Encouraging the midlife woman to grow, thrive and prosper

New Year New Planning: The Tools

New Year New Planning: The Tools

So we’re four days into the new year and we still haven’t talked about planning! It’s time to put that right today, so if you’ve got a moment, sit back with a nice cup of gorgeousness, and get to it.

You should know by now that I love to plan. I love writing in my journal about all the things that I need (read ‘want’) to plan. I love spider charts, making lists and most of all, I love ticking things off. In order to keep myself organised, though, I need a selection of tools. Here are my tips for making that happen.


Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of diaries including Quo Vadis, Filofax and iCal. They all work to an extent, but I can’t say I’ve been entirely happy with any of them. This year I’ve chosen the Trigg Life Mapper¬†mainly because it’s won ‘Best 2018 Diary’ at the UK Calendar Awards 2017 (what an accolade!). I’ve started to use it and so far so good, although I already have a few niggles with it:

  • It would be nice if each of the page corners were perforated. Quo Vadis have got this right. You simply tear off the little perforation at the beginning of each week, and you can immediately find the right page when you open the diary.
  • Two ribbon markers would also be helpful (as opposed to the one provided). The reason is that, at the beginning of each week, the Priority Planning pages give you an overview of your goals for the week. It’s a bit irritating having to flick backwards and forwards every time you want to review those goals.
  • Because the Trigg Planner kind of encourages flicking backwards and forwards, I wonder how substantial the paper weight is going to be in the long term. Something a bit more robust might be in order, although I need to give the diary a fairer trial before I sit in judgement on that one.

Bullet Journal

I’ve been bullet journalling for a while now. You can read about it here. It’s a simple analogue system that helps ordinary people like you and me become more organised. Although I’ve long given up on designing the beautiful pages beloved of bloggers and YouTubers like Boho Berry and Helen Colebrook (their websites are well worth a look, believe me), there are some aspects of bullet journalling that I find essential. Dotted paper is one of them. I’ve recently discovered Rhodia notebooks, but Leuchtturm and Moleskine are other popular choices. I am currently working with two bullet journals – one for my home life and Flourish, the other for work.


Some of the Bullet Journalling pages are absolute must-haves in my book. For starters, the index page is genius. It makes for such a simple system, I can’t believe I never thought of it myself. Other pages that I use regularly are the ‘Future logs’, where I can jot down up and coming events and activities. I like to have these set up for 12 whole months in advance, which makes the system potentially more useful that a paper diary.

Ta Da Book

I love a ‘to do’ list as much as the next woman, but don’t you just get bogged down when you can’t quantify what you’ve done? The number of times I’ve run myself ragged during the day, only to fall into bed at the end of the day and wonder what I’ve done with my time. The Ta Da book is the answer to that. It’s a bit like an old-fashioned Day Book – a place to write down the things I’ve achieved, as well as any notes that accompany the decisions I’ve made, etc. I use an A5 day to a page diary for this, and it works really well.


So that’s it, a little run through of the tools I love to use for my planning. If you’d like me to blog about how I set up these different tools, please comment below, so I can schedule something in soon.

Love Val x

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