KISS My …Planner!

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I am sure you have heard of the acronym KISS. It stands for the saying, “Keep it simple, Stupid.” Or at least that’s what my teacher told me. I never had the courage to say it then, so I’ll say it now. “Who are you calling stupid, Numnut?”

OK, well for our purposes and to be politically correct (don’t get your hopes up, I’m not really aiming for that regularly!) let’s use the acronym this way: Keep it Simple, Short and Sweet. So I added an extra S. Deal with it. Blame it on my old teacher who was not so sweet, and traumatized me for life. Sweetness is required and Niceness DOES Matter. I’ll have my extra S!

It’s Friday, and late in the day so I want you to think about this in relation to your planner life. Let’s apply KISS to one of the biggest planner obstacles we encounter in our planner lives, and see how it might benefit us, shall we?

Common Planner Problem:  Blaming the planner for our behavior: “I buy a planner with good intentions only to find myself missing appointments, forgetting to check it and leaving it on the kitchen counter. “

KISS IT: The problem is not your planner, sunshine, it’s YOU! Or at least your planner routine. So the first question you might ask yourself before you sink another cent into another planner is,  what am I looking for in a planner? Or maybe even ask yourself,  what do I  expect FROM my planner. After you say this , preferably out loud and realize the absurdity of expecting something from your PLANNER, “You are ready to begin.” said with Yoda like voice…

Because ultimately, you are looking at a fancy notebook system, or calendar. SO…it begins with you and ends with you. Like a diet or exercise program, ANY one of many will work. When the student follows the plan. True, we must find what works for us ideally, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. Um…but no skinning of cats for us. Instead let’s simplify!

Keep it Simple, Short and Sweet: Develop the planner habit BEFORE investing in any particular one planning system. Or at the very least, whatever you have already purchased, be willing to give it the old college try. Often we don’t commit for a long enough time utilizing something before we bail and blame. If this sounds familiar to you, then use a notebook of your choice  for 21 -31 days. Make 3 sections: 1) monthly calendar;  2) daily pages ; 3) notes etc. You can print out, paste, stamp or otherwise create your monthly calendar pages. For the daily pages, simply write the date and day at the top of the page, then sketch out your day, appointments, what you want to accomplish, do and be. The notes section is purposefully bland. What will you put in there? Well that is the point. After you see what makes its way to the notes section, you will have an idea of what specific sections you require if any.

For instance if you find you are constantly dropping contacts, e-mails and phone numbers in the notes, a contacts section may be important to add. Maybe you doodle. Well hello, doodle section! Maybe you record your Fitness sessions, prayers (or prayer lists), Girl Scout leader notes, or concert dates. Maybe all of your family randoms appear there. Just use the notes for anything that does not seem to belong in the monthly or daily pages. This is about as simple and basic as you can get.

Once you have your “planner” set, it’s time to plan your planner time. This is where you create your vision and plans for the week, day and days to come. 

1. Look at your upcoming month, gather information  and plug all into your MONTHLY view.

2. Pick one night or time over the weekend (Friday-Sunday) for planning time  to plan the week ahead.

3. Write out your appointments for the week.

4. There should be lots of, if not some,  WHITESPACE for filling in activities which are not productive only, but enjoyable, and recreational. Schedule ME time. Whether pedicure, read time, creative time or just relax time at a coffee shop with a girlfriend or your journal.

Each morning you will check in with your planner make sure you know what, where, how, who and why for your day.

 

Your Mission

Develop the Planner Habit by having:

* a weekly planning session (20-30 minutes)

*a morning planner check in (5-10 minutes)

* a goodnight KISS before bed ( 2-3 minutes)

Two out of three ain’t bad, but set the bar for success. Remember to record any changes in plans as they arise in monthly and daily pages.

 

A Practical Tip:  If you have not developed a consistent planner plan, then why not give it a try? A planner plan, is simply when and how you make time to plan your days. Keep it simple, short and sweet, by not trying to make the planner the be all end all. At least not right away! Repeat after me: “There are no perfect planners, only prepared people!”

A  Quote to Ponder:  “Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.”  Gordon Parks

A  Prayer for  Today:  Lord, You alone are God. You hold time and eternity in the palm of your hand, I stand in awe of you. Lord, I forget that it is You who sets the stars in the sky, the tides of the sea, and each moment is a granule of sand in a universal desert beyond my comprehension. May I be content to number my days simply, graciously and wisely, in your eyes. And at the end of my day trusting your hand, above my plan, laying my head upon pillow satisfied completely in your love. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

This is Day 3 of the series Planning with Purpose: 31 Days of Planner Tips

I wrote an INTRO POST here explaining everything!

I have also made designated a PAGE for it. Hope this makes it easy. I am happy to tackle a topic, or issue regarding your planner habits.

Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. 

final with bigger31

I pray this series is a blessing to you. 

Linking with Missional Women

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hparentsxpress
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 01:25:56

    My planner was a mess until I found a system that work for me. Now, I can’t live without my planner and it holds everything I do! Thanks for the time table; sometime’s I can spend the whole morning in my planner. LOL

    I always plan my day, the night before and it’s been working for the last six months now. I agree, it was me and after I fix me; the planner was my friend.

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  2. Julie Kieras (@happystronghome)
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 01:26:22

    Great tips for planners – I love planning out my day but yes, I found the paper planner often got left on the counter when I walked out of the house – the problem was definitely me! I didn’t want to (b/c I love pen and paper) but to keep myself sane, I had to digitize – I use todoist.com to keep track of all my to-do items and Cozi.com to track my appointments. It’s not a perfect system yet but better than my constant paper trail! 🙂

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  3. Jamie G
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 01:31:42

    Just popped over from Facebook – joining you in the #write31days challenge. Great planner tips, I look forward to stopping back for more practical advice and LOVE the daily prayer. Blessings!

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  4. annb48
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 06:28:59

    Excellent! This goes right along with The Best Yes series that’s I’m in right now with Lysa TerKeurst and with setting up all the doctor’s appointments we’ve been having it’s an absolute must. And learning to give my Best Yes answers along the way.
    Hugs.

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  5. I Carried a Watermelon
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 09:15:16

    I’ve sort of dropped the ball since school started back up and I can tell. I’m not getting nearly as much accomplished and I’m forgetting to do things that really need doing. Now that I also have to keep the Park Lane Jewelry business stuff straight I have GOT to get back on track. And yeah, I do know it’s me, not the planner. :/

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    • enthusiasticallydawn
      Oct 04, 2014 @ 11:02:04

      Oh, my friend, I have been wondering how you were doing with your Bullet Journaling. I think you need your planner habit more than ever now- since you have more on your plate. Maybe a simple effort (as I am suggesting) to get you back on track, before returning to bullet journaling?
      I am planning on making a short video with a simple challenge to help cultivate the habit of “being in the planner”. Hugs and prayers for balancing all that is on that full plate with wisdom and discernment!

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  6. Trackback: | I Carried a Watermelon
  7. April Munday
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 11:17:15

    Why is it that the simple lessons are the hardest to learn? Only this morning I was coming to the realisation that my use of my planner is not what it should be. It’s set up properly and it’s always to hand, I just don’t look in it often enough.

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  8. Sarah Bartholomew
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 12:02:53

    This is so helpful Dawn. Sometimes even if you’ve been planning for a while it’s good to remember these things so your brains don’t get lost in all the clutter. 🙂

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  9. Trackback: Introducing Planning with Purpose: 31 Days of Planner Tips – October 1-31 | Enthusiastically, Dawn
  10. kelrohlf
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 14:07:38

    Loving your ideas and the prayers at the end of each post…really need them!

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. Abigail @ They're Not Our Goats
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 20:18:17

    Great ideas, Dawn! I really like having the notes section to help you determine what your planner is missing… I kind of ONLY have a notes section far too frequently and I never end up organizing all of that information. (I’m terribly disorganized!) Looking forward to hearing more of your tips. 🙂

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  12. lynndmorrissey
    Oct 05, 2014 @ 17:31:31

    Ah yes, you must READ your planner! Well, duh. I recall reading a similar statement in Anne Ortlund’s Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman (for your readers: she invented a planner-notebook in the 70s, and it is wonderful…..along with a very godly book of insights). Anyway, she said you can never get off track if you write everything down and read what you write! I visited her 7 years b/f she died, and she was in her 80s. She still practiced what she preached! lately I have nt been reading as I should and have dates memorized in my head. But that’s really dangerous. Moreover, I’m not thinking through my days w/ intentionality for the deeper purposes. Life i s nt just about going to the doctor and church! ……or even dates w/ girlfriends or my Bach rehearsals and concerts. I need to be sure I am seeking God’s face about purpose, mission, vision, and goals and mapping those out in my planner. i’d be KISSING life if I did. Great post, as always, Dawn!
    Lynn

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    • enthusiasticallydawn
      Oct 05, 2014 @ 18:02:06

      I need that book. I think I told you I know I had it at one point…or saw it? BUT, I would like to read it. Will check Amazon.- anything you think is good is good and of value, so I am on it, Lynn! I will be touching on goals, mission, purpose throughout, the series although not in a specific order. Hopefully that will not hinder the impact of the usefulness of the posts!

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  13. lynndmorrissey
    Oct 05, 2014 @ 18:16:18

    No, it wont’ impact in a bad way at all. Go w/ the flow of His Spirit. You’re doing great! And yes, this book is a must-read. Don’t be deceived by what seems like a bit of a fluffy intro………or the simplicity of the book. If you take it to heart, it will change your life. And it helps me to know when an author is genuine. Anne was. She was so dynamic and on fire for God even in her 80s….an d she looked only about 60. Maybe 50! Just amazing.

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  14. lynndmorrissey
    Oct 05, 2014 @ 23:24:49

    Will do!

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  15. bdegeilh
    Oct 06, 2014 @ 08:23:21

    Oh my goodness……I need more of you and your planning in my life. So happy to have found you 🙂

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  16. dawnlizjones
    Sep 20, 2015 @ 15:30:21

    I’m back! Yea! Super idea for a series, and retweeted. Also, love that prayer at the end. One pastor once made the point that we can make more money, but we can never make more time. Need to spend it wisely. Thanks!

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