We are now moving to the end of the year. For 2024, I would be using yet another creative planner – this one is made in Malaysia and cost RM7.90 (less than USD2) as well as a Thai desktop calendar. Below is a YouTube shorts I have made on the snapshot of the pages:
I have been using planners with creative designs for a number of years. These A5 size inexpensive planners with creative pastel designs help to spark my creativity and motivation to plan:
Before we go into 2024, let’s recap how I used my 2023 planner and calendar
How did I use my 2023 planner and how it has helped me to stay productive:
I did make a short video last year showing the page layouts of my planner and calendar for 2023:
For planning, I use the USD1 planner and calendar. However, I also have additional planning items as follows:
Additional planning items I use:
I also have another physical notebook where it contains more detailed content planning. Basically I bought a notebook from Tesco Lotus and reuse the cover of my favourite planner. I customized the planning into monthly where I break down the content I wish to publish for my blogs, Pinterest and YouTube (I would try to include screenshots for better understanding).
Aside from that, I use an ongoing blog progress journal which I’ve kept for a few years. I use it to mainly to document the process and procedures used when it comes to making updates and changes to my blog so that I can reference it later for future maintenance. For example, I’ve changed the theme across all my blogs and each time it is done, there are many many steps to remember. I list down all of this to ensure I do not forget because I would need to repeat the process for the multiple blogs that I have. I also use the book to record down plugins and if I change decisions or direction of my blogs.
The Impact that Writing Down and Planning did to my accounts:
1. It helped grow my Pinterest account
Starting from 2022, I’ve decided to pin more frequently in my Pinterest account. During the beginning of the year, I was posting twice a day but eventually reduced to once a day. After I designed and uploaded my pins, I would write down the brief title of the scheduled pins.
It was easy to look back and see roughly what are the pins that I’ve posted in my account. However, I only did this till June of this year because I find myself constantly moving and rescheduling the pins. Eventually as Pinterest allow to schedule pins up to a month in advance, I would upload the pins and then review them directly in the scheduler in the Pinterest app itself.
However looking back, it would be good to list down the pins after I scheduled the pins, which I would probably start to do again next year.
From time to time, I also jot down some stats in my Pinterest account as it enable me to look back and see how my account had grown. For example on 28 January 2023, I had 301 followers on my Pinterest account as per what I have written down in my planner. By 19 December 2023, I’ve had 484 followers with over 200k monthly impressions.
2. Getting content ready ahead of the season instead of last minute
Most of the time in the past, I am only able to get seasonal content up when it is very close or during the festival itself. However in this year, I was able to plan and publish content about a month or two ahead of each season ….because for social media platform, especially Pinterest, we need to post seasonable content early as users would use Pinterest for planning and that usually happens months ahead. I was able to make a couple of videos and shorts related to season early because I was able to see in my planner the importance of planning ahead.
This year, I am able to complete my free printable Thai Buddhist calendar and Chinese Lunar calendar for 2024….. by end of September 2023. In past years, the calendars were only ready by end November or December….and last year, due to being too late, I did not even publish a Chinese lunar calendar.
3. YouTube videos and shorts
When I post a video be it long form or Shorts in my YouTube account, I would write down on my planner. From time to time, I also jot down the number of subscribers I have. Again on 28 January 2023, I’ve had 206 subscribers in my YouTube channel. By 19 December 2023, it has grown to 340 subscribers. Which is something I am still happy about considering that I would only upload whatever topics I wish to do without sticking to any niche or theme. With such diverse topics I cover in my channel, it is nice to have viewers that are willing to subscribe to my channel.
In year 2023, I’ve also posted more videos in my account than I’ve done in all previous years, that my total videos are able to exceed a hundred videos because writing down and planning the videos in my planner motivated me to make them.
4. Jotting down important reminders and appointments
I also use the planner to jot down important reminders (such as bill paying days and my mom’s doctor appointments). It is useful to use for planning because if there are important tasks to do ahead, I would know I did not have time to do content and would plan the content in advance.
Important reminders and appointments are also listed down in my desktop calendar because the calendar is always in my room and it is easy to see at a glance on important dates and appointments.
Planning and content posting consistency
Yes, from time to time, I do fall off in my content publishing consistency. In 2023, while I have been relatively consistent in my Pinterest posting, and periodically publish new videos, I have not been able to write or post much in my blogs.
My main priority is to look after my mom as I am her sole caregiver. At times when she become unwell, I would drop everything to focus on her. In year 2023, my mom have been hospitalized three times, along with many visits to hospital. In end of October 2023, she was admitted to ICU where she was placed on a ventilator and eventually had a tracheostomy done. At first in ER, the doctor thought she was not going to make it but we requested to move my mom to ICU. She was hospitalized for about 3 weeks and now she has to be on oxygen 24/7. During that time, of course I had a lot of anxiety over her recovery and at the same time needed to make sure the oxygen always there, administed via her trach tube, and I needed to learn to do wound dressing daily and phlegm suction directly from the trach tube. During the duration, I dropped everything and focus my entire attention on her.
Therefore, from time to time yes I would fall off my content publishing consistency to focus on my mom when she becomes unwell. She has now stabilized and I got back to publishing after I got comfortable with the new tracheostomy care routine (note: I have another blog where I share my experience as a caregiver).
From the learnings in my planning journey for 2023, I have revised a new way of planning in 2024. Originally it is in this article but I’ve decided to write another new dedicated blog post for this. Here is the link of the article……it is still work in progress.
Meanwhile, happy planning!