Once you commit to creating a weekly planning habit, the next step is to decide the best way to make that habit really work for you. To say that there are thousands of tools out there that can be used for managing to do lists, planning, and tracking your appointments would be an understatement. However, the only tools that will work to get the job done are the tools that you will actually use.
I have tried a lot of different apps, programs, websites, and calendars over the years. It’s actually fun to experiment and try out new ones, but I understand that a lot of people would like to just find something that works and go with it.
Currently I am using a combination of tools to plan and execute my day-to-day – a cross platform tool for my ToDo List, a paper journal, and my online calendar. Whether you use an online tool like Todoist, Workflowy, or Trello, or prefer an old school paper planner, or bullet journal, the key is to use resources that make sense, and work for you. Each method of managing your schedule and todo’s has its pluses and minuses but the main goal is to keep yourself on track and organized.
A few of my favorites…
Right now I am using (and loving) Todoist. This has been my go-to productivity tool for a few months now and it’s working great. It is easy to add tasks, and the daily to do list is very clear. Premium features allow you to categorize tasks which helps me to easily see home, personal, and business tasks. You can set priorities, and even set up projects where you can add multiple tasks. I am able to access my list online, on my phone, tablet, and using a desktop app – best of all, I can access it on my Apple Watch.
The free version offers a lot of features and will work great for most individual users. I have found that I really wanted some of the advanced features so I didn’t mind paying for the premium version which right now is $36 for a year.
Trello has been my friend for years! While I am not using it for my day to day to do list, it is still a great tool for other areas of my life. Trello uses a system of Boards, Lists and Cards that allows you to create projects, easily see what you are currently working on and what needs to be done, move things around, and even collaborate with other users.
An example of how I use Trello is my House Project and Ideas Board. The board has one list for each room in the house, plus a list for what we are currently working on, one for upcoming (next on the list), and one for wishlist items…those things that we dream about. The cards on the lists are all of the items that we need or want to do for each room. Each card can then be labeled – Idea, To Save For, and Complete to name a few. I am able to move cards around depending on what projects are going on at The Plantation (our home’s nickname).
The free version offers a limited number of boards, and some of the basic features, but a paid version allows for more features, more storage, etc. I have found that the free version works great for my current needs. You can check out examples of boards, and get templates here.
At heart I am still a paper and pen kind of girl! So I have my paper journal. My journal serves a few purposes, it’s a place to take notes on the fly, gives me a place to track things, but to be honest it serves as one of my creative outlets. I simply have fun with it. If you are not familiar with the Bullet Journal method, you can check it out here. While the original method is pretty straightforward, it has been taken to new and greater heights by a whole online community. Check out any number of the hashtags on Instagram, or give it a search on Pinterest and you will see some of the amazing journals that people are keeping. Mine is by no means as creative as some!
While these are just a few of the tools out there, there are so many others to choose from. Have fun with it…but more importantly, find a tool, or put together a set of tools that works for you. Please feel free to share some of the tools you use and why they work for you.