Planning for minimalists: 1 notebook and 1 phone app
This is going to be short but sweet. I wanted to quickly share with you what I’m currently using for organization and planning during these past few months. This minimalistic approach to planning resulted from my desire to fulfill at least one of the many pretty notebooks I bought in my online spending sprees.
To begin with, let me say that I decided to organize my days with the help of 1 notebook and 1 phone app. Read whether you could use them together in this post “Planner or phone app – what to use for better organization?“.
What kind of notebook I use for planning and in what way
I opted for one bound, thinner notebook in lines, with a ribbon over it holding the notebook closed. It is rather small in size so it can fit in my bag, because I like to carry planner with me all the time.
When planning, I follow extremely simple rules:
- the daily plan is in the form of a “TO DO” list by items,
- I color code everything, so it is easier to find what I’m looking for; and
- I write both business and private plans in the same notebook.
In the planner, I also keep track of my expenses and income. I love having a lot of space for notes to write down ideas or some meeting minutes. A lot of pre-made planners don’t have those features, so a blank notebook is the best option.
I can say that this is a hybrid of bullet planners and simple “TO DO” lists. If I have a page that I want to emphasize, I use sticky notes or bookmarks I found in stationery shops.
The only thing I miss is the monthly review of tasks, but I solved that by introducing one page for the monthly review, where I only write the obligations as a list with dates.
Which phone app am I using and in what way
In addition to my simple minimalistic planner, I use my favorite calendar application – Google Calendar. I install this app as soon as I buy a new phone, as a replacement for the generic calendar app, and after logging in to my Gmail account I have access to all my recorded dates.
How does this work in combination with a notebook? The moment I make some appointments in my notebook or write down something to remember, I type it into my calendar. I can say that my notebook and calendar are quite synchronized, even though one is from the paper world and the other from the digital world.
What I also do is make notifications within an event at different times depending on how much time I need to prepare for the event and if there is some additional planning needed for it.
This minimalist planning system has worked extremely well for me in the past few months, even though I am really in a period when I have a bunch of both business and private obligations since things are starting to go back into normal.
We will see if it will be effective by the end of the year. I have changed my time management systems several times so far, according to the level of responsibilities I have, and I think it is important for you to be flexible: try, adapt and decide what suits you best.
What do you currently use to organize and manage time? Write in the comment!
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