Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Getting Organized: Working a planner, or agenda

How many of you use a planner to organize your lives? I have used a planner for 30 or more years. It is a wonderful obsession of mine. Spending time planning is so much fun. It allows me the time to dream of the possible in the future. What can I make, paint, build, grow or design? What can I accomplish in the future?

Recently, I have found that many people do not know how to use an organizer or planner effectively. 

1.       The big picture: The year ahead.

Each year, I set out a clear set of goals and objectives to achieve during the year. While some goals are short range or objectives that I want to accomplish; such as, painting a room, new flower bed or taking a class. Other goals will take months or the entire year to achieve, i.e. lose weight and get in shape. If I just make a list of goals and do not take the time to plan how to achieve the goals, I will never be successful. I pencil in these goals and objectives throughout the months I need to focus on accomplishing them.

Next, I pencil into the planner birthdays, important dates, appointments that need to be made (doctor or carpet cleaner, etc),  gardening frost and freeze dates, Easter, and any items throughout the year that I know will need to be taken care of.

2.       Narrowing: The month ahead.

When I sit down and look at the month ahead, I turn once again to my goals. Because I have taken the time in the first step to set out goals for each month, I now have the ability to focus on how I will achieve the goals in the current month. For example, I want to paint the entire living room, dining room and hallway. I know that I cannot paint during the spring with the garden and all the new flowers. So, painting the house has to be done in January and February. If I wait, it will never get done.

Next, I look over any appointments that are on the horizon, timing my goals to accommodate these appointments. Lastly, I make a menu for the next month. I always have a running list of new recipes I want to try and I fit them in the menu with the family’s tried and true favorites.

3.       Narrow even further: The week ahead. 

Breaking down the goals even further to meet them. I want to lose weight, so I have to work out three times a week. Pencil that in for the week. 

Chores have to be done weekly. I pencil them in. 

Any other items I want to finish get put in for the week.

4.       Lastly: The day ahead

With my weekly schedule, it is simple to fill in what needs to be done today.

Each step is less time consuming. Time spent on the first and second step will be well rewarded. 

These two steps will help you more than anything you do to achieve goals and resolutions that you want to achieve.

We will spend more time on how to achieve goals in the weeks ahead. I also want to keep you apprised of my goals and how I am doing in the future.

P.S. We got the hard drive up and running, thank goodness.


  1. Thank you for sharing your 'plan'! I'm trying to change to a different planner this year - something that will be easier to pick up and go without weighting my bag down and nearly bruising my shoulder. The old one was good but I think my new 'plan' will be better. Now to find the perfect one!

  2. glad your hard drive is up an give such valuable hints.

  3. Cynthia, What a great way to plan! I am a planner too. But I don't make year goals... and I should.
    You gave me so many great idea!
    xo Yvonne

  4. I wish I was as organized as you! But, it sounds like a lot of work. Especially when you have little ones running around! Thanks for sharing.


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