I am an organization addict. Everything must have a place. When it comes to my day-to-day schedule, I am no different. I like to make a plan and keep to it. I am a very busy lady with lots of things to do.
In the past, I’ve always used spiral notebooks to keep track of my to do lists, meal plans and ideas. As my daily chores and responsibilities have grown over the last few years, I’ve graduated to a planner. I made this decision primarily so I could more easily split my to-do list into different days and manage everything in one place.
Here Are My Top 5 Tips to Help You Use and Keep a Planner in 2017
Most people start a new planner at the beginning of the year and gradually start to lose interest and stop using it. I challenge you to make 2017 the year that you stay organized and keep that planner all year long.
1. Choose a Planner that works for You
You need to decide what you want to use it for and how you want to use it. Think Evernote but on paper. This needs to be your hub for anything and everything: dates, birthdays, anniversaries, goals, ideals, notes, to-do lists, chores, meal plans, business, work out routines and so on.
There are so many varieties and styles to choose from. If you like to doodle and don’t need daily appointments look into a bullet journal. If you want to customize your planner by adding and removing pages easily consider investing in a disc bound planner. You should spend a decent amount of time on this step.
If you are the DIY type, check out our tutorial for a DIY planner that you can customize to meet your own needs.
2. Carve out time every month, week or day to update it
For me, I sit down on Sunday evenings or Monday morning and organize my planner. Here’s my process:
- First take note and write down important dates including appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, meetings and make sure these can be easily seen.
- Write down everything I need to do throughout the week and split up what needs to be done on certain days. I make to-do lists for each day and try not to overwhelm myself with too many tasks so I don’t fall behind.
- If needed, I write down my meal plan for each day and make a shopping list.
- Lastly, I write down 1-3 goals I want to accomplish for the week like meditate daily or go through and organize my closet. I use goals as things I try to accomplish if I have some down time from my normal set of chores and responsibilities.
Spending a decent amount of time with your planner every month, week or day is very important to keeping a planner and staying organized.
3. Update your planner daily
The first thing I do every morning is sit down and take a look at what I have on the schedule for the day. I may move things around, I may jot down notes, I may even add some motivational planner stickers to the pages. The point here is to use it. Every. Single. Day.
Throughout each day I slowly begin checking things off of my to-do list and getting stuff done. It is super gratifying marking something off of my planner. Use your planner as your own personal smart hub. The more you get used to daily use, the more often you will use it.
4. Make it multi-functional
I mentioned several times already how your planner should be your personal hub. You should really try to use it for everything that you can. Some people might use multiple planners but that is just a little too much work for me so I stuff mine as full as possible.
I use mine to keep track of my household, my families lives and everything in between. I keep lined paper for jotting down notes and ideas. There are pages of grid paper so I can quickly make doodles, draw ideas and brain storm bullet journal style.
The more you use your planner the more you will find you can’t live without it.
5. Pretty it up
Now I’m not saying you need to go crazy with photos and stickers here but make it so you want to actually look at your planner. If your planner gets too wild and crazy it can be difficult to focus on what you need to do.
I recommend a good set of colorful pens. With these you can color code your planner to make it more efficient. A functional set of stickers to help you stay on track. Some post it notes to jot down quick notes to add later. And finally, a Fuijifilm Instax to take quick snaps throughout the day and add some memories and journaling to the pages.