Paper planners are effective only if you are using them properly and regularly. Below 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 are more organized. Paper planners are a conventional yet effective way to remain 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 problem is that no planner will help you get organized if you don’t use it. Establishing that routine is important and worth the effort. Below are a few tips on how best 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 another day. That refreshes in your head what needs to be achieved, making it less likely for you really to just forget about appointments, etc.Organizational expert and blogger Jen from Pretty Neat Living makes an excellent point by describing it as an important brain dump:
“I used to possess 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 organized for me.”
2. Have a regular weekly planning session.
In the beginning of the week, such as Sunday evening (or whatever is most effective for you), take a couple of minutes to review plans for the week ahead. That is your chance to plan for broader tasks that can’t be pegged to a particular day, i.e. meet up with a friend, send thank-you notes, finish that pile of ironing, weed the garden. You can also transfer any information which could have gone into your phone throughout the week.
3. Use the monthly section.
Every planner has a regular spread. I favor designs that place it from the beginning of monthly, while some planners put all the month spreads in the beginning of the book. This really is where you ought to jot 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 everything in one place, so you don’t have 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 is easiest finished with a paper planner.
5. Make your steps concrete.
Write completely sentences (with verbs!) to clarify the thing you need to do. As an 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 in the home, a table or table, ready for use. Don’t stuff it away on a shelf 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.
Small and more compact your planner is, the more inclined you is to make it around and use it. Realistically, you’ll need something that can easily fit in a handbag or backpack. Big, hefty desk planners are nice, but not as practical, until you keep track of everything on your 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 help you to keep in mind 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 should 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’ll have to determine your own personal style, whether you like to write down everything as sort of brain dump, or if you like to stick with only relevant scheduling stuff. Many people like designs with calendars on the left and lined/graph paper on the best, allowing for note-taking. Alternatively, you may get a slender notebook that slips into the back of the planner for writing down things that don’t fit into particular days.