Simple Planning Tools for Big Success

In Online, Time Management by paulinedelany

One of the questions I get asked all the time is, how do you get so much done each week? How do you plan out your week?

Well, I have a few essential tools to make my week run smoothly, and although they are really basic ones, they really make a huge difference to my week being productive, organised and balanced, as opposed to chaotic stressed and scattered.

So, what are these brilliant tools I hear you ask?

Well, there are really only a few.

Diary

My biggest and most indispensable tool is my diary. This contains all of my appointments and commitments. And I mean everything! My client sessions, sales calls, coaching sessions, webinars, coffee dates, networking calls. Deadlines for bill payments, programs, projects. My exercise sessions and classes.

Those personal appointments like dentist, accountant, doctor, massages. Social engagements. Dates with hubby or the kids. School and sport commitments for the kids, parent teacher meetings, school concerts etc. It all goes in there.

And they are all categorised and colour-coded with highlighters. This makes it easy to tell at a glance what is taking over and what is either balanced or unbalanced in my weekly schedule. It also gives me a great visual reminder of how much of my time is committed, and how much is not. This dictates whether I can add in nothing else, or if the week is already looking at capacity.

Online Calendar

I also have a online iCal calendar. This is virtually a clone of my manual calendar/diary, and the same colour coding is also used there. This means I can always have it with me on my phone, iPad or computer.

And, essentially, it is connected with my TimeTrade online scheduling system (www.timetrade.com), which allows people to book in with me on their own for a session or other appointment. This is a brilliant tool also as I can program my availability into TimeTrade, stating when I am willing to accept appointments, and it eliminates all that messiness of sending out possible appointment times to a client or prospective client and having a slew of emails back and forth trying to set up a mutually convenient time. It is much more professional too, and doesn’t even just need to be used just for business. You can use it to schedule anything in your life.

And once an appointment is made, because TimeTrade is connected to my online calendar, it is automatically inserted there. I can also send out and accept calendar invites by email or message, that can then also be inserted straight into my online calendar.

Of course TimeTrade isn’t the only online calendar out there. There is Acuity scheduling, Calendly and a host of others. But TimeTrade is what I use.

Journal

And the other essential planning tool I use regularly is my journal or notebook. This is loosely based on the Bullet Journal concept (www.bulletjournal.com), and really is where I write down the day to day stuff.

So, my list of tasks to be completed each day. And a Weekly Action Plan. I am very much a list person, and am constantly coming up with ideas of what to do, or things I need to achieve, and my journal is where I can write them all down so that they are out of my head, and safely written down and scheduled so they are not forgotten.

So, really I conduct my activities each week with the brilliant combination of my journal and my diary.

Of course, as a very keen planner and organiser, I have also created a ton of other templates and planning tools to further plan out my week, including time blocking, a marketing scheduling spreadsheet, weekly social media activity planning spreadsheet.

I just love coming up with cool tools and templates that make my week more efficient, streamlined, and also allow me to measure the effectiveness of various activities, campaigns and marketing I put out each week.

So, there you have it. The simple tools that can boost the efficiency of your week, and enable you to map out your ideal week so that you achieve all of your objectives, AND manage your time so that you have a a balance of all of the different areas and components of your life and therefore, real harmony each week!