Recently I found a totally new kind of organizational tool – the Planner Pad. If you’ve never heard of it then read on. If you’ve heard of it but haven’t known if it’s for you then consider my review to see if it’s what you’ve been looking for. I have found that by using Planner Pad to implement a 12-week year that I’m hitting the milestones and getting the tasks done that are necessary for success.
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Let’s just start off with a confession: I’m a paper planner girl from way back – I love planners! And through the years I’ve used a lot of different planners…always searching for the perfect one to meet my needs.
And here’s what I’ve learned…the perfect planner for you can…and probably should…change over time.
After all, your roles, responsibilities, stage of life, and work status…these all change. So the planner that met your needs a few years ago may not be the perfect planner for your life now.
And that’s okay. Because fortunately there are lots of planners available to choose from.
how i previously kept track of my 12-week year
Last year I started implementing The 12 Week Year. I love creating goals but learning how to break them down into smaller tasks and track them by week – well, that was a game changer for me.
The problem was how to track the tasks so that I stayed focused. Where should I list all the tasks so that I didn’t have a jumble of sticky notes all over the place? Let’s face it, the sticky note system is not a long term solution.
For most of last year I simply combined a regular spiral notebook with my daily planner. I listed my goals for each quarter in the front of the spiral notebook and then used each 2-page spread in the spiral to list out my weekly tasks – which I would transfer to my daily planner.
And that was okay -it beat sticky notes. But it wasn’t perfect.
How Planner Pad Works
And then I heard about a totally different kind of planner called Planner Pad (thank you Sherrie!).
Watching the video at the Planner Pad website had me very intrigued. I’d thought for a long time that the perfect planner for me (at this point in my life) would allow me to narrow down from my yearly goals, to quarterly goals, to weekly and then daily tasks. And Planner Pad is the first planner I’ve ever seen that uses a funnel system to take you from a broad goal and task list to scheduled daily items.
So I tried it out.
And after one week I was hooked!
how planner pad can help you implement the 12 week year
I was hooked because during that one week I was super focused and super productive. And it was immediately clear that the Planner Pad aligned with The 12 Week Year perfectly. The category buckets at the top of each spread allowed me to list my tasks according to goal (or category).
Once you set up your categories and list your tasks, you then move to the middle section of the planner spread. Here is where you decide which day you want to actually do the tasks listed in the broad categories. You’re not setting a specific time, you you are determining the best day
The bottom section of the planner is your daily time schedule. This is where you schedule specific activities. And t is is the crux of your productivity – knowing and planning when you’re going to do certain things.
Now using this planner requires a two-step approach.
You start from both the top (categories) and from the bottom (scheduling in non-negotiables like appointments or work schedules). Doing this gives you a more realistic look at your available time and how many tasks are on your list.
Word of Warning: Sometimes seeing both these things on the same page is a real wake-up call. There’s something about realizing that you have more tasks to do than time in which to do them. The bottom line is that it forces you to get real with yourself about both your time and your tasks.
So what happens when you realize you’re trying to cram too many tasks into too little time?
You either readjust according to reality or you continue to delude yourself and stay frustrated (which isn’t something I’m going to talk about here).
This has actually happened to me. You see, I’ve been one of those people who tends to over-estimate how much I can get done (still suffering from Superwoman Syndrome I’m afraid). But since I love crossing things off a list almost as much as I love breathing, it’s forced me to get very real with myself and start planning more accurately. The task list doesn’t get thrown out just because I cant get everything done on a specific day or in a specific week, but I may have to move it to some other time or day.
And that’s okay.
Because in the end productivity is about making progress – and remaining sane while doing it. And the Planner Pad is helping me do both.
I have both of these books and they’re great resources to help you set and meet those goals. You can check them out by clicking the links below the image.
- The 12 Week Year – you’ll want to read the book first whether you decide to use the field guide or not.
- The 12 Week Year Field Guide – templates to help you implement the concepts you learned in the book.
If you love The 12 Week Year, what tools do you use to implement it to achieve your goals?