If you’re a personal development junkie, like I am, chances are you already have a planner. Not using it is a waste of time – not to mention a waste of opportunities – but actually getting the most out of your planner can be a challenge. I’ve put together four quick tips to help you start getting into the habit of using a planner daily. Hopefully, these tips will help you stay organized and on track throughout the day.
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Tips for using a daily planner
The following tips really are designed to be quick tips to get you thinking. If you want more, I recommend checking out the How To Use Your Planner Effectively section of the blog.
1. Customise Your Planner with Printable Pages.
Starting with a basic daily planner is an excellent place to start, but you need to personalise it a little bit for maximum productivity. Make it a customised planner with printables that work precisely for what you need it for.
You might like vacation pages when planning for an upcoming trip, time management pages when working on a project, somewhere for a grocery list, or just additional blank pages when you need to jot down notes or use the planner as a journal, too.
Of course, I’m assuming you’re using a paper planner (or even a bullet journal). But if you’re more of a digital planners kind of person, try and get one that goes beyond just daily tasks
“It doesn’t matter which brand or type of planner you own. Get in the habit of using it every day.” (sweetplanit.com)
Planner Inserts I recommend
2. Take the Time to Set Your Planner Up Properly.
You will hear a lot about how to set up your planner, and the reason is that this is an integral step to using it effectively. Take the time to look at all the pages in your planner, write down birthdays, upcoming events, and appointments, and decide how you will use each of the pages it includes. Think about your schedule, important dates, recurring tasks, and the week ahead. Find other printable pages to add when needed, and keep adding to your planner when things in your life change. This is how you can make sure you are using a planner daily.
“The act of writing is like zen for your busy mind, and research shows you’re more likely to remember things you write out. Taking the time each day to write down all of your appointments, tasks and goals is worth every minute spent. It will save you time the next day when you have a real plan and aren’t scrambling to figure out what needs to be done.” (entrepreneur.com)
3. Use Your Planner for Clear and Concise Goals
Instead of just writing a vague checklist of yearly goals, make them clear and concise. Be detailed and explain what each goal is, what is expected, and when you will complete the different tasks required. Use the S.M.A.R.T. method of setting goals. This encourages you to think about realistic, achievable goals that will allow you to keep moving forward in your personal and professional life.
Figuring out your goals like this will allow you to add targets to your monthly calendar, too. This will give you even more reason to be using your planner daily.
“Split your main goals into micro-goals. Choose two or three smaller goals that can be completed within the day. Be clear on what you need to do, make sure you have the equipment to complete it, and make an early start.” (malpaper.com)
Personal Daily Planners I recommend
4. Don’t Just Set and Forget Your Planner.
A big part of using a planner is using it! It is not meant to be a calendar that you write in once, then don’t check back in again. You should be using a planner daily, even if you double-check the next appointment or add a task to your to-do list. Take full advantage of the planner and all it can offer you. If it helps, get a smaller planner that fits in your purse or laptop case so that you can carry it with you.
“Think of what fits your typical day. If you’re busy enough to sometimes forget plans in your schedule, then go for a simple personal planner. If you like to make long to-do lists, see if the planner has enough space for that.” (luxafor.com)
Do you use your planner every day? Let me know in the comments below…