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How I Use My Planner: Em Somera

How I Use My Planner: Em Somera
Our business development head Em Somera, 38, wears many hats. She’s a mom who home schools her two young kids and juggles two full-time jobs. She has side hustles, including her baking business Million Cookies. A lover of learning and self-development, she also devotes plenty of time studying vedic astrology, human design, and transformational coaching. 

Here’s what Em shared about her planning and journaling system. 

What are the planners, notebooks, journals, digital tools, and accessories included in your planning/journaling system? 
BDJ Power Planner - Leather 
Everything is Possible Planner
Focus Journal 
Quest Journal Medium (I have 3 so far...) 
Quest Journal Travel  
Essentials Notebook 
BDJ Holo Notebook 
Leuchtturm1917 Softcover Notebook 
Kaco Gel Pen or Fountain Pen 
Green Pen (Green is my favorite color!) 
Google Calendar 

What's your planning and journaling system/practice like?  
I plan weekly. I set aside time for it, usually on a Friday evening or early Saturday morning. 

I use my Leuchtturm notebook to review the past week. I identify what worked in the past week or I write one new thing I will do differently in the next week. I create 5 columns based on aspects of my life that I balance: personal, kids and home, job 1, job 2, and my hustles. For each column, I write 10 tasks I want to accomplish in the coming week. I allow myself to list 50 tasks. Then, I categorize the tasks into 1 major, 4 medium, and 5 minor tasks per column. Once I categorize them based on importance, I move on to my planner. 

In my BDJ Planner, I don’t use the time stamps on the left side; I turn them into bullet points. I allot 3 bullets per aspect of my life (personal, kids and home, job 1, job 2, hustles). I migrate the tasks from my Leuchtturm to my BDJ Planner based on importance—I allow 3 tasks per category per day. I strike out tasks that are done. I highlight tasks I didn’t do to remind myself that when I have slack time during the week, I can make time to get on these tasks. Once done, I review my Google Calendar (which is already time-blocked with a consistent daily schedule) and see if all priorities fit. I adjust the time accordingly. 

My Everything is Possible Planner is for work. At the start of the year, I mark the monthly and weekly pages with our scheduled meetings (which are usually already given to us by December of the previous year). Each quarter, I track sales goals. Monthly, I track my ways forward to achieve the quarterly goals. Weekly, I track sales activities and client information. 

In my Focus Journal, I write at least 3 things I'm grateful for before I sleep. This is a daily habit. Every week, I review my gratitude lists and highlight key things that make me extra grateful. 

I have 3 Medium Quest Journals—one for Seeds and Harvests, one for Astrology and Human Design, and one for notes for my other full-time job. 

I use my Quest Journal Travel for home schooling my daughter. One filler is for my daughter to list words she can read, and the other filler is for her to list lines she likes from the books we read. 

I use my Essentials Notebook for keeping track of home school plans and schedules. 

Finally, I use my BDJ Holo Notebook for daily notes during meetings. 

Has your system changed from pre-pandemic times to the present? If yes, how so? 
I plan my time more intensely now! I feel like there’s no slack time (barely any) because every minute is being utilized. 

What has been the biggest benefit of having your current system? 
It may feel too rigid but it actually enables me to feel free. For example, since I do my weekly pre-planning on Friday nights or Saturday mornings, once that’s done, I feel I can enjoy my weekend because everything that needs to get done has been assigned time and space. 

What's your advice for people who are still figuring out their own planning/journaling system? 
Please start writing things down. It’s the easiest way to reclaim your peace of mind! 

Any planner hacks you’d like to share? 
Once or twice, I covered an unused page with another sheet of paper and washi tape and I wrote a nice quote on it. It made me feel that the page wasn’t wasted.