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Here’s the deal, I initially loved using my physical daily planner about two years ago. I don’t want to mention which company’s planner I used, but let’s just say they are pretty well known online. And then, I just stopped.
At first, I rationalized that I didn’t need it. But in recent times, I began to miss the concept of a planner., as well as the creative outlet it provided me I mean notepad and the calendar on my iPhone, as well as Alexa reminders have helped. But still, I missed something about physically planning for the week ahead.
I follow a few YouTube channels that shared their own planners online. But I knew I didn’t want to go back to the planner I used in the past. So, I started to do some research about planners and see who others liked and used.
I kept coming back to one brand in particular. Some of the local craft stores actually carry this line. I got to see the planners before purchasing. I am a big believer in physically seeing a product before purchasing if possible.
So, not even a month ago, I finally took the plunge and bought a new planner. We were already a few weeks into 2020. But that didn’t bother me. Plus, having missed the New Year and planning, apparently planning supplies go on sale once the New Year is in full swing.
Who knew? Well, definitely not this girl. Therefore, I got my new planner for 70% off, as well as some of the starter items to compliment it, as well. I have only been back at it planning-wise for about three weeks now. But want to share some planner advice that has helped me so far.
So, if you are thinking of using a planner for the first time or returning to planning, then, scroll on for how to actually start using one and actually use it.
8 Tips to Finally Start Using a Planner (And Actually Use It)
1. Choose one that works for your needs.
There are different types of planners. For starters, some are classic layout. Some are laid out vertically, while others are horizontal in layout format. Plus, some planners are for overall personal/daily planning, while others are for health/fitness, goal setting, or even financial planning. It really depends on what you are looking to plan ahead for when choosing a planner.
2. Fill in the important annual/monthly events.
No matter what type of planner you choose, there should be a yearly calendar with the 12 months and dates on one or two pages, as well. Here you can place all the upcoming year at a glance with all the important dates that don’t change. There is also a monthly one-page calendar layout before each month’s larger day-by-day section. In that monthly layout, you can add in the upcoming important dates for the month ahead.
3. Schedule planning time daily/weekly.
Planning works best if you treat it as a time to sit to reflect as to what is to come for the upcoming week. But it also helps to have a day or time weekly where you can sit to do your planning. That said, in order to make in not feel so much like a chore, having time set aside really does make a difference overall.
4. Splurge on the fun extras.
I never realized how many fun extras were made for planners in the past. But lo and behold, there really are so many fun extras you can purchase to make your planner more personalized. These extras include fun washi tapes, stickers, note pages, bookmarks and more. Etsy carries quite a few, as well as Amazon and even your local craft stores, such as Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or JOANN Fabric & Crafts.
5. Using Sticky Notes or Note Cards.
Once again, you can get all sorts of fun note cards or sticky notes. But using them is key. Because sometimes you write down an upcoming event. But the smaller/finer details are easier to write out on a notecard or sticky note. So, either of these helps to not forget certain things you may need to remember or recall for that upcoming event.
6. Check it off when it is done.
In your planner, chances are you have written down things that you need to do. But a key part of keeping your planner current is to check off what you have accomplished or completed. It helps not unlike a checklist to keep current and holds you accountable to indeed get things done.
7. Get inspired socially.
Pinterest or YouTube. Starting a planner that is tailored to your own needs might be overwhelming at first. But you would be surprised how many awesome YouTube channels are out there with planner help or inspiration, as well as Pinterest or Instagrammers who share their planner creations.
8. Have fun and be creative.
This tip is pretty straight-forward. But honestly, so crucial. While you are using a planner to help set and achieve certain goals. Try not to make it another chore or task. Have fun making your planner your own and being as creative as you can in your planner.