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Like it old school? These 10 planners will keep you productive

Like it old school? These 10 planners will keep you productive

Productivity apps are easy to find, whether you want something on the web, your phone, or a tablet. But analog tools still have their place – for many people, the relaxation that comes with actually writing things down can’t be replaced. Plus, writing lights up more areas of your brain than typing does, helping you to make new connections and have new ideas. So for those of you who prefer your productivity tools to be paper-based, here’s ten of the best planners out there:

The Plum Paper Planner

The Plum Planner

    Price: $31

    The Plum Paper Planner gives you everything you need to keep your life on track for the next year, with monthly and weekly views, plenty of room for notes, and extra pages at the end to help you keep track of other details. You can personalize the front cover, picking your favorite design from the Etsy shop and then adding your name. It also comes in wedding planning, teacher, student, fitness/meal, and family editions.

    The Plum Planner's Page Options

      Standout features: As shown in the picture above, you get to choose which weekly layout you want out of four options – something that most other planners won’t let you do.

      The Day Designer

      Day Designer

        Price: $57-59

        The Day Designer might be one of the pricier options on this list, but that hasn’t stopped it from attracting a cult following. It was designed for busy women, moms, and creative professionals who want a way to keep track of everything in their life. If you want to give it a go, you can check out the free library of printables to see if it’ll work with your planning style before you buy a whole planner.

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        Standout features: The daily planning page features a spot to record gratitude daily (a great practice for many reasons), as well as the more usual space for to-dos and schedules. The planner also comes with goal-setting worksheets and summary pages to keep you on track.

        The Passion Planner

        The Passion Planner

          Price: $24.99-29.99

          The Passion Planner was originally created as an insanely successful (over $600,000 raised) Kickstarter campaign, and has become a full-fledged business in the time since. Its goal is to help you break down your long and short term goals into actionable steps, and give you a way to schedule those steps out on a day-to-day basis. You can also download an undated printable version, if you want to test it out.

          Standout features: It has a spot for the focus for each day and week, room for gratitude logging, separated to-do lists for work and personal life (so that each get the attention they deserve), and room for extra notes as well.

          The Spark Notebook

          The Spark Notebook

            Price: $25-35

            The Spark Notebook is the result of another over-funded Kickstarter campaign. The creator, Kate Matsudaira, wanted to create a notebook that had functionality as a productivity tool and looked good enough to carry into a high-powered meeting without being embarrassed. You can get a free printable version of the planner by sharing about the Spark Notebook on Facebook or Twitter via links at the site.

            Standout features: The Spark Notebook is undated, so you can start using it at any time. In addition to the normal yearly and monthly overview, it has a 30 day challenge space for each month, inspiration and questions for each week, and an achievement tracker to keep you on track. The pages are also perforated, letting you rip out a to-do list if you need to.

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            The Desire Map Planner

            The Desire Map Planner

              Price: $44

              The Desire Map Planner was created by author and speaker Danielle LaPorte, to help readers put the philosophies from her book the Desire Map into practice. It comes in daily and weekly versions, so you can pick the level of detail you want.

              Standout features: The focus of the Desire Map book is on realizing how you want to feel and orienting your life around it, and the planners are meant to help you do that. Instead of just having to dos, there are spaces for your core desired feelings, as well as affirmations and “soul prompts” on every page. If you want a holistic view of your life, this is the planner for you.

              The Freelancer Planner

              The Freelancer Planner

                Price: $23-27

                The Freelancer Planner is yet another Kickstarter success. The aim of this planner is to give freelancers one spot to keep track of everything related to their business in one spot, while training them into better business habits. If you’d rather print out your own planner, there’s a downloadable version at the site.

                Standout features: The monthly calendar view lets you keep track of all your client bookings, events, and income for the month. The weekly planning process also helps you sort out your tasks and figure out what should be a priority in your day-to-day work.

                Erin Condren’s LifePlanner™

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                Erin Condren LIfePlanner

                  Price: $50

                  The LifePlanner™ is an offering from Erin Condren’s brand, best known for its colorful design. The planners follow that colorful design, with bright colors everywhere from on the page to the covers to the organizational tabs. The planners come with a two-sided pocket folder and a bookmark.

                  Standout features: You can choose between two layouts (vertical, shown above, or horizontal), pick from a variety of covers, or even upload your own cover. The planners have a mix of lined pages, designer blank pages, graph pages, and motivational quotes to help you blend positivity and productivity into your life.

                  Brittany Garner’s Daily Desk Planner

                  gsdplanner

                    Price: $5

                    You might prefer a printable planner to a pre-bound one, whether it’s because you use a Filofax (or other DIY planner system) or just for sake of convenience. If that’s the case, Brittany Garner Design’s daily desk planner has you covered.

                    Standout features: Aside from the flexibility that comes with being a printable, this planner also has a spot for meals and exercise – something that’s easy to overlook while you’re trying to get work done! You can also note down ideas as they come up and use the schedule section to keep track of your appointments.

                    The Daily Planner Pack

                    Daily Printable Planner Pack

                      Price: $12.49

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                      Like the previous planner, this is a printable planner pack from Crossbow Printables. It contains more pages though – different views for daily and weekly tasks, a monthly and yearly view, a page for notes, a goal-setting worksheet, a meal planner, and more.

                      Standout features: This planner pack has the flexibility of choosing which views you prefer and being able to build your own customized planner. It also has sections for meals and water consumption on one of the daily pages, and there are enough different types that at least some of them will fit with your life, no matter what your needs are.

                      The Emergent Task Planner

                      The Emergent Task Planner

                        Price: $12-14

                        The Emergent Task Planner was created to help you find order in a chaotic workday. The planners are designed around the three ideas of focus, assessment, and time visualization. They come in different sizes and bindings, so you can choose one that works best for you (or print your own at home for free).

                        Standout features: In addition to keeping you focused on a limited number of tasks, the Emergent Task Planner also lets you make time estimates for how long things will take and then keep track of how long they actually take. This lets you become a better planner over time, giving you a more realistic view of what you can get done in a day.

                        The Behance Action Method Planners

                        Action Journal

                          Price: $6.50-17.50

                          The Action Method planners come in a variety of sizes and bindings, from small pads to larger journals (like the one pictured above). They use the Action Method of productivity planning, from Scott Belsky’s book Making Ideas Happen, which helps you to sort out tasks from notes and backburner items.

                          Standout features: The Action Method planners only have so much room to write down your tasks, so they force you to say ruthlessly focused. The dot-grid pages are great for designers or anyone who wants to take notes or sketches throughout their day, too.

                          Featured photo credit: Gwenaël Piaser via farm5.staticflickr.com

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                          Last Updated on January 24, 2020

                          10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                          10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                          Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

                          Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

                          Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

                          • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
                          • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
                          • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

                          Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

                          Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

                          Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

                          That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

                          1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

                          I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

                          Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

                          Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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                          2. Be Grateful for What You Have

                          Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

                          Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

                          “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

                          3. Smile

                          Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

                          Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

                          Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

                          Can you smile again?

                          4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

                          Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

                          If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

                          This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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                          Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

                          5. Exercise Daily

                          One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

                          Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

                          ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

                          He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

                          6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

                          Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

                          Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

                          So how do you manage your time effectively?

                          Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

                          “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

                          And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

                          • Monday – Management
                          • Tuesdays – Product
                          • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
                          • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
                          • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
                          • Saturdays – Taking off
                          • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

                          No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

                          7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

                          Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

                          Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

                          Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

                          “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

                          Be intentional about your daily goals!

                          8. Seek Inspiration

                          It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

                          A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

                          Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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                          Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

                          “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

                          9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

                          I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

                          However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

                          10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

                          Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

                          “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

                          It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

                          Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

                          The Bottom Line

                          Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

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                          Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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