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By | February 4, 2020

Paper planners are effective only if you utilize them properly and regularly. Below are a few ways to get involved with the groove, if you’re not even an addict!


Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to are more organized. Paper planners are a traditional yet effective way to remain together with everything that has to be done by giving 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 if you don’t use it. Establishing that routine is essential and well worth the effort. Here are a few tips on how to get started 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 thoughts what must be done, making it not as likely for you yourself to forget about 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 have issues drifting off to sleep until I began this nightly practice a few 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.
At the start of the week, such as for instance Sunday evening (or whatever is most effective for you), take a couple of minutes to review plans for the week ahead. This really is your chance to policy for broader tasks that can’t be pegged to a certain day, i.e. meet up with a friend, 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 monthly spread. I prefer designs that place it in the beginning of every month, while some planners put all of the month spreads at the beginning of the book. This really is where you ought to jot down all the stuff 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 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 concerning work. This really is easiest completed with a paper planner.

5. Make your steps concrete.
Write completely sentences (with verbs!) to clarify what you need to do. As an example, 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 because it are certain to get forgotten. Pop it into your bag once you leave your house, just like 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 will be to take 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 not as practical, unless you keep an eye on everything on your own phone and transfer it later to your planner, but that’s one more step. On a related note, pick a planner that draws your eye – something colorful and decorative – because that can help you to consider it and make you want to use it.

8. Don’t stress about filling it up.
Sometimes the looks of empty space makes people think they have to 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 lifetime at a specific time. Some weeks is going to be jam-packed; others empty by comparison.

You will have to find out your own personal style, whether you want to write down everything as a sort of brain dump, or if you prefer 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 will get a trim notebook that slips into the back of the planner for writing down items that don’t match particular days.

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