Looking Ahead to the New Year

brick-doorwayHappy 2016! 2015 was a great year, and it came with a couple of changes for me.

I started a new job, and explored a new creative pursuit. Through it all, my planner was my companion. I used the full Zeitgeber planner for 2015, and I really liked how the project planning sections and the dial worked together to help me manage my time.

Now it’s the new year, and I’m looking ahead to what 2016 will bring.

I’m carrying over a newish creative endeavor that I started in September 2015. I’ve started sketching and painting with watercolor! I’m excited about this, because I’ve always wanted to be able to draw and paint.

I always thought that painting ability was an inborn talent others are blessed with. Then I found out about art journaling and urban sketching. I still don’t consider myself to have any sort of innate talent. But I realized that, to some degree, painting and sketching can be acquired skills. I figured I’d give it a try, and I’ve been enjoying it!

I’ve also jumped on the craze for coloring books. I’ve always loved to color and have my own boxes of 120-piece and 96-piece crayons. I’m happy that there are so many choices for coloring books now. No more settling for kids’ coloring books printed on newsprint!

Planner-wise, I’m now in a Filofax Malden! I’ve always wanted one and finally couldn’t resist. Currently, I’m using the Filofax 2016 weekly pages that came with the planner, combined with monthly Zeitgeber pages. This may evolve since it’s the first time I’ve used Filofax’s inserts. But you’ll see more of my setup in the coming weeks.

I’m looking forward to 2016, and I hope you are too!

Three Principles of Optimized Planning: Purpose, Focus, Balance

three-principles-optimized-planningWe all want to be better at managing our time. We’d like to set goals, lay out a plan for accomplishing those goals, and consistently follow the plan. Meanwhile, we want family-work balance, enough rest and recreation, and having a sense that what we’re doing is worthwhile.

These are things that I want for myself, and I suspect many of you are the same. In the process of looking closely at the way I plan my day, I identified three core principles that help me achieve those things.

I call these the three principles of optimized planning, and they make the basic foundation of the Zeitgeber planning system. They are purpose, focus and balance.


When I plan, I need a way to set the course for what I want to accomplish. This is a really basic concept, but sometimes, I find myself just planning the day/week/month, without having a clear idea of why I’m doing all these activities and tasks.

Setting a purpose is a big-picture, big-rock approach that forces me to be proactive.read more…

Enter My Giveaway: 2015 Zeitgeber Planner Printable PDF

time-for-giveaway-300pxI hope you’ve had a chance to try the Z116 Zeitgeber Planner to see how it can help you optimize your day. If not, you can still download a free copy of the February-March 2015 planner pages. BUT, if you want to get the entire year’s pages, here’s your chance!

I’m giving away a copy of the Z116 Zeitgeber Planner pages for the rest of 2015! The full set includes January through December of the following:

read more…

Zeitgeber: Your Planner as a Collection of Cues


When my son first saw the Zeitgeber planner logo, he asked me what it was. Specifically, he asked what a “zeetjeeber” was. While I liked the way he said it, it’s actually pronounced “tsahyt-gey-ber” (you can listen to it here).

So what exactly is a zeitgeber?

The term comes from the German words for “time giver” or “synchronizer,” and it’s defined as:

a cue given by the environment, such as a change in light or temperature, to reset the internal body clock

While the Zeitgeber Planner doesn’t magically reset anybody’s internal body clock, it does function as an external cue. Actually, all planners are cues, or collections of cues, for an event or series of events.

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