We all want to make the most of the time we have, get more done and be as productive as possible.

There are loads of tools and tips to help you to do this, apps, planning tools – the internet is full of them. In this piece I wanted to talk about one of things which has particularly helped me to be more productive and how it has inspired my new stationery and weekly planners.

The new planners aren’t based on a complicated process, but on creating a positive mindset and my real life experience of needing a tool to help me reach a goal.

a new tool to help my side-hustle

When I started my business there were a lot of challenges, but some of the biggest were around how I was going to fit in running the business with the rest of my life. I have written before about how, as a side hustler, time is precious – I use every moment I can to work on the business. But prioritising exactly what to spend time doing week to week is also a challenge.

It’s firstly essential to have a long term view of where you are headed to plan month to month what has to get done, and you might have seen how i developed a planning calendar to help with this. I also have a weekly diary mainly for working out the time I have to spare. But something was missing – a tool which could help me look at what I wanted to achieve week to week.

Electronic to-do lists and apps are great – I use my notes app to capture ideas on the go when I don’t have my notebook handy,  but there is something about writing things down and the satisfaction of physically ticking them off which you just don’t get with an app. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but sometimes its great to get back to pen and paper! I also found that using an app wasn;t quite fulfilling m needs - back to pen and paper it was.

But a standard weekly to-do list wasn't going to cut it either. I also wanted something which would let me capture thoughts and ideas, as well as other bits of ‘life admin’ (food shopping lists, bills to pay – you know the stuff!) I did do a quick look round the shops and on Etsy, but couldn't find anything quite right - so decided to create my own.

need vs. will

Setting out to create my new ‘super to-do list’ I wanted to create something which would both help me organise my thoughts and also inspire me to be productive.

One of my friends(/mentor) once told me to never use the word ‘need’ when referring to something I had to do – and to instead replace it with the word ‘will’.

And there is a definite difference in how it makes you feel when you use the word ‘will’ in place of the word ‘need’. We associate ‘will’ with power and certainty, need on the other hand just sounds a bit whiney! When we say we need to do something, it can automatically feel like a chore and something we don’t want to do.  (Try it! It’s strange how a simple change of a word can alter how you feel about a task)

So the starting point for my weekly planner was to incorporate the use of will and definitely a avoid any mention of the word need!

As you can see from the pictures, it appears twice – as the title ‘this will be a great week’ and in ‘this week I will…’. With a list of things you will do you are far more likely to do them.

Leaving a space to scribble down all my thoughts and ideas was important too. My head Is always full of them and I’m rarely without a notebook in my handbag to capture them – so having space on here to write down the things that pop into my head (either business related or not) needed to be in there too.

remember to remember the things you’ve achieved

When we have something big to achieve, whether it’s training for a marathon, getting a promotion at work or saving for something big, in pursuit of the big goal it’s easy to overlook the small milestones. And it can be hard too, thinking about how far you have to go and not how far you have come can be disheartening and frustrating – it’s so important to remember this no matter what your goal is.

For me, in the pursuit of building the business it’s easy for me to overlook all the small achievements, like making my first ten sales or getting into my first craft fair. So in the new calendars I have created I made a space at the bottom, to make a note of something to be proud of – so I don’t forget those small achievements on the way to a bigger goal. 

the new weekly planners are here!

Having used the planner myself now for a while and finding it useful I thought there would definitely be a few more of you out there like me who love to be organised and would find this useful.  (Plus I also wanted to make it pretty!)

It’s been designed to help you start the week with a positive mindset, get more things done and be more productive – and the designed versions will look great on your fridge or noticeboard too.