The 5 Planning Tools I Can’t Live Without
This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but planning is my favorite. I love doing my weekly planning partially because it’s a system and process I've been doing for years, so it's just second nature.
However, I also LOVE what weekly planning does for me in terms of setting me up for success for the week ahead!
Before I sit down to create my plans each week, there are five planning tools or resources that I always have with me. Honestly, they are what make my weekly planning work SO well.
And in this blog, I’m sharing them with you!
Planning Tool #1: The TOP Planner
The first and most important tool is my TOP Planner! I am a paper planner user, and obviously, I'm going to use the planner that I built and love.
I truly believe the TOP Planner is the BEST planning system out there for women.
This planner is my command center during the week. It's what I look at each and every day. And it reminds me of what I plan to be doing and when I'm doing it.
Also during the week, as things change and new tasks pop up, they all get put intentionally inside of my TOP Planner.
This planner is foundational for everything when it comes to my weekly planning.
Planning Tool #2: My Google Calendar
Now, why in the world am I pulling up an electronic calendar when I just told you that my go-to for everything is my paper planner?
Well, I run a digital business, and like everyone else, I am living in a digitally-based world where I need to schedule appointments and meetings with other people. So in addition to a paper planner, I also have a Google Calendar.
When I get a calendar invite or a Zoom meeting link, I check in with my paper planner first, and then it gets added there AND to my Google Calendar.
When I sit down to do my weekly planning, I pull up my Google Calendar as a way to quadruple-check there is nothing I said yes to that didn't go into my paper planner.
I also leverage my Google Calendar as a resource for people to book time with me.
Planning Tool #3: Trello
I talk about Trello often and actually cover in-depth training of Trello inside my TOP program.
For me, Trello is my organizational tool. It’s a piece of software where I put all of the information that I need to remember and that I need to get into my plan for the week.
I don't lean on the calendar features of Trello, but instead use it as my central idea repository to help me remember, juggle, and prioritize tasks.
Then, when I sit down to do my weekly planning, Trello allows me to look in one place for all the things AND it's in priority order. This helps me to strategically and intentionally figure out when I'm going to get the highest priority things done in the upcoming week.
Planning Tool #4: Erasable Pens
PILOT FriXion Fineliner Erasable Marker Pens are among my favorite products ever, and I’m not exaggerating when I say they have been life-changing.
I traditionally have written in my paper planner with a mechanical pencil because I love the fine tip and because life always seems to throw a curveball or two into my week, and plans need to be adjusted accordingly. But I ALSO love to use color coding when I plan.
This is where these game-changing erasable pens have come in!
I’m not kidding when I say they really do work. They erase beautifully, which allows me the benefit of color coding my plans but also the ability to neatly change my tasks when needed!
Planning Tool #5: Annual Planning Guide
My annual planning guide is where I do my strategic, long-term planning.
The TOP planner is truly a weekly planner. It allows you to look at what you’re doing every day and reminds you where you need to be and when.
But my annual planning guide is where I do all of my high-level goal setting and future planning for those larger projects that may span multiple months.
I shared this guide for the first time with all the women in the Planner Palooza community for 2022, and we are currently building a bigger, better, most amazing one for 2023.
In the meantime, for even more tips on planning, priorities, time management, organization, and productivity, check out more blogs or podcast episodes.