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How planning and note taking can be used as a tool for work, but also an escape

2020 is over, phew! But what is not likely to be over for some time is its long lasting impacts on us and the way we live.

Overnight, we were forced into a completely alien world where our home became our office, our local Tesco became a day out and finding a lost face mask in your pocket was the same as finding a fiver. I personally never thought I would see the day!

Something I have learned to accept is that Covid will be with us for a long time, whether directly or indirectly and we need to learn to live with it in order to move forward.

I know it may sound easier said than done, but there are little things you can do to get your mind focused on what matters, whether that be friends and family, work, school or that idea that got pushed to the back of your mind amidst the madness.
I personally have taken to note taking and planning. I have always kept planners throughout my life, but for one reason or another I have never fully committed to seeing them through.

The pandemic allowed me to focus my time and energy into creating a beautiful space to write down my key dates and thoughts while organising myself and my work.

There is something very therapeutic and uplifting about bringing your plans to life with stickers, stamps, pictures and drawings. I now get excited when I have a new event to note down, but also find it helps me recall dates and appointments better. I guess they do say that you are 40% more likely to remember something if it is written down!

During the pandemic, I struggled to control my stress levels. With so much more to think about and remember, I needed a place to store this information outside of constant email and iPhone reminders. Planning allowed me to visualise my entire week or month in front of me. Suddenly, a notification for an event became a piece of art and a to-do list scribbled on the back of a torn envelope became deeply thought out and delicate.

I now look forward to turning over the page to the next month of my planner, and not just because it means we may be one month closer to normality!

I always believed in the saying ‘a clear work space means a clear mind’, but I truly believe that expressing yourself through design while organising your life is the way to a clear efficient mind, and an opportunity to put down the phone or laptop for a while.

If I have brought anything away from 2020, it’s that writing and planning can be an exciting opportunity to document our lives and prepare for what lies ahead. Although let’s hope that’s not another global virus!