The right weekly planner is like an executive coach. If your goals are to increase your focus, boost your confidence and reclaim your ability to self-manage, you're on the right track by considering the OCO 2019 Planner as your partner in growth.
Free space at the top of each day.
Critical to self-management, each day starts with a free space. You will jot the two tasks—that no matter what—must happen today. This habit is borrowed from the book by Tim Ferriss—4-Hour Workweek—and it significantly reduced my stress when I was in a start-up with a bottomless stream of work that could (or couldn’t) be done.
Vertical days—not horizontal.
Most people love to make lists and take notes in bulleted phrases. These types of notes naturally create narrow, vertical columns. The hourly breakdowns are there as an aid, but a quick pen squiggle easily turns them into bullets or boxes. It's said that the smaller the space, the higher-quality the notes. Your brain will know that you need to listen with full focus and you'll jot down only what matters most.
Not a formal grid, not yet lines. Dots help you carve up the space in the way that suits you. Maybe this is a place where you capture to-dos, draw little creatures, or sketch out a linear process? You might transfer inspirational quotes that support your energy throughout a week. The most ambitious people turn the book 90-degrees and the dots become a super-column for planning a bigger concept.
Year-at-a-glance with bullets.
As you gain confidence to set your own direction each week, your goals will likely stretch out in front of you as well. You’ll plan longer-term as you become less and less reactive.
The year-at-a-glance pages are meant to capture two things:
Intentions: Before the month begins, plan for what you want out of it: more focus, stronger habits, to help a colleague? You decide. Then, as you face the week on Monday, get yourself sorted on your weekly spread and then flip back to the intentions you bulleted for this month. Ask yourself if there is an area of work that seems especially aligned to that intention. Use that reflection to re-prioritize your week, putting energy directly toward fulfilling that intention.
Celebrations: It’s reinvigorating to remind yourself of small wins—because the big stuff doesn’t happen very often (certainly not often enough to buoy you through personal growth). At a week’s end, scan your pages and transfer a win back to this month’s bulleted spaces. Go here when you need a boost mid-week.
Contrast-color blank pages:
There are some ideas that are too big, too exploratory for the weekly view. Blank pages give space to map a narrative of a presentation, sketch orthographic projections of a product, or draw as meditation, letting your pen lead the way. This is your ultimate free space to support the inner creator in you. You can number these pages and note reference them in your weekly spreads. You can use the brass page markers for an easy flip-back during a deadline. Whatever you do, make sure to use them in a way that supports your focus and clarity—this is the place for that practice.