This week I received an exciting package – my copy of Get to Work Book(GTWB) for 2016/17. Naturally the first thing I did was sketch it.
The creator of this book is Elise Joy, a lifestyle/craft/goal setting blogger who I have followed for some time. She describes it as: a daily planner + goal setting workbook designed to help you make progress on your big goals by taking things one day at a time. While (sadly) it can’t do your work for you, every inch of it was thoughtfully designed to help you get to work.
And after using it all year, I can confirm that it has indeed helped me to get to work and to get things done!
I have been using a simplified version of David Allen’s Getting Things Done system and keep all my next actionable items for each project in a fancy digital productivity app – Omnifocus. (Note: Omnifocus is high end but I started with Todoist which was great too.) But I love having a paper system too which I use to map out how I am going to spend each day.
My attachment to and reliance on this book has truly helped me achieve a lot in the last 6 months, including writing a book in 3 months.
I take it to the cafe every morning. I review, plan and allocate and then just get into it! The ordered way in which I record my tasks in this planner takes the pressure off keeping them all sorted in my brain. And if I hit a slump midway through a day, I pull out my GTWB – reviewing the plan seems to get me back to work!
There are so many things I love about the Get To WorkBook. I use all the special planning pages – check out the videos. But most of all I love the quality or the paper and the monotone simple design. Each week I start by customising the ‘three things for the day’ with little black square boxes and continue I use this theme as I write my lists each day.
This book is making me want to write really neatly which in turn makes me feel in control and even more organised. Recently I have started writing down what I did if it was different (in red) and this has been great for days when I am unable to get my tasks finished and might be feeling a touch discouraged. Once I have written down what I did do, then I either realise that I achieved other things or I get a better sense of how to set more realistic time frames!
I love the three goals for the week and the three goals for each day. The gridded area at the bottom on the page is great to writing extra stuff that needs to be fitted in but I am not sure how. At the moment I am using this for blog posts. (I also have a colour coded digital editorial calendar that maps out the big picture but I have some flexible spots in that so I use my GTWB for working out the details.)
As Sunday is my day of rest I use that column for listing little admin tasks that come up during the week that might not make it into Omnifocus, or that need to be done at sometime during the week. There is a bit of overlap here.
What I love most about the book is how useful and flexible the different sections are – so that you can use the book in a way that suits you best.
Note: Looking at that photo above it appears that I don’t always tick off everything that I have done!
This isn’t the cheapest planner out there, but for me it is worth each dollar (including the shipping to down under!) The productivity it has given me is worth FAR more than the price of the book. But on the most basic level, it is a wonderfully designed and great quality product.
I also am very happy to support Elise. I have gotten so much from her wonderful podcast Elise Gets Crafty. It’s all about blogging and creative small business but with a down to earth emphasis that fits well with what I am trying to do (some blogging/online business podcast are much too hard hitting). I love listening to the way people in different industries do things and I love supporting people who are so generous in sharing quality free content. Thanks Elise!
I enjoy seeing how other people use it too!
And just for the record, this is not a sponsored post. It is simply a personal acknowledgment of how much this book has done for me. The big break-through for me was using a column/list layout as a diary – that just sorts me out. But its also super important for me to have a book that I just love! If I love it, I use it all the time, meaning that I can fully trust that it contains all the important stuff I need on a day to day basis for scheduling my work – this is a massive part of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. It’s really great when you find a product and a system that really works for you, isn’t it?
Update: Just wanted to add a few additional points that have been raised in the comments. The above paragraph is only half of the story. I use my GTWB for scheduling my work on a daily basis. I still primarily rely on my digital app (Omnifocus) to record all the details of appointments, time sensitive actions and items that I don’t need to deal with straight away. There is some overlap but I rely most on my app as I carry it around with me. As most of my important work is working on big projects I need a lot of thinking time to work out think through ideas and the best way to break that down to actionable items. Then I have to work out how to fit that into the time I have. This thinking and scheduling of my project work is what I use the paper system for as I find that I think much better with a pen in the hand. If you have lots of appointments and lots of small deadline driven tasks than a digital app is possibly more useful.
Over the last 6 months I have spend more time than ever before planning and thinking through my projects. Sometimes I think this time could be better spent just doing the work, but as I have being achieving a lot lately with a lot less pressure than previous years, I think this time is actually making it easier.
"Big things happen one day at a time."
As always, I would love to hear from you:
Do you have a great planner/app – and what is the feature that works for you the most?
How many people bullet journal?