Paper planners are effective only if you utilize them properly and regularly. Below are a few ways to get involved with the groove, if you’re not yet an addict!
Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to be more organized. Paper planners are a conventional yet effective way to remain along with everything that has to be performed by providing a powerful visual layout and space for jotting notes, to-do lists, and ideas. The only problem is that no planner will allow you to get organized if you use it. Establishing that routine is essential and really worth the effort. Here are some tips on the best way to begin 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 review your tasks for the following day. That refreshes in your thoughts what must be performed, making it not as likely for you really to ignore appointments, etc.Organizational expert and blogger Jen from Pretty Neat Living makes an excellent point by describing it being an important brain dump:
“I used to own issues dropping off to sleep until I began this nightly practice a couple of years ago. I no more 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.
From the beginning of the week, such as for instance Sunday evening (or whatever is best suited for you), take a few minutes to review plans for the week ahead. That is your possiblity to plan for broader tasks that can’t be pegged to a certain day, i.e. catch up with a pal, send thank-you notes, finish that pile of ironing, weed the garden. You may also transfer any information that’ll have gone into your phone during the week.
3. Use the monthly section.
Every planner has a regular spread. I prefer designs that place it at the start of every month, even though some planners put most of the month spreads at the start of the book. This is where you must write down all the things that won’t change – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, due dates for bills, etc.
4. Use a single planner for everything.
It’s easiest to keep everything in a single place, so you do not have 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 paper planner.
5. Make your steps concrete.
Write completely sentences (with verbs!) to clarify things you need to do. As an example, it’s more likely you’ll tackle “Call Maria about recipe” quickly than if you just write “Maria.”
6. Check your planner a lot.
Check it frequently and leave it somewhere obvious when you’re at home, a desk or table, ready for use. Don’t stuff it away on a corner as it will get forgotten. Pop it into your bag whenever you leave the house, just like you take your wallet and phone.
7. Choose a small passport or regular sized planner.
The smaller and more compact your planner is, the more inclined you will be to carry it around and use it. Realistically, you’ll need something that will easily fit into a handbag or backpack. Big, hefty desk planners are nice, but never as practical, if you don’t record everything on your phone and transfer it later to your planner, but that’s one more step. On a related note, choose a planner that draws your eye – something colorful and decorative – because that will allow you to to keep in mind it and make you wish to use it.
8. Don’t stress about filling it up.
Sometimes the look of empty space makes people think they need to fill it up. Don’t go there because you’ll burn up and lose interest in your planner. Rather, allow your planner to be reflective of your life at a certain time. Some weeks is likely to be jam-packed; others empty by comparison.
You will have to determine your own style, whether you want to publish down everything as sort of brain dump, or if you want to stay with only relevant scheduling stuff. Some people like designs with calendars on the left and lined/graph paper on the best, which allows for note-taking. Alternatively, you will get a thin notebook that slips into the back of the planner for writing down issues that don’t match particular days.