Did you know using a planner actually brings you more benefits than being organized and joy?
According to Dr. Barbara Markway of Psychology Today, using a daily planner boasts several benefits, including better time management, stress relief, and increased creativity. A planner has the potential to keep you organized throughout the days, weeks, and months of every year. So, don’t let all that paper go to waste by letting it sit empty on a desk all year! Whether you are an avid planner or are simply looking for ways to improve your overall organization and productivity - here are six tips to get the most out of your planner and transform it into the ultimate organizational tool.
1. Define What You Want to Plan
Planners can be used in a multitude of ways, so it’s important to narrow down exactly what you want to organize in your own planner. The planner could be for work tasks and meetings, kids’ sports or other family and social events, or perhaps your fitness regimen and meal plans. You may even want the ability to list all those things in the same planner - and that’s fine! Just identify exactly what it is that you need to include in your personal planner.
2. Find the Best Planner for Your Needs
Once you identify what it is you’d like to organize, it’s time for the fun part: selecting your planner! There are endless stylish designs to choose from to match your personality, but the cute-factor is not all you need to consider!
Think about what size planner you need.
Does it need to fit in a small purse or briefcase, or do you want a larger size with more space to write?
Most importantly, consider the format of the planner.
Depending on your needs, you may opt for an hourly, horizontal, or vertical weekly layout. Really keep your needs in mind when selecting the best planner for you.
3. Create a System That Works
If you like to stay organized and are investing in a planner, chances are you like to organize the way you organize, too. Everyone is different, so create an organizing system that works for you. Whether you only highlight the really important stuff, color code groups of tasks or events with colored pens, or utilize stickers to draw attention to certain notes - most planners come with or have the option to buy custom inserts and accessories to put a special system in place.
4. Spend Time with Your Planner Every Morning
We have all read various posts about the best way to start your day...mindful meditation, don’t hit snooze, exercise, etc. Your planner should be a part of your morning routine!
Grab a cup of coffee, sit down with your planner, and go over the day ahead of you. Take time to think about how you will accomplish each task, and jot down any notes or items you might be missing. Being knowledgeable about what all you need to get done and having a plan for it will help you stay on track and increase productivity.
5. Review It Every Night
By now, it should sound like your planner is supposed to be your best friend, your right-hand man, and it is! Once your day is done, take time once again to sit down and review your planner. Take inventory of the tasks you’ve completed for the day, any tasks that will have to run over onto tomorrow’s To-Do list; evaluating if anything needs to be added to the calendar for this week, month, or year.
6. Write Down Everything
Ultimately, to get the most out of your planner, you need to have it nearby throughout the day and write everything down. Keeping your planner handy and jotting down anything seemingly important will ensure you stay organized, greatly enhance productivity levels, and prevent you from forgetting any little details. Start thinking of your planner as your brain on paper. Anything you think is safe to write down.
With that said, let’s get to planning!