I’m totally that person who likes to write everything down. I get by with a little help from my planner, and today I wanted share a few of my favorite planner organization tips that I have learned over the years. This post was created last year, and I have added a few more things I integrated into my planner organization from the past year!
Planner Organization Tips
Finding the Right Planner
The first step to creating an effective planner is finding the RIGHT planner for you. I have been using these planners for 4 years now, and I can’t seem to shy away from them. (No, this is not sponsored!) Some of the features I love about Day Designer planners are that each day has a full sheet of paper which includes an hourly schedule, a to-do checklist, a notes section, a “don’t forget” section, and a section for the top 3 things you want to accomplish that day. I personally need more than just a plain old calendar laying out the month. They have a hard cover which makes it extra durable. At first I had a hard time spending that much on a planner, but it has turned out to be completely worth it.
Color coding is something I have tried to master a few times, and had ended up giving up. I felt like I was always losing the colored pens after a day or two and it was kind of a pain. I finally figured out a system that works for me… post it notes! I keep all of the colored sticky notes in the back of my planner, which makes them easy to access when I need to add something to my calendar. I have different colors that coordinate with my blog and family schedule. It makes it so easy to reference and stay on top of deadlines, appointments, and events. I use these post it note page markers, and they are slightly longer than the squares in my calendar so I simply fold the end in order to make it fit! My favorite part is that I don’t have a bunch of scribbles all over my calendar. If something moves to a different date, I just stick it in it’s new home, and everything is still nice and clean.
I have certain colors I have assigned for appointments, family activities, blogging events, deadlines, photoshoots, etc, but you can create your very own planner organization system depending on what it is that you have going on!
Stickers are another great way to visually see important dates on your calendar like bill due dates, birthdays, reminders, etc. I have used the Happy Planner stickers and really like them! They have a good combination of stickers for both my monthly calendar and my day to day pages. Most planners will have a small folder in the back for loose pages (see mine pictured above), which is where I keep my stickers at. This allows for easy access to stay on top of things.
Lay It All Out There
I have had those moments where my planner starts to become blank and unused. I can definitely tell a difference in my life and stress levels when this starts to happen. I have been that person who shows up to hair appointments at the wrong time, who has missed baby showers, and who can’t seem to remember what I had committed to on a certain day. Set aside a block of time to really get everything written down that you possibly can on that planner. If you have something that happens at the same time every week like your child’s sports practice or a particular meeting, write it down even if you feel like that would be redundant. Begin each week writing down any new events or upcoming things that need to be on the calendar, and evaluating your week. Sometimes it can seem like we are so overwhelmed, but once it’s all on paper there is a sense of relief that it can all be done.
My planner may not always be accessible, so throughout the week I will keep a notes tab on my phone where I jot down ideas or things I need to add. Then, the next time I update my planner, I just open up my phone and I’m never wondering what I forgot to add to it.
Break It Down
Lastly, one of my most successful planner organization tips from last year is to break down your goals, and physically write them in a spot that you will see over and over again. As most of you know, blogging is a business for me. I set certain financial goals for the year, and I break it down by month in order to make it more realistic and less overwhelming. On the first page of every month, I write down exactly what goals I need to reach in order to make my yearly goal. Each time I open up my planner to view the month, that is the first thing I see. This can apply to any types of goals that you may have… perhaps you have a fitness goal or a budgeting goal. It can be nice to have an amazing end goal in sight, but how are you actually going to achieve it? Creating a pathway to reach it can make all the difference.
PLANNER ORGANIZATION TIPS UPDATE:
Since writing this post, I am proud to say that this method worked all year long. I have one small thing that has made a HUGE difference! I just filled out my 2019 calendar and wanted to share these circle stickers! I only put a few stickers down before immediately telling my friends that they need to buy them! I have them color coded for days that Brett works, Hockey games, travel, etc. They are translucent so you can still see the date through the sticker. It is such a nice and clean way to visually see when things are happening without making my calendar look messy.
Another Item I bought for 2019 is this habit tracker pad. I have it in the very back of my planner stuck to the hard cover. I haven’t started using it yet, but I’m very excited to start using it!
Cheers to a new year!