Monday, November 23, 2015

I Only Need 3 Things to Plan My Day.....

As the topic says, I only need three things to plan my day - a monthly calendar, a writing instrument and a piece of paper.  However, I want to do more than just "plan my day", I want to plan "My Life".  So maybe you are asking "What's the difference?".

Planning a day is easy - anyone can do it.  You are merely reacting to a given set of circumstances...for example if you are sleeping you need to wake up, if you have an appointment you need to go to it, if the house is dirty you need to clean it (or not, depending on your cleanliness standards), if you need groceries you need to go to the store.  See - it is reactionary - you are reacting to circumstances around you.

But what if you want to plan your life - moving forward with your goals, dreams, projects all the while continuing to react to the situations around you?  If you want to do more than just "plan your day" you need a system.  A system to record your goals, dreams and projects where you make an action plan and execute those plans.

Enter my planning system - while it works for me, it may not be the best fit for your life.  I follow (with a few deviations) the Franklin Covey Planning System.  The first thing that I had to do was create a Mission Statement - a mission statement is a summation of who I am as a person, where I want to be and where I want to go and what I want to accomplish (literally and figuratively).  Once I determined this, the rest of my "system" was dictated by my Mission Statement.  

For example one of the parts of my Mission Statement is to act in a manner that brings out the best in me.  So I had to determine what brings out the best in me and one of those things is being creative, whether it is with my business, reading a good book or actually creating a craft. So I have sections in my planner that are geared toward reading, crafting and business (to name a few) and within each of those sections I have goals and projects.  The goals and projects are further broken out by action steps or a plan of action and those action steps are integrated into my daily plan.  So my daily plan now consists of more than just reacting to my surroundings (cleaning house for example) it also includes individual steps that I am taking each day to make me a better person and work towards specific goals that I have created that support my Mission Statement.

If any of this interests you or if you are ready to do more than just react to your day, I encourage you to join my Franklin Covey Addicts Facebook Group, look up Stephen R. Covey and his books - a great starting point might be First Things First or 7 Habits of Highly Successful People or get your hands on a Franklin Covey Starter Pack (less than $10 on the website.  

Disclaimer: these opinions are my own and I am not an affiliate of, nor anyway compensated by Franklin Covey/Planner.

Thank you and check back soon for a more detailed look at my planner and it's contents.

Take care,

Friday, November 20, 2015

Franklin Covey Classic - Back to My Roots & Miscellaneous Updates!

Vintage Franklin Covey Classic (inserts are US half letter - not to be confused with A5 size, which is different)
I am still working on this whole blog thing and regular updates….but as with most things in life trying to develop new habits is a work in progress.  

So on to the updates – I am back in a Franklin Covey Classic Size Planner which is not to be confused with an A5 size – here in America the standard size paper is letter size and our 7 ring binders use half letter size paper which is 8.5” tall x 5.5” wide.  Franklin Covey, Day Runner, ACCO, Greenroom Eco (available at Target) and Daytimer are a few of US brands that use the 7 ring system.  Also noteworthy is that you can purchase half size 3 ring binders (Avery brand) at most office supply stores and the 3 ring configuration on those will also hold 7 hole pages without re-punching. 

Now you have the rundown on 7 ring binder systems and the fact that they are not A5 systems.  Side note: it’s a personal pet peeve of mine when they get called that as I am a firm believer that if you post on YouTube, a Blog or other Social Media you need to do your research before running your mouth and providing incorrect information. Ahem, let me remove myself from my soapbox and carry on….

I am a long time Franklin Covey user (almost 30 years, yep I am THAT old). I have dabbled in other systems from rings to spirals to elastics and I always seem to gravitate back to Franklin Covey.  So what brings me back?  Both the binders and the planner system….how do I count the ways?!?
Two major things about the binders – whether they are leather, vinyl or plastic coated canvas they seem to have a longevity that is not seen in very many binders (unless you count some European binder companies) plus if that wasn’t enough there is also the fact that you can remove and replace the rings on many of them (they are screwed in instead of riveted). That means you can upsize, downsize or just replace the rings. So the binders are great, but I also need a planning system – not just a calendar that I can throw some decorations at (I can buy those at my local DollarTree) and list out my appointments and tasks, but I need a bona-fide, tried and tested planning system.  You know what I am referring to - I need a planning system that does more than just record my appointments and need to do’s and looks pretty and gives me something to post pictures of on Instagram.  I need something that ties in all phases of my life from appointments, to tasks, to life goals, to family goals/tasks and events, journaling, mission statement (the standards by which I live and strive to follow), my finances and so much more. I need to see where I’ve been, what I’ve done, where I’m going and what I need to do and along the way I need to work on improving myself so that I am continuously learning and moving forward using my past successes and failures as a guide for the future.   If I toss a little bit of deco on my pages, then it is just a secondary thought and not the main point of having my binder and system.

Enter the Franklin Covey planning system….check it out – google it, look up books written by Stephen R. Covey. In fact I am running a Facebook Group Book Club and we are reading First Things First by Stephen R. Covey. Everyone is welcome to join – we start the reading Plan this Monday the 23rd, but the archives will be kept in our group for future reading and resources.

Definition of Plan (taken from ): A set of intended actions, usually mutually related, through which one expects to achieve a goal.  If you would like to read a more detailed, in depth definition I encourage you utilize the link or do your own research.

Important to note that I read through multiple definitions of the word “plan” from many sources and not one mentioned keeping a calendar with appointments, events and tasks as a Plan. Therefore by my summation "A Planner" as it relates to a system is more than a calendar keeper; a planner is a system that utilizes the sum of all parts of the planning process to get to the end in mind – a goal or a set of goals.  

Therefore I can conclude with the utmost certainty that I. AM. A. PLANNER. PERSON. (I personally like the term Planner Nerd) and I use a binder (Franklin Covey) that houses a complete planning system and keeps me on track and always moving forward.  Are you a planner person or a calendar keeper?  There is a difference and if you think that your system is not working for you then maybe it is not the binder, but it is the need for an actual system.  I don't sell inserts, nor am I compensated in any way by Franklin Covey, but I do know what works for me and I am happy to promote it.  I run a Group on Facebook which is dedicated to Franklin Covey (Franklin Covey Addicts) - look us up, we welcome all and would be happy to have you (we love coverts, LOL).  Perhaps this post won’t be that popular or it might be controversial, but that’s ok, I know wo I am and I know where I’m going and I’m ok with both. 

On a side note, watch for future posts of how I actually use my planning system and maybe some totally non planner related random stuff, 'cuz that's how I roll - kind of Random!

Take care,