How I Use My Planner

What’s up, Arrowheads! Here’s hoping this week’s post won’t be quite as dismal as last week’s. 😛

This week’s post is one that I’ve planned to do forever ago, and just never sat down to write. But, that’s changing today, my friends.

I’ve talked about my planners a few times here on Authoring Arrowheads, but I don’t think I’ve ever gone into full detail on how I use them. So, let’s dive right in!

My Preferred Planner Type

If you’re new here, or haven’t seen this post where I reviewed past planners I’ve used, I just want to restate that my go-to planner right now is the weekly/monthly style of Bloom Daily Planners. These planners allow me to write down daily tasks on a two-page weekly spread, and view a monthly overview.

How I Use Monthly Spreads

I’m a bit of a minimalist when it comes to writing information down on monthly spreads. For the most part, I just write down which blog posts I plan to write for the month, and, unless it’s a month that includes a book release or eBook sale, posts always fall on each Wednesday. That leaves the majority of the calendar blank. So, to fill in those gaps, on the first day of each new month, I decorate the monthly spread with stickers (I prefer the Zicoto brand from Amazon), and write little motivational quotes with colorful fineliner pens. 🙂

There is a vertical Notes section on the right side of the right page of the monthly spreads, and there, I just write down a checkbox list of dates for each blog post (ex: [] 1st) and then check those off when I have drafted and scheduled each post. Below that section, I have an area where I write down my TBR (to be read) list for the month. I don’t really preplan my TBR here; I just jot down a checkbox list as I go, and just use it as a log to see how many books I’ve read each month. If I don’t finish a book in the previous month, it’s checkbox goes at the top of the next month’s TBR list.

How I Use Weekly Spreads

One thing I’ve under-utilized, as of late, on the Bloom Daily Planner weekly spreads is the Weekly Priorities section on the upper portion of the left page of the weekly spread. Here, I could write down my top three Weekly Priorities. Lately, since I’ve had a lot of stress, I’ve tried to only have one or two Weekly Priorities. But, since I’m hoping to release The Fall (The Ballad of Emery Brooks, #2) later this year, hopefully that will change as the year progresses so I can add some book launch tasks.

In the Bloomy Daily Planners, there is a bit of white space between where the Weekly Priorities section ends, and where the Monday section starts. Each week, as I’m decorating the weekly spread with stickers, I write a Bible verse using fineliners in the white space. I try to find a new Bible verse each week so I don’t have any repeating throughout the year.

Now for the nitty-gritty: the daily sections! For the most part, Bloom’s daily sections are all the same size, including Saturday and Sunday (the weekend sections are often smaller in some planners). The sections are comprised of lines, similar to a notebook, where you can write in your tasks. I prefer to draw checkboxes beside each task in mine, because I enjoy checking off tasks as I complete them.

One thing I implemented last year while I was wedding planning was a system where I can essentially have two lists within each daily section. On the left side of the section, I write down tasks I would like to do (either for fun, for my personal wellbeing, or for author duties), and on the right side of the section, I write down a separate list for adulthood or house duties, such as doing laundry, paying car insurance, etc. During the wedding planning season, that list fell into the “adulthood” list, just FYI. XD

Extra Notes Pages

While the Bloom Daily Planners don’t have as many extra Notes pages as I would like, I try to use the two in this planner wisely. On the first one, I make a list of all the books I’ve read within the year, writing each down in a series of different colors. On the second page, since my husband and I love cooking together and trying new recipes, I make a list of all the new recipes we try. So, essentially, these two pages just act as yearly logs of sorts, full of memories to look back on, since I’m a planner hoarder and keep all my old planners. 🙂

Checkbox Pages

Making up for the lack of Notes pages, the Bloom Daily Planners have (four, I think?) pages with checkboxes on each line. For these pages, I like to write down project ideas for both my author career, and for home projects. I’ll admit, so far this year, neither of these lists are getting as much love as I hoped, but maybe that will change soon. 🙂

Talk to Me, Arrowheads!

What type of planner do you prefer using, and how do you use your planner? Let me know in the comments!

Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.

-Allyson 😀

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As an author and blogger, my goal is to teach writers that there is a way to write realistic, thought-provoking, redemptive Christian fiction that honors God while not sugarcoating the realities of the world. 

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