So Much Planning…

Back when I was a system administrator, work was simpler. There were the immediate response things, like a flood of spam or a server that needed repair. And there were the projects, which involved new software, or upgrades. The projects were mostly easy to break down into checklists that could be accomplished in an orderly fashion. They were, after all, computers.

Running a business is not like that. Even a small business like mine has multiple projects going at the same time, along with daily production, isolated tasks, equipment repairs, blog posts, marketing, orders to be mailed, and so on. And then there’s the personal life stuff: don’t forget to send a library card for the school trip Wednesday! How about tickets to the theatre on the 30th? We need to plan the February trip! Why have we not bought a subscription to the orchestra?

As my daughter gets older, it all gets more complicated. She has play dates, recitals, karate, and more, which I am (somehow) in charge of.

On top of all that, I like to really plan the holidays ahead of time, especially working out menus and looking back at what worked the year before.

Which one… which one…

Once I realized I couldn’t keep it all in my head anymore, and that notes scattered around wouldn’t help, I reverted to my sysadmin life, and tried various electronic organizers. After all, we always have a phone with us, right? Should work.

Didn’t work. Yes, the online calendar is a staple, but somehow, task lists and online project managers (even one that worked quite well for me in the olden days) were just not doing it.

I’m back to using paper. This is the third year of it! For the past two years, I used a PassionPlanner. I liked the big writing areas, the way it lay flat, the bright color of the cover (makes it easier to find), the motivational sayings every week, the goal setting help and the monthly, bi-yearly, and yearly space for summarizing and reflecting on what worked and what didn’t.

So a lot of things about it worked. But some things didn’t. Lots of space is taken up for the hourly layout. I don’t have a ton of meetings. The to-do space was always too small, and there was no good way, without a hack, to track my projects. So this year, I decided to try a different planner, The Get To Work Book. It’s more project oriented, but still is about goals that can be broken down and checked off. There’s no hourly space that’s gets wasted, and it has lots of extras for tracking multiple projects.

I do miss the weekly motivational sayings, though. I guess I’ll have to find and write in my own!

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