Are you effectively using your planner to get results? Do you ever get to the end of the day and wonder where your time went? Did you accomplish even a portion of what you wanted to do? Then you need to use your planner more effectively. A planner helps you make decisions. You sit down once a week and plan for that week. Then you can tweak it daily. Adding or subtracting tasks. Moving tasks around if necessary. This makes your day easier when decisions have already been made on what will be accomplished that day. It is refreshing to go to your planner and know what is for dinner, what needs to be cleaned, what bills need to be paid and so on.
I use a planner as a running to do list. For planning blog posts. For reminders on birthdays. To set goals. To inspire.
Effectively Using Your Planner
Here are some ideas to make sure you get the most productivity from your time.
Use Your Planner Daily
Place your planner in the same place every day. A place where you will see it. Preferably open. So you can view your day at a glance first thing in the morning. Plus view it last thing at night, if you need to add to the next day’s tasks. Having it in plain sight will motivate you to use your planner more. And be more productive for your day. This will ensure you are effectively using your planner.
This is probably the biggest plus for me. By the time I get home in the evening, the last thing I want to think about is what to prepare for dinner. Then to see if I have all the ingredients for dinner. It is imperative to plan our meals for the week ahead of time. Then prepare a grocery list. Then actually go to the grocery store. But having a list takes some of the chore of grocery shopping away. Check out this post on how I meal plan. I use my planner as a mini meal plan then transfer it to my printable to hang on a kitchen cabinet for the family to see.
Log All Special Dates For The Entire Year
By special dates, I mean birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, school events and holidays. Doctor appointments. Dentist appointments. You get the idea. If you know the date, write it down.
I was forever googling school holidays. But now I place the dates in my planner so I can plan activities around those dates. My planner is great reference tool. I can at a glance know when a birthday or anniversary is coming up. Just by looking at my planner. The key however is to actually log those dates into the planner. So make sure you do this when you first get your new planner.
What Inspires You
Every planner has a side bar. This is a good place to jot down ideas that inspire you. Future projects you would like to do. Keep a running list of DIY , travel ideas, classes you would like to take. A bucket list.
A place to put inspirational quotes to motivate you daily.
Scheduling Cleaning And Organizing Tasks
This is a big deal to me. By scheduling daily cleaning tasks, all chores do not get regulated to the weekend. Sure dishes need to be done after every meal but how often do you want to dust and vacuum? How about laundry? Is this daily, every other day? Cleaning bathrooms. How often and when should be put into your planner. This will help get you into a routine of cleaning. Again, effectively using your planner to get results. A clean home is so much nicer to be in. It is easier to maintain when cleaning is accomplished on a regular basis. Don’t forget about assigning these cleaning chores to family members. You can add that to your planner as well.
Your planner is a good place to fill in due dates for bills. I try to automate as much of my bill paying as possible but there are some bills that can’t be. By jotting down due date for bills, you will at a glance know when the electric bill, mortgage or water is due. Most bills have a set date so you could jot these dates down at the beginning of the year for all 12 months. You may also want to write down the amount when you get the bill in. You could also clip the bill to that week in your planner with the check already written out. No last minute I forgot moments.
The best way to fit exercise into your time is to schedule for it. This will hold you accountable to making time for your chosen exercise routine. No more excuses that you don’t have time. If you budget your time for it and plan for your fitness routine, you will do it. Plus when check off that particular task, you will feel great. You could also log any accomplishments. For example, if you are running, how many miles you ran. This will make a reference tool as well as a motivator.
I use a Happy Planner. You can see my review here. I find it to be cost effective. It meets my needs. Costco is currently selling a Happy Planner bundle. You might want to check that out.
I encourage you by effectively using your planner to simply opening it. Then pen in hand, write in it. It doesn’t need to be neat. It just needs to work for you.