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Geez, 2009?! Seriously, where did you go? It feels like you left us so quickly. I guess we only have one day left until 2010, so I better get busy! I love the anticipation and prospects of a new year. New goals, fresh ideas, renewed ambition and the shear anticipation of what the upcoming year holds. On just about every New Year resolution list is the goal of organization. Being organized can change your life– saving you time and money– and even making you healthier and happier.

Moleskine Calendar Planner and Volant

One tried and true organizing tip I can give you is to have some sort of calendar notebook system. You need a way to see the month at a glance, a place to capture your goals and ideas, and somewhere to write your daily task list. I’ve tried every conceivable system imaginable, from Franklin Covey to pocket planners, and the system I constantly go back to are the Moleskine Monthly Planner coupled with the Moleskine Volant Notebook. I use the Monthly Planner as my calendar system and it also serves as a place to capture my life goals and ideas. Whereas, the Volant Notebook serves as more of a daily task or “to-do” list.

Moleskine Monthly Calendar Planner

The main reason I love the monthly planner is because the calendar spans two pages giving ample room to write. Each morning, I take a quick glance at my calendar to see what’s in store for the day. I use the calendar pages strictly for personal appointments, important meetings, deadlines and any time-driven reminders. Basically, anything that I need to leave the house for or *HAS* to get done on a particular day gets jotted down in the appropriate date of the calendar. Following the two-page calendar of the Moleskin Monthly Planner, are two blank pages. I organize these blank pages in the following ways: the left-hand side of the page holds my “Main Goals”, the goals I want to accomplish for the month. I also highlight ideas and brainstorming notes on this page. My main goals are then broken down into manageable “Mini Goals”, the baby steps I need to do in order to accomplish the larger goal, and are written on the right-hand side of the planner.

Moleskine Calendar Planner Blank Page

For example: ‘Build company web site’ is a main goal and might be hard to get started on without breaking it down into more manageable steps. I would write ‘Build company web site’ on the left-hand “Main Goals” side of the planner. “Mini Goals” such as ‘order domain name, build mock-up of initial design, write content, contact illustrator for logo design’, and any small steps needed in order to accomplish my main goal of building my company web site, and are written on the right-hand side of the notebook. Goals that may merge over to the next month, can be easily re-written for the following month.

The Moleskine Volant Notebook holds my daily “To-Do” list. A rolling list of tasks are written down in this notebook. It also includes my shopping list and daily monotonous things that need to be done to keep my life moving such as: buying stamps, taking dog to groomer, going to the dentist, etc. The Volant notebook and my Monthly Calendar/Planner go with me where ever I go. They are light, flexible and small enough to fit in my bag. The secret to any organizing system is to use it. Have it on your desk and open to the day’s date. Start making lists of things you want to accomplish the night before. For example, plan Monday on Sunday evening. Keep the system up. Tweak and refine the system so it works for you and becomes a part of the natural rhythm of your life.

Other calendar options that I haven’t tried and sound intriguing are:

  1. The 8 Days-A-Week Planner. Room for all your Monday through Sunday plans, and then an extra column for your Someday plans.
  2. Sync Google Calendar with your BlackBerry.

If you have any calendar options to add to the above list, I’d love to add your link– and hear what works for you!

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