SYW198 – Systems for Productivity

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My friend and accountability partner Alissa Williams joins me again to chat about goal setting, productivity, and planner peace. You’ll hear where we feel settled in our personal planning systems and where the best is yet to come. Our conversation also includes a wealth of resources, including planners, books, and other podcasts.

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[00:00:00] Jennifer Wilson: Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, the show that explores the breadth of ways to be a memory keeper today. I’m your host, Jennifer Wilson, owner of Simple Scrapper and author of The New Rules of Scrapbooking. This is episode 198. In this episode I'm joined by Alissa Williams for a look back at our personal planner journeys and productivity systems over the past year.

[00:00:37] Jennifer Wilson: Hey Alissa how's it going?

[00:00:38] Alissa Williams: Hi Jennifer. It's going great.

[00:00:41] Jennifer Wilson: I am looking forward to talking today for a planner update, but can you remind our audience, um, who you are and where you live?

[00:00:50] Alissa Williams: Sure. I'm Alissa Williams and I live in central Illinois with my two, what I call medium sized children. Um, I have a daughter in middle school, junior high, and a fifth grader. And we got a dog this summer. So now we have that added to our family and my husband. And, um, we just moved in the past year, so lots of new things, um, for maybe people who've heard me on podcast before. And I am the director of a small public library.

[00:01:14] Jennifer Wilson: How's it going with the new puppy?

[00:01:17] Alissa Williams: Uh, ups and downs. Um, right now the puppy has a little bit of a stomach bug, so that, that hasn't been fun. But she's going to puppy school, so we're very excited to learn how we can be better puppy parents. Um, but my girls love her a lot and, um, have stepped up to the plate. So that's been really fun and I can't wait to document my one daughter who wants to be a vet, her relationship with the puppy.

[00:01:41] Jennifer Wilson: Aw, that sounds so cute. I'm so glad you have this new addition to your family. I think it's pets are awesome. Though of course cats are better.

[00:01:49] Alissa Williams: Cats are better. Yes, I miss my cats. The puppy doesn't quite sit with me. She tries to bite me when she gets on the couch.

[00:01:56] Jennifer Wilson: Oh no. Oh, no, no. So we've had many podcast episodes together where we've talked about our planner progress, our wins, our fails, and everything in between. Um, I'd like to start by kind of doing a little recap of our individual styles and preferences when it comes to planners, because it's, we are definitely not always in the same place.

[00:02:19] Jennifer Wilson: Sometimes we have overlap, but sometimes it's very, very different.

[00:02:22] Alissa Williams: Sure.

[00:02:23] Jennifer Wilson: Will you kick that off?

[00:02:25] Alissa Williams: Yes. So I prefer to have an eight and a half by 11 planner for work. Um, a monthly and a weekly view. And I kind of went for a while where I was trying to find the perfect work planner, but I've settled on a Blue Sky Note It version that offers me the week on the left and then space for free writing on the right side of a two page spread. Uh, and then I use Get To Work Book, at home, which is a little bit smaller. I tried to use it for work of the first years it was out and it was too small. But I like using it for my home. I like the project breakdown sheets. Um, I like tracking things, at the beginning of the month on the grid pages. So I use that at home and I use a different planner at work.

[00:03:13] Jennifer Wilson: And do you ever struggle with wanting to write something down at home when you're at work? Do you bring 'em back and forth at all? Or how does that balance work for you?

[00:03:22] Alissa Williams: I do not bring them back in home. I've really, in the past year, maybe 18 months, leaned into Apple reminders on my iPhone and Apple Notes when needed. Um, but primarily if I think of something for home while I'm at work, I will just make a reminder for later in the evening then it pops up and then I either transcribe it in my planner or I take care of it.

[00:03:47] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, that's a great tip. And then in terms of kind of any creative additions to your planner, are you purely functional or do you do any other fun things?

[00:03:57] Alissa Williams: I'm not fun when it comes to my planner. I am purely functional. Uh, I have, I guess that's not a hundred percent accurate. In the past, I have created like a goal tracker, quarterly goal tracker dashboard kind of thing with stamps on my, in my Get To Work Book on the grid page that opens the month. But I haven't done that for a while now I just kind of write stuff in, draw boxes and stuff.

[00:04:24] Jennifer Wilson: Okay, cool. So my preferences are definitely a little bit different. I am skewing larger. I was more in that A5 range for a long time and I realized I was just feeling very constrained by that. And so I recently switched to something that's a little bit bigger. It's about seven by 10, and that finally, I finally feel the spaciousness that I want to be able to make additional lists.

[00:04:54] Jennifer Wilson: It's, it's not just, um, what's going on this week. I can jot a few extra things down and so that is giving me a bit more, comfort. And so I can see why you like the eight and a half by 11. I think I would like even even bigger some of the time. And, uh, we'll talk a little bit more about this particular planner later.

[00:05:14] Jennifer Wilson: Um, I'm also, I got into stickering in my planner in 2020. It was kind of one of my pandemic projects. I started with the, uh, the Hobonichi Weeks. So it was really tiny stickers and now I am using much bigger stickers and I have added stamping in my planner as well. And I absolutely love the creative process. I always look forward to setting up the new week, and it's just something that makes me really, really happy.

[00:05:42] Jennifer Wilson: And so I'm always looking for, uh, paper thickness that can stand up to, inks and the pens that I wanna use and all that. So I, I definitely have transitioned to creative for the setup, but I'm also very much functional still, when it comes to the things I'm putting in my planner. I'm not really doing memory planning.

[00:06:05] Jennifer Wilson: I do write a few kind of notes down on the month calendar cuz I don't, I don't use it for planning. I just use my digital, my Outlook calendar that I share with my husband. But um, yeah, in terms of my week to week and what I'm looking at every day, I love it to be colorful. Very seasonal and shifting throughout the year. It just inspires me so much.

[00:06:31] Alissa Williams: I think that's so cool what you've done and the evolution that you've had of your creativity. And I, wish I had time for that, but right now I know it's not.

[00:06:40] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:06:41] Alissa Williams: It doesn't serve me. Um, I'd just be frustrated cuz I, I wouldn't be able to do all the stamping I wanted to do. I do like the Get to Work Book for that. In that it's a very simple format so you can add color and I have occasionally used washi tape for, on the monthly spreads to delineate, you know, vacations and time off and stuff.

[00:06:59] Alissa Williams: So, um, there is a lot can do with it as a good base. I just haven't explored that in awhile.

[00:07:07] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Yeah, and I think that's part of what I wanted to discuss today is kind of some of the breadth of what we've explored and what we've learned from that. And I think we definitely have some fails that we're gonna be talking about in a little bit. But before we get there, I wanted to talk a little bit about new finds, obsessions, like what's really like fun and interesting for you right now in your planner world?

[00:07:36] Alissa Williams: Um, I'm obsessed with the podcast that Sarah Hart-Unger does.

[00:07:42] Jennifer Wilson: Best Laid Plans.

[00:07:44] Alissa Williams: Yes, Best Laid Plans. Um, she reviews a lot of planners and she talks to people about their planner peace.

[00:07:51] Alissa Williams: Um, I find that interesting. I really enjoy that. And then the other thing that I'm kind of, that's more planning then I'm also really obsessed with is, uh, Laura Vanderkam's new book, Tranquility by Tuesday.

[00:08:06] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:08:06] Alissa Williams: I was a participant in her survey project data for the book. So, I've really enjoyed reading the, the book. And then just kind of being reminded of those, uh, those habits and the practices that she recommends and trying to figure out how I can make them work.

[00:08:24] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, every time, cuz I've been reading the book as well and I'm not that far along, but every time she quotes one of her participants, I was like, Ooh, is that something Alissa could have said?

[00:08:34] Alissa Williams: Possibly. There are a few things that sound very much like something I said.

[00:08:38] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, Yes, yes. So I'm enjoying both of those things as well. Uh, introduced, I'm assuming by you, uh, to both of those. And I've also enjoyed the podcast Planners With Wine. Um, you mentioned that it's a little chatty for you, so it it is more of a chit-chat podcast, but I like it when I'm kind of getting ready in the morning and I feel like I don't have to a hundred percent pay attention.

[00:09:01] Jennifer Wilson: So it's a good kind of, you know, background podcast. And then I mentioned that I've been doing stamping and a lot of these stamps these days are the Heidi Swapp stamps. I've been kind of ogling all the things that she's been doing for a couple years now. And then I just said, I'm gonna go in. I, I love the look of layering.

[00:09:21] Jennifer Wilson: I have all these Distress Oxides, you know, I wanna make sure I'm playing with my inks and using, getting the most out of my products. So let's get some more stamps to, to do that. And it's just been so fun and, uh, has really kept, kept, feeling excited about doing these things and also doing other projects.

[00:09:42] Jennifer Wilson: I think my planner has become kind of that touchstone to creativity every week. That helps to make sure that I can stay into the bigger projects as well. It's always nice to just have something that you can touch that reminds you how much joy it brings you.

[00:09:58] Alissa Williams: And even a smaller canvas to try different techniques with your stamping and you know, get used to how a different particular stamp, stamps so that then when you're more inclined to maybe use it on a layout later.

[00:10:10] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. And I think with that also comes kind of that exercise in imperfection. Um, because my planner is ultimately a, a temporal thing, It's not forever. Um, I'm more able to embrace those errors and the, the blips, you have with stamping. Um, and that carries over to other projects as well.

[00:10:37] Jennifer Wilson: So let's dive into some fails for this year. I feel like this, Well, I feel like I'm in a good place now. I feel like you're in a pretty good place now. I feel like this year has had some bumps in the road. Um, what stands out most to you?

[00:10:55] Alissa Williams: I think two biggest fails were um, I bought the 90 day goal planner from Cultivate What Matters. And I was like, Yeah, no, I'm not gonna use this at all. I don't, this isn't what I thought it was. I don't want this. Um, cuz I moved in January. January is a month for our family. And I, um intentionally I did not set any year long goals. Normally I do like a Gretchen Ruben, you know, does 22 for 22 or 21 and 21. I did not make any of those lists. I was like, I'm going goal free this year, or at least until I get my feet under me.

[00:11:34] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I think that made sense for you as well. Like it was a really like thoughtful decision.

[00:11:39] Alissa Williams: Yeah, thought by now I'd have more clarity around some stuff. And I, I kind of late summer kind of feeling adrift a bit in like, well, I don't have these goals I'm working towards what should I be doing with my time? Um, and that's I think one of the reasons I bought that 90 day goal planner thing.

[00:12:00] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:12:00] Alissa Williams: Was to kind of refocus and it kind of did the opposite.

[00:12:03] Alissa Williams: And I was like, I put it in a drawer and I was like, Yeah, maybe I'll use you later. But now is not the time. It it. It is neat. had a lot of additional features that I didn't really need, like a weekly spread and a monthly spread. And I ended up not liking the green linen cover that I ordered. I don't know, just the whole thing irritated me and I was like, This isn't, I'm not using this right now.

[00:12:26] Alissa Williams: I really am still intrigued by that Makselife, which is

[00:12:31] Jennifer Wilson: I think it's produced Moxi Life, cuz it's supposed to be like the phonetic spelling of Moxi, which for some reason that word bothers me. Some sort of like nineties flashback or something.

[00:12:42] Alissa Williams: Yeah, no, you're right. I think that's, that's how Sarah pronounces Makselife on Best Laid Plans. Um, um, and there was that quarterly calendar we talked about the last time we had a podcast that I had heard about on Best Laid Plans that I was intrigued by.

[00:12:55] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, the JMB Living.

[00:12:57] Alissa Williams: Yes. I mean, maybe.

[00:13:00] Jennifer Wilson: There's also Silk and Sonder and I think this is kind of, we're both in this place of wanting some sort of goal planning approach that's a little bit guided, uh, but not finding total, certainty in that yet. That's why I feel like I know I want something, but I don't want it to be too much cuz I don't need a planner or I just want something to guide me through some exercises, I guess.

[00:13:26] Alissa Williams: So for me, uh, really liked the Cultivate What Matters, Tending Sheets.

[00:13:32] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:13:33] Alissa Williams: But I found I've been able to recreate that in my Get To Work Book with my own twist on it. And so using that idea of something that worked for me in the past and then, you know, adapting it for my current situation I'm, I'm crossing over to the win territory here, but, um, is, is an adaptation I've made this year.

[00:14:00] Jennifer Wilson: Do you, do you find that that approach gives you enough of kind of the layered iterative structure of like thinking about what you want and deciding on the goals? Cause the tending part is really like the most granular portion of the whole process.

[00:14:16] Alissa Williams: Yeah, I mean, cuz I've gotten to a part place where my goals are fairly the same like each year. You know, exercise consistently, eat better food. Unpack my house. Create more. and that's where I think that actually the Tranquility by Tuesday project is helping me explore goals in a different way. And not maybe, I mean, I'm at a point where I've achieved a lot of my, you know, I, things are kind of, not rote. But I don't, there, you know, I'm, I'm at a pretty stable place where I don't need to, you know, Oh, my goal is to learn Italian. I mean, like what? Um, I don't know.

[00:15:07] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I think one of the things that we've been talking a lot about is that boring is sometimes a really good, awesome thing.

[00:15:15] Alissa Williams: Right.

[00:15:15] Jennifer Wilson: Just having like that consistency, the steadiness, particularly after the past two years, but even in general at the certain like season of life, like that can be very, um, comforting in itself.

[00:15:28] Alissa Williams: And another thing too is I'm less you know, the age of my kids, it's more about trying to, you know, I have a seventh grader. So the time that she has left in my house is short. And so I'm trying to be more intentional about time spent with the girls, they're fun to be around. I wanna, you know, now

[00:15:50] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:15:50] Alissa Williams: Is where we sow, where we, you know, are, to build our relationship and helping them, you know, be available to them. A lot of my activities revolve around things they're involved in. Going to volleyball games, helping with the school dance, it's Friday night. You know, I'm spending, it's less about my personal projects and more in projects that support the family, I guess. Is a way of thinking about it, or goals that support the family.

[00:16:18] Jennifer Wilson: That makes sense, and to kind of recognize that that's, that's just what your plate looks like right now. And it might actually be twofold to try to be over ambitious with, you know, wanting to learn Italian or whatever, you know, something a little bit more grand.

[00:16:37] Alissa Williams: Yeah, I, um, I, mean, I have goals and I have projects, but of it is kind of trying to figure out this year how we lived in our space, and then now for 2023, kind of what house projects we'll take on and that kind of stuff.

[00:16:54] Jennifer Wilson: Mm, sure, sure. Yeah. So I had a similar fail with, we bought the same 90 day Power Sheets from Cultivate What Matters. And I don't know, I think we both had this very, like, visceral reaction of like, uh, no. And I, it's kind of very, it was very strange experience because I, I expected that we both love it. That was the plan since we invested in it. And we both started around the same time and both had a very, that just reaction. And then it's been put away ever since. So I don't know if we like fed off each other on it of like, you know, contributing to the negative energy, but.

[00:17:35] Alissa Williams: I don't think, I don't think that was the case. I just think it was interesting that we're both, I mean, I was very much like, Oh, this is what this is? Hard pass. Not not in the place where I want this right now.

[00:17:45] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:17:46] Alissa Williams: And then I, I, kind of felt a little shame in being like, Well, I know I kind of talked to into buying this, but I'm not gonna use it. And you were like, Oh. Cause I was excited when it came and excited to open it.

[00:18:00] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah.

[00:18:00] Alissa Williams: And then I opened it and I was like, Mm, no, this isn't what I wanted. And maybe it's because it was so much different from the goal planner she's had in the past and they still make. Or maybe I just wasn't in the right season for it. I don't know. But yes, very, it was interesting that my was a very visceral reaction. And then you had a very similar reaction as well.

[00:18:23] Jennifer Wilson: Well, and I think one of the comments on that, I think it was on Best Laid Plans, or maybe it was on Planners With Wine. But they were talking about how that particular company and style of goal setting is, goes deep really fast. And while I, I feel like I'm someone who's pretty in touch with my feelings at that particular moment, it felt like you're, you're invading me somehow. And I don't like this, this feels uncomfortable. And certain times, you know, Sure, let's, let's go in, let's get un get really uncomfortable. Um, um, but I think there's other ways to it, and I think that we're comparing it to Makselife and that, that particular system. Not to say that it's surficial, but it helps you kind of get to some action items without, you know, laying your soul bare and, you know, peeling the onion and all that.

[00:19:19] Alissa Williams: Right.

[00:19:22] Jennifer Wilson: On top of that, I didn't wanna mention other fails that I've had. Because this has been an interesting year of finding my own planner peace, whether it be temporary or long term. Um, I started the year. In my Hobonichi Cousin, this was my second year of that, and I, I don't have any particular dislike for it besides the size.

[00:19:47] Jennifer Wilson: It's a little bit too small for me. And as I was growing in interest in stamping that particular paper, the, the Tomoe River Paper, tends to be kind of smudgy when you get to the wet things. Um, you can certainly paint in it and all that, but with the inks and even some pens, it's just, it's a little bit temperamental.

[00:20:07] Jennifer Wilson: And so as I was gaining interest in that, I started looking at other options. And so the first thing I did is I bought an Archer and Olive book, which was a pretty small, almost, Oh, I don't even know what it's like that it's Traveler's notebook, Hobonichi Weeks size, and I really thought I was gonna use that as kind of a bullet journal style planner.

[00:20:26] Jennifer Wilson: And I immediately, I loved the paper, but I immediately hated the experience of working in it. And so I just turned it into an art journal. And then I'm like, Okay, let me try again. It was a couple months later, I bought Hemlock and Oak, and this is when I was trying to figure out, okay, I, I know the type of planner I want and if I can't find it, let me just create it.

[00:20:47] Jennifer Wilson: So I bought this larger size dot grid notebook thinking I'm gonna just draw the lines every week and do my stamping and my stickering, and it turns out. Setting up the base of it is so tedious and annoying to like count dots and draw lines and measure things. I hated that process and so I use that kind of day to day just as my like notebook for meetings, whatever I want, I need to write down.

[00:21:13] Jennifer Wilson: And so I'm glad I have it. It's, it's a really high quality product. Um, but it was definitely a planner fail. Where I had this vision and it was not a good fit for me. And so the planner I am using now has a little bit more going for it, and I think I found some, just a nice little happy comfort zone there.

[00:21:38] Alissa Williams: I think you have too. You know, cuz you've got the format and so all you have to do is decorate each week. And I think that's fun. I think for me, the other fail thing that I'm fine tuning is kind of like you asked me earlier, like if I have something at work, you know, and I think of something about home, how do I handle that?

[00:21:59] Alissa Williams: Is really remembering to lean into my digital tools. But not become, I mean some people are all digital, um, which I'm not. I'm, I find, you know, paper works well for me. To also help me remember and process things. But, um, I think the other fail for me was, um, getting out of my planning routine. I very much got out of the routine cuz my schedule, in January through May, I was working Monday nights, so I would plan on Monday mornings.

[00:22:34] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:22:34] Alissa Williams: And then when I stopped working Monday nights, I was like, Well, when am I supposed to plan? And, cause I never wanna plan on Sunday nights. And that's where I think where the Tranquility by Tuesday thing has come in. She advocates planning on Friday, which I do for work, but I don't like doing at home. And I actually plan Thursdays now. Um, so just trying to like lean into the habits. That's where I feel failed this year is not necessarily in my products, but more in my own personal habit.

[00:23:03] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, that's a really, that's a really smart observation, is to know kind of where things, um, have broken down. And not just to assume like it's all not going well or it all is. There's, there's a lot of gray area in between and you can kind of take out some of the, or pay attention to some of the subtleties of what, what makes things work and what doesn't. And I mean obviously we're, we're getting really meta here talking about the intricacies of our planners on a podcast. So.

[00:23:32] Alissa Williams: Well, I think sometimes people throw out the tool when really it's your system. Your whole system isn't working or part of your system. It's not the tool itself, it's how you're using the tool or how you could maybe have a different process. I, encourage, cuz I feel like the Tranquility by Tuesday is more about systems and less about tools. Same as like Getting Things Done done is tool agnostic. It's about having a system.

[00:23:55] Alissa Williams: The Routine and Things podcast, and she has this Routine and Things Planner that I, I'm not, I'm so far, I've, I'm very curious to see how I could use it. But I, I have found planner peace and I don't wanna switch up the apple, upset the apple cart. But I like the Routine and Things podcast because it's short and she provides some really just, she talks a lot about routines supporting your habits or supporting your life, and that's an area that I am trying to focus on more.

[00:24:21] Jennifer Wilson: Mm, I really like that. And I think it's the, you know, every goal requires habits, routines, objectives, all the parts of it in order to make progress towards it. And sometimes we focus too much on the, just like that feeling of strife and striving towards the goal without figuring out what levers actually need to be pulled.

[00:24:44] Alissa Williams: For sure.

[00:24:45] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Um, so in terms of wins, definitely the biggest one for me is this planner that I'm using, and it's one from Scribbles That Matter, and it's called the Dot Cross Planner. And so it is an undated, vertical planner that has, uh, undated months followed by five undated weeks, followed by a couple dot grid pages, and then that repeats. And then at the end there's even more dot grid pages.

[00:25:17] Jennifer Wilson: So I actually discovered this planner from Rachel Newman, the Life Facilitator. She's been on the podcast, and I just love the openness, the flexibility. She's using it mostly for more memory planning. But my quest to be able to use more stamps really lent well to this kind of blank, but not too blank canvas.

[00:25:40] Jennifer Wilson: And both Rachel and Jennie McGarvey, who I've also had in the podcast have been really helpful in kind of teasing apart some of my own desires and my quest to find a better planner. And I'm just so glad that I found this one, you can buy it from their website. You can also buy on Amazon, which is of course super convenient.

[00:26:01] Jennifer Wilson: And it kind of was like an under the radar, like sleeper hit for me. It wasn't something that I I'd ever heard about and all of a sudden I was like, Oh my gosh, this is what I need right now. And I definitely have realized I am hardcore vertical. I thought I wanted horizontal, um, on the left hand side and dot grid or graph or whatever on the right, like you. But I can't, my brain does not work in horizontal.

[00:26:28] Jennifer Wilson: I can't think of the week. And to me, when I'm thinking about the week, I'm like, Wherever I am in the world, I'm always thinking about, okay, what's on my planner in this particular like segment, like in the middle column towards the bottom? Do I have an event? I'm always visually thinking about that spatial allocation, and so horizontal does not align with a calendar.

[00:26:49] Jennifer Wilson: It's not, it's just weird for me. So I had to go back to vertical, and I think that's also part of why this one has worked so well.

[00:26:59] Alissa Williams: Yeah. That's fascinating to me cuz I, I think of the week in a line, down the page. I don't know, it just, then I go, don't, even though I read left to right, I don't know. I just, it to be in that line, down the page for me. So my win is the fact that I found a planner that works for me for work now and was able to buy the same planner for 2023 and like I didn't have to.

[00:27:26] Jennifer Wilson: That's nice.

[00:27:27] Alissa Williams: Cause for the last couple years trying to find the planner in the style that I wanted has been a challenge. And so it's nice that they didn't discon, cuz I made a Blue Sky Planner one year and that really worked. But then they stopped doing custom Blue Sky. And so it's have a, to be back in something that I can purchase regularly.

[00:27:45] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. That's really exciting. Um, particularly when you've had so much frustration cause you've had a lot of clarity about what you were looking for. It just, uh, hasn't always existed.

[00:27:54] Alissa Williams: Correct.

[00:27:57] Jennifer Wilson: Any other wins? I'm trying to think of what else I wanted to mention. I just, I feel more content than I have in a long while. I'm having fun. I'm being productive. I'm, yeah, I just, it just feels good. I'm actually kind of hoping we don't have a lot to talk about next year. As much as I love talking about you, I hope we're just kind of like steady and finding our way.

[00:28:26] Alissa Williams: I feel very much that I'm in a planner peace kind of place of, I have my Get To Work Book that runs through the school year and I have my work calendar runs through the calendar year and I can make, kind of see the bigger picture with the one, and, I definitely feel like I've gotten into my groove. My biggest thing is just getting into the and habits that will support, you know, having a productive life and not forgetting things and closing open loops and stuff.

[00:28:57] Jennifer Wilson: So do you feel like you're going to use your two existing planners plus maybe any other like digital tools to support that? Or are you still feeling the need for something else?

[00:29:08] Alissa Williams: I don't feel like I need anything else in my planner stack. Um, I feel like I've gotten to a point where I understand my digital tools and have figured out how to make those work for me to support. You know, I don't wanna drag both my planners back and forth. Um, really I just need to work on my habits and routines in my system. I mean, I have a system, but I need to do my system consistently. So I guess that's a habit. Um, I, the Get To Work Book has goal setting built into it. So it's just kind of next leveling that with kind of making my own tending sheet thing on the monthly to.

[00:29:46] Jennifer Wilson: Hmm.

[00:29:46] Alissa Williams: Really track stuff That I think where I need to focus more is like tracking the stuff and figuring out that system. And then I already have a full system for that at work that involves a different set of tools. But so I think it's just really using my tools and being consistent in my planning routine.

[00:30:07] Jennifer Wilson: I feel like you're maybe a few steps ahead of me in that regard because I, I don't feel the same level of clarity of what I should be working on. Like sure I can like pull out like, I want this, I want that. Like, I'd like to achieve this, I'd like to stop doing this. But in terms of what's really a priority and how do I wanna get there, that's where I'm feeling a little, um, untethered, I guess.

[00:30:32] Jennifer Wilson: And so I, I'm not yet sure how I wanna do that. I think ideally I'd like to be doing that in the back of my current planner. And then when I fill it up, you know, start a new one. You know, always, there's always the desire to kind of update, rewrite, redesign. Um, but I'm not a hundred percent sure on what I wanna be like tracking or thinking about yet.

[00:30:53] Jennifer Wilson: I, I kind of wanna finish Tranquility by Tuesday first because I think, uh, just from listening to you, that that's going to kind of maybe inform some of my desires, plans, objectives. Um, and this is a fun time to announce that this is going to be our solitary book club selection for next year. So we're gonna do a study group on Tranquility by Tuesday, and we do this through February, through October as like a nine month activity.

[00:31:23] Jennifer Wilson: Give a little bit of a breather in January to ramp up and then just take November and December off since it's such a busy season and I'm really excited that to. I don't know, kind of create a bit of flexibility for the book club because I think that each particular topic in the book will lend to other, other books that we can recommend that are related to that particular topic.

[00:31:48] Jennifer Wilson: For example, her first one is about having a bedtime. So what other things can we read and learn from to support having, you know, good evening habits and morning habits and, and all of that aspect of it. So I think that will be, just make for a really kind of rich, interesting experience throughout the year and really focus on having that implementation time.

[00:32:11] Alissa Williams: Yes. I'm really excited we're gonna do a deep dive into the book. Because I've been reading it more slowly than I typically, a pretty power through fast reader.

[00:32:21] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:32:21] Alissa Williams: And I've been really, um, trying to savor it a little, but also really think and reflect on after I finish each chapter.

[00:32:28] Alissa Williams: And she, she builds that in because there's already on how to, so it's perfect. Um, I think it's gonna be a really great opportunity to learn from each other and to talk and to dive deep and, and to establish those habits and systems in our own lives.

[00:32:45] Jennifer Wilson: Well, and I think it's so much of the backbone of what we always get to is if you want to be scrapbooking consistently, you need to have some of these foundational things to have the time, energy, and motivation to do that or to do any kind of hobby. And so this, this book really gets it. Okay, how do you do that?

[00:33:07] Jennifer Wilson: And so we can practice together implementing it and see what changes. I, I think I'm really excited for, um, what's possible in our community next year because of this.

[00:33:17] Alissa Williams: Well, and I, I think I recently shared with you, you know, she, one of her things is three times a week is a habit. And so she encourages you to think about what you wanna make a habit. And I was kind of struggling with that. And I said, I finally landed on, starting in November, I wanna in scrapbooking in some way three times a week. And it doesn't have to be, make a page, but it's, you know, my photo management, deleting photos.

[00:33:40] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:33:41] Alissa Williams: It just something for 15 minutes. It could be deciding on the next thing I'm gonna make and printing photos. Like, cuz Stacy Julian always preaches. Do it in 15 minute bites.

[00:33:51] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:33:52] Alissa Williams: And I forget that sometimes, I forget that I can get a lot done in 15 minutes. You know, I have a list from the retreat I was just on of things I wanted to do, and some of those are bite sized and I could, you know, knock out and maybe it'll take me 20 minutes. But I'm gonna set the bar at 15 and, know, just try to engage in the hobby three times a week. To, to, like you were saying about your planner kind of keeping you connected. If I really just start taking these baby steps, um, and then maybe once a week it's a longer session. You know, where I do make a page or I two hours where I can make a page. But, um, I wanna get into more of those routines to, to do some of that always kind of gets pushed to the back or whatnot.

[00:34:37] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:34:38] Alissa Williams: Cause I wanna make pages.

[00:34:39] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, yeah, no, that reminds me of Peggy's, uh, tracking time, instead of projects finish. Because we can't always predict how long something is gonna take, but we can control the amount of time that we invest into it. And really it's the, you know, for whatever in our life, it's showing up week after week, putting in the time. Um, that's how you see the results that you're, that you're craving.

[00:35:04] Alissa Williams: Yes, for sure.

[00:35:08] Jennifer Wilson: Any other kind of open loops, unmet needs, anything else that's on your mind when it comes to your planning?

[00:35:16] Alissa Williams: No, I think we've been on quite the journey with our planners, the last couple years, and I, it's really interesting that we both got into a place where, um, we have found some level of satisfaction. and like I said, for me it's, I think 2023 is gonna be more about just, and actually the rest of this year, is the routine and being consistent in the routine and um, building those habits.

[00:35:44] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, Yes, yes. And I feel that as well in terms of the one thing that I am already working on is just kind of having a daily house, daily and weekly housekeeping routine. It's not something that's really ever been a strong suit of mine. And I'm, there's certain aspects of that that are feeling easier than ever and I'm using my planner to, to support that. Cause if a small step is written down, I'm like, Oh, I can do that, and I can go easily complete the task and cross it off. And that always feels good.

[00:36:14] Alissa Williams: I love crossing things off. Sometimes I write things down just so I can cross them off.

[00:36:19] Jennifer Wilson: Of course, of course. You wouldn't be a a planner girl if you didn't do that. All right, Alissa, can you share where our audience can find you online?

[00:36:27] Alissa Williams: I'm on Instagram at Alissa recommends.

[00:36:31] Jennifer Wilson: Sounds good. And she's also, uh, in the Simple Scrapper community and working on becoming more active and attending things regularly, so.

[00:36:40] Alissa Williams: This is also true. Yes, I pop in occasionally. I've been, I've been building that habit of, when I do that three times a week is a habit. So.

[00:36:48] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. And she's a long time member. That's actually, of course, how we met, um, way back in the day, many years ago when our daughters were quite young.

[00:36:56] Alissa Williams: Yes, so long ago now.

[00:37:00] Jennifer Wilson: All right, Alissa, this has been fun. I appreciate spending time with you.

[00:37:04] Alissa Williams: I love talking about planners, and I hope this conversation was helpful for people. You know, um, maybe they got some ideas.

[00:37:12] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes, yes. And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook and Plan Your Way.

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1 Comment

  1. Kathy

    I tried the JMB Living Planner. It’s a beautiful book and I never touched it. It wanted too much from me.


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