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It is such a great feeling when you buy a new, fresh planner. So many people start off wanting to completely organise their entire life and be far more productive. Purchasing a new brand of planner is the first step to achieving this goal.
When you have your brand new planner, you have all the blank pages and there is so much opportunity and how much more organised your life will be once you start utilising it. However, after a week or two you find that you are no more organised or productive than before you purchased your planner. Are you unsure why?
Here are 10 helpful tips to get your planner organised:
1. Choose The Right Planner For You
Before you start planning, you need to choose the right planner that is going to work for you. You want to start your organisation journey the right way and ensure you are set up for success. You need to think about how you like to plan.
- Do you need to see your week at a glance?
- Do you need a space to allow you to record your goals for the week?
- Do you need a lot of space to write down tasks?
You need to give some thought to what you need and make sure you are purchasing a planner that is going to keep you productive.
2. Set Aside Time To Actually Plan
When you have purchase the right planner, you need to allocate time to plan. For you to start being organised with your planner, you must be organised with your time.
You should include updating and writing into your established morning or evening routine, so that it becomes second nature; you’ll be reaching for your planner before you reach for your phone or scroll on social media.
You will want to set a planner time limit. In 45 minutes, you will not be able to plan your entire year. This will be really unrealistic and could discourage you from continuing to use your lanner because it may not be perfect. But you need to take things week by week or even month by month.
3. Work Out A Planning System
There is no right or wrong way to set up and utilise planner. We all work in different ways and therefore we all process tasks or deadlines differently. So, you need to consider a planning system that will work best for you.
Are you more of a bullet journaling person? Do you work best by making to-do lists? You will want a consistent planner system to stick with, so it is not confusing and counter-productive.
4. Write Down Everything
Are you always forgetting things? Due to Fibromyalgia, I often live with brain fog, which can mean I forget things.
If you are juggling family life, your work schedule and social events, it can be really easy to forget things. Everyone has forgotten the odd birthday or task you needed to complete.
One of the most important planner organisation tips you need to know is to write everything down. That way, you will know that it will be in your planner.
There are 12 examples of information you should write down:
- Birthdays or anniversaries
- To-do lists
- Work schedules
- Bill due dates
- Task deadlines
- Doctor’s appointments
- Holiday dates
- Food shopping lists
- Important phone numbers
If you find yourself feeling like you are forgetting something, refer back to your planner to see if you have it in there, if you follow this tip, then you’ll remember it!
5. Categorise All Of Your Tasks
There are a variety of different ways that planner enthusiasts like to categorise in their planner. The most popular are either by action or by colour.
Categorise by action – you can categorise your planner by having dedicated sections by creating your own dividers, use stickers or washi tape to create sections for each week.
Categorise by colour – you can categorise by colour, it can make it simple and easy to glance at your planner. For example, all deadline tasks could be in red or family events in green. Choose a system that works for you.
6. Have A Monthly Spread For The Entire Year In Order To Forward Plan
Monthly spreads are extremely helpful to reference important dates and events. You then have them all in one place, so you don’t have to go searching.
This planner spread can help you forward plan, which will ensure you do not overlap any social events or important appointments. When you are able to spend time forward planning, it can help you to relieve stress. You will already feel more organised because you can see your plans and tasks in front of you, instead of having them in your head.
Planning like this in my bullet journal helps me practise good time management and it means that I do not forget any important dates or appointments.
7. Use Functional Stickers To Highlight Important Tasks Or Appointments
Functional planner stickers are the perfect way to show your personality in your planner and draw your attention to important tasks. When you are planning, it should be fun, so choosing practical stickers that are also pretty and colourful will help you to create planner spreads that will help you get things done. Using planner stickers can mean that you ca create task lists an highlighting days of the week that can give your planner some colour and character. I like to use different planner stickers most of which I have purchased from Etsy as well as the use of washi tape.
8. Just Have One Planner
The quickest way to become disorganised is to have multiple planners and having tasks all over the place. There are so many beautiful planners on the market and for stationery addicts it can be hard not to purchase all the pretty planners.
However, if you do feel the need to try and utilise more than one planner, you may not have the best planner for your needs, or you may need to customise it further to suit your needs.
I have tried using a paper planner as well as a bullet journal, but it just ended up being counter-productive. This year, I have decided to stick with just my Dingbats dotted notebook for my bullet journaling.
9. Use A Habit Tracker Each Month
Habit trackers are a simple way of practising good habits. They hold you accountable and organised. Here are 12 examples of habits you can track in your planner each month:
- Step count
- How much sleep you had
- How much water you drink
- Screen time amount
- Vitamin intake
- Social media usage
- Healthy meals
- Spending/spend free
Habit trackers can be hugely motivating encouraging you to check off the tasks you want to make positive habits. Habit trackers can increase your productivity and organisation each month.
10. Have Your Top 3
It has been scientifically proven that writing your to-do lists on paper dramatically increases your chances of success. So, when you are planning out each day or week, it is the most productive to prioritise your top 3 tasks each day or 3 goals you wish to achieve each week.
Write the top 3 tasks and/or 3 goals in your planner in a space you will regularly see this can act as a reminder to keep you productive to be successful.
11. Set A Time Limit For Tasks
To ensure you are not counter-productive, you should make sure you set yourself a time scale to complete your tasks. It can be helpful if you write the time limit or the deadline in your planner, this way you have a reminder which can keep you focused.
These are some planner organisation tips to enable you to be super productive and achieve the goals you set yourself. Just purchasing a planner is not enough to motivate you to be organised, you need to make sure you are utilising your planner as much as possible to your advantage.