Monday, February 22, 2016

My Spark Planner

I know it is already a month and a half into the new year, but it is never to late to get organized. So, today I would like to talk about my 2016 Planner.  I have used many planners throughout the year.  Not only do my needs change, but there are always new and improved planenrs hitting the market.

For a long time I was a big fan of Franklin Covey planners.  I still love them, but I don't quite need something that inolved anymore.  But, if you are looking for a great planner with lots of options, you should check it out.

Last year I used the Week Dominator.  I loved it, but it was really big, and didn't really fit in my purse.  Halfway through the year (the Week Dominator was only a 6 month planner), I switched to the Purposeful Planner.  Loved it, but it became to heavy and thick to carry around.

This year, I decided to try out the Spark Notebook.  So far, I love it.  Here are some of the key features:

The first few pages includes a place to figure out your 2016 theme and create some yearly goals.  This year I settled on the theme of Focus.  Whatever I am doing I want to devote my full attention to it.  I also want to focus on my goals and not only meet them, but exceed them.  I set 10 goals this year and they range across the different areas of my life.  The planner also includes a page to list your Achievements for the year.  I like that idea because it is important to recognize when you do something well, and having it in the planner provides an easy reference point, if your having a "down" day.

After those sections, the monthly and weekly sections begin. First there is a calendar for the month.

I like that it has some space on the side for notes.

Then, there is a space for Monthly goals, as well as space for notes or other items.  There is great benefit in taking your Yearly goals and breaking them down monthly and weekly.  It makes them more manageable.  There is also a monthly challenge.  I love this.  By setting a monthly challenge, it gives you something to focus on and really make a habit.  In January I focused on drinking 75oz of water a day.  In February I focused on taking a lunch break at work every day.  Such a great idea.
Each week has a journal prompt.  There are some really great prompts- "Give yourself a performance review,"  "Where do you want to be at this time next year?" "What is one thing you want to accomplish in your life."  Great stuff to really help you think about your life and where you are, and where you want to be.  There is also space to set weekly goals, as well as space to reflect and celebrate your week.
Lastly, for each week there is a weekly calender.  Yes, mine is color coded.  I have found the color coding has really helped me see at a glance what is going on.  Usually on Sundays, I sit down and fill it out for the next week- that is when I do the color coding.  During the week if stuff gets added, it usually gets added in black, because that is what I have.  I know by looking at it whether it is something I need to do (Light Blue), my husband (Red), both of us (black), a meal (dark blue), goal related/task related (normally purple, but the purple was MIA when I filled it out this past weekend, so its black in this picture), chores (green, none showing in this picture yet)). Seriously, the color coding has really helped.

I also recently discovered there is a few blank pages at the back for taking notes, or brainstorming.

This new planner really fits me.  Plenty of space to keep me on track, but not so much that I am planning a 1,000 to do items and then getting frustrated when they don't get done.  I can only write so many for the space I have.

You can get your own here.  Now, for what you have been waiting for... the giveaway of my extra Spark Notebook.

Congrats briety81, you are the winner.  Please email me your shipping information so I can get it out to you right away.

Now it's your turn.... Do you use a planner?  Which one and why?  What do you need/like in a planner?


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Paige Duren said...


I thoroughly enjoyed reading about how you use your planner to keep an organized lifestyle. Your technique of color coding seems to help with keeping organized. When I use my school planner I will occasionally attempt to color code each day. Sometimes it is difficult when things don’t fall into any of my color coding options. How do you deal with an event that doesn’t fall into any of your color coding categories? When I use my school planner I tend to put all the due dates in about a week before they are actually due. This helps me prepare and get work done ahead of time. This may be something you would like to do. Thank you for sharing your tips for using a planner!

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