In the last month, I’ve recommended the Productivity Planner by the Intelligent Change more times than I can remember. I’ve been using this planner for about three years now. I also bought some as gifts. This tool was a game changer for me and I think it is by far the best productivity planner out there. Hence, why I’m sharing it here. The Planner helps me every day, and it helped so many people to whom I recommended it, so I think it’ll help you too. Get your powerful ideas under control and turn them into actions.
There are many planers out there, but most overcomplicate things terribly. Let’s keep it simple. Productivity Panner by The Intelligent Change is based on the Pomodoro Technique, which made me twice as productive when I first discovered it. More about it later. I think it is the best productivity planner because it gives you structure but also techniques to maximise on your input.
What you need if you want to be truly productive?
To be productive with any productivity tool you need to get a grip on the three following things:
- Recognise the difference between project and task. – Most people I talk to puts the entire project on their to-do list and then is dissatisfied they haven’t accomplished anything.
- Have a set of values and recognise your energy level – The clear you are on your values the easier you’d find to decide what matters to you. You will need to understand your energy levels too. Sometimes you’d have to switch between tasks if you don’t want to end up being unproductive.
- Learn to build new habits that help you – No point getting even the best productivity planer if you ain’t going to use it. It’ll also take you a time to fully maximise on its power.
How do you work with it?
At the start of each planner is a guide which will take you through it and explain how you should work with it. It has a weekly structure, and one planner will last you six months if you use it daily.
In a nutshell, you set the tasks for the week all on one page, so you have an
Next, you set each day separately. You will have to choose your most important task, your secondary tasks and the additional tasks for each day. You will also predict how long it’ll take you to complete it. ( That’s where it helps if you know that you are putting down tasks, not projects). ‘Repaint the bathroom’ is a project. ‘Decide with your flatmate on the colour and budget’ to repaint the bathroom is a task.
Best productivity planner. Plan for success
You start by planning your week before the week begins. You will have to choose five MOST important tasks. What does it mean? Well, better be good at choosing what matters, because those should be the absolute most essential tasks for the week ahead, so if you were to complete only those tasks and nothing else you’d feel satisfied.
Oh, yes those tasks often happen to be the same things you are scared of doing and have been putting off for ages. :)
I take it to the next level and tend to action the harder of the five at the start of the week. Monday if possible. This way if things don’t go my way I have time to work stuff out.
Once you accomplish your most important task of the day you can move to the secondary tasks.
And then there is a space for some additional tasks too.
My weeks look different from week to week. Sometimes I fill in all the spaces before the start of the week. Another time I have gigantic tasks on the top and I know I might not be able to do much of anything else, so I leave this space to work it out day by day depending on what life throws my way. It has been throwing a lot of shit recently, so staying focused helps to dodge that shit when possible.
“The scariest moment is always just before you start” – Stephen King.
You’ll certainly feel this way many times when you sit to tackle your no 1 talk of the day.
Be specific and make sure you write your tasks in a clear and actionable manner. Then use Pomodoro technique to track the time spend on the task.
I used to be rubbish at judging the time at the start. Now, I’m spot on in most cases. When you get a grip on time, you’ll become much better at setting up for the week ahead. You’ll know what is achievable.
I haven’t come across many people who would be familiar with the Pomodoro Technique. Pomodoro technique isn’t only about tracking time and knowing how long things take you. It’s about reducing distributions and maintaining your brain power. Another reason to call this the best productivity planner, because it’ll teach you to use tools that will give you an understanding of time and time is the true currency.
Decide on the task and focus on it for 25 minutes. Do only this and nothing else. After 25 minutes give yourself a 5 min break. That’s it.
Again, Productivity Panner will teach you mare about the technique.
I used to use it before I came across the planner. I’m pretty sure that this is how I discovered the planner in the first place.
However, having a planner with Pomodoro Technique as a primary tool, forced me to use it. In some cases, I noticed that it takes me half the time to get tasks done than it used to before I used the planner.
Use the productivity score!
I don’t think I used it once with my first ever planner. It took me some time to use it correctly. But it is worth getting into a habit of scoring your task as they will have different weight to them. At the bottom of each daily page, you will find a score chart 1-10. Ask yourself how productive were you on a scale from 1-10 and give yourself a score. But it doesn’t mean you score ten only when you accomplish everything that day. You should set a value before you start the day. So at times, you might need to accomplish one task to score ten another day all of them. It helps to gain a perspective on the importance of jobs for the day. So if you are unable to accomplish everything from your list, you can still feel satisfaction at the end of the day.
Plus, a quick moment of reflection helps you make better choices the next day.
Weekly Review – it’s exactly that!
This takes only a few minutes but puts a perspective on your achievements and what you have been doing over the week. Doing the review will also help you when it comes to setting up for the week ahead. Sometimes you’d be astonished how much you were able to achieve.
Why productivity planner helped me.
I’m a creative and dyslexic, my mind is an organised mess. I know where things and thoughts are, but it sometimes feels like there is no structure to it. I have a lot of ideas, and I don’t like to forget them, and when I came across this tool, it felt organised but not restricted in any way. It works with me rather than try to change me too much. It keeps things simple but not too simple, and that’s why I think it’s the best productivity planner — no ‘unicorn dust’ on pink pages but one that works for people who do business.
I know that all my tasks, projects and ideas are in one place, so I can always find them.
I also think it is the best productivity planner because, it brings a structure which is simple and effective, and before you know, it becomes the habit to use it. A good habit thought that will benefit you greatly. It taught me to review my work and actions I took. I feel like it also reinforces my ability to make the right choices. It taught me to choose the tasks I’d probably otherwise put off because they feel most uncomfortable, but also those are the task that often makes the most significant difference.
Learn to let go of the task.
There will be days when you can’t complete your tasks. Even those that you have put down as a priority. However, I find this is usually more relevant to my secondary tasks. The primary activity might require a lot of energy from your end and leave you exhausted and both mentally and physically unable to tackle what you have planned next.
You might wake up with a migraine, or something else might have gone on in life that your mental or physical power isn’t there to successfully accomplish it. I would suggest you learn to recognise those moments. Let go of the secondary task and choose something else from your weekly list. Something that you can do with the resources you have.
Learning this made a massive difference to my productivity. Since you have all your tasks on one page at the start of the week, it is easy to go back to it and choose something that you can do. You are still moving forward, and at the end of the day, you’ll feel satisfied.
I have always ordered it online here. I don’t think you can buy it another way. It usually takes less than a week to arrive and I do think it is the best productivity planner I have ever used. As you can see it is one that I keep coming back to. I always order it before my last runs out.
You might also like this post here. It is all about finding motivation.