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THE 6 PLANNING TOOLS I USE TO STAY PRODUCTIVE

September 6, 2018

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Next to having a blog post with tips to stay motivated, I also got the suggestion via Instagram to make a post where I share all my planning tools. And that post is the one I’m sharing today!

We can all use motivation & productivity tips so why not share what has worked for me so far. Especially after summer is gone, we can all use tips to beat the summer slump at work. Or if you want to start this year off with trying out new tools to up your game, than this post is also for you.

Honestly, the only way I stay productive — motivation can always slip but that’s why I have this post with tips — is with these 6 planning tools. It might seem like a lot but they all work together to make sure I get sh*t done.

DEAR DIARY
PRODUCTIVITY PLANNER

I already shared a review on this planner that you can read here, so I’ll be quick with this one. This is my number one planning tool. It’s where I keep all my important meetings, breakdown my to do’s in different priorities and keep notes on coming projects. I buy a new one every end of the three months — I use the quarterly, undated version — and I am still in love with it. If you want a planner with a lot of space for to do’s, than this one is the one you want to click home!

Update September 2019: The Dear Diary planner has recently got a redesign. I’ve only used the new design for about a month but I love it! I will try it out for a little longer for a more in depth review but the size has gotten an update as well as the daily pages. Right now, it is still one of the best planning tools I have.

ALSO READ: PLANNING GOALS: WHICH ONES DID I KEEP FOR 2019?

THE 6 PLANNING TOOLS I USE TO STAY PRODUCTIVE | THECHICITALIAN | These 6 planning tools are the ones I use to stay productive & manage my time and projects
THE 6 PLANNING TOOLS I USE TO STAY PRODUCTIVE | THECHICITALIAN | Planning tools for to do lists, time management, social media planning & project management

ASANA
PROJECT MANAGEMENT

For long period planning I use the project management tool Asana. It’s where I plan out all my projects & break it down in smaller tasks. I assign the smaller tasks a date that I later on use when I plan out my week in my Dear Diary planner*. What this does, is that I see what I already done for the project, all the steps I still need to take & I have an overview of the whole project. Since I have a three month planner, I can’t plan in it for longer than three months but some of the projects I’m running go beyond that. Or they’re recurring.

Another great feature is that you can share projects & to do’s with people on your team or someone helping you out with a project.

Update September 2019: Asana is playing a much bigger role in my planning now that I also use it for different projects. It’s also a great tool to use when you work with clients so that they can see where we are at with a project.

RELATED: HOW TO STAY SANE WHEN YOU WORK FROM HOME

THE 6 PLANNING TOOLS I USE TO STAY PRODUCTIVE | THECHICITALIAN | These 6 planning tools are the ones I use to stay productive & manage my time and projects

TOGGL
TIME MANAGEMENT BUDDY

If there is one thing that I’m extremely bad at, it’s time management. I’m so bad at giving time estimates on projects that I have this planning tool, Toggl, to show me how much time I spend on something. That way I can make a more accurate estimate the next time.

It also shows me how much time I spend on a task, which helps me when I’m evaluating where my time goes. I also have a rule that I at least spend six hours per workday on doing work. Toggle keeps me on my toes when reaching this daily goal.

Within Toggle you have:

  • Your workspace — Where all your projects & clients fall under.
  • Your clients — The people you work for or a name for one big project. For example a client I have is Fiona Gobbo Creative where I track all things FGC related.
  • Projects — Under projects you can create all your projects for clients but also separate projects without clients. Under Fiona Gobbo Creative I have blog, business model & website.

So not only is it a great tool for time tracking, it keeps all your different clients & projects separate. And just like with Asana, you can share your workspace with your team. If you use Zapier, you can even connect the two.

ALSO READ: HOW TO COMBINE YOUR SIDE HUSTLE WITH A JOB AND OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES

THE 6 PLANNING TOOLS I USE TO STAY PRODUCTIVE | THECHICITALIAN | Planning tools for to do lists, time management, social media planning & project management
THE 6 PLANNING TOOLS I USE TO STAY PRODUCTIVE | THECHICITALIAN | These 6 planning tools are the ones I use to stay productive & manage my time and projects

PLANOLY
MY SOCIAL MEDIA PLANNER

I’ve talked fondly about this app* many times and I always recommend it to people who are looking for an Instagram planning tool. You can plan your feed, plan your Stories & it has analytics inside the app. If you want to know more about this app, check out this post on my other blog for Fiona Gobbo Creative.

Update September 2019: This app just keeps getting better. If you switch to a business account you can autopost and also autopost your hashtags in the first comment (only an option for photos and videos). Do you have a duo or customized account? You can now also plan your Pinterest pins. The perfect visual planner!

RELATED: 5 WAYS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR INSTAGRAM

PLANOLY SHEETS
MY YEARLY & MONTHLY PLANNER

These sheets are totally free and you can download them here (scroll all the way down). I personally use the yearly & monthly printable to plan. Every month I print out a monthly sheet to write down all the important meetings & projects down. What I love about using this paper planner is that I have an overview of what’s the come.

The yearly planner I print out to write down themes & goals for every month for over the year. This month my themes for TheChicItalian are fall & getting back to work content. Hence the focus on more productivity tips.

Update September 2019: I haven’t used these paper planners in a while. I’ve switched over to the numbers & notes app on my iPhone so I can keep it with me on the move and access my planning anywhere.

ALSO READ: HOW TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS: 6 THINGS YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF

THE 6 PLANNING TOOLS I USE TO STAY PRODUCTIVE | THECHICITALIAN | Planning tools for to do lists, time management, social media planning & project management

CROSSBOW PRINTABLE NOTEPADS
PAPER PLANNER

A tool I don’t use that often anymore but might be perfect for you, are the Crossbow Printables productivity notepads. These notepads were everything to me before I got the Dear Diary planner. I used the weekly planner & daily to do’s to plan out my week. They’re a great companion if you use a calendar on your phone or a planner that doesn’t have a lot of space to write to do’s down.

Update September 2019: I haven’t used these planning notepads in a while after switching to the Dear Diary planner. I do use a bullet journal from CGD London for notes & writing down ideas.

RELATED: HOW TO PRIORITIZE YOUR OVERFLOWING TO DO LIST

THE 6 PLANNING TOOLS I USE TO STAY PRODUCTIVE | THECHICITALIAN | These 6 planning tools are the ones I use to stay productive & manage my time and projects
THE 6 PLANNING TOOLS I USE TO STAY PRODUCTIVE | THECHICITALIAN | Planning tools for to do lists, time management, social media planning & project management

TOOLS & THE LOOK*

I hope these planning tools will help you as much as they help me stay productive. If there is anything else you would want to see on the blog regarding motivation & productivity, please let me know in the comments below. Or send me a message via Instagram or my contact form.

Which planning tools do you use?

 

xo FG

All affiliate links are marked with a *

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