Paper planners are effective only if you use them properly and regularly. Here are some ways to get into the groove, if you’re not yet an addict!
Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to be organized. Paper planners are a conventional yet effective way to stay together with everything that’s to be performed by providing a powerful visual layout and space for jotting notes, to-do lists, and ideas. The only real problem is that no planner will help you get organized if you don’t use it. Establishing that routine is very important and really worth the effort. Here are some tips on how best to get started with a planner. (See our slideshow on 10 fabulous planners to keep you organized all year.)
1. Have a regular daily planning session.
Take 5 or 10 minutes every evening to go over your tasks for the following day. That refreshes in your mind what must be achieved, making it not as likely for you really to forget about appointments, etc.Organizational expert and blogger Jen from Pretty Neat Living makes a great point by describing it as an important brain dump:
“I used to have issues drifting off to sleep until I started this nightly practice many years ago. I no further experience racing thoughts scrambling through my mind of tomorrow’s to-dos since they’re all nicely laid out for me.”
2. Have a regular weekly planning session.
At the start of the week, such as Sunday evening (or whatever is best suited for you), take a few momemts to go over plans for the week ahead. This really is your possiblity to plan for broader tasks that can’t be pegged to a certain day, i.e. meet up with a friend, distribute thank-you notes, finish that pile of ironing, weed the garden. You may also transfer any information that will have gone into your phone throughout the week.
3. Use the monthly section.
Every planner has a regular spread. I favor designs that stick it in the beginning of every month, though some planners put all of the month spreads at the beginning of the book. This is where you must make note of everything that won’t change – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, due dates for bills, etc.
4. Use a single planner for everything.
It’s easiest to keep it all in a single place, so there isn’t to consult multiple planners or calendars. Try color-coding business and personal tasks for better separation, such as a red pen for anything concerning work. This really is easiest completed with a report planner.
5. Make your steps concrete.
Write completely sentences (with verbs!) to clarify the thing you need to do. Like, it’s more likely you’ll tackle “Call Maria about recipe” quickly than if you simply write “Maria.”
6. Check your planner a lot.
Check it frequently and leave it somewhere obvious when you’re in the home, a desk or table, ready for use. Don’t stuff it away on a corner because it can get forgotten. Pop it into your bag once you leave the house, in the same way you take your wallet and phone.
7. Choose a small passport or regular sized planner.
Small and more compact your planner is, the more inclined you is to make it around and use it. Realistically, you will need something that can easily fit into a handbag or backpack. Big, hefty desk planners are nice, but never as practical, until you keep an eye on everything in your phone and transfer it later to your planner, but that’s an additional step. On a related note, choose a planner that draws your eye – something colorful and decorative – because that can help you to keep in mind it and make you intend to use it.
8. Don’t stress about filling it up.
Sometimes the look of empty space makes people think they have to fill it up. Don’t go there because you’ll burn up and weary in your planner. Rather, allow your planner to be reflective of your life at a particular time. Some weeks will be jam-packed; others empty by comparison.
You will have to find out your personal style, whether you prefer to create down everything as sort of brain dump, or if you want to stick to only relevant scheduling stuff. Some individuals like designs with calendars on the left and lined/graph paper on the best, which allows for note-taking. Alternatively, you will get a slender notebook that slips into the rear of the planner for writing down things that don’t fit into particular days.