Ben Franklin’s Method for Identifying Values

From the time we were little, our parents, teachers, caretakers taught us certain governing values that have been programmed into our brains. It’s the “why” of life – why we do what we do. As we mature and become more aware of this programming, we can be more conscious of this “why”. Ben Franklin became very intentional about his “why” with the 13 Virtues he wrote. His method for finding these governing values can still be applied today to help you identify your highest priorities. Hyrum Smith said, “Your governing values are the foundation of personal fulfillment.”bens-method-final1.Identify virtues – Here is a list of sample governing values. Review the list and write down 5 that you identify with the most.

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2. Prioritize them – From your list, prioritize them in order of most important to less important. This exercise can help you to learn about yourself – what is actually most important to you?

3. Clarify what they mean to youBeauty or Faith can mean something very different from one person to the next. Take your prioritized list and write a clarifying statement for each. For example, if you chose Fitness, your clarifying statement could be,

“I am energetic and have adequate strength to accomplish the physical and mental tasks I undertake. I am physically active, getting enough exercise to help maintain a weight consistent with my heath and build.”

After you have done this, take some time to reflect on your list and your statements. Draw conclusions about what they mean to you. Do these governing values reflect your day-to-day tasks and your long-term goals? Put your list somewhere in your planner where you can refer to it often or get the Starter Pack and fill out the Values form. Allow your governing values to actually govern your daily tasks and how you prioritize what you get done in a day. This is the beginning of achieving what matters most and becoming who you want to be.

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How to Use the Goal Planning Form

The intention of the Goal Planning Form form is to help you map out your goals and create a plan for achieving them. Make the big lofty goal attainable by having a visual plan to accomplish what it is that you want. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

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Value/Mission/Role (why?) – This is your why and your motivation for wanting to set this goal in the first place. Review your values, mission, and roles, and choose what is driving you to accomplish this goal.

Governing Values – your highest priorities

Mission – your unique purpose

Roles – your key relationships and responsibilities

Goal (what?/when?) – Define what the actual goal is and what deadline you are giving yourself. If you associate a timeline with your goal, it will make it easier to break down into smaller chunks.

Steps (how?) and Deadlines – How are you going to accomplish this goal? Use this space to break your goal down into smaller “bite-size” pieces. What will this goal look like on a weekly basis? And on a daily basis? Set some deadlines for each step. Once you have the timeline written out, write these same deadlines in your planner on the day each task is to be done. It may also be helpful to write other reminders before the deadline happens to keep the goal fresh on your mind.

The Productivity Pyramid – This is a reminder to incorporate your goal into each step of the the Pyramid.

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Big Rocks

It’s a classic object lesson: you can’t fit big rocks into a jar full of sand, but put the big rocks in first, and you can fill up the space around them. Keep this principle in mind as you commit tasks to your planner pages. At this point, you have your Master Task List and Weekly Compass Tasks ready to schedule. Once those are in, you can plan your other important and fulfilling activities to round out your week.

As you develop strong weekly planning sessions, your life will have a new sense of perspective. A good weekly plan helps you see past the daily grind to where life’s milestones await. And that perspective makes all the difference.

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3 Keys to Using the FranklinPlanner

We can’t control how much time we have, but we can control how we use our time. Think about what matters most to you in your life and fill in the blank:

“Effectively managing my time, gives me _______ in my life.”

Whatever this may be, you can use a Franklin Planner to achieve that. Here are 3 keys to using your planner effectively.

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Key 1: Only use one personal management system. Your planner can only be as effective if you use and integrate it with the rest of your life. Whether you use a planner, a calendar, or an app to manage your contacts, notes, appointments, and tasks, integrate them to be one system that works to support you.

Key 2: Keep the planner with you always. Regardless of where we are, information is coming at us constantly. One of the main purposes of a planner is to capture information. Keep your planner with you to capture the data, and relieve your brain from having to remember it later. When it’s not appropriate to have your planner on you, consider using the Satellite version.

Key 3: Eliminate floating paper. Floating paper is any piece of information you have written down that you cannot have at your fingertips within 10 seconds. According to one study, we spend as much as 28 minutes a day looking for pieces of paper. The message here is to have a place for everything, and everything in its place.

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Task Symbols

Use the following symbols to keep up on the current status of your tasks. Some may be self-explanatory, while others could use a little clarification.

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√  Completed – when the task is completed and there is nothing more to do or to follow up on

→  Forwarded – when the task is forwarded to the next day, next week, or future date

×  Deleted – when the task no longer needs to be completed or becomes obsolete

G √  Delegated – when the task is delegated to someone else, put his/her initial next to a checkmark

  •  In Process – when a task is making progress to completion, underway, ongoing
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What Planner Personality are You?

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While each of our planners is designed to help organize your life, no two planners have the same personality. With many different formats and designs to choose from, finding the right planner to complement your personal planning style makes all the difference. Take this brief quiz to see which planner designs match your planning personality.

Click here to take the quiz!

 

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How to Use Your Prioritized Daily Task List

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Progress, not perfection

follow-us-pinterestWe’ve all seen those amazing images on Pinterest. Chances are good you’ll want to create something similar for your holiday get-togethers. Just remember that sometimes our efforts are successful and other times they aren’t so great. With all you have to think about during the holidays, try to keep a practical perspective. Don’t worry about being perfect. Do what you can and enjoy it. Remember that joy is found in the company you keep more than in the image you create.

 

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Of course, we aren’t suggesting you give up your dream of the perfect table setting or the decedent dessert. Just keep it real. Plan ahead and decide what you can do this season and what should wait until later. What you’re after is progress and not perfection.

 

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Wanna Get Organized? 4 Must-Do Steps

You’ve vowed to finally transform your “clutter mountain” into a “clutter molehill.” Now that your mind is set, how do you successfully negotiate the ins and outs of getting organized?

(1) Have specific goals.

Don’t say: I want to get organized.

Do say: I want to organize my estate.

Speaking in generalities leads to doing in generalities – or no results. Take the time to make specific organizing goals so that you get the fabulous organizing results you deserve.

(2) Calendar it to make it real.

Don’t say: I’ll get to organizing the garage when I have time.

Do say: I need to schedule a day to organize my garage.

If you treat organizing like a regular appointment, you are more likely to take it seriously and follow through on your get-organized goals.

(3) Focus on one thing.

Don’t say: This week, I’m going to overhaul my kitchen, organize my files, get ready for taxes, clean out my closet, update my address book, re-do my schedule…

Do say: This week, I’m going to organize my tax paperwork.

If you try to take on too many organizing projects, you will surely fail. Focus on one task, and one task only, until it is complete. And let that success, as little or big as it may be, propel you onward.

(4) Have a positive attitude.

Don’t say: Organizing my closet? Yikes! I don’t know if I can…

Do say: Organizing my closet? I’m ready! I’ll save so much time getting dressed each morning…

Your thoughts channel real power to help you achieve your organizing milestones – so think positively not only about the process but also the end result, and put those brain waves to good use!

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. If you want to get organized and calm the chaos in your life, go to CarmenCoker.com for her free video how-to called the Secrets of the Super Organized™.

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Organize your Kitchen and Start Cooking this Fall

By Monica Friel 

The fall is a great time for cooking and eating, creating new recipes and bringing back old ones. Having a well organized kitchen is crucial for good meal planning and preparation. Making optimal use of the space in your kitchen is more important when you’re spending extra time asdsdcreating new recipes and making some of fall’s favorite comfort foods. Of course, every kitchen is different. Some are sprawling with plenty of open cabinet space to fit every appliance and gadget on the market. Others are tiny and tight without an inch to spare. However, many of the same rules apply when it comes to organization. Here are a few tips to keep your kitchen in tip top shape.

Maximize every inch of cabinet space. Somehow we always find a way to fill up every inch of cabinet space no matter how big or small our kitchen is. Make use of containers, and organizational items inside your cabinets to make the best possible use of space. Lazy Susan’s, helper shelves and drawer dividers will not only help to keep things organized, they will also help you fit much more.

Shop Wisely. If you have a tiny galley kitchen, you shouldn’t be shopping at Costco. When you live in a smaller space, you have to make frequent trips to the grocery store. Don’t purchase in bulk unless you have somewhere to keep the excess. Often the deal is not worth compromising your space over. If you do purchase extras, consider storing them separately so you don’t have three boxes of the same cereal circulating.

Make use of vertical space. If you have available wall space in your kitchen, add a fruit basket on the wall (see image) or free standing shelving. Also remember to keep frequently used recipes and notes on the inside of cabinet doors.

Consider a Hanging Pot Rack. If you don’t have great space for keeping pots and pans in cabinets or drawers, make use of a hanging pot rack. It makes them easy to access and frees up cabinet space.

Refresh your Fridge. Every time to shop, your fridge should get a once over. A simple weed out of stale food and a wipe down of shelves will make incoming items accessible and more appealing too.

Keep your Freezer Functional. Your freezer is great for storage of items that can be used for meal preparation rather than heading out to the market. Don’t forget to label, date and properly package items in the freezer so you know what you have and when it expires.

Keeping an organized kitchen will help make meal preparation more efficient. It will save you money on purchasing groceries and will help to ensure you enjoy mealtime with your family.

 Monica Friel

 

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My Favorite 30 Pinterest Contest

What are your 30 favorite FranklinPlanner products?

We are hosting another Pinterest Contest to give you the chance to win one of your favorite FranklinPlanner products for spring! The instructions are listed below in the contest image, but feel free to comment or email any questions you may have to GO.fc@fcorgp.com.

To enter simply begin by following our Pinterest boards.

Remember to pin the below image to your board using the Pinterest Button, and have fun pinning your 30 favorite products! Remember…if you win you could receive one of your favorite products!

*Note: To follow FTC guidelines, please remember to include in your board’s description that the board is for the FranklinPlanner Pinterest Contest.

The contest begins April 2 and will end April 16, be sure to email your board’s URL to GO.fc@fcorgp.com.

For any additional Pinterest help, visit their Help Center.

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Tips to Achieve Your 2014 Resolution: Travel

Did you travel anywhere in 2013? Are you looking to visit a new place for 2014?

We found that one of the top resolutions revolves around traveling. People tend to set a goal to travel somewhere new during the year, and they sometimes never make it. If that is your goal for this New Year, these tips will help you accomplish it. By doing small things like creating an actual plan and reading travel books, you can stay motivated to make your trip happen.

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Making the Most of Your Pagefinder

 By Patty Gardner

Page Finders Franklin

I don’t know about you, but my planner’s page finder is a really important part of my system.  Most of the time my planner is open, on the counter or my desk, where I can see it easily.  But if it’s closed, I need to be able to get to my daily page FAST and my page finder allows me to do that.

But it’s not just a page finder!  It can be SO much more, especially if you’re using a pouch page finder by Franklin Planners.  The pouch can hold so many interesting things, including:

Menu

Page Finder - Menu

The Weekly Compass cards have 8 boxes on the front side.  You can use 7 for meals and 1 for dessert.  Then your meal plan right in front of you.

Inspirational Quotes

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Who doesn’t love to be inspired?!  If you have quotes that motivate or inspire you, write them on a piece of paper and put them in the pouch page finder.

Memorization

Page Finder - Memorization

If you’re trying to memorize something, type or write it on a piece of paper and put it in your page finder.  Every time you look at your planner (which hopefully is often), you can work on your memorization project.

To-Do List for the Week

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If you’re using the Weekly Compass cards you can put your top 8 priorities on the front, one per box, and everything else you need (or want) to do on the back side.

Dailies

Page Finder - Dailies

Tired of re-writing those dailies every day? Put them on a Weekly Compass card or blank piece of paper, put the paper in the pouch and use a dry erase marker to mark them off each day.

Shopping Lists & Reminders

Page Finder - Grocery List

Use post-it notes to keep track of your shopping lists and other reminders and stick the post-its directly on the page finder.  You can still keep things in the pouch, too.

Besides the awesome pouch page finder, here are some other page finder ideas:

 Colored Page Finders

You can also use different colored page finders.  Franklin Planners has an assortment of bright colors.

Multiple Page Finders

You can use multiple page finders.  Sometimes I put one page finder in the correct way and the second one in upside down so the top sticks out of the bottom of the planner.  It makes it easy to grab the one I want.

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Progressive Task List Page Finder

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Page Finder - Progressive Task List

Franklin Planners sells a page finder made of heavy cardstock that you write on directly.  It’s called a progressive task list.  I’ve used it a lot, too.

So if you’ve used your page finder as just a page finder, maybe it’s time to spread your wings and see what other uses you can find for that unused planner real estate.

Do you do anything special with your page finder?

 

Thank you, Patty! Patty is a guest blog contributor to the GO Community and we are so excited to learn new tips from her.

Patty GardnerPatty Gardner is a full-time homemaker and writes at Homemakers Daily. The purpose of the blog is to share what she has learned through her many phases of life with others. You’ll find practical, nitty gritty, to-the-point articles to help you in your everyday life as you try to stretch your budget and your time and make a home for your family!

 

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The Power of Organization

You’ve probably noticed that the more organized you are, the more smoothly your life goes. You don’t waste time in the morning searching for socks and car keys. You don’t forget to pack your toothbrush before you zip up your carry-on, and you show up on time.

But few of us, if any, started our lives organized.

Most of us can relate to my five-year-old daughter—the one who dumps her toys onto her bedroom floor before she plays with them. By noon, her bedroom carpet is covered with tiny dolls, plastic ponies, and fake jewelry. It’s a minefield. Any wrong step could send a parent to the hospital for emergency foot surgery—a tiera-ectomy. Of course, this is the same child who can never find her toys.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we can all remember our childhood, with parents constantly reminding us to clean our rooms and pick up after ourselves. Our parents had discovered the power of organization and the freedom it gives us to live our lives. With time we learned the same thing—that the right tools in the right place at the right time make all the difference.

That’s why FranklinPlanner.com is here. Our goal is to help you keep up with the rhythm of your life. And hopefully, as you model organized behavior, those sweet children can learn to be tidier as well. At least we can hope.

Here are a few tools to help you along the way.

 

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Shell by Moleskine 

 

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Compass Wire-bound Daily Planner by FranklinCovey 

 

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Classic Envelope Cover for Wire-bound Planners by FranklinCovey 

 

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Terrace Scrunchy Case by Wellspring 

 

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Ginger Tote by Amy Butler 

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Brenda Clutch with Chain by Amy Butler 

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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Bon Jovi Jams With Kid Rock

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind.

This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind. This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many posts as you like in order to share with your readers what exactly is on your mind.

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Simplifying December

Simplifying DecemberDecember is a month to spend with family. Sometimes though, it’s a month spent as your family’s air traffic controller, keeping track of holiday parties, school concerts, classroom treat days, and family traditions. Here are five tips to help you simplify your December and reclaim some quality time with your family.

1.      Organize Your Holiday Gift List

Helping Santa get the things on everyone’s wish list can be quite a chore. You can simplify this with a basic spreadsheet: list the names of your family members, the gifts they want, where you want to buy it, the cost, and a running total on your budget. Then, when you’re going through the holiday ads and find a great deal, you’ll have a space to record it, saving you the trouble of bringing the mailers with you on your shopping trip.

Color Code Your Life by Board Dudes2.      Track Your Family Events

As your kids bring their school schedules home, take the time to mark their events on your centralized calendar with different colors for each child. Putting events up ahead of time can help you resolve scheduling conflicts with a minimum of hurt feelings.

3.      Make Room For Traditions

With all the holiday fun going on outside your home, make sure to make time for your own family’s holiday traditions. Whether it’s decorating the house, baking pies, dipping chocolate, or watching your family’s favorite holiday movie (“I can’t put my arms down!”), don’t let the holiday rush crowd them out.

4.      Prepare For House Guests

If you’re planning on having family or friends stay with you for the holidays, or even just inviting people over for a party of your own, you will want to present a clean and organized house. If you have any organization projects that you’ve been putting off, it’s better to tackle them well before your guests arrive. You’ll be dealing with travel schedules and other logistics – the last thing you need the day before they arrive is trying to find a home for the boxes in the guest bedroom.

5.      Schedule Down Time

Most importantly, as you look at your holiday calendar, make sure to schedule some down time. With many family members to visit, and all of them expecting a visit on the holiday itself, it’s easy for a series of celebrations to feel like a set of errands. Scheduling out visits on days other than the actual holiday can help make your holiday together time more enjoyable.

 

 

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