Whether it is for staying true to your promise of keeping your life in order by managing your daily or regular activities well, or trying to get things done, nothing beats planning the old school way, which is writing things down on paper so that you won’t forget them. Maybe you just want to keep to your schedule and are afraid of missing out on anything that you’ve committed to doing.
Maybe you have to see your short-term goals written on the pages of a notebook, or keep record of a sudden thought, an idea or two that could be put to good use later, or maybe it’s for the simple wish of staying on top of a fast-paced life and keeping things under control. Whatever the reason is, and even when you can’t find one yet, having a physical planner in a day and age when there’s probably an app for almost everything, can only make a difference if you use it with the following elements:
Keeping a planner will make it easier for you to keep track of your commitments, responsibilities and both short and long term goals. Here are some steps you can follow in making sure that you integrate your planner efficiently into your everyday life:
1. Consider why you need a planner: There are different types of planners available to use for certain purposes. You need to figure out why you need one and what you intend to mainly use it for. It’s pretty common to buy a planner at the beginning of the year to record tasks and weekly, daily, or hourly schedules but it’s still important to consider asking yourself why you have to get one since you’re more than likely to use it as your ultimate planning tool. With that said, it will be confusing to have more than one planner will defeat the purpose of keeping one.
2. Buy a planner that suits your needs: After figuring out your purpose for wanting to have a planner, the next thing to do is shop around and make sure you end up with one that suits your needs. They’re available to purchase at stationery stores, bookstores and online, all of which would probably have enough selection for you to choose from, so make sure that the one you get is organized and designed in a way that you can work with and one that can help you make sense of you lifestyle and responsibilities when you feel overwhelmed.
3. Resolve to use a day planner every day: People who make a solid commitment are more likely to be able to keep those commitments. Habits are very difficult to change, but telling yourself that you are resolved to do one small thing differently will help you develop a new habit, and a great one at that.
Having a planner is great, but using it is what makes all the difference. If you want to stick with using your planner this year, here are some tips that can help:
1. Schedule regular planning time: You probably heard this a thousand times but it’s important to take things by day and that includes proper planning. Plan your day the night before and write it down so you won’t forget what you need to accomplish for the day, who you need to see and what task needs to be completed. Whether it’s in the morning or at night, taking time to plan your day helps a lot.
2. Keep everything in one place: If you’re the type of person to write on any scraps of paper you can get your hands on, that’s quite a hard habit to break, but not impossible to conquer. You can transfer the notes on your notepad and post-its into your flyer or simply paste them there, never mind if they look a bit scattered and all over the place. What’s more important is that everything is in one place, and one planning work space.
These days, there’s literally a planner for every purpose and there are some you can use for multiple purposes, and while it’s nice to have a planner which is stylish and appealing, it’s better to have one that fits your lifestyle and future endeavors:
1. Traditional Planner: Deciding to have a physical planner to manage your daily activities and your life in general, is in itself already traditional, but if you choose to keep a typical daily planner for organizing your schedule or one that can generally cover all aspects of your life will also be great idea. You can’t get any more traditional than that.
2. Financial Planner: This type of planner are ideally for managing your due dates, keeping track of your financial goals and budgeting efficiently. There are some planners which includes a section for bills or financial planning, but if you want to focus on due dates and financial goals, this is the planner for you.
3. Bullet Journal: People who do great with bullet journals are the ones who tend to create and personalize their planners according to what fits them best. Don’t get caught up with the fancy designs of some bullet journals intimidate or distract you because they’re meant to be simple, easy to keep and read to make sense of your thoughts and goals.
Planners generally come in these sizes:
A4 size and letter size: 8.5 x 11″ and 8.27 x 11″
A5 and half letter size: 5.83 x 8.27″ and 5.5 x 8.5″
There’s a wide selection of planners that comes in different sizes and designs, but it’s up to you to pick what suits your lifestyle best and personalize it as you see fit. If you decide to keep a planner but isn’t up up to the task of filling and checking it regularly, no planner is going to be good enough for you.
Don’t feel pressured when trying to fill it out. While you want to dedicate time every day to write to keep to your schedule and manage your time better, you don’t want to be dragged into the task because that’s likely going to make you abandon it altogether once you start feeling frustrated.
The best laid plans of the most organized and determined people still tend to go wrong, but refusing to plan any aspect of your life whatsoever is going to cost you some pretty tough consequences sooner or later. You may have thought planners were already lost in the shuffle of the internet and technology in general, but there are still many people who considers writing things down on paper as something that makes a big difference in staying on track and reaching their goals.