Three different notepads

Five Tools to Keep Your Goals Organized

April 25, 2021

I'm Abby

Filling my days with joy, adventure, and chasing my dreams without feeling burnt out. Read on for how I make it happen and how you can, too!

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avoiding burnout

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Celebrate Your Progress

Spring is starting to bloom. For many that means it’s time to cultivate your garden. This year, in our new house, I am hoping to plant some new flowers and start a little garden. To successfully plant a garden, there are a few tools I will need. A shovel, some fresh soil, a hose, and some flowers to plant. With the right tools, I will be able to plant a beautiful garden.

Goals are the same way. With the right tools you can organize your goals and grow your progress. I want to share with you the five tools I use to cultivate, keep track of, organize, and accomplish my goals.

1. Notebook for ideas

I am definitely a pen to paper kind of gal. I like writing things down. It is easier to flip through a notebook and find my ideas over the years. The feeling of holding a notebook in my hands is so satisfying!

For Tradewinds, I have a specific notepad. In it I keep track of all my ideas, my plans, outlines of new programs, and notes from workshops and webinars I attend. When I am stuck on an idea or have a mental block, I can flip through the pages and often find inspiration in ideas from months or even years ago.

My favorite notebooks are the coiled notebooks from Erin Condren. I like a coil bound book so I can fold it completely in half. It’s easier to hold on my lap that way. I like Erin’s notebooks in particular because I can customize the cover. I like to put inspiring messages on the cover or brand it for my business.

A notebooks to write down ideas and keep organized goals.
My current Erin Condren notebook. I love this quote!

2. iPhone notepad for on-the-spot ideas

Often ideas come to me when I am in the most random places; in the middle of a spin class, watching a movie, listening to a podcast, or talking with friends. So, despite my love of pen and paper, there isn’t always one handy when an idea strikes. I keep several different notepads in my phone for these moments. I have an iPhone and just use the notes app. But I do have several different notepads; Tradewinds ideas, quotes, podcast notes, or my favorite, random shit.

Screen shot of iPhone notes list to keep organized goals.
A screen shot of my current note pages in my phone.

I periodically go through these notes and delete stuff that isn’t relevant or needed anymore. I will transfer important notes to my actual notebook. At the end of the day, the notepad on my phone is an in the moment, short term solution.

3. 3-month calendar for long term planning

I love my three-month calendar. I discovered it last year on Amazon. It has been one of the best purchases I have made. I am able to plan out all my content three months at a time. I can compare month to month what I have going on. The best part, the month page comes off easily, you move it up on the calendar, and the newest month is underneath. You just keep moving the pages up as the year goes on.

Even if you don’t have a business, this tool can be helpful to plan family vacations, school breaks, and big work events. Having one place to see 90 days in advance helps me break down the big plans into smaller tasks.

Check out the one I have hanging in my office: Amazon link.

4. Amber’s Planner for weekly business focus

For those of us juggling multiple jobs, family, pets or kids (or both), keeping everything organized can be one of the biggest challenges. Thank goodness for my business coach, Amber Housley! Because she knows this is hard. And she created the perfect weekly planner to help business women like me get organized.

On Sunday, I sit down and fill out this planner. This planner is a place where I can combine all the information I have across calendars and marketing plans. It also prompts me to take a pause and focus on how I want to feel and what I’m grateful for. Sometimes in the hustle of life, it’s easy to forget how important that pause can be. Once it’s filled out, I have a clear plan for the week for both my task priorities and my mental focus.

Right now, I’m in an additional coaching program that can have up to four meetings a week. Those go on the weekly planner right away! I scroll through my 9-5 job calendar, my Tradewinds calendar and write down all the big things happening. I take a look at my 3-month calendar to see what marketing pieces I have planned for the week. If the calendar says blog post, then my to-do list will say write blog post, edit blog post, publish blog post on website. Yes, I break it down into each of those individual tasks. It helps me manage my time, feel accomplished, and not get overwhelmed.

I also look a week or two ahead to see what I need to be working on and what material needs to be finalized {see where that 3 month calendar comes in handy?}. This helps me avoid those “oh shit!” moments if I had planned something and then never did the work to create the content or material. Reality check: I don’t fill this out every single Sunday. There are weeks when I don’t get to it or if it’s a slow week and I don’t feel it’s necessary.

Side note, if you have any questions about working with Amber, I’d love to chat about my experience and answer any questions! Just drop me a DM over on Instagram!

5. To-Do list for short term tasks

Have you ever written a task on a to-do list that you had already accomplished, just so you could have the satisfaction of crossing it off? Yup, me too!

I love a good to-do list. And I use a couple different kinds depending on how much I have going on.

First, there is the good old-fashioned Post It Note. I tend to write my to-dos on a Post It Note when it has to get done that day. The organizer in me really doesn’t like having lots of notes hanging around. Write the task down, get it done, throw away the note. That’s my routine.

Second, I have a notepad from Lily Pulitzer that is broken into three sections, do this, maybe this, then this. I generally use this notepad for projects when the tasks have to be done in a specific order. It is also useful when I have a lot on my to-do list because it encourages me to prioritize. Now, in reality, sometimes I do jump around and complete tasks out of order. But overall, I find this breakdown really helpful.

Third, my personalized to-do list note pad. My best friend gave this to me for my birthday a few years ago {clearly, she knows what I love!}. I keep it in my bedside table. I typically use it to plan out my weekends. The different circles to breakdown all the different things I want to do and need to do on the weekends is pretty and helpful. Often, what I write down is simply, Tradewinds time. Then, when I go up to my office, I have my specific lists for what I need to work on for my business. So, I’m not repeating my specific to-do list on each notepad I use.

The ‘people to call’ bubble is one of my favorites. It sparks a reminder in me to reach out to someone. In this world of 6 foot distance, masks hiding our smiles, and cancelled social gatherings, it’s been even more important to make intentional time to connect with the ones we love and miss.

Three types of notepads to keep organized goals.
My three favorite notepads!

Here’s the Cliff notes version:

Each of these tools serves a different purpose to help me keep my goals organized and make consistent progress.

  1. notebook: brainstorming and long term notes
  2. iPhone notepad: on the spot ideas
  3. 3-month calendar: planning out long term
  4. weekly planner: setting priorities for my business
  5. To-do lists: what needs to get done

Which one will help you with your goals? Comment below and let me know which one you’re going to use this week!

Explore more categories:  Goal Setting

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I'm Abby

Filling my days with joy, adventure, and chasing my dreams without feeling burnt out. Read on for how I make it happen and how you can, too!

categories

avoiding burnout

time management

finding joy

mindset

popular posts

Signs of Burnout

Time Management Tips

Celebrate Your Progress

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