Updated July 20, 2017

Every Sunday, I post a reminder in my private Facebook community, encouraging members to take some time to plan for the week ahead.Weekly planning is one of the most important things I do both for my business and myself. Often I am asked about the journal I use. This blog post shares the basic process I use to bullet journal weekly planning.

What’s so important about weekly planning?

My Sunday weekly planning ritual is my time to relax and to focus on myself and my business. As a busy mom, I’m often putting a lot of energy into my family and my clients. Taking this quiet time to reflect and plan helps me center myself and prepare so that I can best manage the week ahead.  

Aside from some personal time, weekly planning reminds you to slow down, evaluate where you want to go and define the steps you need to take to get there. Without regular planning, we may find ourselves procrastinating and getting nothing done because we simply don’t know what to do.

My bullet journal is my guide for the week that helps me to stay focused on my goals. Without a clear plan, we tend to be more reactive throughout the week and are less likely to reach our goals. 

My Weekly Planning Ritual

My weekly planning ritual is unique to me and to be honest; it can change from week to week. I would love to tell you that every Sunday morning I curl up in my comfy chair, coffee in hand, with soft music playing in the background as I journal, reflect on my goals and review my progress.

I am too transparent to let you believe that.

The reality is that there are days that I barely fit it in. On these days, I may steal a few minutes to myself before bed, to set my intention for Monday morning. More often than not, I can dedicate the time I need, but when I can’t, I at least plan for Monday.

On those ideal days or if I am feeling a little more creative, I try a new layout or find one from Pinterest that I can adapt to my needs.

There are four main steps to my weekly planning:  

Review your vision and your goals

Your vision is what creates an emotional connection to your goals. It creates a strong desire, which allows you to look at obstacles as challenges to overcome, rather than a dead end. This connection is the inspiration that gets you up in the morning when all you want to do is roll over and go back to sleep. It forces you to pick up the phone and call yet another potential client and is what is going to keep you going when the going gets tough.

Your goals should also be reviewed regularly and should be the steps to get you closer to that vision. I have recently started to use the 90-Day Planning Model. With my 90-Day Plan, I set new goals every 90-Days and define the actions that I intend to take each week. I review my goals for my weekly planning and use goal cards to connect with my goals daily.

Before my 90-Day Plan, I would choose three goals to move me closer to my monthly goal. With my new 90-Day plan, the weekly focus is already decided.

Review your schedule, including family needs and expectations

This one is super important for me. If I don’t review my calendar and check in with my family on their needs for the week, more often than not, I am blindsided by an appointment I forgot about or last minute family needs. Interruptions are bound to happen but reviewing my calendar for the next two weeks keeps things on my radar and allows me to schedule accordingly.

Create Your Weekly Plan

The final step is to schedule everything! I use focus blocks to get work done and strive for three focus blocks each day, but typically get 2 in based on my other tasks. Focus blocks are for those bigger projects and working on the goals I set for the week.  These blocks are recurring appointments on my Google calendar that I move around based on my schedule. When I decide what it is I will focus on each day, I rename this block for the task I will complete during that time.

Keep it simple

Some prefer doing their weekly planning on Friday afternoon. Others prefer Monday morning. It’s important to create a plan that works for you. Personally, I do not suggest Monday mornings as I want to know exactly what I have ahead of me before my alarm sounds and the week begins.

How to bullet journal your weekly planning

I love technology, and most of my productivity tools are digital, but there is something about putting pen to paper. I love to journal and have tried more planners than I want to admit to. I would often carry a planner with me and never really use it or use it but feel limited and still need a separate journal.   

Yet, I resisted the bullet journal for some time. I was intimidated by the examples that I had seen that looked so perfect. Don’t get me wrong; I love the creative and elaborate layouts I had seen – I have a Pinterest board and an entire drawer of washi tape to prove it.

I thought that I lacked the creativity, the time, and the patience to try the bullet journal but after another failed planner purchase, I bought the Leuchtturm 1917 journal and gave Bullet Journaling a try.

My journal is simple but powerful and designed with exactly what I need and none of the extra pages that came with all those other planners.

Each week, I create a two-page spread with a complete overview of my week. The first page includes my calendar for the week, including appointments and time blocking.

The 2nd includes my three goals for the week, three tasks for each day, room for miscellaneous To Do’s, the book I am reading and the training I attended.

 

Bullet Journal Daily layout

If I’m inspired to create a special list, log or other page, I simply add it to the next clean page and add the page number to my index at the front of the book.

(Book layout inspiration from Pinterest)

Using a bullet journal doesn’t seem to take any more time than I had been using with other systems, including digital. The act of writing leaves me feeling more focused and keeps me free from digital distractions. Using a bullet journal also gives me the alone time and creative outlet that I crave.

Each day, I create a simple page with the date at the top, then my three main tasks for the day, in order of priority. If nothing else gets done that day, my number one task should be complete.

Below the date and tasks, I include my morning journaling, meeting notes, evening journaling and anything else that pertains to that day.

 

Bullet Journal books to read

Create Your 90-Day Plan

A 90-Day plan helps you find the high value activities that will get you closer to your goal and because you have less time, you can reach your goals faster. Grab my free worksheets and the replay of our live planning workshop where I share tips on expanding your vision, how to live with intention, measure your progress and help you to better plan each day.