Schedule It Up

18 Aug

For years, I’ve used an untraditional calendar and to-do list format: my brain. 

I’ve never scheduled out my week in writing and it’s starting to catch up to me.  I’m lining up more and more freelance jobs and setting up a new self-hosted Website.  I’m also planning a wedding and I usually always have a pretty full fitness calendar.

Let me just preface by saying:  I LOVE doing all of those things.  I cannot believe people actually like my writing enough to hire me.  It’s super flattering and very exciting!  And, of course, I love workin’ on my fitness and am so stoked that I have more time to fit that into my schedule now that I’m not studying.   And, as confusing as it may be, I’m having so much fun setting up my new site (P.S. almost ready!).  Oh yeah…and planning my wedding isn’t so bad either. 😉

So, my life is going in so many new directions that I’ve got to get organized.

The End Of The Brain To-Do List

Starting yesterday, I’m going to start putting my weekly to-dos and schedule on paper so it’s not floating around in my head all day.  I have used my brain as a to-do list and a personal calendar for wayy too long.  It’s tough to get everything straight when it’s unorganized in my mind.  Here are some things I need to schedule:

  • Workouts
  • Friends/Family Events
  • Church Functions
  • Wedding Meetings/Planning
  • Freelance Writing
  • Blog Writing/Site Maintenance
  • Food Prep
  • Errands


The main task I want to start scheduling are my workouts.  Although I write down every workout on a calendar on my fridge, I always do that after the fact.  I always go to the gym with a plan, but I’d like to take my plans to the next level.  I’ve got some scheduled lifting and training plans that I want to try (more on that in a later post) and with that, I’ll need some sort of an organized schedule.

Type of Calendar

For work, I always use my Microsoft Outlook calendar.  That works for me because I have Outlook open every second of the day in the office, so all my work events are constantly popping up for me.

However, I don’t want to use Outlook for my personal calendar.  I also don’t want to use any online calendar.  I’m not always connected to the Internet so I don’t want to be dependant on it.  Some people probably love online calendars, but that’s just not how I roll.

I actually did have some success using calendars templates in Excel for my CPA studying.  So, I decided I’d try to do a weekly calendar in Excel. 

So far, I’m loving it!  Here’s a sneak peak of one I started for this week:

Weekly Planner

Cool, huh?  Like, I said, I’m already loving it.  Plus, now that I’m bringing my netbook with me to work, I can have access to my calendar all the time.


I read an awesome post the other day about prioritizing your life as a means to build your schedules.  Of course, there are only 168 hours in a week and 56 of those hours should be spent sleeping (or trying to) and another 40 should be spent at work (or trying to…he he).  You get to choose how to spend the other 72 hours (which actually doesn’t sound like much if you put it that way).  Obviously, most of us want to spend those hours on the things that matter most to us, but sometimes that list gets a little disorganized (or distracted…facebook, anyone?).  Here’s how my time priorities would go (not including work/sleep):

  • spending time with my husband-elect
  • working out
  • shopping for and preparing healthy meals
  • spending time with friends and family
  • church
  • maintaining a clean house/car/life
  • blogging/writing/reading
  • watching E!!!!! 🙂
  • relaxing
  • mind/body exercise/yoga stuff (wish I had more time for this)

Special Note: You’ll notice that facebook is nowhere to be found on that list.  Facebook is obsessed with me and is always trying to get me to log on.  Our relationship is complicated.

The post went on to say to look at where you’re really spending your time and see if it’s on the list.  If not, work to replace a list item with a non-list item.  Also, see which things in your list you want to spend more time on and less time on and make changes accordingly.

It’s interesting to put your priorities and schedule out on paper and see where your time is really going.  I don’t like to delve too deep into trying to make the most out of my 24 hours per day because you obviously can’t go, go, go every waking minute and everyone needs down time.  It’s all about balance.

Do you schedule and/or prioritize your life?  What tools do you use to schedule your days with?

8 Responses to “Schedule It Up”

  1. Frugalista August 19, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    I use a planner and am a big fan of lists that I put on giant post its in the planner.

  2. HighClassLowIncome August 19, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Good luck planning things! I use a to-do list sometimes and I feel like I can really get a lot done (as long as I’m referring back to it) and I use google calendar for scheduling reminders to myself because it synchs to my droid phone. I might be kind of old school, but I still like writing my work schedule in a cheapy calendar planner I carry in my bag. For my to-do lists I use an app for Droid called Astrid and it’s cool because you can set each item on the to-do list by low, medium or high importance, and can also time how long it takes you. I can’t wait to see what types of workouts you’ll be doing! I have been kind of slacking on lifting since I moved but I’m trying to fit some sort of exercise here and there! Now I’m going to clean up my to-do list 🙂

  3. Ella August 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    I use a cute little journal as a planner. Most of everything on my list is “Do it ASAP or within a few days” kinda thing, so I don’t miss having a calender. And then I like to cross off each item as I finish. Maybe I should look into scheduling my life better too!

  4. munchkin August 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    facebook is obsessed with you eh? LOL

  5. Serendipity August 19, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    I love this. Right now I have a covey planner I use and have started putting work, school and personal commitments down on paper but I might start writing out time blocks. I like having my days planned during the week and if need be, the weekend to stay on task with things.

  6. me in millions August 20, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Google calendar is seriously the best. It does all of that stuff for you. I have separate calendars for personal, work, birthdays… and I access it from my iphone. You should seriously look into it!

  7. tiffany August 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    i am a self-report planner extraordinaire and my favorite tool to use is a moleskine 18-month planner. one side of the page has the week divided into days and the other side of the page has empty lines so you can write extra notes.

    i keep my weekly plans, weekly to-do list and my “checkbook balancing” all in one place! i LOVE it!


  1. Pencil it in « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander - August 19, 2010

    […] Carrie and Amber recently blogged about the importance of prioritising. After sleep and work, we only have […]

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