I’m pretty big with using technology to make my life easier. I love having my calendar sync between any devices I use and I can color code it as much as I want. It’s pretty helpful when I have a lot of overlapping events in my life. I would possibly be lost without my phone calendar and the alerts it gives me (especially the 24 hour alerts before a Southwest flight so I can check in).
But toward the end of the year, a bunch of friends were posting about their new paper planners for 2016. Because of my changing schedule (and the overlapping issues), I don’t really see myself using a paper planner. It would be too messy for me to feel ok using it. But as I started to look into the planners that some of my friends were getting, I was intrigued by the other things that the planners offered.
So many planners now are designed to be more than just a schedule. They can be goal focused and I loved that idea! I looked around at various planners, and the one that seemed best for my life was the Spark Planner. So I put an order in and got it just before the new year! I’ve been using it for a little more than a week, and I wanted to share with you all about how much I’m loving it (and no, they didn’t pay me to say this)!
Like I said, my plan for my planner was not to be a scheduling tool. That’s not something that I would want to use it for, but if you wanted to do that, there are plenty of ways to plan in it. But I’m going to focus on what I use my planner for.
First of all, I love that it’s a plain planner! If I want to decorate it, I can. But I love that it’s not super cutesy or obvious.
Mine lives on my desk and it goes nicely with all the other things I have as desk accessories and looks professional if I did have it in my bag and took it out to use in public.
There are planner pages for each week. They are broken down by morning, noon, and night but you can use it for anything you want. They aren’t broken down by hour (I would hate it if it was) so things can be much more freeform. I’m currently using the weekly pages to do my blog planning because I’ve been blog planning on post-its in the past and that’s not efficient. This way, I can not only plan my posts each day, I can take notes on what I want to write about (which is very helpful in my workout recaps).
I have decided what to do with the other blocks of time, but I might use them for just random notes or I might think of something later that fits perfectly. But that’s why I love the freeform of the planner pages!
The main focus on my Spark Planner for me is the goal setting pages. They have so many goal pages and I’m loving them all!
I used the 2016 goal setting pages to help me plan my goals for the year as well as my word of the year. I haven’t started filling in the achievements page yet, but I’m excited to document all the great things I accomplish this year! I’m really using this section as a companion to the goal setting that I do on here, and I like having it written down so I don’t have to search my blog to see the specifics of goals I’ve set for the year.
The next thing I’m loving are the monthly challenges! My current challenge for this month is to accurately track my food every day. I’m still toying with which app I want to track my food with, but this is a great way to be accountable even if I’m working on my challenge in two different places. There is also a monthly goals page, and I’m using that as a breakdown for what I need to do this month to be on track for my year goal.
Finally, there are weekly goal pages. I’ve been using these for goals that aren’t necessarily specific to my monthly/annual goals. I’ve been using them as more of a weekly to-do list. I’ve got things on it like to book flights for upcoming trips, do things related to the blog, or appointments that I need to set. At the bottom of the weekly goal pages, there is a section to reflect back at the end of the week. You are supposed to review all of your goals and celebrate what you were able to get done.
Besides all the goal setting stuff, there are also prompts to help you reflect on goals and ideas that you want to work on. And there is a lot of free space to doodle, make lists, or do anything you want.
I’m sure that some people use the Spark Planner in a much more regulated way, but I’m so happy with the freeform and lack of time constraints that I’m finding in my planner. I know that over the year I will find new ways that this planner will help me in my life, but for now I’m loving how it is helping me work toward each of my goals.
If you want to get your own Spark Planner (and I highly recommend you do if you want to work on goals this year), you can pre-order the ones that will be released in March. And if you want to get a free PDF of the Spark Planner, if you share the website on social media and then email them a screenshot, they will send you the PDF!
Whether or not you chose to buy a Spark Planner, I think that having a planner that helps you work toward your goals is such a wonderful gift to have. And I know that I will be more successful in my goals this year because of all the tracking I’m doing!