Hi, I’m Barry –for years I used pre-printed analog planners, including Franklin, Day Timers, and other off-the-shelf systems. But they didn’t always work for me and so I set out to create one that did based on my need to incorporate mindfulness in my daily planning as well as use my smartphone for what it does best.
I used other analog systems like Bullet JournalTM and Strikethru, but some of their features either didn’t work for me or I knew there was a better way. Plus, I wanted a system organized around what I believe are the essential principles for life planning.
My Essential Life Planning Principles:
- I have ONE life; therefore I need only ONE notebook – unless I work in a military or national security environment (which, to date I haven’t), one notebook will probably do.
- No designer should limit my creative expression with pre-printed pages – today I might use half a page, tomorrow I might need 10. It’s kind of a no-brainer.
- Tasks should be ranked by relevancy instead of urgency – urgency leads to task stacking and over-scheduling; relevancy is a type of task filter that leads to getting things done.
- Mindfulness should be an integral part of planning each day of my life – the twice daily mindful reviews keeps me on top of task relevance.
- Digital devices handle appointments, contacts, lists, and reminders more efficiently can I can – I enter it once and I’m done; no more migrating lists or contacts.
How Zen-Journal Applies these Principles:
- Begin with a blank notebook. Any notebook will do and I have some recommendations based on my experience. Since you will will likely only be using one notebook, I suggest one that is appropriate for both business and personal use. If you simply must have two notebooks, then your expenses will be doubled and your set-up will be duplicated as well.
- Create Zen-Journal’s minimal structure. A few pages for an index or Table of Contents (TOC); Discipline Tasks Lists (DTL); Quarterly Look-Ahead (QLA); Daily Work Area (DWA). Each is described in the free set-up guides.
- Allow your smartphone to do what it does best. Smartphones are infinitely more accurate for keeping raw data and Zen-journal embraces this. Contacts, lists/collections, reminders, and appointments are the types of tasks that they handle in less time and with greater accuracy.
I found that Zen-Journal’s ability to dovetail with my smartphone worked perfectly and eliminated the need for pre-printed analog calendars and the bothersome recurring reminder lists / collections that continually needed to be migrated from notebook to notebook.
Here’s how to get started…
The best part is that there is nothing to buy in order to get started. You can use any blank notebook you already have on hand. Simply download the free set-up guides by clicking here or by filling in the form in the sidebar and you’ll be on your way in a just a few minutes.