Some people might look at my planner and think it’s overkill. But you know what? I don’t even remember the last time I missed an appointment. I don’t think I ever forgot a due date for an assignment while I was in school. And I’m not one to forget a birthday either. You know why? It’s because I use a planner! (Surprise.)
And it’s NOT because I’m a planner decorator. You 100% do not have to decorate your planner if you don’t want to or don’t have the time. But, I have found that decorating, for me, encourages me to keep up with my planner. The decoration goes hand-in-hand with the functional elements of my planner to create a system that is fun and keeps me organized.
In this post, I want to share my Top Five Tips for Keeping Up with Your Planner. I want to show you that there are other ways – beside decorating – to make you planner an efficient organization system for you. If there’s something in you that recognizes how a planner could make your life a little brighter, but you’re not quite sure how, keep reading.
My Top Five Tips for Keeping Up with Your Planner
- Make it multi-functional. Make it that one place where you list out everything – appointments, tasks, events, holidays, habits, chores, goals, etc. You can even make it part journal and record quotes, what you’re watching, eating, reading, or how you felt that day. When you make your planner a catch-all, you’re much more likely to reach for it when you want to record something.
- Make it pretty. No, you don’t have to decorate it as much I do or as much as so-and-so on Instagram. Simply make it something that pleases you to look at. Whether that means a pretty cover, or a fun bookmark, or even just using a bright colored pen, making your planner visually appealing will encourage you to use it.
- Make it interactive. Instead of just writing a task down, put a checkbox next to it. Instead of writing in “workout”, leave an empty box to fill in with the details of your workout after you’ve done it. Track your water intake my coloring in a small glass of water for every glass you drink. These simple steps make you far more likely to actually get that task done, workout, or drink water. Try making your tasks or habits interactive in some way, and see how it affects your motivation to actually get it done.
- Make it personal. Have your planner monogrammed or personalized. Paperclip in some of your favorite photos or quotes, customize a dashboard with your goals for the year, or make your own planner charm that’s symbolic in some way. Make your planner mean something to you.
- Make it part of your routine. Schedule out a block of time every week, every month, or even every day to update your planner. Keeping up with your planner is about maintenance. If you keep up with it piece by piece, adding in appointments as you schedule them, it’s not that overwhelming. But if you attempt to plan everything out at once or put off updating your planner for weeks or months at a time, it will be overwhelming. Things will fall through the cracks. And it’s not just about keeping your life organized – getting everything down on paper as you think of it clears up your mind to focus on other things, or even relax. You might even start to look forward to planning sessions as a fun, creative outlet, or a chance to be alone and think about you, your goals, and your life.
So there you have it – my Top Five Tips for Keeping Up with Your Planner. Try implementing these strategies individually to see what works for you. Remember that having a functional planner is all about finding out what works for you. I’m not here to tell you how to plan, but I do hope that I’ve given you some ideas on how to start or move forward.