Planning regime

by Stuart Lennon

Productivity. Surely the Holy Grail of our time.

There are countless books, blog, websites, methods and tools all dedicated to making us more productive. I have had long, involved, conversations and exchanges of letters about how to be more productive. 

At times, I have been pretty good at it. Other times, I suspect I have been incredibly busy, which is often mistaken for productive.

As we hurtle towards the New Year, I have taken some time to get organised; to plan my planning, if you will.

I have already declared that a part of my process is going to be the Trigg Life Mapper, and I'm sticking by that. Necessarily, this means that I will need to adopt the Trigg approach, either fully, or in part.

Trigg Life Mapper


The starting question is "Where do I want to be in 12 months?"

This "where" refers to much more than geography. The Life Mapper encourages you to ask this question, to break it down into different categories and ultimately, to create your own life map. The clue is in the name, I guess.

The trick is to establish goals that are specific enough to be definite, yet flexible enough to evolve with me as the year unfolds. Lots of thinking being done.

Already, there is a tangible benefit to the system. Goal-setting is, in itself, a useful exercise.


Regular readers will know that I'm pretty into my analogue stuff, however, I'm no luddite. I am a big user of digital tools too. I'm a big believer in using whatever tool gets the job done. I will write another post on how digital fits into my life.

Proposed Productivity Analogue Setup for 2018

1. Trigg Life Mapper

2. Smythson Diary

3. EDC Pocket Notebook

4. Brain Dump Notebook 


Much of this was inspired by my writer friend, Amanda Fleet. Check out her stationery blog here.

Weekly Routine

Sunday afternoon, or evening - a review and planning session.  

First, I will go through the Trigg and Smythson and see if anything needs to be transferred into the coming week. The Trigg even provides a prompt to note as part of the review process.

I'll review the EDC too. I'll pour everything into the Brain Dump Notebook. (I don't know what book I'll use for this yet.) The idea is that I'll get everything from the two diaries, the EDC and my head all into one weekly list. 

Then, I'll have a cup of tea.

Refreshed, I will now start building the plan for the week. Setting my Trigg priorities for the week and even days, setting the priorities for work and beginning to block time off for important tasks.

The aim will be to have a large portion of the week planned out, and task lists prioritised and documented across the two diaries. Items from the dump that do not fit into the next week will be carried to a future list, in the back of the Smythson.

Smythson and Trigg

Daily Routine.

The larger books will live at the office. As such, my day plan and review will normally take place at my desk. I will discipline myself to spend the first few minutes of the day with a coffee and my planners, getting myself focused on the important tasks of the day. Before heading home, I will take five minutes to review the task list and the the day - just to see how it went, and whether anything needs to be transcribed forward.

That would be the basis of the planning discipline. 

I will report back on how its going...