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Having a Written Plan Can Keep You on Track

Dec 16, 2011

by Silvia Pendleton, Director of Marketing and Membership

I’m usually very organized with things relating to work or my business.  I absolutely believe in having a marketing plan, a marketing calendar and having a schedule for important events.  Having these tools in place has saved me on more than one occasion.  Being able to look at the calendar and have notes regarding needed updates, press releases, etc. is a huge help when you’re too busy to think or life has thrown a monkey wrench in the works.  These tools allow me to go on auto-pilot and still keep things running relatively smoothly.

Sounds great, right?  It absolutely is.  Except that I’m a miserable failure at applying those same principles to my personal life.  I can’t keep track of birthdays, I haven’t started shopping, and I’ve probably missed the shipping deadlines to order anything online and expect it to arrive before Christmas!

So that’s going to be one of my goals for the coming year.  I’m going to look for ways to apply the same planning techniques to my personal life that I use for business.  I’ve started using a program called Workflowy that I’m really excited about.  It’s a free online service that allows you to create lists and it can be accessed from anywhere.  I’ve been using it for work and it’s a great tool.  Now I just need to incorporate my personal chores.  I’m finally realizing that trying to keep separate lists just isn't working. 

It’s difficult, at least for me, to separate my work life from my personal life.  As a business owner, the lines really become blurred.  You don’t make two trips to the store – you combine your personal and business shopping into the same trip.  I know that it’s hard to even go out to eat and not talk about the business!  So, it’s silly for me to try to keep my list of tasks separated. 

I’ve slowly started to integrate work and personal calendars too.  As much as I’ve clung to my paper calendar, I’m going to have to give up and find an online calendar program to help.  I’ve tried the Google calendar which allows for color coding but quickly gave it up because I often need to refer to my calendar when I don’t have online access.  I guess I’ll have to change that too! 

Whatever I end up using, I know that having a written plan (however loosely written) chores get done, articles get written, cards get sent on time.  I won’t keep trying to keep a mental list of my growing family’s birthdays or important items that need to be done.  Having a written plan keeps me on track and I should use that knowledge to its full advantage!

Share your recommendations for online calendar programs or other programs you use to keep you organized.  I’ll try them out and review them. 

Have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy planning for the New Year!


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