As part of my New Year Prep, I’ll sit down and do a brief overview in my planner. I like to keep everything together, so I use a digital version. Before I plan out my year, I build my vision board and figure out what my word of the year is. To see how I do both of those, check out these posts showing you how I create each here and here.
I don’t start my yearly planning until I’ve done the word of the year exercise or build my vision board because both of those things will play heavily into what my year will look like.
Why should you plan your year?
Planning out your year is a great tool to help keep you accountable for the projects and goals you’ve set for yourself. Personally, I use a yearly overview to keep track of all birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Then I have a section for the quarterly view, this is where I put all of my bigger projects/goals that I want to accomplish. Next is a monthly view for a more in-depth look at the month.
The monthly spread is what I use the most as it gives me a complete view of what my month looks like. I keep track of literally EVERYTHING in this view, from bills to blog posts.
HOW TO START PLANNING FOR THE NEW YEAR
First, you‘ll have to pick a planning system. I am a digital planner girl, meaning I use and maintain a planner on my iPad. I love that I can just carry it around with me and have everything at my fingertips. Since starting my blog earlier this year, I have found that I am using my iPad more and more while on the move.
I’ve recently just upgraded to the iPad Air 4 and Apple Pencil 2 and let me tell ya, they are both AMAZING! The iPad Air is just a hair smaller than the Pro I was using previously but feels more compact and is lighter. I also purchased the Magic Keyboard and it is a commuter’s dream because it acts as a keyboard/mouse and a case. I am currently typing out this post while on the train, it’s literally like having a mini-laptop in my purse.
If you’re a paper gal, my suggestion is to get a disc bound planner, like The Happy Planner. This one is great especially if you still aren’t sure what you want to include in your planner. You have the options to add different inserts and sections whenever & wherever you want.
There is SO much that you can do with a planner (whether paper or digital) that can help you thrive and be more mindful/intentional of what is happening within your life. This year I am trying out a planning system that not only has the planner but also utilizes spending trackers, mental checkins and health updates.
How to use your Planner/Calendar
Because I have a regular 9-5 day job, I don’t really like or need a daily planning page. Since most of my day is technically planned out for me already, it’s a waste of space for me. I mainly use a monthly view to see a quick glance of my projects, bills, appointments, etc. One of my resolutions for this year is to use my planner more and be consistent with it.
Towards the end of the previous month or in the first few days of the month you are in, sit down with your planner and accessories (paper gals know what I’m talking about!) and get to work. My favorite part is picking out a theme for the month and then decorating.
Check out the photo below for what my monthly spread typically looks like. I’ve left some things blank, don’t want to give too much away. I’m using a digital productivity planner from CCM Digitals (you can find her on Etsy here).
Now, I did change/add things to suit my tastes but this planner literally has it all. I’m still trying to figure out how to utilize it to its best ability. It has sections for finances/budgets, habit trackers, meal planning, groceries, goals, etc.
For a paper girl, there are tons of pens and stickers out there to deck out your spread. For the digital gals, check out Etsy.com and just search digital stickers and the amount of things that come up will keep you occupied for hours. Even paper planners can find sticker shops on Etsy as well. A lot of shops sell their stickers as digital files so you just download them, print them out and get to work. Or just download them to your computer/tablet & start using away.
If you’re not into the whole decorating a planner thing then you can just use a regular calendar app that syncs to all of your devices, like Google Calendar or iCal. Personally, I actually utilize both systems within my life.
I love to decorate my planner for the month but it doesn’t automatically sync to my devices or when I put in new appointments and/or projects. Nor does it sync up to apps I use to help run this blog. To help me stay on track, I do need something that I can see in my face every day.
I’ve recently discovered Trello (I know, super late to the game on this one) to organize my life and get my thought process a little more streamlined. More about that later on, I’m going to do a review post on it once I’ve used it more. But bare bones info on it is that you can assign each task a card and then just move it along whatever system you’ve put in place. It’s also great for small teams to work together & link up who’s doing what.
One of the things I like about Trello is that if there is an assigned due date to a task, you can sync it up to your calendar. So, if I put a due date that I want all my images done for a specific post done by 1/10, that due date will pop up on my iCal on my phone, tablet, desktop & laptop.
Planning out your day, week month or even year, will help you stay on track with your goals for 2021. If you’re going to plan out everything, you might as well make it fun and pretty, especially if you are going to use it every day.
Let me know in the comments section what you use to plan to make 2021 the best year yet!