I’m always looking for ways to keep myself organized and on track with my goals. I’ve tried many different tools looking for one that would meet all of my needs.
It hasn’t taken long, though, to realize that there is no “one size fits all” solution for me.
I have finally found 6 tools that work for me. Together they provide all the information I need to manage my time and move forward on my goals.
1) iCal/Calendar App
I think it’s important to have just one calendar where you record all of your appointments. If you try to keep too many calendars updated, you stand the chance of missing something.
I like the calendar app on my iPhone which syncs with iCal on my computer and iPad. I can enter appointments in either place and they will show up on the other. I always have my phone with me so I can see what’s going on and make appointments as necessary.
2) Filofax A5 Malden
As much as I like having my calendar on my phone for easy access, I absolutely LOVE my paper planner to keep up with my to-do lists, projects, and manage my daily schedule.
I wrote about my set up last year here. However, over the last year I’ve changed it up somewhat. I’m working on a new post with accompanying video to share with you in the next week or so.
The main function of my planner is to hold all of my plans, goals, and to-dos so I can plan my daily, weekly, and monthly schedules.
3) iBloom Business Planner
Just as my Filofax helps me with my personal life and part-time job, the iBloom Business Planner help me plan my work on my blog, other writing projects, and speaking.
This planner is more of a true calendar where I plan my work for the week. It’s set up with a week on two pages with places to keep track of my to-do lists related to various projects I’m currently working on.
It also has a very useful and meaningful section that helped me determine my business goals for the year. I love that I can reference those goals at any time while I’m working through the week. It helps me to stay focused and reminds me of why I’m doing what I’m doing.
4) Blog Planner
I’ve tried so many different ways to keep up with my blog posts and the work associated with completing and promoting them. I finally decided that I just needed to keep things simple.
I got this planner when I enrolled in the Elite Blog Academy. It has a monthly calendar where I record all of my blog posts. Then it has one page per week where I can plan out my posts for the week and list any associated tasks I need to take care of related to them. Once I have those tasks figured out, I transfer them to my iBloom planner so I can schedule them into my work for the week.
My blog planner also has places to record my stats and expenses for each month. It helps me keep an eye on my blog growth and shows me how different strategies have worked out.
5) Arc Notebook
If you haven’t tried out the Arc disc bound system from Staples, you are missing out! I love these notebooks to hold anything I’d normally use a 3 ring binder for. I like these better than binders because they are more compact and act like a notebook. You can fold back the covers just like a regular notebook.
I have several for different projects, but one I use most regularly is for my blog. Yes, I have a business planner and blog planner, but I needed a place to hold different papers related to my blog.
I could probably create folders for these papers, however I really want to be able to access them easily or be able to carry them with me if needed.
I have tabs for business, blog design/branding, social media, projects, and continuing education. The Arc notebook has really transformed the way I keep up with papers.
6) Spiral Bound Notebook
This is new for me. I love notebooks of all kinds, and I bought this really cute one from Ban.do when I was in Chicago last year. I wasn’t sure what I’d use it for, but that didn’t stop me from buying it!
When I was getting ready to go on a personal writing/planning retreat, I used it to write out my packing list and a list of things I hoped to accomplish on the retreat. While on the retreat I used it to write out goals and brainstorm about things I wanted to do.
It has kind of evolved into a place to brain dump, to take notes for online classes, and to make plans for various things related to my blog. I love being able to take it out and just get my ideas down.
There is no rhyme or reason to how I write things in there. I just know what’s in there. It has been so helpful to me as I try to flesh out different ideas.
I realize that most of these tools relate to my blog and writing. I know that a lot of you reading this don’t have a blog. However, I’m sure many of you have a job (in the home or out of the home), a family to keep up with, and a home to maintain.
You can take some of my ideas and adapt them to how you need to manage your time.