Spending Time With My Planner: Weekly Reviews | Giftie Etcetera: Spending Time With My Planner: Weekly Reviews

Friday, September 27, 2013

Spending Time With My Planner: Weekly Reviews

A reader requested that I post a blog about how I do regular weekly reviews and updating of my planner. I love my readers {waves}, so I am obliging.

Once a week, usually on Friday, but if not, on Sunday night or Monday morning, I sit with a hot beverage and my planner for my weekly review. I have my office supplies (kept in a tote bag so that I can do this anywhere), my hot beverage (cafe au lait, cocoa, or mocha), and my laptop at the ready.

My weekly review involves several steps:

1. process my mobile folder and file whatever needs filing. My mobile folder is a simple plastic envelope. Throughout the week, if I deal with something in my planner that needs to be filed at home, or if it is important or thick paperwork that cannot fit in my planner, it goes in this envelope with a post-it telling me what to do with it during my weekly review. If the review takes places outside of my home, I put the task of emptying my mobile folder on my weekly task list.

2. Next, 
I go through my planner in the order in which it is organized, starting by going through the paperwork in the front pocket of my planner to process it. Things that are completed get thrown out. Things that are still pending get put back in the pocket. I deal with other things that have come in during the week. (Examples include coupons to file in my coupon binder, points to enter on the Kellogg's Family Rewards website, and some receipts to mail to someone for reimbursement. None of these were very important or worthy of a calendar or task entry, so they just get tucked into the planner throughout the week.)

3. During my weekly review, I go through any notes on my Capture Page and deal with them. The capture page is the first page of my planner. It acts as a brain dump when that is all that I have time to write down. Today, the only notes were calorie counts that had to be entered on-line.

4. After dealing with the Capture Page, I review my Projects and add any active tasks to my weekly or monthly task lists.

5. I peek at my Master Task List to see if there is anything that can be tackled this month or this week (and therefore moved to the appropriate task list).

6. An important part of my weekly review takes place when I look over the current Monthly page and make sure all past days are crossed off, I remind myself of upcoming events in the next week or two and add any tasks that need to be done for them to the weekly pages (such as wrapping a gift for an upcoming birthday party or packing a lunch on days when I substitute teach), and, if it is near the last week of the month, copy any recurring appointments to the next month (including things like karate lessons or carpool) and copy any dates from the on-line school calendar to next month.

7. I glance at my Monthly Task List to make sure that everything is getting done. This list is usually rather short. These tasks are month specific things, like scheduling an annual doctor's appointment. If it's the last week of the month, this stuff gets rescheduled to next month (rarely) or moved to this week's task list.

8. I look at this week and next week on my Weekly pages and knock out any tasks that can be done immediately. I cross out any completed tasks (with one line so that I can still see what I accomplished). Usually, knocking out quick tasks means writing checks to pay bills and adding any grocery items to my shopping planner.

That's it. Eight steps and I am done. I have a checklist of what happens at my weekly review in my Files:

My weekly review does take a while. Most weeks, it takes almost an hour to get through everything. But it is an hour well spent, since it means that my bills are paid and nothing fails through the cracks.

My daily review is much more informal. At the end of each day, when I am setting out clothes, food, and backpacks/totes for the next day, I glance at my capture page (to move anything necessary to monthly or weekly pages), my monthly page to see what is coming up tomorrow, and my weekly pages, containing only tasks, to see what needs to be done tomorrow.

I also make sure that I use my planner on an ongoing basis. For example, if a teacher asks me to substitute teach, I whip out my planner, check the date, find out if I have to arrive early for morning duty, and note the teacher's name and work times on my calendar in the monthly pages. (I don't have to add contact information as that is available on my cell phone.) When the mail arrives each evening, I toss, add to my calendar, or add a task immediately. By doing things like that on an ongoing basis whenever possible, I keep my weekly planner review time to a minimum.

I hope this helps you to keep up with your planner and, more importantly, your life.



Rebecca Montano said...

Great post, Kristy. I think this step is one of many missing in my attempt to become more organized. At this point, I'm thrilled if everything comes together on my monthly calendar pages, although I find myself using the daily pages more often now. :)

Elaine said...

The only thing I try to do differently is put the phone number next to whomever (whoever?) I need to contact even if it is on my phone. It just saves me one step.

Unknown said...

Love this post! My review is also about an hour, but you're absolutely right...it's time well spent. I like your capture page, by the way.