life. Another question you want to ask yourself is about your lifestyle, are you somebody like me who works from home and spends a lot of time at home at your desk? Do you go to an office every day? Are you on the go a lot? Do you like to carry things around with you? Do you make a lot of appointments on the go? Is there something that you want to carry in your bag or whatever? Basically, where do you want to be using your planners? Do you need something that can just stay at home and you're fine, or do you need something that's portable? All of these questions are things to think about when it comes to your lifestyle. What kind of creativity do you want to devote to your planning system? Are you somebody like me who likes to decorate and use lettering and be fancy? Or are you like a wham- bam- thank- you- ma'am kind of planner? How much space do you need? How much creative energy do you want to pour into your plan? How much energy do you want to pour into it at all, is having extra room for stickers and doodling important to you, or do you just want something compact enough that you can just fill with all of your things? On that same note, think about how much time reasonably you want to spend each day, each week, each month planning. Do you want to give yourself a nice leisurely our every Sunday? Do you want to spend five minutes each morning and five minutes each night, and that's it? Do you want something that requires a lot of effort, meaning a lot of time, or do you want something that's super simple and quick? This can go with the creativity question as well, the more creative you want to get in your planner, the more time you might want to devote to it, which means you need to think about that when you're thinking about the kinds of planners you want to use. This question actually has to do with you, with all of your life. Think about the way you live your life. Are you somebody who is a creature of habit? Do you have your routines that you'd like to stick to, and if you deviate from your routines, that really bothers you? Do you do things a certain way every day or do you like to fly by the seat of your pants and try new things and adventure when it comes to the different stuff you do in your life? Because how you are in your life is going to be reflected in how you are in your planning system. If you're a creature of habit, you're going to want a system that is the same. I am absolutely a creature of habit, that's why I don't like systems that have inserts you can change in and out because that stresses me out. I like it to be the same, this is what I expect to find, this is what I expect to happen every day and I get what I expect. If you are somebody like that, you may want to avoid inserts, if you're somebody who likes to change things out, that actually brings you joy, then you may be somebody who wants a system where you can change the inserts or the pages or digital plan or you can change things. That is actually something to think about, so look at the way you interact with your habits and the rest of your life, and how comfortable you are with a routine that changes or stays the same. Are you a paper person or tech person? Do you like using apps? Do you like using paper? Do you like using a combination of both? I always swore up and down, I was a paper only person and then the convenience of having a Google calendar and being able to share it with my family has now converted me and I am a paper and tech person. I loved the paper, for the tactileness, for the writing things down, but I love the convenience of having the tech. I have both, but you just want to think about, what's important to you. Is the portability, or the flexibility of tech more important to you? Is the gadget more important to you? Or is the feel of paper and pen, the tactileness of laying down whatever, which one do you like better or do you like a combination of both? On a related note to that big question here, how much do you want to spend? Because you can spend a lot of money on a planner system, you'd get something as simple as a wall calendar, you could get something as expensive as an iPad in a digital planner and all in-between. How much do you want to spend? Set yourself a budget that actually could inform a lot of your choices right there. Another thing you really want to start to think about is the kinds of planners you've used in the past. Make a list of the planners that you've used in the past, the ones that have worked for you, the ones that haven't worked for you. See if you see any trends, see if you see any similarities, that might actually also help you either narrow things down or window things out. Now, that you've answered these questions and you've looked at your trends and you've made some notes, I want you to go back to the resources section, and in there I have got a variety of different planner formats and layouts for you to mess with. On top of that, you can explore online planners step. I want you to just poke around look at some of the websites on the resources list, because in the next lesson we're going to be testing some of these things and I'm going to go over my planner system with you to let you know how I went through this process myself and what I wound up with to help you figure out what you're going to wind up with. I'll see you in the next lesson. 10. Create Your Planner Roadmap: In this lesson, I want you to take everything you've learned about yourself in the past two lessons, take a look at the resources in the projects and resources section, both the sample planner layouts and the bonus resource list, and start thinking about the different planners that you might want to use. What I want you to do is write out a description of your personalized planner system, not brands necessarily, it doesn't have to be a brand of planner. You don't have to have found that yet but to find the way you want to plan and write that out, looking at the way you've categorized and sorted things and some of the questions that you've answered. You can write out that plan and from there, explore the different planners using what you find on the Internet and your budget to actually purchase some things and try them. I will remind you right here that anything you try, you need to give it a month or so, nothing is going to feel good that first week, give it a month or so to get used to it before you re-evaluate. This is your final project to write out your personalized planner system. I'm going to tell you about mine and how I got there. My life buckets are fairly straightforward for me. I have family stuff which is my husband and my kids. Health stuff because I have a chronic illness, so I have a lot of health things going on. My business stuff which was in and of itself divided up into several buckets, but there's business stuff. There's household stuffs that includes meal planning and projects in our house that we own and everything else and that's about it. Like really, I remember how I said to keep it simple, mine was pretty simple. What I discovered was, I had a lot of stuff I need to share with my family and a lot of stuff that I needed to be able to have a flexible system for my business doing a lot of future planning when it comes to videos I'm going to make and products, I want to make blah blah blah. I want to be able to be flexible and I don't like writing in pencil. That's something I learned from thinking about the way I'm always planned, the things I always think about. I don't like writing in pencil and I hate having every shit ton of post-it notes flying everywhere. I wanted to be flexible, but all of those systems had never worked for me in the past. I also need to be able to share stuff with my family. I also knew I wanted time to be creative, especially in like a block of time on the weekends and I knew that I'm a to-do-lister. I love making lots of lists and when I project plan, I actually don't do it in a very linear fashion. I tend to just barf everything out onto paper and then figure it out from there. Once I have looked at all of that, I started thinking about the things I had used in the past and the options that I had weighed. This is the conclusion I came to. I'm going to just tell you what my idealize is. This is the system that's been working for me for over half of the year now and I re-evaluated, add a little bit more here and there, but I haven't messed with it too much in it's felt really good for me. I track all appointments, family items, and future planning for my business on a digital calendar. The family calendar is shared with myself, my spouse and my kids. I'm meal plan, track my pain levels of blood pressure and plan out my week at a glance in a horizontal weekly planner. I chose this planner because I would touch it every week. I would spend time decorating it every week to plan my week at a glance and because I wanted to come back to it daily, to add things like my blood pressure in my pain tracking and to check meal planning. I wanted to do that in that planner because I knew that my love of decorating and my love of doing something creative would give me a little bit of fun every morning, but every day I wouldn't be doing very much in it. Then for my to-do-listing and my project planning, I am using a notebook with the bullet journal method, really like a half-baked bullet journal method, but it's mostly just a journal where I can just make my lists and plan my projects and be messy, and not worry about how pretty it is. Just use it as a scribble journal that helps me check off all of the things. One of the things I learned when I created my life buckets was that you needed a system that had all of those things figured out. I discovered that it was important that I have the ability to share this with my family so that they all could access it and add a bonus was that I can't carry around a big planner with me, because I had back problems in the past when I carried a planner around with me to meetings and stuff, it would just aggravate my neck pain. But what I can do now because all of my appointments are kept on a digital calendar is that I can bring my phone with me and I can add appointments there, and then I transferred them into my paper planner weekly when I plan my week-out. I learned that I like to spend time being creative, but I spent too much time being creative if I allow myself to be. So trying to confine the bulk of that creativity to that weekly planner that I spent an hour on the weekends and only a little bit of time on every other day of the week, as allowed me to maintain that creative process while not overly procrastinating with it. I invite you now that you've looked at everything else and you've heard of how I found my process to examine all of the work that you did over the course of these lessons and write out your ideal planner system. I want you to use the format quote, "I will use." I want you to take the items from your list, and you can instead of doing individual items for me, I did some individual items in some categories. For example, for the Google Calendar that I use, I said, I put all family items there. All family items go on my Google Calendar. But for my weekly planning, I have a few health items like pain tracking and blood pressure, but in my Google Calendar is where I put my appointments. If you have all of your family items on your monthly calendar spot, then just say family items. That's why I wanted you to look at trends. If you see them scattered throughout, then say I will use a daily whatever for this and I will use a weekly whatever for this. Once you've listed all that out, then you can go to the resources list, which is divided up by different types of planners and you can go start searching there. Remember if you set yourself a budget to keep that in mind and start putting together a potential ideal system. Once you have done that, give it about a month and then when you're at the end of that month, go back to the evaluate process, look at it again and see if there's anything you want to tweak. I would love for you to go to your class project and once you have written out, "I will use." everything else, like once you have written out your roadmap for your ideal planner system, I would love for you to put it in your class projects so that we can celebrate that you got there and we can all cheer you on, and maybe even some people who've used a bunch of planners might make suggestions for you based on your progress. If you have used a bunch of planners before and you see somebody else's project saying, "I will use x planner blah, blah, blah." You could actually suggest that sounds like you could really use a simplified planner, or have you ever tried Trello that would be perfect for what you're talking about. You can leave suggestions. I would love a collaborative effort in the class projects, so please be sure to participate, boost your roadmap there and comment on other people's roadmaps as well. 11. Closing Thoughts: Hopefully at this point, you've done it. You have posted the beginnings of your planning system in the class project section, maybe you've received some encouragement, I'm going to give you some more encouragement right now. A, give it a month. No planning system is perfect right off the bet, give it a month to get used to it and then evaluate and make changes as necessary. B, be sure to continually reach out, ask for help. You can come to the Llamas Love Lettering Facebook group, you can find that linked in the resources section, where there are lots of people there who would love to give you a hand and help you figure out what's actually going to work for you. Remember, your planning system is supposed to be something that you will use and something that works for you instead of working for it. Don't let this consume your life. Realize that your life belongs to you and you get to plan it out however you want to with whatever works for you, and that nobody else gets to tell you what the right way to do it is, that's all on you, for better or for worse. I think you're going to do great. I'm excited to see which you've come up with, I'm excited to continue sharing my planner process and when I change things out. Thank you so much for joining this Skillshare course, I hope you enjoyed it. I would love for you to leave a rating and some feedback, and I also would love for you to follow me as a teacher so that you will get notified the next time I publish a course. I am so proud of you for coming this far and I can't wait to see which you do next. Thanks again, and I will see you next time.