Writing Wednesday: How to use a planner in your self-owned business

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Principal weekly planner

A friend of mine recently started his own company as a contractor to the oil and gas industry. His accountant advised him to use a paper planner for records of meetings, business expenses, mileage etc. He turned to me as his local planner expert to ask for advice.

After asking business owners on the internet what they do (and getting mixed replies) I talked to my friend some more about what his needs were. Turns out he’s not quite sure; since he hasn’t started getting clients and doing work yet, he doesn’t exactly know what his needs will be in that situation. He’s not normally a paper planner user, so he wanted something easy to use.

I recommended the Principal weekly planner (which is in this week’s giveaway, click here to enter). The Principal has a unique format where each day has a timed schedule and designated spaces to record phone calls, emails, and notes.

Principal day cropped

Daily space in the Principal planner

This will make it easy for him to record this information quickly. He doesn’t have to make decisions about where and how to write the information, he can just plonk it straight down on the page. Then if he needs to look up when he had a phone call or a certain meeting, he can easily see it in the day spaces.

I told him the planner isn’t a substitute for a note-taking system. It’s a good quick-reference but he’ll still need a place for meeting notes etc. I recommended the Bullet Journal system so he can use signifiers for each client, for example. With signifiers and an index system, he’ll be able to find client notes or topic-specific content in his notebook easily.

Do you own your own business? What system do you use for records?


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