Solutions for a Hectic Schedule
The two most important items that I use to help plan and organize my hectic schedule are my academic planner and my bullet journal. These two items help me keep up with all of my upcoming events and my ever changing to-do list. I also utilize these as a creative outlet as well. While this isn’t absolutely necessary, it makes using them more enjoyable.
Every year in may, I plan out every performance date, as well as every tournament and festival that I will be attending throughout the following school year. Once I’ve gathered all dates from the two theatrical organizations that I’m a member of (Educational Theatre Association and Arkansas Communication and Theatre Arts Association), I jot these down in my calendar. Then I can begin turning in auditorium requests for the next school year. Once the school year begins, I can reference my calendar to turn in bus and substitute requests in advance so that I’m not stressing about it at the last moment. Also, having all of those dates in my calendar allows me to plan out my personal time (weekends, retreats, and vacations).
Of all of the calendars and planners that I’ve purchased (both expensive and cheap), this is by far THE BEST one that I’ve ever used. It’s simple and concise, yet provides plenty of room to write notes on the daily pages. The tabbed months are great, but the cute and giant paper clips that I use to mark important pages and months are a life saver, allowing me to quickly find the pages that I need.
For those who are unfamiliar with bullet journals, they are basically a place to keep all of your lists. Any type of notebook works for these. Right now, I’m using the one pictured (Where do you find Inspiration) because I like the graphics and inspirational messages inside. For my next bullet journal, I’m thinking about using a graphing paper notebook.
Each day I create a new, updated list, but my journal also has ongoing lists, such as shopping and meal lists. I put a box in front of each listed item so that I can either check it off as I finish it, put an arrow pushing it to the next day, or change the box to a circle if something needs to stand out and get done ASAP. As I create lists in my bullet journal, I like to embellish with stickers, stamps, and Washi tape. I also include inspirational quotes and monthly habit trackers, among other things. It essentially helps me to consolidate all of my lists into one place.
While I use these two tools for planning and organization, you can refer to my article, Method Behind the Madness, where I describe my lesson plan journal, which I use to document what I do daily in each class daily. That way I can pick right up the next day where I left off, and if a student asks what we did, I have a quick, easy reference to which to refer. For more information about my lesson plan journal, check out my article.