Pre-planning in another planner and why I do it

Pre-planning is something I’ve only recently started doing

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Some people call it pre-planning, others I’ve seen have ‘messy planners’. I don’t do this in my Hobonichi Cousin. This is kept in a separate planner altogether. Last year, it was sometimes in a spare Weeks, this year I’ve mainly been using up my Leuchtturm A5 bullet journal* for it.

So why pre-plan?

Pre-planning for me is all about organising my thoughts. It’s almost a bit of a brain dump really. I’ve been doing this consistently for a few months now and have felt the benefits so much that I’m going to try and formalise this process more in 2021. It’s also a great way to clear out my brain on a Sunday evening if I don’t have time to plan out my week ‘properly’.

Pre-planning allows me to see everything I need to accomplish during the week before I start actually plotting out what I’m going to do and when. Seeing everything all together allows me to make my days more balanced. If I just tried to plan out my week without having this messy planning space, I would end up with lots of things planned in for certain days that just wasn’t achievable as I’d then realise I’d have other things that needed doing that day. Or, as sometimes happened, I’d just put all my tasks in for the start of the week which was never going to happen.

How do I pre-plan?

Every Sunday evening I open up the Leuchtturm and start writing a list of everything I know I need to get done the following week. I rack my brains, and refer to my long term goal planning pages. This is a bit of a brain dump. For some reason I like to use a pencil in the Leuchtturm. I don’t add in recurring tasks that I do every week. Instead of having them written out out, I have task cards with those on.

I then write out of the days of the week and referring to the monthly view in my Cousin, I write in any events that are occurring. I also drop in things such as the day I do my food shopping. From those events, tasks may come out from them, so I add these in too. I also add in any tasks that I know need to be completed on a certain day.

From there, I can then start looking at my task list and plotting out when I’m going to do each of the tasks.

Sometimes I do this in the notebook, other times I do this as part of my full Cousin planning.

When I’m finished, I can then see what days are lighter in terms of tasks and events, and look to schedule in some long term business tasks. This is generally designing new releases, or doing research on a new product.

It’s quite a simple process, but one that has been helping me massively.

In 2021, I want to make this a more permanent part of my planning. So instead of just doing this on a Sunday, I want to have this in a permanent location in one of my planners. Somewhere I can jot notes every day when they come to mind. I’m terrible at writing down ideas or things I need to remember to do in the moment. Mainly, because I don’t have anywhere specific to write them. Instead, I end up with post-it notes littered on my desk. Or notes on my iPhone that I forget about.

I’m still deciding on all my planner set-ups for 2021, so I’m not 100% on where this pre-planning will live. The most obvious place is the A6 weekly supplement I purchased for 2021. This is literally something just to hold any appointments for when I’m out and about. As it’s not going to be that full it’s probably the perfect place for a brain dump/messy pre-planning.

hobonichi a6 2021

Do you do any pre-planning?

I’d love to know how you do it, if so. Please leave me a comment with your process! If you do any ‘messy’ planning, or pre-planning, I’d also love know to the planner you use for it.