Category Archives: time management

Roundup: Stylish 2016 Planners, Diaries and Agendas

Do you use a paper planner?  While I use a digital task manager to organize my master list of to-do’s, I like to use a paper planner to jot down weekly business notes, and another as a health and wellness diary. There are so many beautiful ones out there that I kinda wish I could find uses for more of them. Below are my favorites:

12 Stylish Planners via Arianna Belle Blog http://blog.ariannabelle.com/2015/12/roundup-stylish-2016-planners-diaries-and-agendas.html

1- Blush Full Grain Desk Diary, 2- Gold Wash Embossed Python Leather Desk, 3- Marble Mini Three-Ring Binder for use with -> 3b- Weekly Planner Sheets, 4- Day Designer Black Stripe, 5- MyAgenda Leopard Day Planner, 6- Black Natural Leather Pocket Book, 7- Sugar Paper Blush Pink Planner, 8- Moleskin Scarlet Red Planner, 9- Toile Blue Planner, 10- DapperDesk Leather Planner, 11- Panama Textured Leather Diary, 12- Sugar Paper Gold Planner

Posted in calendars & lists, home office organization, lists, organization, organized workspaces, organizing products, planners & calendars, planning tools, productivity, time management | 2 Comments

How To Write a Better Goals List

This time of year, a lot of us talk about and contemplate a list of all the things we’re going to do in the new year. We often freely toss in tons of things onto our list, unrealistically thinking we can accomplish them all, and we declare new year’s resolutions that often end up being empty promises to ourselves, which we don’t follow through on and later make us feel like failures.

In_Honor_Of_Design_Anna_LiesemeyerAn article by Martha Beck* and a video by Marie Forleo, recently left me inspired about how to write a better list of goals.  How to (1) clear out the things from our lists that waste our time and drain our energy, (2) add in the things that nourish us and make us feel fulfilled and content, and (3) make our goals happen. Below is a summary of tips I learned from them.

Edit down your list by scratching these things off

  • Things that aren’t spiritually profitable – things that won’t feed your soul
  • Things that, for the most part, are just to feed your ego
  • Things that revolve around toxic relationships
  • If it’s a business goal, projects that don’t make sense financially

Filter Questions to Edit Your List:

Does this goal make me feel joy and excitement?

Do I want to experience the activities involved in this goal, whether or not I achieve the milestones associated with it?

Do I want to do this to feel superiority toward people who haven’t done this thing?

Do I want to have this experience even if no one else would ever know I had?

Would I be thrilled to do this even if everyone thought it was weird or stupid?

Does this goal involve trying to change something that can’t be changed?

Am I leaving out certain things from my list because they aren’t socially considered as “important things”? What things am I leaving out because I feel guilty, like I’m not allowed to have/experience/achieve them?

What little things could add more joy to my everyday?

What things can I do to be more appreciative, present and purposeful?

What business projects will be both spiritually and financially profitable?

Making it happen

Schedule it!  Things will just be empty promises if you don’t take action towards them. Make a plan by listing the actionable steps of each goal and scheduling the first steps. This will create momentum.

What do you think? Do you find these tips helpful?

Image above: home of Anna Liesemeyer, photograph by Chelsey Heidorn
*Article referenced is: “To-Do List, or Not-to-Do List” as seen on page 45 of the November 2013 issue of Oprah Magazine
Posted in lists, planning tools, time management | 2 Comments

Round-up: Stylish 2014 Planners, Diaries and Agendas

Do you use a paper planner?  While I use an electronic organizer to manage my daily to-do’s (more on that later!), I like to use a paper planner to jot down workroom weekly notes for my biz, and another one as a health and wellness diary. If you haven’t gotten your 2014 planner yet, check out my round-up below of the most stylish ones out there:

stylish-2014-planners-arianna-belle-blog

1- Black Stripe Day Designer, 2- White Gold Metallic Leather Desk Diary, 3- Parisian Chic Weekly Planner, 4- Luggage Robinson Agenda, 5- Classic Kraft Planner, 6- Leopard Desktop momAgenda, 7- Blush Buffalo Diary, 8- Pink Postman’s Lock Pocket Book, 9- Black Perfect Bound Planning Calendar, 10- Gold Mini Three-Ring Binder for use with -> 11- Weekly Planner Sheets, 12- Dove Grey 2014 Fashion Diary, 13- Peach Leather Diary, 14- Red 12M Planner Daily, 15- Silver Gunmetal Tab Jacket for use with -> 2014 Planning Diary

Posted in home office organization, organizing products, planners & calendars, planning tools, productivity, time management | 1 Comment

How to Write a Better To-Do List

How to Write a Better To Do List - Arianna Belle Blog - Photo by Yvonne  Bauer

I’ve been reading the book Getting Things Done by David Allen and have enjoyed learning about his approach to productivity.  One of the things from the book that I have started putting into practice and have found useful is to ask myself, “what’s the next action?” when adding things to my to-do list.   Here’s a look at what a few items on my to-do list would have typically looked like prior to me considering the next action question:

  • replace broken steamer piece
  • recover sofa chair
  • buy file boxes
  • get boots fixed

At first glance the to-do’s seem fairly straightforward but, when I would look at items like this on my list, for some reason I would find myself resisting them.  They’d often get pushed back and continue to remain incomplete. Why? Mr. Allen explains that most actionable items require some quick thought and planning steps before we can precisely define what has to happen to complete them. Do you need to research something? Gather certain information? Contact someone? He says that the thinking exercise for each item is something that has to happen at some point or another and it’s better to complete it early on because “if you haven’t identified the next physical action required to kick-start [an item], there will be a psychological gap every time you think about it even vaguely.” (pg. 130)

Here’s the same list re-written after taking the time to think about the next physical action required for each of my items:

  • get model number of steamer for replacement piece
  • research fabric options for sofa chair
  • measure optimal size for file boxes to go in closet
  • research shoe repair places on yelp

In order to replace the broken steamer piece, I have to first get the model number so that I can contact customer service with that information.  Before I can recover my sofa chair, I first have to find the right fabric.  Before I actually go out and buy the file boxes, I need to first measure the space I’m putting them in so I know they’ll fit and I’ll know what to look for when I’m at the store.  To get my boots fixed, I need to first find a repair place to take them to. The idea is to have all my thinking completed about the steps of an actionable item so that when I have a window of time to get something done, I can use the tools I have (computer, phone, etc.) and the location I’m in (at office, at home, out running errands, etc.) to cross more things off my list, having already defined what exactly there is to do.

To be honest, I don’t always write my to-do’s this way.  It’s a habit I’m trying to develop. Sometimes I’m in a rush and write down something non-specific because I just need to quickly dump things out of my head.  If this happens, I try to look back over my list when I’m not so rushed, and re-write the vague things on my list to make them specific next-action items.

Have any of you read Getting Things Done? I’m working on putting other recommendations from the book into practice and will report back here letting you all know how it goes.

photograph above by Yvonne Bauer of the blog Fraeulein Klein

Posted in lists, organization, productivity, time management | 12 Comments

2013 Calendar Giveaway!

Ahh a new year is just around the corner, full of promise and fresh with opportunity to make things happen!  When it comes to goals for the year, I find it helpful to plan and lay them out in a calendar that allows me to see at a glance what I should be doing when and when certain deadlines are approaching, so I can get my butt into gear and actually accomplish what I aim to. The Neu Year calendar is perfect for that.  I have one in my office, placed vertically on a door that my desk faces.  It’s nice to look up from my computer and be able to quickly see the whole year at once. Since it doesn’t have gaps between the months, it has a good flow, which is great for planning across months easily and clearly seeing the distance between any two dates in a year.

If you haven’t gotten yourself a 2013 wall calendar yet, you’re in luck because we’re giving away Neu Year calendars to a few lucky readers! To enter, just leave a comment at the end of this post.  For extra entries, pin, tweet, facebook, or instagram about the giveaway*, and leave another comment letting me know you’ve done so.   Winners will be chosen at random next Friday and announced shortly thereafter!

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  All entries must be received by 11:59 PST January 3, 2012.
*Tweets, pins, and instagrams about the giveaway for extra entries must include a proper link to be valid.
Posted in giveaway, office space, organized workspaces, planners & calendars, time management | 53 Comments

Washi Tape Calendar

Do like Jensie Jean of Take Two They’re Small and use washi tape in different colors and patterns to beautifully mark multi-day events and projects in your planner. A nice alternative to using highlighters, doing this lets you see at a glance what you have coming up and when you’ll be busiest. Great idea, wouldn’t you agree?

BTW, Russell + Hazel binders, like the ones you see above, are currently on sale on One Kings Lane through Saturday! They’re beautiful and can be customized with their SmartDate system.

image credits: 1-russell + hazel, 2-pretty tape, 3- take 2 they’re small
Posted in home office organization, organizing products, planners & calendars, time management | 8 Comments

Beautifully Organized: Lists

I’m one who loves lists (and have a feeling many of you do as well!) so today I want to share with you my round-up of 10 stylish list pads. Whether it’s a to-do list, shopping list, or simply a list of things to remember, it’s nice to organize and mind dump everything onto paper, especially onto pretty paper like this:

1-the long list, 2- to-do adhesive notes, 3- ‘get it done’ notepad, 4- orange zig zag photo pad, 5- striped notepad, 6- oxford pad, 7- peacock pad, 8- happy notes, 9- recycled paper market list , 10-market shopping pad

Tell me, do you love lists? Do you have a favorite list pad for jotting them all down?

Posted in home office organization, lists, organizing products, time management | 8 Comments

Stylish 2012 Planners

It’s almost a brand new year (can you believe it?) and for many that means a new planner with fresh pages for jotting down plans, goals, to-do’s etc. I’ll be getting a 2012 refill for my pink leather Kate Spade organizer (pricey but one of those purchases I don’t at all regret because I use it everyday and even after a few years it still looks great). If I didn’t have a planner already, I’d be considering one of these stylish picks:
1- laurel denise planner, 2- tudor city large debra, 3- jonathan adler 17 month agenda, 4-bijou soho diary, 5- cavallini leather daily planner, 6- dozie bowtie pocket planner, 7- sarah pinto stripe weekly planner, 8- moleskine assorted month daily planner, 9-russell and hazel mini binder, 10- faux snakeskin vintage daily planner

Do you get a new planner each year, refill one you already own with new pages, or prefer to organize your life digitally?

Posted in on the go, organized workspaces, organizing products, planners & calendars, time management | 3 Comments

To Do Lists

Good morning! A brand new week and a fresh to-do list.

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Are you a lists person? If yes, do you like writing them on paper or typing them on a digital device? I personally like a mix of both. For the day’s to-do’s I like writing things out in my Kate Spade planner {seen above} -it appeals to my tactile sense 🙂 For long term to-do’s I use the To Do List gadget on iGoogle and use multiple lists to separate out tasks by category. I love it’s simplicity and ease of use, and have been using it for a while now. The only con for me is not being able to access it easily from my smartphone.

I’m currently trying out Springpad {which has an accompanying android and iphone app} to see if that might be a better alternative. So far, I like that I can create different notebooks (for separating things into categories: Personal, Business, etc.) and that I can access it from both my computer and through the phone app. What I don’t like though is that I can’t {or at least haven’t figured out how to} sort tasks by high, medium or low priority. Have you tried it? What’s your preferred method of managing your lists?


P.S. for tips on how to write a better to-do list, check out this post which reminds us not to confuse goals with tasks.

image credit: photography by me
Posted in good morning, lists, morning sunshine, planners & calendars, time management | 5 Comments