Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How I Plan: Part 3

How I Use the System to Plan My Month

Last time I explained the three components to my system: Month to Month files, lists, and a calendar. Now I’ll explain how I use them to plan my month.

The bulk of my planning happens at the beginning of the month. I try to carry out this plan throughout the month, therefore accomplishing most of my goals. Because I have a General Checklist for each month in my Month to Month system, I know just what I need to do for that month and what my goals are. I try to spread tasks and jobs out throughout the month.

Getting ready

I usually plan my month on a Sunday afternoon during our quiet/nap time. Right now it takes me about an hour. I pull up my To Do list for the month in Evernote on the computer. I have MinimaList open on my tablet, and I have my calendar.

In MinamiList, I make list for each week of the month like this:

January 5-11
5 -
6 -
7 -
8 -
9 -
10 -
11 -

I also make a To Do list, and a list for gifts.

Now I'm ready to plan!

The Planning

1. Review the month. In this step, I review scheduled appointments, things going on with my husband, birthdays, feast days and church services, etc. I add all these events to my week lists in MinimaList. So it might look something like this:

January 5-11
5 - pitch-in @ church
6 - Theophany
7 - Peter
8 - go to Robin's
9 -
10 - Move!
11 - Will has camp

2. Plan from the General Checklist. My General Checklist for the month (kept in Evernote) is broken into three parts: Seasonal, Monthly, and 2014. Seasonal tasks are those that need to be done specifically that month or season. Monthly tasks are things I like to do each month such as write to the kids, plan birthday gifts, and organize photos. The 2014 (or current year) list has projects I hope to do that month.

Here's part of the January List, for example.

Set home goals for the year.
Review Month by Month system, adjust any lists, and delete any files that are no longer relevant. Look through paper files as well. 
Take care of gift returns.

Update family blog.
Write Mia. 
Write Michael. 

Organize food binder, make stock lists, shopping lists, etc.
Start card making
Start a family art time

I simply start at the top of the list, and put a task either on a specific day (for example, I like to write to the kids on the day of their birth so Mia is always the 18th) or at the bottom of the week I'd like to do that task. I assign them one by one into my MinimaList lists until I get to the bottom. Some of them I can do right then. Some just get put in the To Do list if I don't know where to put them.

And I'm done!

Next time I’ll walk you through how I put this plan into action to get things done!

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