- Posted by Alaia Williams
- On December 10, 2017
As a business owner, staying on top of my day-to-day schedule is essential. If something isn’t on my calendar, chances are, it won’t get done. Though technology fills my days and I live by my Google Calendar, my planner is by far the best tool for my overall planning – both long and short term. My planner goes with me almost everywhere and is the tool I fall back on when I’m feeling frazzled and need to refocus.
If you’re wondering why you should pick up a paper planner in an increasingly paperless world, here are a few great reasons why:
1 – Using a planner helps you stay organized.
This is of course the most obvious benefit of any planner – digital or paper. But what’s important to remember is this – a planner can’t make you organized. It’s just a tool. You have to actually use it and make it part of your daily routine. Having your appointments, goals and other important information goes along way in helping you focus and stay on track. The fewer places you have to look to get the information you need, the better. If you’ve never had a planner, or if its been a while since you actually used one consistently, I know the idea of making time to use it every day can sound overwhelming, or like a chore. But I truly believe that if you give it a shot, you’ll find that the level of organization if gives you will make you feel less stressed and anxious. When you feel better, you do better – at work and at play.
2 – Using a planner helps you make intentional choices.
Seeing your commitments logged in one place is a pretty powerful thing. When you can, at a glance, see what you’ve decided to give your energy to – when you really see it, not just think about it – you get a better understanding of what your priorities are. Seeing everything laid out also lets you what to say no to – what to cut off your list and to want to turn down altogether. It allows you to be a little more objective. Its not just about feeling busy – you can actually look at your goals and plans laid out and make better decisions about what you (and want) to take on. I have tons of ideas floating in my head at any given time. But when I look down at my planner I’m able to say “that’s not in the cards this quarter,” or “if I push back this product launch, I can take on this project instead.”
Your plans give you insight into how you spend your time – where you’re spending too much, not enough, and where you’re getting things just right. And that is powerful.
3 – Using a (paper) planner means less screen time and fewer tech distractions.
I love my tech, don’t get me wrong. And most of the essential systems I use in my business involve technology. But my planning time is about spending a few focused moments away from glowing screens and buzzy notifications. When I’m popping things into my Google Calendar, its really easy to glance at my email, or take a call or pop up a new tab. When I’m using my planner, my eyes – and my energy – are focused entire on the page and what I want to create in my life.
4 – Using a planner is a great way to track goals, growth and great memories.
When I was a kid, I kept diaries now and then. I started blogging when I was 16 (anyone else remember LiveJournal?) – and never stopped. I loved getting planners each year in high school (do schools still do that? I hope so!). I’ve written poems and short stories. I’ve written articles and interviews. I love to write. I also love to remember special things. And it is really important for me to focus on the good. I can’t tell you how easy it is for me to harp on the one bad thing that happened today – the one mean thing that was said, the deal that I lost, the deadline I missed. When I do that, I’m pushing out all the amazing things I’ve done and things I’ve achieved. Being able to flip through my planner and track my growth to see that I grew my mailing list by 75% this year or I have 10 speaking engagements or signed 5 fantastic new clients this month or that I made an amazing new friend because of an event I went to – that’s really important and those things should be remembered and celebrated. In addition to my planner, I keep a gratitude jar too. Just for good measure 😊
5 – Using a planner allows you to express your creativity (if you want to!)
Let’s face it. Planning is trendy now. Planning and planners are as old as time, but in the last five years or so there has been a HUGE surge in people’s interests in planners. Undoubtedly this is driven by the creation of so many eye popping calendars – and the advent of planner accessories. Yes, planner accessories. People around the globe now obsess about which stickers, clips, charms, pens and washi tape designs they’ll use with their planners. My style and aesthetic is much more clean and simplified, but I can’t deny that this trend has given people a new way to express their creative flair and (hopefully!) spend more time thinking about their dreams, goals and plans.
Whether you want a planner to track your business goals and growth, your family schedule and responsibilities – or both! – there’s truly something for everyone now. Every size, style, color – you can probably find it. I can’t help you much in the meal plan and school carpool department, but here’s my list of best planners for small business owners. Happy Planning!