Daily Planning Got You Stumped??

I have been floundering for some time trying to find the perfect schedule keeper, day-timer, planner or whatever you choose to call it. There are different seasons of life and what used to work well for me wasn’t working any more. When I first discovered Day-Timer, it was a life-saver to me! Then I read The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management by Hyrum Smith and became a huge fan of the Franklin planner. Although the book is not written by a Christian, there are several Biblical principles that moved me in a new direction in my life. Mainly, making time for what is really important. It has been over 25 years (gasp) since I read that book, but I still remember the illustration of the I-beam. When Franklin merged with Covey, I read some of The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey. I liked the first book better, but it helped me as I used what became the Franklin/Covey planner. I kept EVERYTHING in this notebook. I used to joke that it had my whole life in it. But times change…

Time management has always been important to me. I have always tried to find easier, less time-consuming ways to do things. I love to be organized. Life feels out of control when I am not. One thing that those who know me have heard me say often is, “There are so many last-minute things that happen that you can’t control, why not control the things you can so it isn’t such a crisis.” I am now an empty-nester. I am a missionary pastor’s wife and as a result I have to travel a lot. Now I have to deal with luggage limits and an aging back that just can’t haul things around like it used to. Then there is the fact that we live in a digital age. I have tried to switch to total digital. I love the convenience of having everything I need on my devices. It is always a finger touch away. The problem is…I am a paper person.

Recently, I was talking on skype with someone and she said that I needed to find what worked for me in the season of life I am in. While mulling over that conversation, I stumbled across bullet journaling on Pinterest. It interested me, so I did a little research. It is a grand way to journal, but for me it is way too complicated. I’m not going to sit there and spend hours drawing out my monthly and weekly calendars. I am not artistic. I am not going to draw all the cute little pictures. Besides, that would take too much time, time that I could spend trying to get something done.

I purchased a calendar notebook at the end of last year to keep track of my exercise on the monthly pages and eating on the weekly pages. It helps me to see how I am doing when it is in writing. Across from the weekly page is a blank grid page. As I was using this one day, it got me to thinking…

Over the last few weeks, I have sort of developed my own system that combines digital and paper that is working for me. I am accomplishing far more in my day than I have in a long time. And yes, I do add something to my to-do list that I have already done so that I can have the satisfaction of checking it off!

Stay tuned for part 2…

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