Planning Techniques: Choose Your Weapon!

As we ease into the new year, let’s not forget about the goals and resolutions we made on the very first day of the year. Read on to figure out which planning method can best help you achieve your dreams.

You yawn and stretch as you wake up to the lazy morning sun, which barely makes an effort to greet you properly. You’re still trying to remember last night’s dream as your eyes land on the wall clock. A mortal dread grips your heart as you realise you have an assignment due in exactly… two hours. You bolt right out of bed cursing yourself as to why you didn’t start the work the day it was assigned. Never mind now, you hurriedly finish up your assignment and submit it an hour late, citing ‘technical difficulties’. Afterward, you swear to yourself that you’d be more organized in the future.

But the ultimate question is – how? Scribbling down tasks on a random sheet certainly won’t help. Fear not, DU Beat has created a quiz to make it a little easier for you. First, take this quiz to figure out which level you currently are at. Then you can read on accordingly to figure out how to become the world’s most efficient individual.

Level 1 – Beginner

If you’re someone who needs the tasks of the day to be positively glaring at you for them to get done, try any one of these tools. They are insanely easy to use.

  1. The wonderful whiteboard: A whiteboard is versatile. You can basically dump all of your to-do’s on here so you remember them, or you can create monthly and daily layouts if you’re feeling a little more motivated. For extra space to write, get a magnetic whiteboard and some magnets to stick up important notes.
  2. Superb Sticky-Notes: Post-Its may look small and cute, but they’re no less efficient. They are the perfect bite-sized reminders. Whenever you get a task assigned, scribble it on a post-it as a reminder to get it done. Make sure you stick them in places you frequent often. If you’re feeling a little fancy, you can even opt for cute cupcakes or heart-shaped ones.
  3. Mighty Mirror- Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the most organised of them all? This one is a personal favourite.  All you need is a dry erase marker to write on the surface. You’re not going to leave the house without a look in the mirror ( hopefully), which makes it the perfect place to check what you’ve got lined up for the day.

    Bonus Tip: When exam season rolls around, the mirror is the perfect place to put up formulas and important dates. Thank us for the A+ later.

Level 2 – Intermediate

Welcome to level-2, player. Your dedication towards watching dozens of productivity YouTube videos is commended and so is your effort gone towards making to-do lists. But if you’re someone who’s passionate about the organising world yet quite doesn’t know how to make it a part of your daily routine, check out this arsenal.

  1. Productive Planners: A planner does half the work for you. It usually comes with two basic layouts – a monthly layout and a weekly layout. Some planners even come with an outline of a meal plan and habit trackers. The only tricky part is actually sitting down to fill in the blanks but it is more than worth it. Either in the morning or at night, just take out 10 minutes to plan out your schedule. The best way to get rid of the clutter in your brain is to put it on paper. There are great ones available on amazon but if you’re willing to invest a bit more, check out Alicia Souza’s planning kit or planners from the ink bucket and happy wagon.
  2. Cogent Calendars: Pen and paper too old-fashioned for you? The calendar app on your phone might just be your saving grace. Google Calendar offers an easy way to input your family’s and friends’ birthdays, important reminders, tasks and even schedule meetings. It also reminds you of tasks due, at least 30 minutes prior, ensuring you never miss a deadline. It also syncs up your phone with other electronic devices, making it easy to access from anywhere. Not to mention, it’s super fun to assign different colours to different types of tasks. A level-up on the calendar app is an app called Calendly. Calendly helps you schedule meetings with other people more efficiently by coordinating your free time slots with those of others.

Level 3 – Expert

Congratulations on mastering the art of keeping your life together! Now that you’re aware of the intricacies of planning and productivity, let’s level up, shall we?

  1. Nifty Notion: The productivity app Notion is in a league of its own. Though a little intimidating at first, it can help you chart out your entire life. People use it to track finances and goals, make reading lists, movie lists, track grades, journal, keep their CV updated and a lot more.  It is not just a tool – it is a system. Notion is a highly customisable application. You can find many tutorials on YouTube to start you off on this epic platform. If you can’t be bothered to make your own, check out these premade templates here. There are also a lot of aesthetic templates, ranging from anime to cottagecore, available on the web.
  2. Beneficial Bullet Journal: Maybe you’re the opposite of the digital deewane and your love for the paper will never fade. At the same time, planners seem repetitive and boring now. Introducing, the creative world of bullet journaling. Bullet journaling is usually done in special dotted journals which makes it easier to draw layouts by hand, ensuring a neat and organised experience. Bullet journaling allows you to experiment with different techniques and lets your creativity shine through. It can be time-consuming, but it is an oddly therapeutic experience. Check out AmandaRachLee on YouTube for some lovely BuJo (Bullet Journal) inspiration.

Read Also: The (Un)Productive Cycle

Featured Image Credits: Agile Project Management

Devanshi Panda

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Devanshi is a History Major who ironically has the memory of a goldfish. A true jack of all trades but master of none, she can be found mostly scribbling in her sacred notes app, humming a tune along to her uke, or deep-diving into a book.