“Hah,” I wrote a couple of days ago in my new planner. “I started today on yesterday’s To Do list.”

Yeah, it’s been that kind of week.

This kind:

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Fortunately, with that train bearing down on me, I’m SAVED on the regular by having a (pretty) solid To Do list to refer to. Which, this week, I’m chalking up to having a great paper planner I’m using right now, my favorite one yet.

I love paper planners, love them. That love has nothing to do with the fact that science demonstrates that we retain information better if we write things down, as opposed to typing. Nothing so rational. Nope, truly it’s because I’m a lifelong Harriet The Spy notebook nerd, who can rarely leave the house without a Moleskine and pencil. Ever at the ready in case something must be written down.

Seriously: such a notebook nerd.

Of course I rely on a host of electronic tools to stay organized. But still, to be maximally effective and organized, I need a paper planner. For a couple of years I was all about the Daily Greatness Business Planner. I really appreciated the weekly lay-out and how the questions in the weekly review section made me think about my work, track and evaluate results. But honestly that + my annual Moleskine? Ridiculously heavy. Then I got into bullet-journaling in October of last year, after taking a fun BuJo class at Papersource. What I loved about BuJo was that it allowed me to integrate journal and planner, and make something tailored to my habits and needs. But dude, tracing all those lines every week! And then early in 2018, I signed up for Todd Herman’s 90 Day Year, so received a copy of his 90 Day Year Planner, which I used for most of 1st quarter.

Boom. Quarterly is the way to go.

I know I’m late to the party, but there is something just so awesome about using a quarterly, versus annual, planner. In theory, that means something smaller than a book designed to track 365 days, although since most quarterly planners are supremely goal-oriented, a lot of pages get added back in for planning and tracking. Most of all, thinking about what you want on a quarterly level is just so efficient and effective. I’m 100% sold.

On the 90 Day Year Planner, though, sorry, not so much. I learned that I do not love a spiral binding – blerg, totally gets in the way & takes up so much more space -- and after working Todd’s system for 90 days, yeah, some definite big benefits to me, but the planner, again, not so much.

Another plus of quarterly planners?  4 chances a year! Nerdvana!

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This quarter I’m trying Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner and people, I love it. The lay-out’s great, especially that To Do list that totally saved me earlier this week. I don’t know, there’s just something about how it’s organized that matches how I think. Although I’m not yet taking advantage of all of its features, already I can feel the impact of this planner on my days, the groundedness I feel when I open it in the mornings, the peace of doing my daily review and closing it in the evenings. Another super-refreshing aspect of this planner is that it approaches the weekends as rest and recovery time, including weekly pages to prompt you in that direction. I don’t know about you, but after working on the railroad all week long, I totally need that.

Slowing your roll, even just for a minute...

When there’s a train roaring down the tracks and we forget that we’re actually the conductor of said rocket-on-rails, shoveling coal as fast as we can, oh, there’s something just so wonderful about an unplugged old-school paper tool like a planner. Every time I crack it open, it’s like I’m buying myself a moment of quiet, a way to keep the locomotive humming along AND ALSO have my eyes on our ultimate destination. Puts me right back in the driver’s seat, where I belong, able to breathe again, see again. Sweet!

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