January 12, 2012 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

My Best Planning Tools – Pen & Paper!

Hello Everyone & Happy New Year!

All the partying has ended and it’s time to get back to work, yahoo!

Right before the New Year, during the last week of December I was setting my goals and planned out year 2012 – what I want to achieve, targets to reach etc., all the usual stuff. If you haven’t done that already, DO IT NOW! I have said this many times over – without reachable goals in place it’s very difficult to work, especially on your own business, online. You really want to set clear goals and create a strategy on how you’ll achieve them.

While doing this “planning task”, I remembered how difficult this task for me was when I first tried doing it, several years ago. Not that I didn’t know what I want to achieve, not at all! Problem was that I was busy with researching and testing various time planning tools and thought my success in reaching my goals will directly depend on what time planning tool I will use. I know it sounds funny but I believe many people are experiencing same issue. Guess what? There’s no issue to deal with in first place!

Time management Software, iPhone apps, personal organizers and what not! You don’t need them! Yeah, I’m sure they will work for some people but for majority, they just over-complicate your life. And who wants that? With all the software you’re actually spending more time in managing application than actually doing what you have to do. Plus it costs you money.

What are best time planning tool out there? Pen & Paper! Seriously, all you need to plan your time is pen and paper. Since I switched to this method, I have greatly improved my productivity. How I do it?

  • Yearly, quarterly, monthly plans – I just take a blank sheet of paper and write down all the targets I want to reach. Put it in a folder on my work desk.
  • Monthly calendar plans – again, pre-print them for next 3 months and schedule most important tasks, meetings etc. Keep these 3 in front of you or like I do – just pin them onto your office wall.
  • Daily/hourly task list – each day, when I finish my work I write down exact plan on what I will do following day. You want to do this in the evening and NOT in the morning.

I use this website to download free calendars and daily task lists: CalendarsThatWork.com Basic calendars are FREE, so there are no additional costs involved. All you need is a printer & paper!

Targets are worthless without constantly monitoring progress so make sure you regularly (monthly) check your yearly plan. For daily tasks you’ll do it each evening, when creating list for the following day. Things go wrong and that’s life! You’ll not be able to always complete all goals, but as long as you re-evaluate and re-schedule them, you’re in 100% control and that’s what counts at the end of the day!

All the best in 2012 – Make it THE BEST year of your life!

Best Regards,
Andrew Minalto

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