How to Use the Bubble Planner

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Have you ever wondered why some people are able to effortlessly stay organized while others struggle greatly? These organizing tips using the Bubble Daily Planner will provide you with the knowledge to stay in control even as the world around you isn't. One of the first tips is to look at time differently.

Time goes, you say? Ah, no! alas, time stays, we go. - Henry Austin Dobson

Organizing Tip #1: Change Your Perspective about Time

Note: This tutorial will show you how to use the Original Bubble Daily Planner | Time Management Tool and the Big Bubble Planner Organizer. It will walk you through the different sections of the planners and provide great organizing tips throughout, so, even if you're not using the planner, you will find something to help you gain control of your time.
The issue facing you today is not managing time. What’s at issue are the choices you make with the time you have. Choices are the currency that converts the present to the future. Since you have the ability to work anywhere or anytime getting things done faster ever imagined, these organizing tips will help you manage yourself differently to make the best choices for your future.
To fulfill your purpose in life, you must know (create, define, and clarify) the following:
  • What do you want to be?
  • What do you want to do?
  • What do you want to have?
The key is to know these things at the precise moment of decision. In short, you need a time management tool that enables you to act at the speed of thought. The spatial design of the Bubble Planner allows you to organize your thoughts quickly. More than that, it actually behaves the way you think, which is in pictures translated into words. It moves beyond the linear limitations of traditional time management techniques such as task lists and taps into your brain's natural creative power.

Organizing Tip #2: Engage Both Sides of Your Brain

The Bubble Planner combines powerful brainstorming techniques with life management principles. This combination recruits both the creative and logical sides of the brain. This tool allows you to capture ideas at the speed of thought and arrange them in pictures.

As an illustration, let’s say that you want to invite the Hendersons out to dinner for a couple’s night out. Simply add a phone call action to today with the relevant information. Since it is a couple’s night out, you 
need someone to care for the kids. Draw a line to the next bubble as a reminder to call your babysitter if Bob and Tina accept.

When you complete a task, you can either cross it out or highlight it(highlighting maintains readability). The Bubble Planner is intended to be flexible. There are many ways to do everything. The only limit is your imagination.
The Bubble Planner is segmented into six sections that all work together:
1.     Radar
2.     Roadmap
3.     Rudder
4.     Register
5.     Renew
6.     Review.
The first three sections (Radar, Roadmap, and Rudder) are directional. They are designed to propel your life forward in the direction of your purpose. The fourth section (Register) is a placeholder for things that must be done on a specific day. While it may be used as a calendar, it is designed as a planning tool to ensure you accomplish your goals. The fifth section (Renew) increases your capacity for production. The final section (Review) captures items for later reference.

Organizing Tip #3: Start with the Big Picture (Begin with the End in Mind)

Radar - Goal Setting

The Radar section is a big picture view of your life. It is critical to start from this perspective as it answers the question, “what do you want to be, do, and have?”. How do you set effective goals? Break your goals down into categories. The Bubble Daily Planner uses the FISHES categories: Family, Intellectual, Social, Health, Economic, and Spiritual.
Spend time mind mapping what you want to bedo, and have in each of these categories. Feel free to let go of all restrictions and dream in this section. When mind mapping, you should write down everything without filtering. Whether the goals are achievable or not will be determined in a later step.
After writing down all of your goals, select the most important goal from each category and complete a Future Reality page. This page clarifies our goals. The clearer the goal, the faster the manifestation. Here are the parts to the page:
What: Be as specific and detailed as possible. What is the end result? Add details, texture, 
sound, smells, feelings, or anything else that will bring the goal to life.
Start and Due Dates
: Even if you change it later, setting a date is essential for creating a future reality.

Why: Each goal must have a reason. The best reasons extend beyond ourselves. For example, if you set a goal to lose weight, a reason may be to improve your health so that you will be there for your children and your children’s children.

Why Not
: What are the barriers to achieving your goals? Often the reason that you don’t achieve your goals is fear. FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. If you give the fear a name, then you are in a position to address it.

Organizing Tip #4: Break Your Goals Down into Projects and Actions

Roadmap - Project Management
Once something appears on the radar, it is time to map it out. First, write down your current projects on the mind mapping section on the left. Now, make a mini-project plan using one of the section to the right, which is similar to the Future Reality page excluding the Why Not and SMART bubbles.
The Project Management Matrix at the bottom of the page. You can use this matrix in many ways. One of the most popular techniques is to put project milestones down the left and track projected versus actual progress for twelve weeks. Another popular technique is to use this section to track activities or habits. You may either cut it down to 7 columns to represent days of the week or continue to use twelve columns, which can represent weeks or even months.
Rudder - Task Management

The rudder is the steering mechanism. If you have properly defined your Future Reality and your Desired Results, your present moment decisions will be sharp and effective. The rudder will keep you on track and moving toward your dreams and goals.
The top section of the Today page is divided into four action categories: Phone Calls, Computer Actions, Home Actions, and Office Actions.
The clock at the bottom left is to help you plan your day. Enter your appointments in the section of the clock where it belongs along with the time. The bottom right is an area to add notes or identify high priority projects.

Organizing Tip #5: Protect Your Hard Landscape

Register – Calendar
While the monthly calendar pages in the register appear to be normal calendar pages, they are a key to creating your future reality. It is a great visual reminder when you place key actions and milestones on specific days. The objective is to keep your life moving toward what you really want not just what you really want right now.

The undated weekly calendars should also be a planning tool to help you visualize your goals coming to pass. It is not meant for keeping appointments and meetings as these activities are handled superbly by software such as Microsoft Outlook. The key to the calendar tools is to visualize your upcoming hard landscape. Think of your calendar as an inventory of time.Once you use a block of time, it is unavailable for other activities.Thus, you should protect your inventory like your would your house or bank account. You are the gatekeeper to this asset, so,only allow events access to your calendar that you really must do at a certain time.

Organizing Tip #6: Develop Your Personal Assets (Sharpen the Saw)

Renew - Habit Development
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
This section is intended to help you assess your current habits and change any habits that are not effective. There are two primary tools to accomplish this feat: The 13 Virtues and the Activity Log.

The 13 Virtues is based on Benjamin Franklin’s plan for regulating his own behavior that he developed at the age of 20 and used throughout his life. Give strict attention to one virtue a week but track your progress on every virtue daily. After 13 weeks, start the process over to complete the course four times each year.

Every evening, review the virtues and mark your progress. Put an “X” in the square if you missed the mark on a particular virtue or a check mark if you achieved the virtue. This is an enlightening process and, you must admit, quite humbling.

Where are you spending your time? The Activity Log is a Personal Efficiency Tool that answers that question. To use, select the major categories for where you should be spending your time, then add some time waster categories like surfing, chit chat, etc. Track every 15 minutes, half hour, or hour (just fill in the portion of the hour used).

Use this tool just often enough to diagnose your efficiency. This could be for a full week every six months or for a day every three. It really depends. The best answer is just whenever you feel that you are not getting the results that you want.

Organizing Tip #7: Allow Time for Reflection

Review - Reflection and Follow Up

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. - Confucius
This section captures items that maybe useful later. There are three primary forms: Follow Up, Discuss with, and Take Notes.
Follow Up: Place items on this page that you delegate to others. This is a page that you review at least weekly to ensure your own success even when you have given responsibility to someone else.

Discuss With: This will be one of your favorite pages. How many times have you just hung up the phone with your boss only to think, “I should have asked her about . . .”? This page creates a framework for communication for important people in your life. This could include your boss, your friends, your teachers, and even your spouse.

Take Notes: Often, the key to remembering things is using a consistent, effective methodology. This method is among the best available. Based on the Cornell Note Taking System, these pages prompt you to capture lectures, speeches, and even conversations in a way that engages your short and long-term memory functions.
During the lecture, use the “Take Notes” column to record the lecture. As soon after the lecture as possible, come up with questions based on the “Take Notes” column and write them in the “Review” column. After the lecture, use the “Summary” space at the bottom of each page to summarize the notes on that page.

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