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By | February 4, 2020

Paper planners are effective only if you use them properly and regularly. Here are a few ways to get into the groove, if you’re not even an addict!


Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to be organized. Paper planners are a conventional yet efficient way to stay on top of everything that’s to be performed by providing a robust visual layout and space for jotting notes, to-do lists, and ideas. The only problem is that no planner can help you get organized if you use it. Establishing that routine is very important and really worth the effort. Here are some tips on the best way to get started 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 go over your tasks for another day. That refreshes in your head what must be performed, rendering it not as likely for you to just forget about appointments, etc.Organizational expert and blogger Jen from Pretty Neat Living makes a good 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 longer experience racing thoughts scrambling through my mind of tomorrow’s to-dos since they’re all nicely presented 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 buddy, send out thank-you notes, finish that pile of ironing, weed the garden. You can even transfer any information that’ll 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 from the beginning of every month, even though some planners put all of the month spreads at the start of the book. This really is where you should 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 help keep all of it 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 associated with work. This really is easiest done with a document planner.

5. Make your steps concrete.
Write completely sentences (with verbs!) to clarify what you need to do. For instance, 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 desk or table, ready for use. Don’t stuff it away on a display as it will get forgotten. Pop it into your bag once you leave the home, just as 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 take it around and use it. Realistically, you’ll need something that may fit in 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 yet another step. On a related note, choose a planner that draws your eye – something colorful and decorative – because that will allow you to to remember 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 need to fill it up. Don’t go there because you’ll burn out and weary in your planner. Rather, allow your planner to be reflective of your lifetime at a particular time. Some weeks will soon be jam-packed; others empty by comparison.

You should have to figure out your personal style, whether you prefer to write down everything as a kind of brain dump, or if you prefer to stay with only relevant scheduling stuff. Some people like designs with calendars on the left and lined/graph paper on the proper, which allows for note-taking. Alternatively, you can get a slender notebook that slips into the rear of the planner for writing down things that don’t match particular days.

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