Welcome to a New Year!
Have you ever come to the end of a year and had regrets? I have. I knew I was not as productive as I could have been. If only I had planned intentionally.
January is such an inspiring time for making new plans that I’ve dubbed it “Planuary” – a reminder to make a difference and be more productive.
So, why did my resolutions usually fail within the first couple of weeks?
I wasn’t intentional.
What Life Areas Can I Plan Ahead?
Imagine building opportunities into your year that will transform your productivity, efficiency, and ability to bring about positive change.
Some Springboard Ideas to Get You Started…
Opportunities for events you can take part in, the contacts, and sign up info.
Health and Fitness Goals
Build these into your life and the benefits will ripple out into other areas.
Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentine’s Day…
They creep up quickly, so this a great part of life to have well organized.
My “Personalized Gift Giving” post, will help you organize and change your gifting strategy forever. You can read it here.
Gardeners can create reminders for seed ordering dates, planting times, hardening-off schedules, fertilizing routines, and pruning maintenance.
Meals and Shopping Strategies
By setting a meal feature or theme for each day of the week (Monday is pasta, Tuesday is chicken,…) it helps jump start your more detailed weekly planning.
It also brings variety into your schedule instead of defaulting to your old stand-bys.
Cleaning and Meal Planning Routines
You can also plan your weekly and daily routines.
Events and Parties
As soon as you know dates for up-coming events, create reminders for any responsibilities you have committed to.
You can also start planning for all the family and friend gatherings you’ve always dreaming of hosting.
Vacations and Stay-cations
Book tickets, make reservations, write packing lists, and organize the information in your planner or device for quick retrieval at the last minute.
I will be writing a detailed post on how to create a Home Keeping Binder that will keep your travel documents organized and immediately accessible.
By subscribing, you will receive this up-coming post hot of the press. It will transform your paper management if you struggle in this area and aren’t comfortable with going digital with your records.
Weddings and Showers
Place reminders on your device or calendar to purchase outfits, gifts, arrange for child care, and a list of things to bring to the event.
Important information like appointments, medications, correspondence, and disability insurance records require diligence and a quick retrieval method without a moment’s notice when the office calls.
We have gone through multiple health crises this year making it necessary to create a efficient paper management system.
My upcoming Home Keeping Binder post will cover the details of how to create a Medical Binder, also.
What Does Intentional Planning Look Like?
Paired with determination, you will need either paper or digital tools to make the difference. I’ll explain each:
The Paper Planner
If you are most comfortable with pencil and paper as opposed to digital methods, you will need a mobile system that includes a calendar and weekly planner or sheet that shows you every weekly commitment in one place.
I have a FREE “Week at a Glance” Planner printable you can download and print from an email.
FREE CRC Week at a Glance Planner
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This one-page “Week at a Glance” printable planner includes a weekly menu section, a grocery list broken into store departments, errands, a place to record your work schedule, and important appointments. It can be slipped into a page protector and becomes your first page of your Home Keeping Binder.
In my upcoming Home Keeping Binder post, I will demonstrate organizing methods that help you keep your important papers accessible and daily routines running smoothly.
For this reason, I will not cover the paper method in great detail on this post. If you are not a fan of digital devices, you won’t want to miss this paper management system.
Keep visiting Castle Revival or subscribe so you don’t miss it!
The Digital Assistant
Digital planning works best for me. I am not very time oriented, so I need audible alarms to help me come back to real time and get things done. 😉
If you get so mentally fixed on one thing that you miss important commitments, this is your tool.
How It Looks on My iPhone
My iPhone calendar works for me because it has alarms that I can set anywhere from 1 week to 5 minutes in advance each event, appointment, or errand.
I encourage you to get comfortable with the calendar feature on your phone.
This is what my calendar events look like during set up and the calendar screen after it has been entered…
Creating the event on my iPhone.
Setting the alarms for an event on my iPhone.
Screen shot of my day on my iPhone.
Meet Your New Assistant
Not rocket science, right? But here’s what makes it work like an assistant…
- The second an appointment, commitment, or social engagement of any kind is made…out comes my phone. Before, I make another move, I record it on my calendar and set two alarms.
- Important – check the details twice for errors like wrong day, time, or AM when it should be PM. Easy mistakes, so be sure to check!
However, most of the time I am recording little thoughts that need reminder alarms.
Here’s an example of my thought process and some other ways to use this digital method for planning this year –
It’s morning and I notice we are out of milk…
Do I write it on scrap paper or commit it to memory? No!
Why? Too easy to lose and – more important – it won’t sound an alarm as I’m driving out of my parking space when I leave work like my phone will…
Result? Probably no milk for breakfast the next morning.
So instead, I grab my phone as soon as I notice there is no milk and take 10 seconds to type in “milk” on my phone calendar, set the event for 5:00 PM (end of my work day) and enter 2 reminders for “15 minutes before” and “time of event”.
This gives me two chances to remember and I get to be the hero when I bring home the milk!
I add to this list throughout the day if I think of other errands or items to pick up.
While shopping after work, I delete the items as I pick them up.
Result? Nothing is forgotten.
Let me just say, some days everything just hits the fan, right?
For those days, here’s a trick…
Before I dash out the door to go to the grocery store, I pull out my phone and quickly snap a picture of all the food zones in my cabinets, fridge, and freezer. These are quick reference shots so that when I get to the store, I can just scan them to see if I am out of something.
Recipe Reference Shots
Another way I use my phone camera for shopping is to take reference photos of all my favourite recipes. Then I make a photo album in my phone’s photo app for reference while shopping. It like bringing my recipe book every where I go.
“What do I need for lasagna?” I look at my lasagna recipe photo for the ingredients and then check my food stock photos to see if the ingredients are at home. If not – I purchase.
Saves my money, time, and sanity. 🙂
Health and Fitness
Use your phone calendar to integrate your health goals right into your day. Use the repeat feature to copy snacks or meals in that are repeated at regular intervals. This also works well if you are taking supplements or vitamins at regular times and you need a reminder.
Plan your fitness goals by setting up your fitness routine on your phone.
Another example – Medication needs to be taken properly.
As a result, my husband and I have alarms for our meds.
Packing for Travel
If I’m going to pack for travel, I will set an alarmed event with a list of critical last minute items to bring like passports, charge cords, and meds.
In the same way, I use this trick to remember all those important details on moving day like meeting with the lawyer, banking appointments, key arrangements, and what last minute things need to be done.
Have you ever found a great hiding spot for gifts that was so good, even you couldn’t find them?
Set a reminder on your phone for a date a few days before the gift will be given and make note of where it was stored.
Even Christmas decor can get lost in the shuffle.
Set a reminder at the time you usually decorate for Christmas and you will know exactly where your Christmas treasure are buried.
Check out my post about storing Christmas decor in the least utilized spot in your home!
Wedding Day or Events
There are so many things to remember on this special day. Put them all on your phone, double check the volume and all you have to remember is your phone! Just remember to turn it off for the ceremony.
For every appointment – from the salon to the medical office – record the next one on your phone with a couple of reminders and you can be confident you won’t miss it.
Add notes to the event like medical symptoms you are having so you will always have them with you at your appointment.
The Possibilities Are Endless!
Make this planning tool work for you.
Pour a cuppa and get started. Your intentional planning can bring positive change for you and those you influence – no regrets.
..and you won’t have to remember much more than your phone and your charge cord!
When you get a chance, check out Abby Organizes for more great home organizing ideas!
Psst! On Saturday morning, have your cardboard boxes and garbage bags ready! My post will feature POWER PURGING!
Subscribe or come back to Castle Revival for more inspiration that will have you on your knees…purging. 😉
I am not compensated in any way for
recommendations made by me in this post
or items seen in its images.
I would love to hear from you!
Do you prefer paper or digital planners?
Do you have a great reminder tip that works for you?
Simply share them in the comment section below.
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