Welcome back for Part 2 of my 2017 Planners blogpost series. Last week I shared my blog (content) planner setup—read more about it here. This week I’ll be sharing my dedicated work bullet journal as well as a functional plan with me. And, yes, solely using a bullet journal is VERY out of planner-character for this ring-bound gal! There’s a very interesting story behind this 360 degree turn but I’ve gotta say, it’s worked out very well!
So it all started one rainy, November day in 2016 when I was trying to print my lovely letter-size, weekly vertical pages that were custom designed for me by a dear plannernerd friend. I looked over at the printer and what did I see? OH NO. A printer error! And not just any printer error but a ‘it will cost more to fix it than the printer is worth’ kind of error. Ugh. 🙁 So I did what any plannernerd would do. After I stopped freaking out, I grabbed the nearest blank notebook in my stash and frantically started drawing calendar layouts by hand. Thank goodness for my bullet journal experiment this summer!—read more about it here, here, here, and here. For a bullet journal hack and my ultimate bullet journal revelation, read more about it here and here.
All that said, my previous experience served me well because not only was I able to quickly put together an effective planner setup for work but I was also able to develop layouts custom tailored to my job and the projects I work on. So let’s start at the beginning.
Work Planner Book & Supplies
(*Note: Included below are some affiliate links. These links will help you find items I’ve purchased, use, and love!)
My biggest concern for work is always that I need to have enough blank pages to capture meeting notes—I’m a notorious note-taker. To make sure of that, I chose a Miquel Rius softbound, graph paper, bound book which has 600 pages! In addition, I included the following supplies to support my planning system:
- Post-its in various sizes – to capture temporary notes, bits of reference information, or overflow
- Stick-on tabs – to mark key pages as well as the current month, week, and daily pages
- Highlighters – in 5 colors to support my color coding system
- Pens – a plain Bic ballpoint pen; since I take a lot of notes, I go thru these quickly so I needed something cheap but effective that I could buy in bulk; I also carry a red ballpoint pen to jot down important information
- Mechanical Pencil – to ‘pencil in’ temporary meetings and project milestones
- Bulldog clips – to hold pages down and keep my pen loop bungee in place (the pen loop bungee keeps my cover from flipping open—it has an expandable field notes size flap)
- Ribbons – I added 4 ribbon bookmarks (it’s actually 2 long ribbons in 2 different colors wrapped around the notebook bands) to mark key pages; 2 yellow ribbons (one for yearly overview and the next blank page) and 2 orange ribbons (to mark where I left off on my ‘meeting notes’ for 2 separate projects)
Walk-thru & Functional Plan With Me
While I can write a lengthy paragraph or upload tons of pictures demonstrating a virtual walk-thru, I thought this could be better achieved with a video. In addition, I don’t see very many functional plan with me’s on YouTube, just a lot of ‘pretty’ plan with me’s—not that there’s anything wrong with that!—so for those of you that are looking for a simple but effective plan with me showing project management tips and hacks, this video is for you!
While the idea of setting up a bullet journal for work seemed crazy to me at first, it’s actually turned out to be extremely effective! I feel more organized and productive so I’m getting more done every day. For those who are familiar with my blog, I’ve always said that my proven work planner setup is an A5 or larger planner size (I need room for notes!), with a weekly vertical layout, condensed weekends (I don’t need them so they get re-purposed for weekly project updates), a timed section that runs from 8am to 5:30pm on top with a checklist on the bottom for each weekday, and a separate weekly tasks/notes column. This is the setup I’ve used for years and have never deviated from it until now. It just goes to show that an old plannernerd shouldn’t be afraid to try something new because they just might find a better way of planning! 😉
What about you? What is your work planner setup? What are your favorite tips, tricks, and hacks to get more done each day? Do you use a traditional planner or the bullet journal system? Please share in the comments below—I’d love to know!—and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.
Until next time, 🙂
♥ LilD ♥