Being a blogger and an entrepreneur, I appreciate how important goal setting, planning, and creativity is.
We all realize that entrepreneurs have hectic schedules, but the lives of a professional blogger can be pretty intense, too. Particularly when you’re blogging as a business, and not just a hobby. Focus is essential, and just getting things done can be difficult if you don’t make lists that you can check, item by item. And, let’s be honest, if you do not place important to-do items on actual lists, chances are that you’ll forget about them.
Which could get you in trouble.
These days there are many digital tools available. Even so, there seems to be a trend towards using paper-based planners. Not just for the nostalgia but as an efficient tool for improved planning, goal setting, general life-organization, and creativity.
I loved reading this article - "4 Ways Pen and Paper Can Boost Your Work-Life Balance." The author says that "Writing makes you more committed." and "Jotting things down makes you happier." Who wouldn't want to be more committed and happier?
There are many benefits to using pen and paper as a creative tool, in addition to the apps and tools that you rely on for other things. Taking notes on paper focuses your thoughts in a way that your smart phone or computer just doesn't.
And I think you just get better results when you write things down.
So I use notebooks a lot, not just for remembering ideas that I have, but also for developing those ideas. One idea will lead to another one, and this active brainstorming keeps on going for a while. Being an entrepreneur, it’s vital to come up with that one idea that will set you apart. That one idea that you will bet the next few years of your life, and 150% of your energy, on. And these ideas do not always come suddenly, so you need to work them out one by one.
Have you ever heard the expression about “being one thought away from a good idea?” Well, it’s true. Sometimes, that sensational idea you have needs to be taken just a little further to become truly brilliant.
Success in business is the same thing. It is all based on great creative processes.
Well, notebooks and planners help!
I love planning and feel that a project is halfway there if it has been planned and laid out properly. Paper-based notebooks and planners are essential for this, too, even though there are digital alternatives. If you have something you want to get done, sitting down with a piece of paper, and writing out your goals may help you reach them faster. And what better project to plan, than your own, fabulous life?
Want a tip? Add a few old fashioned paper-notebooks, agendas, and planners to your list of essential tools, and start using them for creative and organizational purposes. Often it is easier to reach for a notebook or planner than to switch on a tablet or a laptop.
There are notebooks in all categories, sizes, and shapes. I have a project planner that I keep at home, but also a daily planner that I carry with me. There are so many interesting, concept-driven planners that I must admit, it's tempting to buy more than one just to try them out or to switch from one type to another each year.
Here are seven fantastic planners for improving your blogging, and life.
Passion Planner is a system for writing down dreams and goals, and to help you succeed in realizing them. A well thought-out concept that consists of many parts, but also a full yearly calendar with the week on two pages. The great thing is that the focus is always on how you can implement steps that will help you reach your goals. It also delivers a weekly inspirational quote and a matching challenge. Very inspirational!
Dailygreatness Business Planner is a visually stunning planner that is focused on business. But highly inspirational, and very comprehensive. It wants to help you in “forming excellent thinking habits while taking action on your most important priorities.” There are weekly check-ins, challenges, inspirations, and week-to-a-view pages. And the planner has weekly, and quarterly goal planners, plus some cool features like the social media content planner, and the expansion strategy worksheet. Original content, well worth checking out. And a great detail is that the planner is undated, so you can start whenever you want!
The Get to Work Book is a handy planner, with a nice, chipboard cover that has the practical feature of all the months of the year, clearly and practically displayed with laminated tabs, which is great for planning out the year, and going back and forth while doing it. The design is creative, yet discreet, and the planner offers many helpful features like project breakdown pages, reflect and goal-set pages, and 12 motivational quotes that you can detach from the planner. And there’s plenty of blank space for notes and brainstorming. A very practical and handy, no nonsense planner.
“It's not a notebook... it's a lifestyle and mindset tool,” states the Savor site, that sells the Daily Action Planner. And this planner is, truly, different. It’s fronted by its creator, former concert pianist Angela Jia Kim, a dynamic woman who’s living what she calls a “gorgeous chaos.” This is a personal project, with a very interesting approach of how to unite creative “chaos” with some degree of order! A comprehensive planner that many people love. And note that this is truly a monthly planner, meaning that each book is for 30-days, although you can also get a 90-day version. This may sound like an incentive for people to buy more than needed, but if you think about it, having a whole book for each month is a wonderful idea, and you could immerse yourself in many, monthly details.
"The Day Designer is a very elegant, yet simple, system to organize your life. The creator of the book researched the concept of organization and personal empowerment thoroughly, and the result is an inspirational, beautiful and elegant planner with all the essential tools. It comes in a variety of designs.
This is the planner I'm currently using. I love the vertical layout, the "top 3" for each day and the extra space space for your "to do" list. I actually use this space to jot down things that I think of throughout the day so that I can stay focused on whatever I am currently doing and come back to the list at a later time.
The Desire Map Planner comes in weekly and daily editions. And the latter is a lush, chunky, spiral bound planner for “the highly scheduled, detailed thinkers, and awesome A types who love keeping track of all the big and little things.” The design of the inside of the planner itself is very clean and bright, quite appealing. And the planner has plenty of goal setting pages, to-do lists, and an original focus on “my feelings,” and more spiritual concepts like “soul prompt” and “my core desired feelings.”
Sometimes, the simplest things can be the most appealing. Moleskine is a fantastic brand of European notebooks, with great quality paper, and a classic, and classy, leather binding. They have notebooks upon notebooks, but I want this 2017 Daily Planner. It consists of 12 smaller, colorful notebooks – one for each month (same concept as with the Daily Action Planner.) And these monthly planners fit into a leather bound, hardcover casing. I love it already!
Paper vs. Digital
If you're still not sure whether a paper planner is for you, you can take a quiz here to help you decide. 🙂
And if just you're not sure that there is a perfect planner for you, you could always consider bullet journaling. You can read more about it here.
The most popular notebooks for bullet journaling are Leuchtturm and Moleskin, like these.
Did you find the perfect planner for you?
With these examples, you should be able to find a planner you like. I encourage you to pick one up for 2017, as a planner can be a great productivity tool for your business. There are so many planners and goal-setting tools out there, and I would love to hear any tips that you might have. What other planners should be on this list?
Also, what is your number one tip for planning, goal setting or creativity? Leave me a comment. I'd love to know. 🙂
Have burning questions? Future blog posts you'd like to see? Just want to chat? I'd love to connect with you in the comments or in my private Facebook group.