Whatever you can dream, you can make happen. But it helps to have a plan.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve never used a Planner before.
I thought I ran a relatively efficient machine when it came to my business and life. I use Google Calendar for appointments and task reminders, a paper journal for notes and list making, and a project management software for keeping track of tasks, assigning tasks and keeping clients on task. It all seemed quite wonderfully organized.
That’s fine for the day to day workings of your business.
Planning your business requires an entirely different approach from running your business if you want to create intentional growth.
Over the past 2 years I’ve developed a deep affinity for the power of Masterminds for strategy, network building and accountability. I participate in Masterminds and I coach Masterminds.
Even within a Mastermind, if you don’t have a blueprint to follow with clearly outlined goals, it’s easy to get distracted by shiny objects or simply lose track of things on your goals list.
As a coach it’s my responsibility to keep clients on track and moving forward. But I can only do so much. If they don’t have a laser clear focus for what they want to accomplish it’s hard to hold them accountable and strategize a plan.
Enter the Planner!
You can’t be successful through determination alone. You need tools and systems to keep you focused and disciplined.
My anti conformist nature took a LONG time to come around to this practical, reasonable thinking.
If you’ve used a planner but are looking for a new one that’s a better fit, this list might help you find the right match.
If you’ve never used a planner, they’re the place where vision is birthed and focus is applied. Miracles ensue.
To assemble this list I’ve deferred to some of the most focused, goal oriented successful people I know for input on what works for them and why.
The Bullet Journal
My dear friend Karen Ward, founder and CEO of Curiosity Inc told me, “One of the reasons I never stick with a planner is because they’re not flexible enough to allow for task lists, notes, doodles, musings, etc.” She also told me that the Bullet Journal is changing her life. Karen doesn’t need a planner to keep track of her meetings and appointments, she uses Google Calendar for that. She was looking for a flexible space where she can build out her vision for her company and life.
I happen to love everything about this planner EXCEPT for the fact that you have to set it up yourself. As a mom and entrepreneur I have so many balls in the air that I shied away from the Bullet Journal for a more done for you version with prompts.
This is where I dropped my money this year and I have great expectations from the SELF Journal!
What I like about it is it helps to keep you intentional about the actions you are taking every day with solid goal planning.
Best Self is a 13 week planner that has half hour time slots. According to my friend and wellness coach, Hanna Horner, it integrates seamlessly with the Bullet Journal.
An interesting thing about the 13-week goal set up is that it cuts procrastination and maximizes productivity by always keeping the end is in sight. With all the distractions I have in my day, I love having a place I can come back to again and again keeping me in line and focused as I get my hustle on.
The SELF Journal helps organize and align your tactical day-to-day tasks with your larger life goals which I simply love. After all, I’m in this for the big picture wins. Check out the SELF Journal here.
Leonie Dawson’s Shining Year Workbook
I have a number of friends that swear by this whimsical and feminine creative planner.
Leonie has a full-on printed package that includes a life and business planner, and other goodies like a wall calendar and daily notepad. All of her yearly workbooks have been bestsellers.
Over the last seven years it’s reported that hundreds of thousands of women have used this workbook claiming amazing results. It uses simple yet powerful techniques to help you dream your biggest dream, set your goals and make them happen.
Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map
This journal takes a slightly different approach aligning practical details with soulful inquiry.
Instead of focusing only on your productivity and getting your “todo items done” each day, the Desire Map Planner has you looking at how you want to feel first. For most of us busy peeps rushing about our lives and days, this can be a refreshing reminder to take a step back and remember why we’re doing all of this in the first place.
This planner is noted for it beautiful cover designs, and the aligned intentionality behind the method. There’s also a daily, weekly, and monthly spread for keeping track of all your activities.
One drawback a friend told me about this planner is that it’s big and heavy and not necessarily something you’ll lug around with you everywhere.
This is a planner that also organizes each date by the half-hour. Bonus for those hyper detail oriented folks! It also has plenty of space for writing down weekly goals and monthly reflections to keep things in perspective.
Launched through a Kickstarter campaign a year ago, It’s been designed with your passions and personal goals in mind. It’s got an all-in-one weekly appointment calendar, journal, goal setting guide, and to-do list log integrated.
One friend told me she likes how tasks can be broken down into personal and work, and how there’s a “top priority” and “errands” category, too.
Join a Mastermind
If you’ve got big plans for growth or launch in 2017 but could really use some support and strategic input from a group of like minded entrepreneurs, check out the up coming Masterminds I’m offering in February for Mompreneurs and Heart Centred Entrepreneurs.