How I use my daily planner with its timing sheet (6am-10pm)
Updated: Mar 27, 2021
I was asked recently how I use my daily planner, specifically the daily timing planner.
On the planning retreat, I mentioned that I personally use Carrie Green's daily planner.
For each day of the year (aside from weekends), this planner has a small part for planning your time of the day, and a white box that's blank, as well as a space at the top for three key goals of the day.
I’ll discuss here how I use the three different areas of the daily planning page:
1. How I use the timing sheet from 6am-10pm
Like me, you might find that it's too stressful to use the timing in detail... so don't. :)
I use the timing sheet on the left only as a bird's eye view for any meetings that I have scheduled with other people, or errands are activities that I know are going to take a very fixed amount of time during the day.
I do not put things in like ‘sleep’ or ‘cook’ or any other kind of activities, I only put in the fixed meetings for the day.
2. What I write in the space for the top three goals of the day
I don’t usually put minor tasks in these three slots - I put a major task that usually has sub-tasks connected to it. Something that will take an hour or more.
Once I have these three key things that need doing for the day,
I will look at what fixed meetings or tasks I have for the day, and then I will also schedule these tasks into the day so that I can see a good spot for when I can tackle it.
If I see the day has no spot for me to complete them, I’ll automatically reshuffle them to another day and write them on a future day in so I don’t forget. Those are the only non-meeting things that I schedule into the timing sheet.
3. How I use the empty white box on the right
I use this box for any minor errands, or things I need to remember like paying a bill or getting back to somebody. Or even for minor sub tasks related to the big goals at the top of the page.
I often write a Chinese character that makes the shape of a box: 口. And I make mini check-lists with it.
What I like about the daily planner page
The things that I like about this planner, are the paper quality, the binder quality, the quotes at the bottom, and that there is a whole page for a day.
What I don’t like about the planner
I don’t like that Friday and Saturday are not weekends (not their fault - it’s designed for the UK / US calendar, not the Middle East). But the Middle East weekend doesn't have separate days for the weekend. It's difficult to use on Sunday, which is the first day of the week here.
Also, I don't really like the format of the weekly and quarterly reviews, I feel there might be some different questions that could make them more impactful.
The daily quotes are wonderful, I just wish they were on every page, and I also wish there were more quotes from Rumi and other spiritual teachings as well. That would be amazing.
Overall that's how I use the daily planner. I used to have a to do list on Nozbe, a productivity app I used for many years, but I am pretty much in this hybrid/digital/paper format now.
I like to keep this planner open next to my laptop while I work.
I also like to keep a running to do list on this planner, rather than digitally. Somehow I’m more productive this way, and since it’s tiring to write down every detail, I get things done better by simplifying what I need to do in the first place.
If I don't manage to do something on one of the days, I put a little arrow on them and I carry them over to the next day.
And that's how I use planner.