Designing my own Weekly Productivity Planner

Productivity is important to me. It's a satisfying feeling to plan ahead and slowly accomplish that plan by degrees over the course of the day. I've been all over the place in my habit of planning and that's one of the areas I'm working to improve in my life right now. To this end, I've been designing a template for myself that pairs well with my weekly rhythms of planning. After a few weeks of trialing it out, I'm ready to share it!

TL;DR: Buy your own copy to kickstart your own productivity today!

Why make my own template from scratch you ask? Well, a few reasons. First, I'm in the process of becoming digital-first as much as possible. My old paper planner, while well designed by the awesome people at Intelligent Change, could never make that transition with me (stuck as it is in the physical world with us humans). Second, in all my research for a replacement template I couldn't find anything that resembled how my old planner was designed. I was able to find some that were close but those had enough bloat or useless distractions I got fed up and abandoned them. Third, I thought it'd be fun to try my hand at designing something that wasn't an app for a change 😅.

I chose to use Figma as the design tool for this project. Figma is a fantastic piece of software. It's highly versatile and I've used it for everything from product development for web and mobile apps to now documents. I'm not a designer by trade (more like necessity) and having a powerful and easy to pick up tool like this in my toolbelt is a terrific accelerator. It's also free for my uses, which is (usually) always nice.

The design I landed on was based on a few things. The biggest influence was my paper planner, the Productivity Planner from Intelligent Change. I've used their clean and straightforward planner off and on over the years and have really enjoyed it. Another important design consideration I made was based on my own experience. Years ago, I got into a really good groove of productivity that lasted a few months during the pandemic. I wanted to take the things that worked well planning-wise from that time and really dial them up a notch to help my get back to that level. Yet another source of inspiration was my reMarkable 2 tablet. It's my best “gadget friend”/daily driver and I specifically designed this template to work seamlessly on it. The edit menu can be left open without hiding any information and it's quick and easy to copy the template file to kick off a new week fresh. The usual design signatures of mine are still present in this product too: No bloat, no fancy colors/gradients, no tacky/distracting images, just a simple and practical document to direct your planning.

My process for using the planner looks like this:

  1. Before the week starts (usually Monday morning for me), take time to think about the week ahead. What do you want to accomplish this week? What priority should each task be?
  2. At the beginning of each day, set aside 5-15 minutes to plan your day. What weekly tasks do you want to tackle today? When do you want to work on them?
  3. At the conclusion of the day, take a few minutes to evaluate. How productive did you feel today? What went well? What didn't go so well?
  4. At the end of the week (usually Friday evening for me), schedule 15-30 minutes to think back on the week. What wins did you have? What tasks weren't finished that need to be carried over? What did you learn? What changes can you implement next week to work even better?

I don't always perfectly follow these steps, but I find that I usually feel happier and more accomplished when I do.

In the market for a new planner? I'd love it if you bought a copy! This is an ongoing project for me and I'd love to hear your feedback as you use it and incorporate it into future versions as time goes on. You'll get all future versions as I release them too, so you can ride the wave of productivity with me! I'd also love to know if there are other templates or resources you'd be interested in me taking a stab at. Shoot me a message, my DM's are always open!