(Trying To) Conquer the Busy

I’m a bit of a planner nut—but I’m a planner nut who’s currently without a planner right now. And boy, do I ever need one!

I had one that was sort of working for me, a mashup of the Passion Planner (I used the free downloads) and some other bits and pieces of printables I found in various places online.

But then the summer happened. As many of you know, it’s been quite the summer for me. Big changes, endings, and new beginnings.

It’s been a lot to take in. And I’ve been doing it without the aid of a planner.

(Thank you, Google Calendar, for at least keeping me steady on my feet when it comes to deadlines!)

I’m moving at the end of the month, I’m trying to make full use of my coworking space, my son turns 12 this year so the homeschooling has to be turned up a notch, there’s work of course (plus I’ve expanded from indexing into editing), I’m starting to cook again, and then there are also all the things that have to be taken care of when a marriage breaks down, even if you are going to try and live under the same roof so you can co-parent.

It all adds up to a lot of busy. An awful lot of busy.

Despite all the busyness, I’ve come to this realization: I really have to sit down and set aside some time to put together a system that will work for all the things I have on the go right now. Because honestly, I have days where I feel like I’m drowning in “stuff I have to do/what have I forgotten to do/OMG how could I have forgotten THAT?”

It’s been all shapes of crazy, that’s for sure. So much so, last week when I was at the dollar store picking up index cards (hello, NaNoWriMo, here I come!) I also picked up a chunky little to-do list book.

Because it was braindump to-do list time. I tend to do these only when I get overly overwhelmed (which is a bit more intensity than just plain overwhelmed). And it was so nice getting all that stuff out of my head onto paper. I even felt lighter.

Now at least I’m not as worried about forgetting things. But I do need to transfer things over from the braindump to-do list onto regular planning/agenda pages.

Any suggestions out there? What are you using and loving? I need something that will accommodate my daily to-dos as well as keep me on track and motivated to work on all the projects I have. If it gives me space to track how I’m spending my time, even better. And a week at a glance for the Sundays would be awesome.

9 thoughts on “(Trying To) Conquer the Busy

  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh

    You’ve had a lot rock your world, which is another reason you’re off.
    I use my iPad for planning. I tell Siri to remind me of things and I use the calendar to stay on top of events.

  2. jenn aka the picky girl

    I’m currently making new inserts for my Filo, which I still love passionately. I keep a semester-long to-do list, but I use Week on 2 pages and have daily and weekly to-do lists on each spread. Works for me, and I love it.

  3. Bernadette

    I’ve only just caught up on your news (due not hanging out online much these past couple of months) – so sorry to hear your marriage hasn’t worked out – alas there’s not much that a random stranger on the internet can say to make things better except to let you know that things do get better – I really hope your approach to the split as far as looking after your son works out for all of you – it sounds like a great setup for Dylan if the two of you can make it work so best of luck with that.

    As for planners…I’ve tried so many…they all work for a while. As far as physical ones go my favourite is the Erin Condren Life Planners – they are stupidly expensive but beautiful and functional too. To be honest I might still be using them but for the cost – at the beginning of last year I really got stuck into my financial goals and decided I couldn’t justify spending nearly $100 on a bloody planner (shipping things here from the US gets more expensive as our dollar loses value). I’ve been using Trello since then and so far it has stuck – but it’s digital so not what you are looking for (it’s a kanban style task management so you can focus on just what you need to do right now but not lose track of all the millions of other things that need to be done eventually) – maybe there’s a physical version of a kanban planner out there somewhere?

    1. Care

      Also, I’m committing to NaNoWriMo, too. I feel like an infant learning to crawl but hoping I have fun with it. Not expecting a coherent plot story finished product but will just see what the “pen” writes down. I’m IdeaJump there if you want to be buddies.

      1. Belle Wong Post author

        Yay! I’m not sure if I will be able to do it this year now – just too hectic. But good for you! Have fun with it!


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