The Creatives Low-Energy Planner (free download)

I started listening to Productivity Alchemy, a podcast about productivity methods, planners, and what works and doesn’t work for different people. (It’s produced by Kevin Sonney, with help from his wife, Ursula Vernon, who are two of my favorite people. And Kevin has a very nice voice)

This inspired me to create a planner for myself that would take into account my executive dysfunction and general low energy. And I kept meaning to do a post about it, so here it is.

It’s gone through a few modifications and some of the pictures will be old versions, but it’s basically the same.

You can download a basic version of the planner. It’s set up as half-pages, with one week and the month end and month start pages, and licensed under the Creative Commons. You can share and modify it, but don’t sell it.

Creative Commons License
Creatives Low-Energy Planner by Silvercat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.silversspace.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/planner-pages-blank.pdf.

The ideas

First of all, when I make a list of things to do I tend to overestimate what I can get done and so most of the list is never finished. I prevented this by only giving myself four spaces everyday.

blank
The basic planner spread for the weekdays.

There’s space on the weekend pages for extra accompishments and I can always add stuff in the margins.

Because I also have problems with depression and spending all my energy trying to get the ‘important’ stuff done and so not having any left for fun stuff for me, I added a wrap-up section for each day.

Challenge today: What was hard today? What got in the way? What could I do differently?

Created today: I’m a creative person and I want to express that somehow everyday. Even if it’s just a doodle or coining one word for one of my conlangs. Also a place for how many words or pages I wrote.

Did for myself: Self-care sort of stuff. Can be anything from went out to eat to snuggled a cat.

You probably noticed the circles. That ties into the low-energy part. Some days, no matter what I planned, something gets in the way and the circles are for that. The idea is to put a sticker there – stickers are vital to the planner – that makes it clear that nothing else has to get done that day.

Free day: planned break days

SNAFU day: Shit went wrong. Could be sickness, could be car trouble, could be dozens of things.

Recovery day: I overdid it the previous days and need to rest. Or I woke up with no energy and f— it, I’m doing nothing today.

I put stickers all over the pages. They reinforce that YAY! I got stuff done and that I tried my best everyday. Do not underestimate the motivating effect of stickers.

Additionally at the month break, or rather, every four weeks, there’s a monthly wrap-up and monthly planning spread. I go back through the past month and note accomplishments and transfer various ideas I wrote down to one of the project categories.

month-end
Month end and Month planning for September and October. Good luck deciphering my handwriting. September was a good month.

Every month I re-evalute the Current Projects and Future Projects list. Sometimes current projects get moved to future projects. Sometimes stuff drops off entirely. It’s about being realistic.

I’m not always great about actually using it – there are a lot of blank pages – but it helps keep me on track and able to remember that I actually did get stuff done.

How about some more pictures?

blank-weekend
Blank weekend spread, with plenty of room for notes from the whole week and extra accomplishments.
in-use1
Got a bunch extra done that Saturday and lots of happy stuff. Didn’t get everything done on Sunday.
in-use6
A bunch of notes that should have gotten transferred to the month start projects list. Sunday was both a free day and a recovery day, cuz I did a lot that Saturday.
in-use5
Things didn’t go as planned on that Weekend, but that’s okay!
in-use4
Lots of happy stuff that Friday. Gotta celebrate even the small accomplishments.
in-use3
A pretty good week, but need to use Wednesday as a recovery day.
in-use2
Even if I didn’t do much, stickers are important to keep spirits up!

 

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