Planners are no longer just for keeping track of appointments and birthdays. They are able to do so much more. Knowing the most effective way and understanding the different ways you can use a paper planner will help to shape you into the best you possible.
Learning how to use a paper planner is not hard. As time goes on and you learn to use a planner efficiently you can even build your own from scratch. Buying a paper planner is the easiest way to make the most productive you.
Continue reading to understand how to you a paper planner effectively.
11 Steps for Using a Paper Planner Effectively
It can take time to perfect using a planner but following these simple steps will help to break down how to keep and the benefits of keeping a planner. Not only will you become more organized and productive, but you will learn to make more intentional choices.
Spending less time in front of a screen and becoming a more productive individual will help to lead you to a healthier life. Using a planner will help to strengthen your memory and over time you will increase your built-in memory.
You will build a record of your life that can be kept for years and show your accomplishments and goals. Planners are more of a diary of your life, a record keeper, and have developed more potential than they once had in the past.
1. Daily Planning
Using a planner daily will help you to use your time more efficiently and to maximize how you use the hours in a day. Regular daily planning includes taking time every morning and periodically throughout the day to look at your daily plan to stay on track.
Prioritize your day by putting in all the important events of the day and then the hours between can be used for the other tasks that you need to complete. Make sure to include time for daily cleaning, laundry, and other household chores.
In the evenings before you go to bed it is important to glance over the next day. Take several minutes to look at all the tasks you want to accomplish and get them in your head. During this time, you can also reflect on your day. Look at all your accomplishments and where you could have done better.
2. Weekly Planning
Regular weekly planning will keep you on top of all the important tasks that need to be done every week. Items that are covered in weekly planning is tasks such as a menu, grocery shopping, work or school tasks, and/or anything that you may do every week.
This is also when you plan out your daily tasks and make sure everything is in order. Weekly planning should be done on the least busy day of your week. Block out about half an hour to be able to make grocery lists, menu, and plan your week ahead. Schedule in time to get your weekly cleaning and chores done.
This can also track your children’s tasks around the house and events that they may need to be at.
3. Month Planning
Many people will forget about using this part of the planner. However, the monthly section should be used. This section gives you a quick look at all the important tasks that must be done in the month. In this section, you can place birthdays, work schedules, appointments, important assignments, or anything that you need to see in a glance.
Any bills or deadlines should also be placed on the monthly so you can see them at a glance. Also in this section, you can place inspirational quotes to keep you motivated and also write down any tasks that do not have a particular deadline but need to be taken care of that month.
4. Have Only One Planner
There is no need to have a separate planner for home, work, and/or school. Keeping everything in one place will make it easier to achieve all your goals and tasks. Organize your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks in one place so you will never forget a task.
It also helps to keep everything together so that there is less to keep up with or carry. No one wants to carry multiple books around if it can be condensed into one place. Your planner is not just an appointment keeper, it tracks all aspects of your life and is more of a diary than a scheduler.
5. Backup Plans
Sometimes no matter how much you plan and prepare life may still throw you some curveballs. Having a planner and keeping everything in one place it makes it possible to be able to develop a backup plan. Actually, you can have several backup plans prepared and ready for any chaotic event.
Even if you make your steps concrete, life will always happen. Being prepared is the easiest way to tackle those obstacles. Your planner will contain all the information you need to have a place B, C, D, or even E. When faced with obstacles, your planner will help you to find answers.
When writing out your goals, tasks, and lists it is important to be specific with your steps and plans. Do not put vague tasks down, keep it detailed so that you are aware of every step involved and can plan accordingly. This is important if you want to achieve all your goals in a specified amount of time.
By breaking your goals up into smaller, more achievable tasks you will feel more accomplished as you achieve them. Helping to push you forward to the following goals and keeping you on track of success.
The majority of paper planners will have a section in the daily and/or weekly slots to place a line or two of what you are grateful for. Though this can vary between people it is important for your overall mental health to find things in life that you are grateful for.
This doesn’t have to be difficult or personal items. It can be as simple as a short line for coffee on Monday morning. In time you will learn to appreciate the small things in life. Seeing all the positive little aspects of your life will lead you to being happier and more productive.
8. Building Healthy Habits
Every week it is important to identify several habits you would like to have during that week. This can be the same every week or change. Habits can be as simple as drinking so many ounces of water, reading for 15 minutes, or journaling.
Any habit that you would like to implement in your daily life that will make you happier or healthier. Habit building will not only help to make time for you but will lead you to a more fulfilled life doing the things you want to do.
Part of your planner can be a small journaling section. This is often in the back of most planners and is grid paper. On this you can keep a bullet journal to track emotions, life events, or anything that is important to you. Journaling has been proven to improve physical health and mental health.
It can help to lower symptoms of anxiety, depression, and or health conditions. You can also track other health conditions and have a record for your doctor. Journaling is an old practice that still holds a lot of merits, use it daily to grab you some me-time. Watch your growth as a person as you continue to use your journal. You will see how you evolve and grow over time.
Within your planner, it is also possible to keep your financial records. Keep track of your spending habits, make a budget, and keep track of when bills need to be paid. By keeping it with the rest of your planner you will always have it with you and be able to update it or to work on your budget.
Doing this task daily will help you gain control over your money and keep you focused on any money-oriented goals you may have. By learning to organize your money you will be able to save more money for the things you really want or need.
11. Productive and Happier Life
By being able to see the big picture and to break it down into smaller parts, you will lead a more productive and happier life. As days pass you will have a record of all your success and even where you failed. This is important in your personal and professional life.
The information in your planner will guide you in making better and more improved goals. It will also aid you in being more productive in all aspects of your life. The majority of people do not utilize the hours in the day to their fullest potential, but with a planner, you can.
Now that you know all the numerous benefits and how to keep a planner, it is time to find the right planner for you. For some, this can be the hardest part of planning. However, many companies now offer visuals so that you can look through a planner on your computer and see if it will meet your needs.
Find a planner that includes daily, weekly, and monthly sections. These are needed to be able to track the most information. Most of these sections will have enough space so that you can include your own gratitude, habit tracking, and journal sections. These are all important sections that will help you to improve yourself.
Our recommendation for a planner that can meet all your needs is the Clever Fox Planner. This planner is inexpensive and can keep track of all the important tasks, goals, and habits that you are tracking. On their website, you are able to view the several different kinds and to see examples of the pages. With so many varieties of colors and styles, it will have one to catch your eye.
Another great addition to planners is the use of stickers. This will brighten up your page and make it more pleasing to look at. You can also add inspirational stickers to help keep you going through the month.
On some websites, you can purchase stickers to keep track of your health, holidays, goals, and other events in your life. Though not necessary to use a planner efficiently, they do improve the overall aesthetics of the planner.
If you don’t fill up your planner every month or find it difficult when you do not see a full month, don’t worry. Learning to fill up your planner will take time and is a skill that will evolve. Continue to use your planner as stated above and it will grow.
You will learn what works for you and the changes you should make to have your planner function as it should. Don’t forget that a planner is a perfect place to keep and take notes down. Use the daily pages in the weekly section to write important notes, ideas, thoughts, or anything down. There is no wrong way to use a planner, as long as you are using it.
Go Get Your Planner
Now is the time to go get your perfect planner and begin filling it up. Start making the most productive you that is possible. Start small and build up to becoming a master planning. You may not find the perfect planner for you on the first try, but don’t give up hope.
Becoming happier and more productive is just a short step away. With some practice, you will be maximizing your time and reaching your goals. Let your creativity shine when you are building your planner.
What are you waiting for? Go out today and get you the perfect planner!