Updated: Jan 1
1. Get a New Notebook
One great thing about the Messy Planning System is that you don't have to start using it at the beginning of the year. But there's something satisfying about a nice clean notebook in a new year. The Messy Planning shop doesn't carry empty notebooks (yet), but I've packaged the new Messy Planning Workbook in your choice of binder. You get the whole book (a $20 value), worksheets, blank dot-grid pages, plus the binder for $25. The 6-ring binder is my new favorite, and the clear poly cover was exactly what I used in 2022. If you prefer a disc binder, you can choose that and I have some nice leather(ish?) covers in that style.
2. Do a Brain Dump
When you start the Messy Planner System or come back to it after some time off, the first thing you do is a Brain Dump. Set a timer for 10 minutes or so and just keep writing until you run out of to-dos, errands, Big Ideas, appointments, or other adorable rodents running around in your brain. Get them down on paper for a clean start.
Get a free downloadable Brain Dump Worksheet with Instructions from the Messy Planner Shop.
3. Review Last Year and Set Goals for 2023
Have you done an end-of-year review yet? Before you make resolutions for 2023, take time to reflect on the last year. This year-end review workbook is now free, too. If you're more business-minded and want to apply PDCA to your personal life, I've got a new approach for you, too.
4. Make a Nice Clean List
The Messy Planning System calls for making a Nice Clean List of tasks and ideas whenever you do a review (weekly, monthly, or after leaving the system for a while). That Nice Clean List lives in the front of your Messy Notebook and helps you keep track of what you've done, what you need to do, and your Big Ideas. You use the Messy Planning System symbols (or your own) to categorize the items in your list.
5. Start Using the Messy Planning System
"Embracing inconsistency and randomness in a productive life," the Messy Planning System is designed specifically for Messies. It has a backup system for when you don’t have time or energy to make detailed to do lists, a system for gathering random notes and reminders from around a Messy house, and it acts as a catch-all for plans, memories, and dreams. Used to its fullest, it can help you turn your Big Ideas into Productive Action. (How do you think I wrote two books this year while teaching a class and working a demanding full-time job?) And yet it requires only a blank notebook, a calendar, and your brain, so you don’t have to feel guilty for any messy pages — or empty ones.
Happy New Year!