Combining Planning & Journaling
In this blog post I want to talk about the powerful effects of combining planning and journaling. People often ask how I manage to get so much done and I believe a lot of this is down to spending time planning and then reviewing my progress regularly, so that I can make changes when required.
I use my bullet journal weekly pages to record any deadlines and list out my key tasks for the week, which really helps to keep me on track.
I then use my daily journal to reflect each evening. I write about what I've been working on and how the day has felt before setting out my tasks for the next day. At the end of the week, I use the right-hand page for a much longer review. I also write down any happy moments, successes, or things that are on my mind.
At the end of each week, I use one of the boxes on my bullet journal pages to note down any tasks which will need to be completed the following week. I also look at any outstanding tasks to see if they are still relevant and whether they have now become urgent. Taking time to look properly through my task list helps me to re-prioritise things and assess what's most important to me.
Along with my weekly plans, I also use my bullet journal to write out my daily tasks. Each evening, I move any incomplete tasks to the next day and also add anything else that I need to do. I like to complete this in the evening so that by the next day I already have a clear plan in place.
Every three months I complete a more thorough review so that I can get a feel for the bigger picture. I look at where I have made progress and any areas that have slipped. I then try to pick two or three areas that I can really focus on over the coming quarter. I find this periodic review really helpful as a lot can change over a few months.
I also like to use a good creative journaling session for reflecting on how things are going. I find that splashing some paint around and playing with my supplies helps to free my mind. I can then let go of any immediate worries I am holding onto and let my thoughts out onto paper.
Another way I combine planning and journaling is on my bullet journal monthly calendar page. At the end of each month, I look through the key tasks I had set myself, along with how I have spent my time, to give me a really clear picture. I then write out a quick review before setting my priorities for the coming month.
Sometimes, I have a lot I want to write about! If I feel that my mind is getting clogged up and I'm struggling to set clear priorities, then I take as much time as I need to write it all out. I still add some decorative elements, but I make sure to leave plenty of space for all my thoughts. After this type of journaling session, I nearly always feel ready to look at my plans again, adjust anything that's out of kilter and start afresh.
I really hope this has given you some fresh ideas for your journals and provided inspiration for how you could combine planning and journaling to make the most of your time. If you are looking for more ideas, you could take a look at my new journaling book and I would love to see you on Patreon, where I share monthly journaling prompts, challenges and videos.
I hope you're doing well and enjoyed this blog post, Helen x