My Plans for 2024
From the learnings in 2023, I would be doing some tweaks in my planning system. Actually I’ve already begin to try out my plans in December itself to monitor its efficacy…. and so far so good.
There are 2 main components in my planning system- my creative planners and my desktop calendar.
Last year, most of my planning were done using my trusty Pilot 0.7 mechanical pencil. But I’ve got a couple of Pilot Frixon pens in different colours purchased to be used in my planning for 2024.
Note: I would be including sample spreads and pictures/videos soon to explain what I am saying
For 2024, I actually bought 2 thin monthly spreads A5 size creative planners. Both have preprinted creative design monthly spreads on them- one is made in Thailand, and another made in Malaysia.
Planner # 1: FOR PLANNING
One is to be used to do planning…. ie content and task planning. For example, I find planning content ahead for festive season is useful. Planning is what that enabled me complete my free printable Thai Buddhist calendar and Chinese Lunar calendar for 2024….. by end of September 2023 as well as put in a lot of content months ahead of the season in my social media.
Planner #2: FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND TRACKING OF COMPLETED TASKS
I’ve decided to have a second planner that is track implementation, completed tasks and also to record statistics. This is after I find it is quite confusing to write plans and completed tasks in the same monthly spread.
Most of the time people would use a single planner but have the planning and implementation in different spreads. However, I don’t really like flipping through pages. I rather open both the pages in different planners and lay them side by side instead of flipping pages.
a. Scheduled content
I have already prepared some content to be scheduled in social media in January. And since the content is ready, I write down the topic of items in the planner. It is so easy to see the content layout in a single glance at the monthly layout. And as it only contain confirmed content, there would not be any confusion unlike in previous years where both kinds of items are being listed down in the same page.
It makes it easy for me to see at a single glance what days are empty for me to slot in content.
Since I am using Frixion pens, which are erasable, I can erase and move the content around the calendar.
I’ve noticed in 2023, after I write down scheduled content, it motivates me to be more consistent and to continue. Sometimes when I feel uninspired to do anything, new ideas may just arise or motivation may come when I flip through my planner and see the tasks that I’ve done. Most important is to start and usually the momentum would build up by itself.
b. Jotting down important appointments and reminders
Important dates, appointments and holiday seasons are also written down in this planner….I use a pink ink to denote important appointments. It would be easy for me to see at a glance the days I would be busy so that I can do my best to plan content ahead and schedule them for those days.
c. Statistics and milestone tracker
As this planner # 2 is used for confirmed items, I would also use it to track down stats and milestones. I prefer to write it down rather than trying to figure out how to find it in the analytics. I have done it for 2023 – from time to time (not everyday) I would write down some stats such as subscribers, followers, views, etc. It is quite interesting to look back and see the changes.
d. Habit tracker
This is a new feature – to track habits that I would like to reinforce. For example in January, I wanted to ensure I meditate each day for certain period of time and plan to track it down. To track habits, I use the Project Planner which contains a yearly layout spread where I can mark on each day if the habit is done.
Some people would use it to track established habits or tasks. For me, I would only use to track a habit I would like to reinforce. As I caregiver, I have many caregiving tasks to do each day for my mom like bed bath, wound dressing, phlegm suction, feeding, cleaning, physiotherapy, laundry, etc which I do not create any to-do list or tracker because these tasks have already become a habit and a responsibility that I would remember to do each day.
However, I find that I have slacking off in my meditation- hence I plan to track it in January to make sure that I make time for my sitting each day. Like all activities, consistency and repetition would turn it into a habit and once it is something I do automatically, I do not need to track it anymore unless I wish to increase the duration or intensity of the habit. I could then use it to track another new habit that I would like to develop.
I see in videos that many people use the habit tracker to track the usual daily tasks that they need to do each day. It makes the list clunky and overwhelming to check off each day. For me, since many daily tasks are automatic and I am doing like in auto pilot, I find it redundant to list them in a habit tracker or a to-do-list. Like for example, if you are a stay at home mom, if the daily tasks and routines are already done on autopilot, it may not be necessary to tick off each day in a tracker…. unless one is the type who loves to check off list and find it motivating.
I have a few more items that I track separately in their own notebooks. I just find it easier to track them separately.
a. Items purchase list (ie a grocery list)
As my mom is bedridden with tube feeding and a trach tube, there are a whole list of items that I need to purchase each month and disposables like diapers where stocks need to be replenished. I have a friend who goes to town and visit a wholesale pharmacy once a month and she would help me to purchase those items. Before her trip, I would count the stocks of items I have left to determine how much more items I need to purchase and the amount required so that I can arrange for the finances.
I have a separate book just to list these items down.
b. My mom’s blood pressure readings
I track my mom’s blood pressure as her doctor would need to see it during appointments. I use to have a tracker which I customized on my own (available for free download) but now I prefer to just list down on a pocket sized notebook. The reason I list it down separately is because when I need to show the blood pressure readings, I need not take my planner to the hospital along which would show other stuff that confuses the doctor.
How about you? What would be your plans in the coming year? Hopefully this would give you some idea on what you can do. All my planning are done using inexpensive planners that cost less than USD2, but something I use each year as the preprinted designs in pastels inspire me….. the layouts are already creative and colourful so I need not bother about getting stickers or washi tapes to decorate the planner.
We can draw inspiration from others but often, we would need to create our own system and plan or customize from a design/idea that inspires us. As each one of us are unique and no two persons are the same, we need to explore through trial and error what works and apply that, then continue to improvise the method if needed.