The perfect planner for small business owners
Most days, I would not describe my life as “simple.” Like many small business owners, my days are full of managing my family and home (kids to camps, dog to daycare, floors to clean, dinners to cook) and running my business (meetings, calls, project work, design work, etc.) and typically a little of everything else thrown in (volunteer work, time with friends, reading…) And while it’s always my goal to leave margin each day for some reflection, reading and rest, well, let’s say “goal” is a nice way to start that sentence!
How do I keep it all straight and everyone where they are supposed to be? My Simplified Planner! I love that it’s literally a simple page every day -- appointments and tasks. That’s it. I’m a planner person by nature -- I mean, I saved up for months to buy a Palm Pilot and thought that thing was uh-mazing. The funny thing is, I used to buy *all the planners* because I thought having the right one would calm all my chaos. Surely my days would be less busy if I could just have the right space to plan them out. Franklin Covey system? Inserts for days but also overwhelm at trying to “use it the right way.” You name the system, I’ve tried.
Spoiler alert: Planners aren’t magical fairies!
It turns out, the perfect planner, if designed well, gives you space to name what matters, which is the real key to calming the chaos, and not only helps you plan but to also reflect.
The perfect planner, I’ve learned, gently reminds you to keep the days simple, making more room for important people over important meetings. It gives you space to dream a little but doesn’t make that dream fit in a box (literally). It allows for room to be creative but gives permission to write in one boring ink color, too.
I’ve used both the Weekly edition (thin striped photo above) and the Daily edition (the watercolor flower photo above) and both met my needs. The Daily, of course, is bigger and includes room to write both appointments by the hour and tasks, plus a notes section at the bottom of each page.
The Weekly edition shows you the entire week on each two-page spread and has space for two columns of tasks or appointments for each day. (Saturday and Sunday spaces are a little smaller, rightfully so!) If you want to see detailed images, just head over to the Simplified website and you can access tons of great photos.
So, why the post? Because I want you to have a planner that helps you plan, but also helps you reflect. No other discipline in my life has been as effective in helping me grow as the practice of reflection. At the beginning of each week (Sunday for me), I do a little Sunday prep (it’s a printed reminder on every Sunday in the planner) and mine includes time for reflection. This planner. It doesn’t sugar coat. It’s right there, in writing — the hours and minutes I filled up, the days I set aside, the planning and the doing. The tasks I left unfinished. The wins I celebrated. The ideas and the dreams. It’s messy and beautiful in the same space and stares back at me, offering me the perspective I need to keep becoming who it is I want to be.
I believe in this so much I’m actually blogging on a day I didn’t plan to blog :) It’s literally my favorite “tool” I use to run my business. I think the planner works for all kinds of people, not just small business owners, but especially for women who are juggling so many roles every single day.
Now, go get one because I don’t know if you’ve heard but the Palm Pilots are not all the rage anymore ;)
Until next time, keep making a great first impression!
Note: The above link is an affiliate link and I will get a small discount on future products I buy if you choose to purchase a planner. However, I truly love this product and would not endorse anything I wouldn’t use. And, you’ll save money, too!