Monday, 30 December 2013

My planning system, 2014

In essence, my planning system for 2014 is the same as it was in 2012... so yes, I am probably getting a cheap post out of this!

Anyway, in the last two posts, I outlined my monthly and weekly sheets and then my goals to projects to next actions, but how does it all fit together? The keys to it all are the reviews, especially the weekly review.

What I do each week (this will look like a massive list but it only takes me 20-30 minutes each week):
  • Collect stray notes, receipts, jottings etc. and process into the right place (this includes my desk as well as my filofax!)
  • Make sure there are a few sheets of notepaper in the ‘notes’ section of the day to day binder
  • Take the weekly plan for the week just passed out of the binder so I can write my review of it on the back
  • Look back over the list of tasks for the week just passed and see what got done and what didn’t
  • Reflect on why things did or didn’t get done
  • Not beat myself up (too much) if plans have slipped – life happens
  • Transfer any outstanding tasks to the sheet for this week’s plan, putting them into the right places of ‘to do’ or next action’
  • Take the sheet for this week out of the binder so I can see it while I have my week to view open (no, I can’t flip pages... I just can’t)
  • Allocate tasks to days if possible (being sensible about the laws of time and all that)
  • Anything not allocated to a day, write on a Post-It note, headed ‘things to do at some point this week’ (make sure the sticky bit of the Post-It is at the top)
  • Stick Post-It note into diary on RHS
  • Look at the monthly sheet for this month and see how well (badly) it’s going with regards to task completion
  • Not beat myself up if things are slipping and remind myself that life happens (and only happens once)
  • Look ahead four weeks to remind myself what is coming up
  • Add any reminders into the weekly sheets (i.e. to buy a birthday present or organise a dinner etc...) that I’ve suddenly spotted by looking ahead 4 weeks
  • Flick through all the life-area sheets and make sure there are next actions or milestones for each project/goal
  • Put weekly sheet for week just passed into the back of the navy Portland
  • Close both binders
  • Feel organised (and slightly smug)
Monthly sheet

How the week to view ends up

During the week, once I get to the end of Tuesday, I move the Post-It note to the LHS (hence the sticky bit needing to be at the top) – I can still see Wednesday but I can now also see the rest of the week too, so things on Thursday (covered by the Post-It on Monday and Tuesday) don’t suddenly sneak up on me.

What I intend to be doing each month, but it all went a bit pear-shaped last year, so here’s hoping I get my sh*t together this year:
  • Take the sheet for this month out of the day to day planner so I can write my review on the back
  • Look at what did/didn’t get done over the month
  • Reflect on why things did/didn’t get done
  • Not beat myself up about it all because life happens (just once)
  • Take the sheet for the coming month out of the navy Portland
  • Transfer outstanding tasks from last month’s sheet to the coming month’s sheet
  • Put the sheet from last month into the back of the navy Portland
  • Look at the goals-projects-next action sheets carefully: are the goals still valid? Have plans changed? Have new things developed? Are the next actions sensible and applicable still?
  • Take out the weekly sheets for the coming month from the navy Portland
  • Transfer things from the monthly sheets to the weekly sheets
  • Look ahead six months
  • Note anything that has ‘appeared’ (i.e. has always been there, I just forgot about it) and whether I need to do anything about it – if so, put a note in the appropriate weekly sheet
  • Do the weekly review
  • Feel doubly organised (and smug)

Well, that’s my system – what do others do?


  1. On Clarifilo, I just posted about my "Weekly Launch" routine (Pt. 1 is not Filo-centric, but Pt. 2 is about my planner), but I *love* how you include some comments about reflection and the emotional perspective you take (e.g., not beating up on yourself if things didn't go as planned). Those are both so important!

  2. I have really enjoyed reading your detailed posts on how you have set up your planner for 2014. Sounds like you are well and truly organised.

  3. My system for 2014 is almost exactly like 2013. :)