Updated: January 16, 2018
Planning is one of my favorite things to do. I’ve always been more of a planner than a spontaneous doer, so I especially like this time of the year because it is perfect for planning out the new year. Over the years my planning process has changed,but the overall idea of having a comprehensive plan to start the year has not changed.
In today’s blog post, I will be sharing 4 Simple Tools You Can Use to Plan an Awesome 2018!!
Yearly Wall Calendar
The first tool you will need to plan an awesome year is a Yearly Planner Wall Calendar. I use the At-A-GLANCE® Yearly Planner The great thing about a wall calendar is that you have an aerial view of your year in front of you all the time, so there is never a question as to what your year looks like because it is on your wall. Also, because it is a dry erase calendar it is easy to change, remove and add things as the year progresses. I use four different marker colors to plan out different activities for the year:
- Black is for my content and communication activities. I plan out when all my blog posts will be posted and my emails will go out and place those items in black on my calendar.
- Blue is for birthdays. I highlight all my close friends and family members birthdays on the calendar so I know when I need to send birthday cards or if I need to plan around those dates for any special birthday plans.
- Red is for vacations. I absolutely love the red in my calendar because it reminds of the times of the year when I get to stop and enjoy quality time with family. I plan out red in my calendar at least four times a year.
- Green is for business events. I plan out what large conferences, seminars, and workshops I will be attending for the year. I look forward to these events because I love to learn and connect to other business owners and these events allow me to do that.The whole process takes less than one hour to plan out the entire year with content, communication, birthdays, vacations, and business events.Here is what the final result looks like:
Monthly Online Calendar
Once the year is planned out, up next is the month. The tool I like to use for my monthly planning is a Google Calendar. Although the wall calendar has already helped me to plan out many activities and events for each month, my Google Calendar allows me to plan out the smaller monthly events like webinars, one-on-one meetings, conference calls, networking meetings, etc. I use Google Calendar because it is sooo super easy and it connects to everything, so unlike my wall calendar which is only in view when I am in my home office, the Google calendar is with me everywhere I go. If I am working remotely on my laptop I can access my Google Calendar, if I am on my smartphone, I can access my Google Calendar. It is also connected to my ScheduleOnce appointment scheduling system, so when people make meeting appointments, it is automatically synced to my Google Calendar. This makes my life super easy and allows me to manage my monthly activities all in one place.
Once my year has been planned on my wall calendar, and my monthly activities are scheduled in my Google Calendar, the next step is my weekly activity. I prefer to use a paper planner to map out my weekly activity. This year I am using the Passion Planner. The Passion Planner allows me to plan out my weeks to set an intention and focus for the week and keeps my week in view. I do place the meeting that are in my Google Calendar in the Passion Planner so both places are in sync. The Passion Planner also has a space for key things I need to that week both for business and for personal, and has and empty space for anything additional you would like to add or plan for the week. I usually use the empty space to plan out my meals as I am trying to eat healthir, it helps to have a place right in my planner that allows me to plan out my meals for the week.
Daily To-do List
Once my year has been planned on my wall calendar, and my monthly activities are scheduled in my Google Calendar, and I have the weekly intentions and focus written down in the Passion Planner, I tackle the daily activities for the week by blocking off key times to implement what I am focusing on for that week, this creates a daily focused block of time. In the past I have used an At-A-GLANCE notebook to write out my daily to do list, but I’m trying something different this year by using the daily blocks of time listed in each weekly section of the Passion Planner. I block off the day by hours and list what my priorities are for that day including projects, meetings, content, etc.
So that’s it, my four simple tools to plan an AWESOME year. What tools do you use to help with planning out your year? Share your tools in the comments below.