How To Use Your Planner The Right Way To Be More Productive
Do you find yourself always buying a planner, telling yourself that you’re going to finally get organized and on track?
You get home, excitedly break out your new planner and fancy pens and begin scribbling away, planning how you’re going to be a whole new you.
And then a week goes by and you don’t even know where the planner went.
That was until I found the planner of my dreams and learned how to actually use planners effectively.
I’ve found that these five planner tips have changed the way I plan and changed how successful I am at following through with my planning.
And I am here to pass them along…you’re welcome 😉
You must be thinking, “how does she not know how to use a planner!”
Well, of course I’m capable of writing down goals, appointments, to-do lists, etc.
The problem was that I didn’t know how to record this information in the most efficient way possible in order to increase productivity.
It’s fine and dandy to write down “write five blog posts this week!” in the notes section of your planner.
But what are the action-packed steps you’re going to take to actually accomplish that goal?
That’s where these handy tips come in.
Since I started using my planner this way, I have been more productive than ever before.
Consider these 5 helpful tips to stick to using your planner and actually accomplishing all those goals you’re so excited about!
1. FIND YOUR PERFECT PLANNER
I strongly believe that you won’t be able to effectively use your planner until you find a planner that you actually enjoy using.
I’m not talking about a planner that’s cute and visually appealing – although also super important.
I’m talking about a planner that actually has all the necessary components of your perfect planner.
If you enjoy exercising, how’re you going to be the most productive if you don’t have a spot in your planner for planning your fitness goals and action steps each week?
If you don’t have a planner that is right for your specific life needs, I find it hard to be super successful in following through with effectively using a planner.
It took me far too long to find a planner that I love and enjoy. Don’t let it take you that long!
My all-time favorite planner is from Plum Paper and mmmm is it perfect!
This planner is 100% customizable so you can easily create a planner that works best for you.
Need a spot to plan out your blog posts, goals, and stats? The plum planner has got you covered!
Enjoy having a monthly, weekly, and daily spread to schedule out your days? Customize each month to be exactly how you love!
My Plum Paper Planner is perfect for me because I designed it, and you can too!
I could go on for hours about why I love this planner, but you can read more on that in this post 😉
Don’t have a planner you love? Fall in love with one, here.
2. SCHEDULE IN PLANNER TIME
You can’t plan for things if you don’t have a time dedicated to planning, right?!
I know, SO MUCH PLANNING.
I love it 😉
Whether it is once a month, week, or day, find the time to sit down with your planner and fill in your goals nd action steps for the month/week/day.
This way, all you’ll have to do is simply glance at your planner in the morning each day and you’ll know your schedule for work, appointments, etc., and what things you need to accomplish throughout the day.
I like to cozy up with my planner once a week, usually on Sundays to plan out my upcoming week.
I like a planner with a daily spread with time slots so I can pencil out my entire day.
I find that I am more efficient at getting things done if there is a planned time in my day devoted to certain tasks/to-dos.
When is your favorite time to bond with your planner?
3. UTILIZE YOUR MONTHLY CALENDAR FOR BIG PICTURE STUFF
I used to squeeze soooo much information into my monthly spreads in my planners.
Mainly because I used to buy planners that only had monthly spreads.
But also because I wasn’t using my planner effectively.
Using your monthly spread for big picture things like broad monthly goals, bill due dates, appointment times, etc., makes it easier to get an overall feel for what your month looks like at a glance but doensn;t overwhelm you with tons and tons of random information.
You’ll get an idea of the important stuff but won’t have to overload your brain with the small stuff.
This way, when I glance at my planner in the morning, the monthly view will tell me what bills are due, if any, if I have any appointments or activities, and an overview of your goals to remind yourself to stay on track.
Want to utilize a monthly planner spread but don’t want to dish out the cash for a planner?
Grab this awesome and FREE monthly calendar printable from Jessica Keala!
4. UTILIZE YOUR WEEKLY AND/OR DAILY SPREAD FOR THE SMALL STUFF
Your weekly and/or daily spread(s) is where you can really get down to business.
This where I and I recommend you plan out your action steps to achieve the goals you wrote down at the beginning of the month.
I tend to focus on three big picture goals each month: one personal, one health-related, and one career related.
Then, in the weekly and/or daily spread, I write down the steps I am going to take each week/day to work towards actually accomplishing my goals or what I’ll do to work towards really making new habits stick.
Like I mentioned before, I like to devote one day a week, usually Sundays, to filling in my weekly/daily spreads so I don’t have to think much about my days throughout the week.
I just wake up in the morning, glance at my planner while I’m eating breakfast and can clearly see an outline of what needs to happen that day.
For instance, if one of my big picture goals written in the monthly view was to write five blog posts this month, my daily spread would include things such as, “draft first post, edit post, create graphics for post, etc.”
I can even write down the specific time during each day when I estimate I’ll be able to accomplish those things.
Doing this has really, really, really helped with my productivity for all things in life.
Like the idea of having planner time on Sundays? Check out 8 other things you should do each Sunday to make Monday’s suck way less.
5. HOW TO UTILIZE ALL THAT BLANK SPACE
Is it just me or do planners have way too many “notes” pages than you know what to do with each month?
I never utilized these pages, always leaving them blank, until I bought my Plum Paper Planner.
My Plum Paper Planner has an add-on section labeled ‘home’ with tons of space to record important dates, quotes, pictures, and milestones.
When I saw this it was like a light bulb went off! I could have been using my note pages each month in my other planners to record these same things!
I love that I am able to jot down cute things my kids say that I want to remember, save the date for all of their milestones, and add pictures to relive the moments.
I also like to use the notes sections to record my thoughts and reflections on certain days.
Doing this made my planner so much more personal to me, as now it is kind of an all-encompassing planner and journal.
Which is why I 100% recommend keeping all of your planners. At least I know I’m gonna!
What a better way to look back on your year than your planner/journal?!
How do you use your planner to be the most productive at accomplishing your goals?
This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are our own, honest review. Read our disclosure here. Do you struggle to get out of bed every morning? Psh, don't we all? I mean, really, what's better than cozying up in your blankets all day long ignoring life...read more
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