Planning 2018

By Julie, cozy in her apartment, but bundling up for the bracing 12 degree weather in Boston

plannersI love planners. My search for the “perfect” planner is ongoing, and this year I decided I wouldn’t try to make one fit perfectly. I chose instead to employ four (!) to make an attempt at managing this year.

In this picture, the top planner is a Hobonichi Techno Planner. This I a lovely design, with quotes, moon phases, grid paper, and other bits. I look forward to using it to capture quotes, zentangles, doodles, and gratitude lists.

The pink Leuchtturm 1917 is the 2017 Bullet Journal I’ve been using. I have a new notebook for 2018. The Bullet Journal systems is terrific. It allows me to take notes all in one place, and use a cataloging system in the front to track them. If you are so inclined, there are a lot of blog articles, Etsy shops, Pinterest boards, and Instagram posts dedicated to Bullet Journaling. You can use any notebook, and make it work for you. Keeping notes together is my only hope.

The next planner is a Freedom Mastery Planner. Part of my goal planning for 2018 is about diving deeper into the realms of gratitude, and higher meanings, and I find this planner and its prompts to be helpful in that. Also, the planning layouts (monthly and weekly) will help me keep track of all things. I do use Google calendar for specific appointments, but blocking times for writing, exercise, crafts, chores, etc. is helpful in managing the important parts of my day/week/month.

Finally, a new to me tool that I am already finding helpful. The Plot Your Work planner is made specifically for keeping on top of multiple writing projects. Since I have two books due in 2018, and a third book I am thinking about, a place to keep notes, break down quarterly tasks, stay on top of author work (marketing, blogging, etc.) is very helpful.

I’ve never started the new year with so tools to keep me on point. As it is only the second day of this new year, so far so good. We shall see if I remain as enthused and/or organized as the days go by.

Tell me, dear readers, do you love planners as much as I do? Any particular ones that work best for you?

42 Thoughts

  1. Wow, four, Julie! I’m going to stick with my two paper calendars (which stay at home), daily list notebook on my desk, a whiteboard for longer-range to-dos, and that gem, Google calendar. Good luck with your quartet (and your busy year).

  2. I tend to jot down notes on random objects or pieces of scrap paper until I can put them into the notes app on my phone. I use my notes app these days more than anything else since my phone is compact and always with me. I do have a few journal notebooks for specific projects or endeavors, but unfortunately I’ve neglected using them for some time. ) :

    1. I have been losing the scraps, so I’m using my bullet journal in lieu of. Any particular notes app you like? I am an Android gal, and have been using Keep, but am trying since my Christmas present Alexa talks to it.

      1. I’m of the Apple Mafia clan. LOL. Sorry. Almost all of my devices are Apple, but I do have a couple of Kindle devices that are Android. ( :
        My iPhone has a Notes app that’s simple, no nonsense, for just jotting down quick notes. It’s easy to get to on my phone and I use it almost if not every day. I also use Evernote for a little more sophistication. But they only allow you to use it on up to 2 devices or else you have to pay. Since the great thing about Apple is that all of my devices sync up so I can pick up any one of them and have what I need, this is a hindrance. But I refuse to pay monthly for a note-taking app. 🙄

  3. Love Google Calendar (I’m trying to train my husband to use it, but he’s resisting). Even before it was invented, I kept a Month-at-a-Glance calendar open on my desk–I like to see the month ahead and juggle dates as necessary. I travel with a purse-size notebook, but I haven’t found the perfect one yet. There are little nuggets of plot points scattered in any current one, but I don’t go back and check them often enough.

  4. I’m a little more old school than this. Paper desk calendar, purse calendar, a daily journal where I keep track of immediate goals and long term ones. Thinking beyond that is intimidating to me!

  5. I keep my calendar on my phone (two really, one shared and one just for me) and a to-do list in Evernote. I’ve tried paper, but I always give up on it for some reason.

  6. I use a shared calendar that is on my computer and phone. My husband jokes and tells people that he only knows where I’ll be my looking at the events page on my website. I guess I’d better go update it!

  7. I love planners and notebooks. Covers must be pretty! I always have a small notebook in my purse to jot down notes. I always have a notebook by my bed (complete with LED pen so I don’t have to turn on the bedside lamp) in case inspiration strikes in the middle of the night. I always have a notebook by my computer. I know that I can do all this on my phone and computer, but I’m a pen and paper sort of note taker.

  8. If anyone ever makes the all purpose perfect planner, please let me know! I have tried dozens. I do like a desk planner, though, to jot things down and add sticky notes to it. Other than that, I print off a calendar page and jot in current to do’s in order to keep me flowing when I am not at home! I sometimes wonder if a big whiteboard calendar visual would be too much! Always have notebooks and paper around me.

  9. Please share some of your planning with us considering the number of books and tasks involved!Congratulations and best wishes for your work!

  10. Your posts about planners always make me feel so disorganized. Then I think of all the time putting stuff in them, and I move on to other activities. 🙂

      1. If my mind ever goes, I’m sunk. Although I do have the dates on the left hand side of the blog. Advertising and reminders for me.

  11. Currently using Ink & Volt and Quo Vadis Minister. My planners are a work in progress though and I am intrigued by Plot Your Work. Sounds wonderful and I made a note of the page (the standard is currently sold out).

    Happy New Year!

  12. I love planners. I have three – one that is an 18 month calendar bought last July but not loving it so I ordered a new one for 2018 and I have a mini-Filofax for my handbag. I plan on buying the Plot your Work book, I also have 2 books due this year and a third I’m thinking about writing. The standard edition will be available in a couple of weeks so I’m ordering it then. I also have started using Asana for project managment. What’s overwhelming is all the things that need to get done for releases. The books are somewhat easy. 🙂

    1. We’re both in for the same busy year writing wise. I agree, the business of being a writer is so time consuming! Plus copy edits and proofs…

      Your “I don’t like it” sounds like me. Forcing a “no new purchases” policy through March, so I can give it all my best shot. Happy writing!

  13. I’m all about less is more. I use Google Calendar not only for appointments but for to-do’s and deadlines for work and for writing. I like the portability, accessibility, and one place for all information. I block out my work day with like-tasks so I have 4-5 blocks per day instead of many 15-30 minute scheduled tasks. For example: resume reviews, interviews, budgeting, meetings. They are all grouped in 90-180 min slots and I’m able to stay focused on like-topics and have been much more productive in the process.

  14. I love planners, too. I have one that I keep daily notes in, so I know what I did, where I went and interesting stories, and another that I carry with me with the release dates of new books

  15. Julie, you know I am right there with you on the planner love! I have an Ink and Volt planner that is my daily use life planner. I am also using Plot Your Work for writing work specific planning and I picked up Your Best Year Ever 2018 a few weeks ago for business stuff. They each have different functions and I am enjoying using them all to cover everything from my son’s sports events to blog posts to blocks of writing time and author appearances.

  16. I don’t care what you use just keep writing the Clock Shop mysteries, love them. I use a wall calendar for knowing what day it is, 2 note books I Books I’ve read @ books I want to read. Then there are all kinds if notes jotted down on any paper handy that when I find them I put on the wall calendar and the 2 notebooks. Maybe this why I’m no an author.

  17. I’ve been an avid Bullet Journal person for years now. I make one journal per month for my project management work. I don’t like sitting in front of customers in meetings taking notes on a tablet or laptop. I use a plain, black, paperback, string-bound journal from Muji: 4 dollars. Bullet Journalling taught me the basic arithmetic of information in that every piece of information is either a fact, a task, or an event and you indicate each with a signifier: -fact, •task, ºevent. I present this idea to my technicians and sales people and they do so much better at gathering and communication project information. Yay Bullet Journal!

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