Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A TOS Review: The 7 Minute Daily Planner

I am not what you would call “organized.” 

At least in the specific sense of the word. 

I am surprisingly very detailed. My life and work is also very project based. 

I also don’t have a typical office or work environment. My work is from home. I have deadlines, projects and goals, but I am the one that regulates the pace. Which means quite often I am scrambling at the last minute to create. 

I often have several projects going on at once. Articles to write, reviews to finish up, a son to teach, books to inhale (did I really just admit to that?)…I don’t have the luxury of working on one thing at a time. 

Anybody else have a problem with juggling? 

Traditional planners have been harder for me to implement. They are not specific. They simply just provide a spot for my obligations and a “to do” list. 


I recenty was provided with the opportunity to review The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner from the The 7 Minute Life

Could this be what I need in my life (other than chocolate every day)?

What I Received

I received a physical planner called The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner. It was created by Allyson Lewis. She also created a company called The The 7 Minute Life. It is a time management company that . The planner is 7.3" by 8.5" and is spiral bound. 

The planner can be purchased for $24.95

How It Works

The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner is a personal training tool. I like that. It is simply not a “to do” list. It helps the user take those “to do” lists and divide them into manageable tasks. It is intended to be used by adults. Which means I got this one all to myself. 

The goal of the planner is help the user set priorities (and stick to them!) It helps those of us who are particularly distracted avoid interruptions. We are taught how to conquer unfinished tasks (and finish them!) and how to declutter not only our life, but our mind as well. Sign me up!

You can discover more by watching this video. 

How I Used It

When I first received my planner in the mail I thought, “Oh no! It looks like I will have to add planning my planner to my list of “to do” projects!” 

I soon discovered that all of the extra steps involved were exactly what I needed to help me narrow down and be specific about what I wanted to accomplish in my life and my day. 

I can't even begin to list all the pages and features found in the planner. You can get a better sense by looking at the chart below. 

I watched the Getting Started Videos found on the website and began to read through the instructions. 

I got out my sparkly pens and I was ready to go! 
I want to share with you some of how I used it and some of my favorite features. 

I was asked to prioritize my values. I can tell you that this is the very first time (evah) a planner has asked me about my values. 

Then I had to write out my Purpose. I was also ask to list what I love and what I consider my Purpose words to be. You can see that I have circled them.

It is easy for me to get caught up in what I am not accomplishing. Or what I consider to me my "lack." One activity had me list my strengths. I was patient that week. This week I'm not as patient. Maybe I should stop telling people that I am patient.

I also like to be rewarded by small gifts of chocolate. And sushi.

One helpful activity had me list what was causing stress and chaos in my life. What are my distractions? Am I having an issue with indecisiveness (yes) or procrastination (yes and yes).

There are plenty of pages for goal setting. Something unique with this planner is that we are encouraged to set 90 day goals. There is a spot for personal goals, work goals, financial goals and life goals.

You can see that one of my goals is to lose 50 pounds. I have lost a whole bunch of weight. This last bit is being particularly stubborn and I am having a hard time with motivation. 50 is a lot to lose in 3 months and I probably won't get there, but it is a reminder to me that if I lose 50 pounds I am at my goal weight. I further broke down my actions to what I was going to do daily.

This (in my very best handwriting ;<)) is one goal I included in my work goals. I listed all of my blogging and writing goals under my work goals.

There is a spot for Unfinished Tasks. Don't worry. There is lots of room. The goal is that you take items from this list and had them to your daily task page. It actually is quite effective. I've been getting stuff done!

Here is my calendar for September. It isn't pretty, but it's filled out.

So after I worked through all of my planning to plan pages, I got to the Daily Progress Report pages. This is where the day to day activity takes place. It has a wonderful feature for listing 5 things to do before 11am. Wonderful! It also has a spot for people you need to connect with. And that list of Unfinished Tasks.

I can keep myself accountable to some of my health goals. I wasn't about to admit how much time I spend reading. Don't ask. Don't tell.

I don't follow a hour by hour schedule (that is simply too much to ask of me). I do, however, have specific commitments.

I used the blank lines on this page to record some notes. I had a few hiccups in the day. I made a list so I can add it to the next day.

There are other helpful features on the Daily Progress Report page, but those are my favs. 

My Thoughts

I really needed this. If you follow my blog you will see that I have added a few printables over the last month. I also have a file full of printables I need to upload…just ready to go. 

This was a project I definitely have been neglecting. It has been my intention to create printables to share. Eventually, I want to have an ebook or two for purchase on my blog. 

I finished a book project for my Mom, started on my Christmas project list and finished a few blog posts I had meaning to write. 

These were projects that weren’t pressing, but ones I had intended to do. I also managed to finish my projects with deadlines in a timely manner. 


Something I really appreciated is that The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner helped me focus on what my intentions are. As a blogger, as a mother, as a wife, as a person. I was able to narrow in on my purpose and plan accordingly. 

I once had an older minister friend tell my husband and I that everything he did at his church he did with one purpose in mind. “Would it glorify the Kingdom of God?” Even bake sales and children’s events had to be put to the test.

The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner helped me purposeful. My purpose words are blessing, encourage, faithful, creativity, purpose and love. I want to make a difference. I want to be a blessing. I want to be faithful. Do my projects, tasks and day reflect that? 

This is so much more than a planner. 

The 5 before 11 section has saved the day. There have been nights I have laid my head on the pillow and thought, “What in the world did I accomplish today?” Having 5 things that I do before 11am makes me already successful. I don’t feel overwhelmed or disappointed in myself. And because I have written them down I have proof that I am being productive. 

Because my “job” is not typical, I found I didn’t every single page in the book. But that’s okay. I made it my own. 

Of course, for those of us who like to run by the seat of our pants (is that even a phrase?) we have to be sure we actually planner into practice. It has been tempting to go back to my bad habits of post-it planning. 

This time I am really making an effort to be purposeful. It's simple! Check out some of these tools and resources that are available to you.

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