For the last five years, I’ve been on a seemingly elusive search for the ideal planner, until this year. I found one that possessed my desired wants and needs, all in a streamlined, classic design. This planner was a blend of productivity and positive thinking. In fact, the project pages of the planner helped me to sketch out my blog posts in January.
Here’s a peek into my process:
If you look at the bottom right-hand corner, the word “planner” is written. A casual glance at the project pages over the next four months repeatedly showed this word. I had every intention of writing about my newfound planner until 2020 made planning a distant memory. This page reveals ideas not mined yet, changes in directions, questions, rearranging dates, and process progression, kinda like 2020. January’s project page looks different than each month after. Running my eyes along the postings of June allows me to understand why I took a break in July.
Each day, week, and month, a mystery.
I tried to use this planner until the first part of May when it felt like the planner had morphed into a place holder for crossed-out plans. I no longer needed a planner to keep my schedule organized but wanted a place to organize my days, to feel some direction.
I decided to use an un-dated 90-day planner and it has been one of the best decisions for helping me stay present. Keeping a planner of this nature allows me to look only at a small window into the future. This has been so helpful in the midst of so many unknowns. I look at the current week and when it draws to a close, I consider next week. I don’t feel my heart racing with wondering about December because it doesn’t land within my allotment of 90 days. Another bonus of an undated planner is the ability to begin on any date without being required to adhere to the traditional division of four quarters of the year. I started towards the beginning of May and completed my planner last week. Onto the next 90 days!
I can’t tell you how much this has changed my mindset and mood. This has been an unexpected gift of the pause button pushed on our lives, focusing on one day at a time and not a full year.
I haven’t completely abandoned my yearly planner. I continue to use the monthly project pages to structure posts for the blog. Sometimes I write across the pages of specific weeks with random or concrete thoughts I want to document. It feels hard to let this planner languish unused. At the end of the month, I complete the reflection section containing the following prompts: last month’s wins, still in progress, let go of, think on, work on, and complete.
What tools are you using to stay present during these uncertain days?
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6: 34 (The Message)
May our minds and eyes roam within the confines of each given day.
May we rejoice in the goodness of each day given.
May we hold our plans loosely without abandoning our dreams.
May we receive the gift of presence.
The links for both planners mentioned are found below. In reality, there isn’t an ideal or perfect planner. Many experts believe the best planner is the one that will be used. There are oodles of 90-day planners on the market, I didn’t do my normal exhaustive research, it was simply the first one I came across, and currently, it is working for me. Sometimes it’s best not to overthink.
Get To Work Book (there are many other wonderful products too.)