I’m already anticipating the horror of many of the ladies in the room at the title of this blog post, but I’ll be honest, no matter how stinkin’ cute your physical planner or calendar is, it’s really gotta go!
This is coming from the girl who would obsessively research, shop for, and organize my planners/agendas for years.
I was the girl that would buy the premium planners without hesitation, because I legitimately used that thing every day of the year and considered it a hellah-good investment in my life organization. In college I was obsessed with my pretty pink Lilly planner, and then I graduated on to Day Designers and Simplified Planners.
So I just wanted to start this off by saying, if you are planner obsessed like I was, I get where you’re coming from.
And still, I truly believe a project management system is 102x better than any physical planner.
(I have good news however, you don’t need to kill the pretty stationary love for good, there’s tons of cute journals and notebooks out there to get your hands on.)
Okay, now just quickly before we get into the content, I want to mention that I use Asana as my project management system. I’ll be mentioning specific features and functions throughout the post, and they’re all available in Asana.
Asana is free, and I couldn’t be happier with it. So yeah, Asana all the way.
Alrighty, moving on. So why am I SO adamant about you using a project management system?
Let’s get into it!
Even if you say “I alwaysss have my planner on me, we’re inseparable!” let’s be real, that’s not 100% the truth.
My fiancé has not gotten on the project management system bandwagon yet and is instead still a die-hard physical planner fan. I can’t tell you the number of times we meet friends randomly while in the city running errands and then try to make plans together to meet up again soon. And who doesn’t know his work schedule and when he’s free? My fiancé because he doesn’t use a digital project management system.
When you use a project management system, you can download the app on your phone and you always know when you’re busy/free and when you have heavy/light workweeks, which makes making plans simple.
So even if you claim to “never leave home without your planner,” let’s just both agree that’s not true and accept that having all your appointments/tasks on your project management system on your phone would be hellah-useful.
I get familiar with our business finances every week on Fridays, I meet my assistant every Tuesday, I review our sales funnel metrics once a week and our general business metrics once a month.
If I had a physical planner, I would be writing each weekly task out 52 times a year, and each monthly task 12 times a year. Instead, with my project management system, I’ve written it once and set it to recur on whatever frequency fits.
2.5 years from now I need to apply for a different visa. 6 years from now I need a new passport. 9 years from now I need a new tetanus shot. 6 months from now, I need to hit up the dentist.
Often, these tasks that are months or years away are forgotten.
Why? Because a physical planner generally has 12 months in it, and if a task happens outside that time-frame and is not written down somewhere, it’s quickly forgotten about.
With a project management system, it just takes a couple clicks to set an appointment/task for months or years away. With a physical planner, that task/appointment is often just forgotten.
I use an appointment scheduler (Acuity…that’s an affiliate link!) to book all appointments as I’m often booking appointments across timezones. I have meetings with all sorts of people, meetings with team members, collaborators, podcast guests, potential clients, email subscribers, etc.
And every time someone books an appointment with me, a notification pops up into our inbox. From there with a physical planner, I’d need to write the appointment down.
That’s not necessary with a project management system however! My Acuity appointments automatically are added to my tasks in Asana, and are placed on the correct day.
I know this seems like another menial task automated, but to be honest, those menial tasks add up! I haven’t written down an appointment time in years but have also never missed one! Not bad.
Wanna know how many steps/tasks there are in one of our course launches? 68!
We host a course launch 4 times a year. Meaning that if I used a physical planner, I’d need to spend a solid few hours writing down 68 tasks and corresponding descriptions into my planner, 4 times a year. Not my idea of a good time.
With a project management system, you can create templates for any task-intensive projects, like course launches, or onboarding and working with a new client, or launching a new product in your online shop, or producing a podcast episode, etc.
You create your template once, and then when you need to use it, it’s as simple as duplicating the project and assigning the tasks to new dates. (You can even assign whole groups of tasks to certain dates to speed things up a bit too!)
Boyfriend never has a clue what your schedule for the week is but wants to make plans? You want to bring on an assistant and collaborate on work together? You work with clients and want them to be able to see your progress?
With a project management system you can see how work is progressing with anyone in your organization. If you’re working with clients, you can keep an eye on their homework progress or see how far a team member is into the work they’re doing.
You can also share your tasks with others, so everyone important to you knows what you’re up to and when you’re busy/free.
Assigning a task to a client or team member? Mentioning a file in that’s hosted in your Google Drive or Dropbox? Want to detail all of the steps they need to take and give important instructions
The description & attachments area of Asana is perrrfect for these exact issues. You’d have a hard time writing out the link to a document in your GDrive in a physical planner, but it’s pretty easy in a project management system.
It’s also convenient to have your description of the steps needed to be taken right where the task is, as opposed to writing out those instructions in some document somewhere.
I use my project management system to capture blog post ideas on the go, create and manage my editorial calendar, and hold all of our tutorials and SOPs.
Normally, these things would be all over the place, but with a project management system, they can all be stored perfectly. And it’s superrrr helpful to have them in one place.
Creating content is one of my many daily tasks, and it would be kind of inefficient to have my editorial calendar off in some other calendar.
Not to mention, when you have a task pop up which you don’t remember how to do, it’s pretty convenient to have your SOPs and tutorials right in the same program where your tasks are.
Getting a project management system eliminates the need for so many other programs!
Just had a personal emergency come up? Had a major task fall in your lap that needs to be completed ASAP? What about all of your other work?
With a project management system it takes all of 1 click and 1 second to move a task to another date. This is without a doubt my favorite part of a project management system. Looking at a day overflowing with an impossible to-do list stresses me right out, so I always keep my days reasonable.
I rebalance and reorganize my tasks on the regular, and it’s wayyyy faster to do in a project management system than in a physical planner. Not to mention, I’m OCD about not having crossed out tasks and scribbles everywhere on paper, so moving stuff around would annoy me from an aesthetic perspective in a physical planner.
Sooo yeah … I don’t know what else I could say to convince you right now. I hope that I’ve gotten you over the fence and you’re ready to break up with your physical planner for good.
I encourage you to sign up for a free Asana account and try out managing your projects and tasks from it. I promise, once you get the hang of it, you’re NEVER going to go back! That’s a promise.