“The Moleskin has gone!” – Joanna Ham, Illustrator & Founder of hammade.com
“I use a paper diary every year, I have tried hundreds! My friends laugh at me as I buy so many, but, last year, I came across the HELLO TIME Planner. I was instantly drawn to it because it wasn’t pink and fluffy; it is simply beautiful. Aesthetically beautiful as well as having everything I need in one book”– Hayley Southwood, Total Inspiration & Founder of southwoodsocialhub.co.uk & southwoodliving.co.uk
“I’ve got so many notebooks on the go, to have my life in one book is magic.”– Phillip, Founder of Totem-Wolf.co.uk
“I didn’t realise how much I was juggling stuff in my head and forgetting things until I had my HELLO TIME Planner”– Tej, Owner of tejandco.co.uk.
“I’ve tried lots of planners out this year, and the HT planner is by far my favourite.”– Fiona Humberstone, AKA thebrand-stylist.com
So, have you made a connection, is it your ‘go-to’ place for making plans and getting more organised? Or are you still wondering how to use those crisp white pages best? I’ve had people delay starting their planner for fear of messing it up, scribbling out or not using their best hand-writing but then lots of you have bought a lovely shiny new pen to make a start.
“Our ultimate goal is to help you get the most out of your time & the best from your HELLO TIME planner.”
I thought it might be a good idea at this point in the year to share with you how I use mine, how I manage my time and all those lists! I do love a good list, but I also don’t like to overcomplicate stuff, I love, simplicity so I’m hoping this will provide some inspiration for the second half!
Carry on, if reading is your thing or watch the video here:
THIS IS HOW I USE MY PLANNER
Firstly, I pin my calendar card to the front of the book, so it’s always with me. Our planner is undated as you don’t always want to make a fresh start in Jan sometimes the moment hits you partway through the year.
As it’s undated you’ll have to fill in the dates, you can put the dates in for the full year and then it’s done, or I tend to add the dates in 3 months at a time.
It depends how far ahead and in advance, you work and plan.
My Goals page is designed to be a prompt for general goals brainstorm to get you started. Once I have got some ideas down, I’ll type them up,
putting them into four main categories:
FINANCIAL | WELL BEING | PERSONAL & CAREER
HT TIP | I pin them up in my studio so I can refer to them every day, this is a daily reminder of where I want to get to and keeps me super focused.
YEAR TO VIEW
Next up is the Year to View pages. I use this spread to keep a list of my special dates, so I have them in one place.
HT TIP | It makes it super easy for the following year to drop the dates in as they will be stored in one place.
Your monthly overview can show up the pinch points in your time by filling this in if every weekend is planned out leaving no time for you, or your weeks are looking unimaginable you can reduce the stress right here, see what is going on and re-jig commitments accordingly.
I set, only two types of goals to keep things simple, yearly as I have mentioned already & monthly.
For the monthly goals I’ll jot these down at the beginning of the month, in the TAKE NOTE section and I’ll check back at the end of the month to see how I’ve done. If you can tick them all off, you don’t half feel a sense of satisfaction!
I have in the past, tended to overload my week. I’ve not been realistic with what I can achieve, and it makes you feel pretty carp because you beat yourself up when you don’t get it done. So, my biggest tip, be realistic with your monthly goals and for that matter the hours you have available in the day too. You can do anything but not everything!
HT TIP | I tend to set 3-5 monthly goals I want to nail that month.
The left-hand side I use for appointments, timed calls, to highlight holidays & schedule projects ONLY. At one point, I had a diary page that was structured a little like this, but I was putting my appointments, to-do list, notes and ideas in and it was a total mess, I couldn’t think clearly.
HT TIP | It’s so important not to overload your weekly pages, or you will quickly feel the overwhelm.
The right-hand page I spilt up, the left lined column I use for TODAY’S TO-DO’s, these are daily reminders or prompts, send a birthday card, make the call to renew my insurance, things that are specific to that day. The far right-hand column I use to jot down my WEEKLY TO-DO’s, stuff I need to get done that week as and when I can fit it in. I know it needs to get done that week, this way I don’t forget it. As you know you get a year’s worth of diary and five weeks in each month to allow for when you start.
Lastly, I tick off the little ‘How’s your week been’, and that determines if I head off for my Friday glass of wine exhausted, grateful or with a sense of satisfaction!
I use the To-Do Pad section to keep my ‘SHIT TO GET DONE’ master list. This is where I dump all the things I’d like to do and want to do. Tasks with perhaps a longer lead time. You can have one long list or use a different page for a family to-do list, work to-do list, and so on. I tend to compile one list to keep it simple and refer to it every day.
At certain times of the year, that list can feel big, for example, my busiest time of the year is Autumn through to Xmas so summer is busy for me, planning new products and prepping for shows so I’ll break all the tasks down into months, so it’s more manageable. It’s much easier you won’t feel so overwhelmed, and when it gets to each month, the activity is already planned. You spend less time worrying and planning and more time being productive. Keep referring to it and ticking it off. I sometimes pin this on the wall too.
HT TIP | Long project list, break it down over the coming months.
The notes section is quite big, and some people I know section it out into WORK, HOME etc. I tend to start at the beginning and work my way through. I only use this for notes from meetings and to cost projects. There is pace in this section, and I use all the different styles of pages to make notes on. I like that you can turn a page and sometimes get a small surprise from 2 am ideas, brain dump to the worry pages and quotes.
For anyone who has got a big project to work through, print this section out, (EMAIL US FOR A PDF COPY) draw it up big on a whiteboard or keep it hidden away in your book for your eyes only, whatever works for you. It’s your guide and ref to help you get you from where you are now to where you want to be.
HT TIP | Draw it up, scribble it out, whatever works for you.
I use this as my ideas hub for collating and collecting brainwaves, light bulb moments and inspiration. Ideas you have off the cuff and need to jot down
and action later.
It’s easy to forget that sudden brainwave especially as they often come in the middle of the night, in the shower or while doing the school run. I jot these down and gather them all in this section of my planner. If I am stuck for a social post or have time to review some new ideas, for example, I can turn the page and there they are, ready to be developed.
HT TIP | Never forget a good idea again! Stop the thoughts from rattling around in your head until you’re ready to develop it further by jotting them down in this section and keeping them all together. If I’ve not got my planner with me, I’ll jot it down on my phone and transfer it later.
RECAP & SUMMARY
So, to recap, I organise my time…
x2 Goal Lists
1. Yearly, pinned on the wall
2. Monthly, jotted down on My Month to View page
x3 To-Do Lists
1. Get Sh*t Done Master Actions List kept in the To-Do List section
2. Today’s To-Do’s & Weekly To-Do’s on My Week pages
3. Ideas List in the Creative Juices section
I always plan my day, the night before, mainly so I can hit the ground running when I’m back at my desk the following day, I know what time I need to get up,
how to dress and what mindset I’ll need for the day – on it, busy day, Relaxed working from home, Client Presentation etc
And that’s it, creating the HELLO TIME Planner, and this simple structure helped me when I was struggling with anxiety and overwhelm.
It seems so simple, but good ideas usually are. I rarely forget anything now, I’m able to pace myself better, plan easier and I have much better balance in life.