In the interest of full discloser, I was fully primed to love this book. I have used and reviewed Emily Ley’s planners for the past two years and have followed her business journey after hearing about her through Lara Casey. Let me just say this book did not disappoint.
Last Friday I shared my review of the 2015-16 Simplified Planner and today I’m talking about my new Simplified Planner for 2016-17!
Emily Ley offers several versions: an academic weekly, an academic daily, and a calendar year daily. She launched the academic versions a few weeks ago and the calendar year versions will launch in the fall.
After using my Emily Ley Planner for the past year, I can honestly say that it is the best planner I have ever used. I love the way that the pages are laid out, with room to write in dinner plans and a to do list.
August is better than January when it comes to planners for several reasons —
- You get a second start at the “new year”
- The best planners start in August!
I’ve done reviews of a few of my favorite planners here. I’m currently using the Emily Ley Simplified Planner, but have used the Erin Condren Life Planner and the Lilly Pulitzer Academic Planner in the past.
You may remember my previous organization post (here if you missed it) posted almost two years ago. While the bare bones of my system remain the same, the tools I use have changed drastically. I thought I would give you an update of my planning tools as well as a review of the products themselves.
I use a paper planner to keep track of major plans, birthdays, and anniversaries. I also track to dos that I plan far in advance on my paper planner. These include things like “buy father’s day card” that can be scheduled and have a finite due date. More on which planner I use later this week!
I use an online calendar to remind me of daily appointments, especially those that are work related. Since I use an iPad and a Macbook for work, I use iCal. I have notifications enabled so there is a helpful reminder that pops up on my computer 10 minutes before meetings, teaching sessions and other special events. I find that having a pop-up reminder works best for these scheduled meetings because it keeps me from having to stare at the clock and acts like an alarm!
I manage my to do list in a variety of ways. First, I keep Post-It notes everywhere: stuck to my center console in the car, on my desk at work, behind my couch at home. I write anything that comes to mind on these Post-Its*. Once a day, I gather the Post-Its and sort through them. I put any daily to dos on a list clipped to my planner, add any events to my calendars (paper and electronic) and put other notes into my tickler file in Evernote.
Occasionally I try to get fancy and use the Fantastical app on my Macbook and iPhone, however I find that day-to-day I prefer having a paper to do list.
*This is based off the GTD system. I highly recommend Dave Allen’s book if you are struggling to get a handle on you to do list.