How I Plan My Week

Planner

A weekly planning session makes all the difference in whether my week is smooth or rocky.  Starting the week with a plan in place allows me to make changes as needed (and believe me, there are always plenty) and get things done.

Here’s what I do:

My weekly planning session takes place on Sunday evening.  I sit on the couch with my planner and start plugging things in.

First I check my monthly calendar to see if I have any appointments scheduled.  I plug them into the Appointment Schedule on my daily pages.

Monthly calendar

Then I add things I know I’ll be doing, like babysitting the grandkids, going to the grocery store, church, etc.  These also go on the Appointment Schedule.  (I don’t remove the pages from my planner when I plan – this was to make it was easier to see the big picture.)appointments

Next I plug in tasks I need to do on certain days.  These go in the Prioritized Daily Task List section.  For example, I usually go to the grocery store on Wednesday, so I need to make my grocery list on Tuesday.  I pay bills on Saturday.  On the 1st of the month I do monthly checks (smoke alarms, furnace filters, snack stash) and give my dog her heartworm pill.  If someone has a birthday, I write “email happy birthday”, “prep card”, “mail card” on the appropriate days.

to do pages

I record other tasks that need to be done sometime during the week on the page finder.  The page finder has a slot for a weekly list.  The front of the list has 8 boxes which I’ve been using those to record high priority tasks.  On the back of the page I record all the other things that come to mind.  Pull out the list to add new items or mark things off that you’ve done.

page finder front

Page finder back

Then I do a review to be sure there aren’t any issues, like too many appointments or a scheduling conflict.  If all is well, weekly planning is done!

Sometimes, though, I have SO much going on that I feel overwhelmed and this planning method isn’t enough.  When that happens, I print out a weekly schedule form and do my initial planning on it.  Seeing the whole week at one time helps me see whether I can get it all done or whether changes have to be made.  Once I get it all worked out, I transfer it to my daily pages.  You can read about that here.

Regardless of what planning system I use (I’m showing you Franklin Covey since that’s the one I’ve used the longest), this is the method I follow.  It takes about 15 minutes unless I have to do the weekly sheet first.  Then it probably takes 20 or so.  This system works really well and I start my week feeling like I know what I’m doing.  And feeling in control is half the battle!

Comments

  1. Josh LaPorte says:

    Really good process! I try to get into the habit of doing this but some weeks I skip (and then deal with the chaos that follows!). I try not to over-plan my weeks, as I have ADD and can get seriously off track SO easily, and then feel discouraged. But what you say is so right; if you look over (and think over) everything you know you need to do in a given week, and then write out a realistic plan, you will far more likely to complete most things on time. Thanks!

    • Josh: I have ADD, too, so I know exactly what you’re talking about. In fact, planning is extremely important for me or I get nothing done and don’t even know what day it is. Because of the ADD, time management has always been difficult – I had to work really hard at it. The weekly planning is a strategy that helped a lot. And having a planner.

  2. When I do the same as you, I have a good week – but too often I don;t. This is my new year resolution which I will have to reaffirm all the time! In fact I will have to put a ‘weekly review’ into my diary on a Sunday to get this done!
    Alison Reeves recently posted…Tender Writing: Can an Elevator Pitch Help you Win a Tender?My Profile

    • It definitely makes all the difference! I always put “plan the week” on my to-do list. It’s just a reminder that it needs done.

      I hope you get in a rhythm with weekly planning and it makes a huge difference for you.

  3. Jennifer says:

    What a great post. My sister and I are obsessed with our planners. She is a stay at home mom and I’m a part time employee/,mom

    We LOVE to see how other people use their planners. Do you have other things in your planner like sections for books, movies, finances, budgeting, christmas? We’d love to see more posts on your site about your planner.

    Thanks for a great post!!!

    Jennifer

  4. So blissfully organized! I love it and seeing your process!
    Tracy
    crazysuburbanmom recently posted…Attagirl!My Profile

  5. vgrovpro (Giovani di Gesu) says:

    Excellent post!
    Have just e-mailed the link to some friends of mine.

  6. Kanalt17 says:

    I also do a Sunday afternoon/evening planning session for the upcoming week. I fill in my exercise plans (which will vary depending on the day/schedule) and add any other pertinent information. I also add that week’s items to my google calendar so that my husband has access to it. (I also do this on a monthly basis after I’ve received my work schedule.). To help remind me that this needs to be done every week, I add the task to my list of things to do for Sunday. Once it’s done for that week, I go to the following Sunday and write “schedule.” I’ve been doing my schedule on Sundays for so long that I probably don’t need the reminder, but if I happen to forget to do it, I’d be very lost.

    • I know what you mean! Once in a while I don’t get my weekly scheduling done and the week ends up so unproductive. I usually feel behind all week. I hate that!

      Good point about giving your husband access to the schedule. We don’t really need to do that now but there was a time when I wrote everything on a wall calendar for the rest of the family. I guess they need to know what’s going on, too! :)

  7. This is a great post – thanks! I need to get back into the discipline of looking at the week ahead on a Sunday….along with ironing a shirt, polishing my shoes and all the other multitude of things that would make my week so much easier. I used to be much better at planning ahead, but have slipped into a terrible habit of leaving everything to the last minute.
    Cloudberry recently posted…Knitting ProjectMy Profile

    • You know, it’s amazing how quickly we can slip into bad habits! I struggled with my weekly planning for a while, too. I was always so diligent. I really don’t know what happened. But life goes so much better when I’m doing it. All that other stuff you mentioned is good, too! I love being prepared! Sounds like you do, too.

  8. I love your page finder checklist! It seems very convenient, I’ll try to find it or implement something similar for my Filofax. I’ve never done a weekly schedule session until now, because I feel like I’m always adding and planning in my diary, everyday. But reading your post I see how I could benefit from it. I guess I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon! :) Thanks for this post!
    HM recently posted…Resolve in picsMy Profile

    • I do daily planning, too, but the weekly session makes my daily planning better and gives me a head start for the week. Give it a shot! If it doesn’t work or you don’t feel it makes a difference, then you’ll know.

      You can get the page finder from Franklin Covey. The compact Franklin Covey will work for personal. None of the other sizes are compatible, though.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  9. That page finder is just what I need! Thanks for showing it. They do not seem to be available in the UK though so I will have to figure out how to make one.
    Helen

  10. I’m loving this! Makes me want to pull out my planner and start jotting things down on my FC pages!!! Thanks so much for sharing!
    DEM recently posted…Call Me Crazy!My Profile

  11. Suzanne says:

    OK. I just have to say this. I know I am weird, but I don’t like these pages. You know why? Because they look goofy to me. They are round on the inside of page and square on the outside. Who thought that was a good idea? I think it looks like it isn’t made right. I’m thinking I may not be able to handle this kind of planner simply because of the way it LOOKS!!! (Sorry. Maybe I have eye ADD or something else unnamed but obviously rare!)

    • That’s kind of funny, Suzanne, because I’ve been using some other pages that don’t have the rounded corners on the inside and I bought a tool for the purpose of rounding the corners. I think the rounded corners on the inside and squared on the outside is perfect! Anything else looks odd to me. Actually, some planners have squared corners and some have rounded. The rounded makes the pages turn a little better. It’s all just personal preference. There’s nothing wrong with you.

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