Paper planners are effective only if you are using them properly and regularly. Here are some ways to get involved with the groove, if you’re not even an addict!
Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to become more organized. Paper planners are an old-fashioned yet efficient way to remain on top of everything that has to be performed by giving a robust 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 until you use it. Establishing that routine is important and really worth the effort. Here are some tips on how to get going 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 another day. That refreshes in your thoughts what needs to be achieved, making it not as likely for you yourself to just forget about appointments, etc.Organizational expert and blogger Jen from Pretty Neat Living makes an excellent point by describing it as an important brain dump:
“I used to own issues falling asleep until I began 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.
In the beginning of the week, such as for example Sunday evening (or whatever is best suited for you), take a few minutes to go over plans for the week ahead. That is your opportunity to plan for broader tasks that can’t be pegged to a certain day, i.e. meet up with a pal, distribute thank-you notes, finish that pile of ironing, weed the garden. You can even transfer any information that will have gone into your phone through the week.
3. Use the monthly section.
Every planner has a regular spread. I favor designs that place it in the beginning of each month, though some planners put all of the month spreads in the beginning of the book. This really is where you should write down everything that won’t change – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, due dates for bills, etc.
4. Use a single planner for everything.
It’s easiest to help keep it all in one 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 relating to work. This is easiest completed with a report planner.
5. Make your steps concrete.
Write entirely sentences (with verbs!) to clarify things you need to do. For example, it’s much 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 table or table, ready for use. Don’t stuff it away on a corner because it can get forgotten. Pop it into your bag whenever you leave your house, just like you take your wallet and phone.
7. Choose a small passport or regular sized planner.
The smaller and scaled-down your planner is, the more inclined you is to make it around and use it. Realistically, you’ll need something that can easily fit in a handbag or backpack. Big, hefty desk planners are nice, but not as practical, until you record everything on your own 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 looks of empty space makes people think they should 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 specific time. Some weeks will soon be jam-packed; others empty by comparison.
You will have to figure out your personal style, whether you like to publish down everything as sort of brain dump, or if you like to stick to 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 may get a slim notebook that slips into the trunk of the planner for writing down things that don’t fit into particular days.