There are so many ways to keep track of your plans and goals. Like there are entire businesses and industries built up around planners (both physical and digitals) and there are more planning software options than you can count on two hands!

So how do you choose?

There are quite a few things to consider when it comes to planning and tracking things. First up will you use a physical or digital method? Personally, I love paper planners and fancy pens and bullet journaling and all the trappings and… well you see how you can go wrong here. You spend more energy on setting up the planner and making it fancy and taking pictures of it for Instagram than you do getting the work done. So, I’ve switched to using my paper planner as more of a journal and I’m really happy with that

The other downfall to physical methods is that they are not as easy to modify. Because as we all know life happens. And life brings with it so many bumps in the road and challenges and we need to be flexible. What if you need to move things or around or add a dozen tasks to an existing project or make any kind of change? Doing that with a paper list can be really difficult. 

There are tons of software options that allow you to do planning and keep track of goal stuff – two of my favorites are Asana and Clickup – both of which have free plan options. They are set up in a project management style so you can have to do lists and task dependencies (like you can’t do task B until task A is complete) and all sorts of fancy things. Plus if you are more than just a one human show, you can use softwares like this to communicate with teams. I just recently stopped using Asana because I found that my spreadsheet and post-it system was getting it all done.

For me, it makes sense that I ended up going with a spreadsheet method of tracking and planning my goals. I’ve loved using Excel for over twenty years and it comes really naturally to me to list things out and sort them in categories and date them and all the good stuff I need to do. And if I have to say delay the release of a new knitting pattern because the photoshoot got canceled because of Covid, well then it’s just as simple as changing the dates in my spreadsheet.  

I do combine it with a post-it method where I write down all my weekly tasks on post-its and keep them on a whiteboard with three sections: to-do, in progress, and done. I find it extremely satisfying to move all those post-its as I work through the week. Plus, it’s super easy for me to glance at the board and know if I’m track! I also can say ooh, I have 15 minutes before lunch, what post-it can I get done right now?

So which method should you use? Well, I hate to tell you this, but that answer is different for everybody. What it boils down to is that you are going to have to experiment a lot to find out what works for you. You may be like me, and spreadsheets are your love language and then you know that it’s a great place to start. But if you’re going to do anything other than pen and paper you should be ready to learn some new things. I find that YouTube is my favorite place to learn about new-to-me software options. And the nice thing about watching on YouTube you can easily get a quick idea of whether or not the software is even something you want to mess with!

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