For our friends who have purchased the Kindred Planner, or are waiting for your annual version to come in, we are so grateful for you! May it help you prioritize, create new habits, be intentional, stay connected, be still and be reflective.
But maybe you’re sitting there thinking “that’s nice and it’s pretty, but the process of moving all my crazy life into a level of organization which creates what you’re describing, isn’t so simple.”
We resonate with this. Just because we have the best tools of something, doesn’t mean we know how to utilize them in a way that creates the desired end result. Similarly, just because we have a planner, regardless if it’s the Kindred Planner or another one (we’re not offended), doesn’t mean we will be organized.
So here we go sharing some of our top organizing tips:
Start with the big picture. When we first get a planner, it can be easy to fill in all the little details right away. But fight the temptation and take a moment to look at the year as a whole. Think about what the defining moments for the upcoming year are. Think about the goals we have. The goals will help dictate what we need to do in the year to reach those goals – ie what habits we need to work on, what books we want to make room for, how much time or money will need to be set aside weekly for those goals, etc. Write these goals down.
It’s helpful to take a birds eye view first so we have a little direction before diving into the details. If we dive into the details too quickly, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and confused as to why we are doing all the little things. It can also feel like we have to do everything. But if we know what our goals are and what the big picture is, it becomes easier to decide what can be cut from a too-full schedule and/or be okay with this one day being extra full because of the bigger picture. Make sense?
This is why the Kindred Planner has built in spaces at the start of the planner for annual goal setting. It’ll help us start off on the right foot and be a visual reminder throughout the year of what we are working towards.
Look at the month. At the beginning of each month, we again take a full perspective looking at the big events, celebrations, goals, habits (trackers) and people we want to be mindful of this month. Writing down (on the actual calendar and/or in the “Events” section) all the big things we know that are coming – a wedding on this day, a vacation, etc. – helps ground us in what is coming and helps our brain mentally calculate where there’s free space and where there isn’t.
We write the things we are celebrating so we are reminded to create space for that and to practice being proactive in celebrating. We again write down any habits we are tracking or goals specific for that month, including goals which will help us reach the annual goals. For example, if an annual goal is to learn how to knit, then maybe the monthly goal will be to complete a knitting project.
The “be with” section is our favorite part of the Kindred Planner because it prompts us to consider the people we care about and want to spend time with. It helps us think of them not just as someone to put on my schedule, but as someone we just want to enjoy time with. It helps shift focus from “do” to “be.”
Our second favorite section is the “next month” arrow. We fill this out throughout the entire month and we have found this arrow to be super helpful in mentally preparing ourselves for the next month and preventing being blindsided by deadlines, trips we need to prep for, etc. when the month begins. Because sometimes being blindsided happens and it’s not great.
Writing all these thoughts down at the beginning of the month helps us see how full our month is, prepare better for what is to come (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.), and give perspective for what each week will contain.
You guessed it… Look at the week. And I’m sure you can guess why too! Looking ahead at the coming week helps us be a bit more organized before the week begins. We’re less likely to forget things, overload one day with tasks, and to be completely exhausted by the end of the week.
We write in the out-of-the-norm events (i.e. dinner with a friend, a show, etc.) and also write down our priorities to “focus” on. Just like with our goals, it’ll help us see how much free space is needed for those priorities and what days it’ll make sense to work on them. These priorities might be cleaning the house, finishing a house project, working through a particular part of your side hustle, etc.
Our meals we also like to write down at the beginning of the week (while we stare at our fridge), understanding there’s room for change. We usually write out the week’s dinner and breakfasts first because those meals can often dictate lunch (i.e. will there be leftovers from dinner? Will I be having brunch and not needing lunch?).
Finally, we’ll fill in the week with the smaller tasks, going to the post office, grocery shopping, calling the insurance company (currently pertaining to our life), etc. Putting the tasks in wherever we feel it makes sense to place them amidst the other things we’ve written down.
Take time to reflect. This may not seem like the most obvious or practical organization tip, but we find it’s important.
The “be still” and “check in” sections of the Kindred Planner help us slow down throughout the week, month and year. The sections help us pause and reflect on how we are doing, how we feel the year is going and how we may need to make adjustments in our habits, schedule, goals, etc. It ultimately is a practice in organization because being reflective allows us to be more mindful during our weeks, months and year, rather than plowing ahead mindlessly and hoping for the best at the end. We’re not the best swimmers, but we imagine it’s like going for a long swim and taking breaths as you go, rather than holding your breath through the whole swim. You’ll still complete the same distance, but at the end of one, you’ll feel better paced, more aware, and more relaxed. Instead of feeling out of breath, exhausted, and like you just came out of a tornado and you don’t know what happened.
So there they are! Our hope is these tips will come in handy for you and you will be able to find greater organization in the year ahead. For more details of the Kindred Planner, please reference the insert that came with the Kindred Planner.
Drop any other questions, comments, ideas, or stories, in the comments section below! We love to hear how you stay organized, what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and what you’re hoping to try! 🙂
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