2016 is fast approaching, and if you are like me, you are on the hunt for your New Year business organizational tools. I’ve tried and tested all kinds of planners, systems, calendars, etc., this past year, but I’m still not totally satisfied. To make matters even more frustrating, all of the trial and error has left me with several unfinished notebooks and ideas in multiple locations. This means I have to carry a couple of notebooks with me at all times to make sure I don’t forget anything.
For 2016, I’m done with all that. I’ve decided on a combination of 3 tools to keep everything organized and on track. Two of them I’ll carry – a paper planner and my phone with my electronic calendar inside. The third will remain in my office. It’s my yearly overview wall calendar.
After reviewing the many options out there, I’ve whittled down my list to these top contenders and think they can help you on your quest too.
1. Passion Planner (www.passionplanner.com) – I’ve heard so much about these planners and after reviewing it, I can see why. The passion planner combines goal setting, brainstorming, to-do lists, and calendaring all in one place. The beginning pages help you to set your lifetime goals and then break them down into years and weeks. Then, the weekly planner pages allow you to prioritize your to-dos, reflect on the great things that happened that week, and stay motivated. And the best part is you can download a PDF version of the planner for free to try before you buy. (Cost: $29.99)
2. Desire Map Planner (http://www.daniellelaporte.com/shop/) – The main thing you should know about the Desire Map Planner is that it is beautiful. Danielle LaPorte has this way of infusing this ethereal, sexy, and feminine quality into everything that she does. But make no mistake, this planner is practical as hell. The Desire Map Planner asks the essential question of the Desire Map Book from the very beginning – How do you want to feel? Each month begins with your core, desired feelings and top 3 goals for the month. Then each day allows you to keep your to-do list, schedule, and ideas all in one place. (Cost: $44)
3. Bullet Journal (http://bulletjournal.com) – the bullet journal is not a planner at all. It’s a system that you can use in any notebook. The premise of bullet journaling is customization. You can essentially write whatever you want on the pages, but the system encourages you to use specific icons to identify types of information, to paginate and date each page, to create a monthly log, and to index. It’s pretty cool, and I love the freeformness (I made up that word) of it. (Cost: the cost of your favorite notebook. So $1-$20 for the notebook on the website)
4. Acuity Scheduling (www.acuityscheduling.com) – Acuity automates the client scheduling process. Using Acuity clients can schedule themselves for appointments and get reminders without the back and forth. Once scheduled, the appointment syncs with your personal calendar automatically. No Muss, no fuss. (Cost: $10/month)
5. Appointy (www.appointy.com) – running a salon, spa, or any business with multiple staff members taking on multiple client appointments per day? Check out Appointy. Like Acuity, clients can book themselves, but there is also Facebook integration so customers can schedule an appointment from your Facebook page. You can also run analytics to see the revenue generated by each staff member. There are lots of other bells and whistles too. It’s worth checking out (Cost: $0 – $59.99/month)
6. Google Calendar (www.google.com) – I use Google Calendar as my master calendar. If fact, I use Google products for almost all of my administrative type tasks. It just works. Google calendar sync to everything I use, can be color-coded for different event types, and you can schedule appointments right from your email. I’m definitely a Google Calendar super fan. (Cost: $0)
7. Neu Year (www.neuyear.net) – finding a great wall calendar is like finding a needle in a haystack. I wanted something big that reminds me of 1) the day of the week and date because I can forget and 2) my big picture goals for the month and the year. Neu Year is the best I’ve found so far. You can choose paper or dry erase surface, landscape or vertical view, and you can see the entire year at a glance. No more flipping pages or re-creating those dry erase monthly boxes each month. It’s all there ready to go. And if you are fancy like me, you can spring for a frame too (Price: $22.00)
What are your go-to organization tools? Let me know in the comments below.
And P.S. – This was the song in my head as I wrote this post:
Planners. Planners. Planners. Planners. Rockin everywhere.
Planners. Planners. Planners. Planners. Rockin everywhere…Rock, R-Rock, R-Rockin everywhere set to the beat of Bubba Sparxx’s Ms. New Booty. I can’t get it out of my head now.