Paper planners are effective only if you are using 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 organized. Paper planners are an old-fashioned yet effective way to remain 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 allow you to get organized until you use it. Establishing that routine is important and worth the effort. Here are a few tips on the best way to get going with a planner. (See our slideshow on 10 fabulous planners to stop you organized all year.)
1. Have a regular daily planning session.
Take 5 or 10 minutes every evening to review your tasks for the next day. That refreshes in your head what must be achieved, making it less likely for you yourself to ignore appointments, etc.Organizational expert and blogger Jen from Pretty Neat Living makes a great point by describing it being an important brain dump:
“I used to own issues falling asleep 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 Sunday evening (or whatever is best suited for you), take a few momemts to go over plans for the week ahead. That is your possiblity to arrange for broader tasks that can’t be pegged to a specific day, i.e. catch up with a pal, distribute thank-you notes, finish that pile of ironing, weed the garden. You can also transfer any information which could have gone into your phone through the week.
3. Use the monthly section.
Every planner has a regular spread. I prefer designs that stick it at the start of every month, although some planners put all the month spreads in the beginning of the book. This really is where you need to 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 one single place, so you don’t have to consult multiple planners or calendars. Try color-coding business and personal tasks for better separation, such as a red pen for anything associated with work. This really is easiest completed with a paper planner.
5. Make your steps concrete.
Write entirely sentences (with verbs!) to clarify what you need to do. Like, it’s much more likely you’ll tackle “Call Maria about recipe” quickly than if you merely 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 display since it are certain to get forgotten. Pop it into your bag whenever you leave your 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 will easily fit into a handbag or backpack. Big, hefty desk planners are nice, but not as practical, if you don’t keep an eye on everything on your own phone and transfer it later to your planner, but that’s an additional step. On a related note, pick a planner that draws your eye – something colorful and decorative – because that can help you to remember it and make you want to use it.
8. Don’t stress about filling it up.
Sometimes the look of empty space makes people think they should fill it up. Don’t go there because you’ll burn out and lose interest in your planner. Rather, allow your planner to be reflective of your daily life at a certain time. Some weeks is likely to be jam-packed; others empty by comparison.
You’ll have to find out your own personal style, whether you prefer to write down everything as a kind of brain dump, or if you want to stick with only relevant scheduling stuff. Many people like designs with calendars on the left and lined/graph paper on the best, which allows for note-taking. Alternatively, you can get a slender notebook that slips into the trunk of the planner for writing down issues that don’t fit into particular days.