THOMASTON — With an affinity for using planners to boost her towards achieving her goals, and a fervor for fueling personal growth and productivity, Thomaston resident Dominique Woodward decided two years ago to create a YouTube channel as a way to share her passions.
Her channel, The Pixie Planner, boasts more than 6,300 subscribers and has accumulated more than 465,000 combined views for all uploaded videos.
“I was amazed to discover that there is a whole community of millions of girls and guys on Instagram and YouTube who are [planner nerds] just like myself,” she said. “Never did I imagine my channel and following would grow to this, but I am so grateful for the ability to reach out to so many people around the world.”
Her videos range from showcasing how she organizes her planners, to sharing tips on budgeting, organization, and planning, to reviewing various brands and styles of planners.
Her most popular video, previewing how she had set up a particular planner brand just a week prior to 2019, has nearly 32,000 views.
When not creating content for her YouTube or Instagram accounts, the latter boasting 5,700 followers, Woodward is a healthcare professional, and decided earlier this month to pursue a certification in health and life coaching.
“Over the years I have dreamed of finding other methods of helping individuals in the hopes of making a difference in my community,” she stated, while noting she is excited for her new journey and eager to serve the Midcoast in her new role.
With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing a wrench into people’s normalcies and forcing new paths, Woodward shared some of her most important pieces of advice on organization, planning, and budgeting.
Maintaining a regular schedule is key to being successful, Woodward noted, especially amid uncertain and unfamiliar times the pandemic has produced.
“I’m a firm believer in the importance of maintaining a regular schedule even if you don’t necessarily need to adhere to one when working from home,” she said. “I feel by doing this you maintain a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times, which is helpful in maintaining good habits, managing stress/anxiety, and prevents your productivity from dropping off the face of the earth.”
Aside from maintaining a schedule, it is imperative, especially amid a pandemic, for everyone to create and maintain a budget, Woodward explained, whether it be a weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly budget.
“The more control you have of your money by knowing exactly where every cent is going, the more sense of ease and empowerment it brings to someone's life,” Woodward said. “Living above your means is something many Americans are guilty of, and probably don’t even realize because they are lacking a proper budget. One of my favorite financial quotes is from Dave Ramsey, and it is ‘A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.’”
The 50-30-20 rule for budgeting has proved to be most effective for Woodward, at this stage in her life.
“It is simply allocating 50% of your monthly budget to your needs, 30% to your wants, and 20% to your savings goals,” Woodward said.
When she first began creating budgets, however, she used the Seven Baby Steps budget method created by Dave Ramsey.
“I found his teaching to be incredibly helpful on my journey to becoming debt-free, as well as jump starting my savings funds,” she said.
Several of Woodward’s videos expound on a pair of method, the Scripting Method and Mind Mapping, Woodward uses to plan her days to stay organized.
The Scripting Method allows planners to live a more intentional life, said Woodward.
“Instead of writing out my daily tasks in list format like I use to do, I now take about 10 minutes the night before to script in detail how I dream of my day unfolding,” she stated. “In other words, I’m writing about my day even before it happens. Some call it manifestation or imprinting on the subconscious mind, but I simply call it living with intention. The difference is that you are not only going to include all the things you have to do, but also the things you want to do.”
Placing an emphasis on living a life you love is key to living a prosperous and fulfilling life.
“Your day goes beyond a to-do list,” said Woodward. “It should also include your desires.”
Mind Mapping, meanwhile, breaks down projects, tasks, ideas or goals, to achieve clarity on what steps need to be completed to reach the desired outcome.
“It helps you to organize all the floating thoughts in your head, it helps with memory recall, and inspires creativity,” explained Woodward. “Because it’s a visual thinking tool, it is definitely understood best by seeing the process [versus] explaining.”