9 alternative planning methods if you're not into bullet journalling
If you've been following Save Ourselves for a while, then you know how big a fan I am of bullet journalling. I've been keeping a bullet journal consistently since December 2018 and it complements my lifestyle.
But I also understand that it is not everyone's cup of tea. A lot of people find keeping a bullet journal too hectic or too artistic for them. Often a lot of people start but are unable to keep up with it. And that's completely okay. Just because it works for me does not mean that it has to work for you as well.
What's important is to find a system that is suitable to your lifestyle and can sustain the ups and downs in your life.
For me, bullet journalling does the job, but in the blog post, I have 9 alternatives that might suit you better.
Daily to-do lists
Making a to-do list is a great way of giving your brain a rest and putting your tasks on paper. You don't need to have a complex planning system set up for this. You can use a simple notebook or even your phone to write down all your tasks as and when you feel necessary. It gives you a clarity of all the things you want to get done. One tip is to keep a daily to-do list of high priority tasks and another running list on which you can put down things for later.
Check out: How to make an effective to-do list
Maintaining a calendar
If you find it more helpful to associate your tasks with time, using a calendar to mark all your events is a great way to know when things might be coming up. I would suggest using some sort of a calendar app that can be synced across all your devices so that you can access it from anywhere. I have a whole video on how I use google Calendar, so feel free to check that out if you're interested.
Check out: How I use Google Calendar for time-blocking and time-tracking
Using a notes app / commonplace notebook
If you can function well without to-do lists, I'd stil suggest having some sort of a place for storing your thoughts. This can be done using a commonplace notebook, or a more effective way is to use a notes app. I use Google Keep and Notion for this, so let me know if you'd like a blog post on that. Having some sort of a go-to notebook / app to store things is a great way to ensure that all your lists/ thoughts and notes are under one roof. After a point this process starts to become pleasantly automated and becomes a part of your routine.
A week is the perfect amount of time that lets you encompass all aspects of your life without making it feel too overwhelming. You can do this by dedicating one week for one aspect of your life, or assigning specific tasks to every day of the week. A planner with a weekly view serves this purpose well. You can also use a calendar app to space out activities throughout your week or just allot specific days for specific tasks so that it becomes a non-negotiable, repetitive occurance in your life.
If you're more on the spotaneous side of life but still want to have some sort of accountability system in place, setting monthly goals at the beginning of every month is a great way to give your everyday life a sense of direction. You can set a few goals each month and review them at the end of it to know how far you've come. Putting up your goals in a place where you can see them easily is a great way to subtly remind yourselves about them.
I share some of my monthly goals in the Save Ourselves Newsletter every month and encourage my subscribers to reply to it with their goals as it forms an accountability system. Join my mailing list if this sounds interesting to you.
Another way of being a little more mindful and accountable of the things you're doing in life is to set intentions for yourselves. Intentions are more about the 'way' of living rather than the end goal itself. It gives your life a guideline to live by. You can set these intentions at the beginning of the year or a month and review them at suitable intervals.
Setting a schedule
If the aspects of your life are pretty clear and laid out for you, a great way is to have a set schedule for yourself where you block out chunks of the day for these different aspects. For example, mornings and afternoons can be for school work, evenings can be for your side projects or hobbies, etc. Having 2-3 schedules created ahead of time lets you know what you can do at that point of time.
Blocking off work time
This is a great way of having both, flexibility and structure to your day at the same time. How this works is, you block out the time you're supposed to work and focus only on work for that time. The rest of the day remains unplanned giving you the flexibility to switch up activities now and then and not making your routine feel monotonous and repetitive.
Pre-made planners/ templates
If you're not into making any kind of layout for youself or find it too tedious a task, you can make use of pre-made planners and templates. A complete planner usually comes with a lot of options for planning different things. This will allow your everyday life to have some structure but all the groundwork is already done for you. You just have to fill it in with your tasks!
I hope that this post opened up the world of planning methods for you. Let me know which one resonated with you the most in the comments below. I'll catch you here next week! Have a great week.
Here is a quick summary of all the methods mentioned in this blogpost. Feel free to download it and use it as and when needed!
Check out my video on this topic:
Loved this? Here are more posts like this:
Productivity posts: https://www.saveourselvesblog.com/blog/categories/productivity
Blog posts on organisation: https://www.saveourselvesblog.com/blog/categories/organisation
Bullet journal 2020: https://www.saveourselvesblog.com/blog/categories/bullet-journal