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By | February 4, 2020

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


Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to be organized. Paper planners are a traditional 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 real problem is that no planner can help you get organized if you don’t use it. Establishing that routine is essential and well worth the effort. Here are a few tips on how best 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 mind what needs to be achieved, making it less likely for you to ignore appointments, etc.Organizational expert and blogger Jen from Pretty Neat Living makes a good point by describing it being an important brain dump:

“I used to possess issues dropping off to sleep until I started this nightly practice many years ago. I no more 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.
In the beginning of the week, such as for instance Sunday evening (or whatever works best for you), take a few minutes to go over plans for the week ahead. That is your chance to policy for broader tasks that can’t be pegged to a particular day, i.e. meet up with a buddy, distribute thank-you notes, finish that pile of ironing, weed the garden. You can even transfer any information that’ll have gone into your phone throughout the week.

3. Use the monthly section.
Every planner has a regular spread. I prefer designs that place it from the beginning of each month, although some planners put all the month spreads at the beginning of the book. This is where you should 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 help keep everything in one 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 is easiest done with a paper planner.

5. Make your steps concrete.
Write completely 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 at home, a table or table, ready for use. Don’t stuff it away on a corner since it can get forgotten. Pop it into your bag once you leave your house, in the same way 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 is to carry it around and use it. Realistically, you will need something that may easily fit into a handbag or backpack. Big, hefty desk planners are nice, but much less practical, if you keep track of everything in your phone and transfer it later to your planner, but that’s yet another step. On a related note, select a planner that draws your eye – something colorful and decorative – because that will help you to keep in mind it and make you intend to use it.

8. Don’t stress about filling it up.
Sometimes the appearance 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 life at a particular time. Some weeks is going to be jam-packed; others empty by comparison.

You should have to figure out your own style, whether you want to create down everything as a sort of brain dump, or if you want to stay with only relevant scheduling stuff. Some individuals 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 rear of the planner for writing down issues that don’t match particular days.

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