Using a life planner is a new concept for me this year. More specifically, an Erin Condren life planner. I like the way this planner is set up. Why do I need a planner? I have few appointments to keep up with. My work schedule never changes. However, I wanted to use it for blogging goals and planning blog posts. That is my main reason for using a planner for 2015. I have discovered though I use it for a whole lot more than blog goal setting.
Planning Blog Posts
Whenever an idea for a blog post pops into my head, I write it down in the note section of my life planner. There is a note section on the left hand side of each week. Even if I don’t use it that week, I can look back on the different weeks for ideas. Once I use that idea, I check it off. That is a great feeling. I can also use the week section to motivate myself to work on the blog post. If I need to buy materials for the project, take pictures or write the post. Then I can schedule when I want the post to publish. I keep a piece of paper attached to my planner with yearly blogging goals that I move through the planner with each week. Another motivational tool.
On Sunday or Saturday, I plan out our meals for the week. There is a section at the bottom of each day that is perfect for jotting down meal ideas. I can then transfer that to my menu planner printable that has a shopping list so I can take that to the grocery store. Meal planning is essential to a stress free day. I look at my meal plan in the morning before work, then I take out of the freezer what ingredients I will need. No last minute dash for fast food in the evening.
Making time for exercise is hard. Fitness is vital to body and spirit. It clears your mind and generally makes you feel better. By the time I get home from work, my mind is mush. If exercise is not listed in my life planner, then I don’t do it. I don’t think about it. This is a great motivator. This way I can track how when, what and for how long I exercised.
Whether it be a date night, birthday celebration, vacation or kids sports activities, I write it down. That way I can plan to prepare for it. If I need a special meal or cake or hey don’t forget reminder, it is there on the planner. I use a binder clip to attach list paper to my planner so I can jot stuff down that I need to take with me to shop. For example, I have an ongoing list for items to take on vacation. It is better to buy those items at home than at the destination because of price. Also shopping for essentials while on vacation is inconvenient especially if you don’t have transportation.
To Do Lists
Each day I write down what needs to be done. I can schedule cleaning tasks for the week, laundry, hair appointments or whatever needs to be done. Then I can check off each task when done. That is a game changer for me. I love seeing things accomplished.
Use Your Life Planner Daily
Remembering to use my planner daily has been a little hard for me. I would forget to use the planner for the week. A whole week would go by and things did not go as smoothly as they could have. Using a life planner is definitely a habit that you need to develop. I have two tips for remembering to use your life planner.
- Keep your life planner open and out where you will see it daily. I keep mine on my desk in front of the computer. I go over my planner while I am having my morning coffee before heading off to work. This makes a big difference in my day.
- Decorate your life planner. Use washi tape, colorful pens, stickers, inspirational quotes, neon colored post it notes. I love using washi tape in my planner. It makes certain things stand out. Plus if I make an error or something changes for the day, I can put a piece of washi tape over the change or error. The day is good as new to write on.
One of the unseen benefits of using a life planner is it is an automatic journal. You can look back over the year and remember those special events. So post pictures too in your life planner.
There are so many options for using a planner. You don’t need an Erin Condren life planner, you can use a spiral bound notebook or a small binder filled with printables or notebook paper. I simply like a planner that is already laid out so all I do is fill in the blanks.
Do you use a planner? How do you make it work for you?
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