If I had to describe myself in one word, it’d be easy. Planaholic.
Remember Ashley Olsen’s immaculately organised journal in New York Minute? Well that was when my love for planning began. Her journal was colour coded, highlighted and tabbed. Plus there was a compartment for everything! Ever since, I’ve always had a planner nearby to keep my life in check.
My planners have evolved over the years. As a tween I had a TotalGirl diary – although I seriously doubt my eleven-year-old self had any other plans other than “Play The Sims”. My high school supplied diaries to us each year to help us manage our study load. Naturally these diaries were covered in colours and quotes by the end of Term 1. Once I hit university, I treated myself to Kikki.K’s Live Bright diary. It wasn’t until last year that I upgraded to my lavish black leather Kikki.K time planner.
My Kikki.K time planner was a godsend during my university years as I balanced casual work, study, sport, writing and a social life. While it was a miracle worker throughout those years, I’m disappointed to say that I haven’t been proactive with my planner since starting my full-time job last August. As I’m learning, the advertising industry is incredibly fast-paced. With its ever-changing nature and constant rescheduling, I’ve resorted to using to-do lists and digital calendars.
This New Year I am hoping to change all of that. One of the reasons my life felt so chaotic these last few months was because I hadn’t been organising, planning or prioritising my professional and personal tasks. I was leaving everything last minute and as a result I was compromising my sleep and abandoning other responsibilities to get shit done.
Seeing how much my life has changed over the past year, I won’t be able to use my planner like I used to. I’ve gone from being a one (wo)man show who only had to rely on herself to collaborating with a team of twenty. I no longer have the luxury of planning things to a ‘T’. More often than not, my immaculate plans to have concepts approved and content produced are useless because there are a number of people I’m relying on throughout the process.
If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan. But never change the goal.
So this is my solution. Rather than giving up on using my planner entirely, I’ll change my planner’s purpose. Instead of treating it as a rigid step-by-step handbook, it’ll be a rough to-do list that guides me in the right direction. It’ll give me warning signs when approvals are critical and when posts are due. Days that are jammed with meetings will be more evident and will allow me to delegate work to my quieter days.
It’s a work in progress – as all plans and planners are – but it’s a step in the right direction.
What I’ve Used…
- Kikki.K Leather Personal Planner Medium: Black
- Kikki.K Time Planner Refill: Medium
- 3 Girls And a Goat Gold Foil Stickers
- Kikki.K Life’s Little Stickers 2pk: Cute
- Little B Gold & Black Foil Honeycomb Tape
- Little B Gold Crackle Tape
- Jonathan Adler Black & Gold Printed Decorative Tape
- Swanston St Supplies Black Grid Washi Tape
- Kikki.K Adhesive Note Set: Pause Gold
- Kikki.K Monogram Notepad: J
- Otto Light Globe Paper Clips
- Otto Arrow Paper Clips
- Pilot Pop’lol Gold Gel Pen
- Artline 200 Fineline 0.4mm Black
- Zebra Mildliner Double-Sided Highlighter Mild Grey
What I’ve Done:
Divide the Days in Half
To ensure I’ve cover my professional and personal responsibilities, I’ve divided my days into “Work” and “Home”. Hopefully this will encourage a better balance between the two. As I planned my January work load, I started to realise I didn’t have enough space for all of my tasks. I may need to transition from a weekly view to a daily view, however I will see how I go over the next few months. January is busier than usual and I doubt it’s going to be at this pace for too long.
Highlighing Key Tasks
I’ve always liked to keep track of key tasks by using a highlighter to make them pop out on the page. This month I’ve used my Mildliner to identify shoots and due dates, and I’ve also used my Pilot Gel Pen to create icons for personal finances.
Created a ‘List’ Insert
I created a list insert so I could easily identify the to 3-5 things that needed to be covered and completed that week. While highlighting can help with this, having a Top 3 or Top 5 every week also helps me keep track of what’s important and what needs to be prioritised.
What I’ll do Next:
While I’ve planned out January (as best I could), there are three key changes I’d like to make going forward:
Change from Weekly to Daily Layout
As I planned out January, it was evident I had a lot on my plate. I was writing down bare minimum just to fit everything in, and I need more room for details. While I’ve still got the rest of my Kikki.K Time Planner refill to use up, I’ll most likely invest in Daily inserts sooner rather than later.
Include Dotted Pages for Bullet Journaling
I need a flexible planner structure to accomodate for my diverse days, and bullet journalling is perfect to fit your needs. It means I can adjust the page design depending on what’s happening that day and week. Is it a day packed with meetings? Are we doing a shoot? Am I robotically typing away trying to get reports out? Whatever it is, a bullet journal structure will allow me to work around what’s happening.
Increase Use of Stamps
This is more of fun change rather than a functional one. I have a couple of incredibly awesome Kelly Purkey Work Planner and Waffle Flower Social Icon stamps that I wish I was using more regularly. The main reason I don’t is because my planner pages are too small to fit these stamps and my plans, so I’ve had to sacrifice the stamps recently. However if I adopt the daily layout, this won’t be too much of an issue.