So you searched and searched to find the right planner for you, and after hours of searching online and in stores you finally have it. The perfect planner. Who knew it even existed?? You stare at the clean, crisp pages, a little unsure of what to do next. But what good is having a beautiful planner with the perfect layout if you don’t use it? Most people fail at productivity because they don’t use the tools they have on hand. Let’s solve that problem today and learn how to use a daily planner effectively so you can reach your goals and potential this year. Ready to get those clean pages dirty? I’m so glad you’re in!
Determine your planning style.
I could easily tell you how I plan out my life, but it may not work for you. You may not like setting aside time every Sunday afternoon to plan out the week ahead. Maybe it’s too intimidating for you, or perhaps your work schedule won’t allow it. That’s OK. Maybe you’re on a strict schedule and need to plan out the entire month ahead. That is perfectly OK, too.
- The monthly planner plans out a schedule for the entire month ahead.
- The weekly planner plans out a schedule for the upcoming week.
- The daily planner plans out a schedule for the next day.
So, which type of planner are you? Try each one to determine what works best for your life, then stick with it. Schedule time to sit down each day, week or month to plan out and schedule your life. You’ll be so glad you did!
Use one planner if at all possible.
It can be hard juggling both a business planner and a personal planner. You have to write things down twice and it’s easy to get confused and find yourself in a big ‘ole mess. Find a planner you can use to record both your business and personal tasks and your life will be so much easier. Trust me.
Check your planner often.
It is important that you use your planner daily. That’s why they call it a daily planner, after all! How will you know what your responsibilities and tasks are for the day if you’re not checking your planner? Take your planner with you, and make it a habit to check it often. Keep it somewhere visible if at all possible. I like to keep my planner open on my desk beside my computer, so with just one glance I can make sure I’m still on task.
Write it down. All of it.
If you know it will happen or if you want it to happen, write it down in your planner. That includes birthday parties, dinner parties, appointments, meetings, projects, trips, vacations, everything that is important to you, including some time for fun. The easiest way to plan for something to happen is by writing it in your planner before you have the chance to schedule something else in its place.
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Set aside time to review the day ahead.
Designate a time each day to review your planner for the day ahead so you know what’s happening. It doesn’t matter if you choose to spend time in the morning reviewing your day, or if you decide to do it the night before. Just make sure it’s a time spent with no distractions so you can concentrate on the day and tasks ahead.
I’m going to be real with you here and let you know that this reminder is for me. I aim to accomplish a lot during my workdays, so I
often always over-schedule my daily tasks. I need to improve at scheduling my tasks to be completed in realistic time frames, so I can actually accomplish what’s on my to-do list for the day. Be realistic and don’t schedule more than you can handle or you’ll find yourself frustrated and discouraged.
Mark it off.
This tip is a shout out to all my fellow list makers out there. There’s nothing I enjoy more than checking off the tasks in my planner as I complete them each day. It just gives me satisfaction as well as a sense of accomplishment that makes all the hard work totally worth it. As an added bonus, it keeps me on task. If I get behind, I can easily go back later to find and catch up on the things that didn’t get completed and marked off.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to using your daily planner effectively to plan out your days, weeks, or maybe even months ahead. Tell me, what tips or strategies have helped you use your daily planner successfully? Share them with me!
You may want to check out the 7 Tasks to Add to Your Planner.