Paper planners are effective only if you utilize them properly and regularly. Below are a few ways to find yourself in the groove, if you’re not even an addict!
Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to be more organized. Paper planners are an old-fashioned yet effective way to stay along with everything that has to be performed by giving a strong 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 unless you use it. Establishing that routine is essential and well worth the effort. Below are a few 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 the next day. That refreshes in your head what needs to be achieved, making it less likely for you yourself 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 falling asleep until I started 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.
In the beginning of the week, such as for instance Sunday evening (or whatever is best suited for you), take a couple of minutes to review plans for the week ahead. This really is your opportunity to arrange for broader tasks that can’t be pegged to a certain day, i.e. meet up with a friend, send thank-you notes, finish that pile of ironing, weed the garden. You may also transfer any information that could have gone into your phone through the week.
3. Use the monthly section.
Every planner has a monthly spread. I prefer designs that stick it from the beginning of monthly, however some planners put all the month spreads at the beginning of the book. That is where you must make note of 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 all of it in one single place, so there isn’t to consult multiple planners or calendars. Try color-coding business and personal tasks for better separation, like a red pen for anything relating to work. This really is easiest completed with a paper planner.
5. Make your steps concrete.
Write in full 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 at home, a desk or table, ready for use. Don’t stuff it away on a display 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 smaller sized your planner is, the more inclined you will be to make it around and use it. Realistically, you’ll need something that may easily fit in a handbag or backpack. Big, hefty desk planners are nice, but never as practical, if you keep track of everything on your own phone and transfer it later to your planner, but that’s an additional step. On a related note, select a planner that draws your eye – something colorful and decorative – because that will allow you to to remember it and make you want to use it.
8. Don’t stress about filling it up.
Sometimes the appearance of empty space makes people think they have 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 daily life at a certain time. Some weeks will undoubtedly be jam-packed; others empty by comparison.
You’ll have to figure out your own personal style, whether you like to create down everything as sort of brain dump, or if you like to stick to only relevant scheduling stuff. Some individuals like designs with calendars on the left and lined/graph paper on the proper, allowing for note-taking. Alternatively, you will get a thin notebook that slips into the rear of the planner for writing down things that don’t squeeze into particular days.