In Part One of How I Get Things Done, I talk a little bit about my process and how I use my Daily Worksheet. Today, I'll be going over all the other pages that make up The Essential Planner, a flexible agenda I designed to accommodate my evolving task management system.
When I'm working from home, I use my Daily Worksheet to add structure to my day and keep track of all the moving parts. But before I actually plan out my day, I consult my Calendar Pages, Weekly Schedule, and Project Worksheets to determine next actions and to make sure I'm still on track to meet my monthly goals.
I house all of these pages in two places, my Planner and my Project Notebook:
- My Calendar Pages and Weekly Schedules are housed in my Planner. I use an A5 Franklin Covey binder that I've had since 2004! It stays at home, but recently, I've been tempted to pick up a Personal size Filofax that I can easily carry around with me. So Personal size pages are definitely in the works! Yay!
- My Project and Daily Worksheets are housed in my Project Notebook. I use a disc bound notebook by Martha Stewart and I like to keep it open next to me while I work on my computer. It lays flat on my desk, takes up a small footprint, and I can easily reorder and organize my pages, so it works really well for me.
To see both my Planner and Project Notebook in action, check out this short video walk-through I put together the other week. I've also included a video outline and notes right below.
- Calendar Pages - This a perpetual, or an undated calendar. I love this format because I can start using them at any time and there's no excuse not to sit down and get organized.
- Weekly Schedule - I like to have my schedule opposite my calendar, so that I don't miss any dates and I can keep my monthly goals in perspective. In the video, you can see how I set this up with my Calendar on the left and my Weekly Schedule on the right.
- Daily Worksheet - I have a very detailed breakdown of my Daily Worksheet right here. I also go into a lot of detail in my video. It is definitely my favorite part of The Essential Planner and that's because it really helps to add structure to my days when I work from home. It's also super handy in the days leading up to the holiday season when I'm so busy with various projects.
- Task Sheet - This is a simple checklist with an extra column for time tracking. I find it really helpful to keep track of how long certain task take to complete because this information helps me better manage my time in the future. I also like to use these worksheets for "brain dumps." Throughout the day, as different tasks come to mind, I quickly jot them down so I'm not distracted while I'm trying to complete the task at hand. That's why I keep this page directly behind my Daily Worksheet, so I can easily flip back and forth between the two.
- Project Index - I divide my Project Notebook up into different sections for my Design Team work, my Blog, and my Shop and I put a Project Index at the beginning of each section. It's such an easy way to keep track of open projects. It also serves as a table of contents when I'm searching for my notes on a particular project because there are spaces for project numbers in addition to a project name.
- Project Outline - This worksheet is geared toward client based work, but I use it for all sorts of things like adding new product to the shop or even blog posts. The top section has a space for the project number and title that corresponds to the Project Index and right underneath is a space for project details. Next, there's a box for project deliverables and finally, a box for tracking project tasks that extends to the backside of the sheet.
These are the pages the pages I reference on a daily basis and they're all part of The Essential Planner. Thanks for taking a quick peek into how I get things done and please feel free to drop me line if you have any questions!