The Guide to Origami Day Planning Tools

Have you ever written a reminder for yourself on your hand, a receipt, a sticky note, etc. only to lose the reminder an hour later? Have you quickly swept away a phone reminder without even looking at what it said? 

I remember when, as much as I tried, I could not seem to get comfortably organized. I tried all the planners, apps, and tools on the market, but none gave me the sense of calm I was looking for. 

Then, while stressing about my to-do list, the universe gifted me with the planning tool that changed my life. I started using the Folding Weekly Planning Sheet and, a few years later, the perfect planning system was a critical part of my life. 

Below you will find a guide to using the core tools of the Origami Day system. Each item is highly customizable, so whether you’re a CEO or a college student, you can use the products to elevate your productivity and keep your sanity. Although the tools are effective on their own, using them as a holistic system ensure you have every planning need covered, from the hourly tasks to the yearly goals.

  1. Productivity Pad - Up first is our Productivity Pad. This is a great tool to shave off wasted time as it helps quickly identify action items versus notes or doodles. Contrary to many equally beautiful notebooks, these pages are designed to be tossed after you use them, so there is less mental clutter. As an avid note taker, I like taking notes in meetings, seminars, etc. Having a clear task section helps me clearly differentiate between general (and sometimes irrelevant) notes and important to-do items. I recommend jotting down all the notes you desire and call attention to any tasks in the action column with a specific marker (star, arrow, etc.) to help it stand out. Then, you possess a clear action list to address after the engagement.
  2. Planner Book - Our most adored product is definitely the Planner Book. This tool is designed for longer term planning (anything beyond the week you are currently in) and items you know you’d like to reference again. Anything that goes beyond your current Weekly Planning Sheet (we will get to that below) should go into the month view calendar pages. Anything ‘future you’ will need to remember or reference again should go in one of the 88 blank pages. This will serve as a reference book and calendar archive for important items and dates in your life. The monthly calendar pages should be your first reference for any requests for your time (since I recommend not adding new things to your week once your Weekly Planning Sheet is made to maintain buffer time). You will also use the Planner Book each week to fill out your next Weekly Planning Sheet.
  3. Weekly Planning Sheets - The folding Weekly Planning Sheet if the cornerstone of the Origami Day system. It is designed to plan an entire week at a time, but fold focus on just the day at hand. The front side is ideal for your weekly agenda meets priority to-do list. Mix personal and professional on the same sheet each week, so you have less to manage and ensure time for both. Once each week, during your planning session, fill out a sheet for the coming week. I recommend working off a weekly ‘template’ and adjusting to whatever specific items apply to that particular week. You can also use the backside of the sheet to jot down less urgent to-do items, things to remember for your dedicated work blocks, grocery list, etc. The sheet becomes a central holding place for any items of importance during the week you are in. Again, I recommend not adding commitments to your sheet once it’s made unless they are really important and actually urgent. This will help keep buffer time in your days. (P.S. You can snag a FREE Weekly Planning sheet by signing up for out monthly newsletter)
  4. Digital Calendar - The last part of this system is one you are likely already using. Although the Origami Day philosophy is very pro-paper, it is certainly not anti-tech! Planning on paper first and supporting with digital tools helps slow down the pace of your life and reduce overbooking. Once you have made your sheet for each week, identify what items need digital reinforcement. These items tend to be things that need to be shared with someone else (video chat link, agenda, etc.) or additional info you want to keep at your fingertips (address, directions, etc.). For such items, you can create a digital entry (email or calendar entry) and share with others when needed. You may find that most of your daily items do not need a digital entry which will cut down on redundancy and time spent on your phone.

So, there you have it! Every tool is research backed and refined through iterations to ensure it will take your time management routine to the next level. You can also check out a short video of the system, and many more on our YouTube page. If you have questions about using the tools, want to share ways you have customized your Origami Day tools, or would like to talk about any of our time management services, please reach out today! We'd love to chat. 

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