This past week, we wrote a post called The Best Planners For 2017. But we wanted to take that post a step further and ensure that you won't just buy a planner to stuff in a drawer to be forgotten. We want to get you excited and help you take full advantage of how a planner can positively add to your life when you include it in your daily routine.
Here are four tips for using your planner:
1. Plan ahead.
Sure, it sounds cliche to plan ahead in your planner, but it's a must! Spend time immediately setting your planner up in such a way that you reap all the benefits of its blank pages. Don't just use the calendar. Outline your goals, list your dreams, track your finances, schedule chores, record appointments, and more! Making your planner more than a daily calendar will encourage you to come back to it again and again.
2. Create a color-coded system.
If you love to organize, you probably already do this. If not, try it out! Using colored pens or highlighters can help you better keep track of your plans. Use one color for family obligations, another for your “to-do” list, and add a few more colors to cover the rest of your responsibilities.
Rebecca Peterson wrote an article on her blog called 3 Ways To Color Code Your Planner. She broke color coding into three options: color by category, color by priority, color by time. Read her post for a description of each option to see what will best fit your planner's needs.
3. Design the planner to fit your style.
I have seen so many beautiful planners full of stickers, stamps, colorful notes, and other fancy additions. But for me, I like simple. If I see a planner thick with clutter, I will run the opposite direction. Colors are fun, but they aren't a representation of who I am. I prefer beautiful, handwritten fonts throughout and quotes written in the margins. Don't try to make your planner a replica of those you see on Pinterest. Create something that reflects exactly who you are so that you are more likely to visit it again and again — like the familiarity of an old friend.
4. Schedule time with your planner.
If you want to set yourself up for success, you have to spend time with your goals, remind yourself of your dreams, and prioritize. You will only do this if you refer to your planner on a regular basis. Schedule a time each day to touch base with your planner, and you will become more efficient in the planning process that best works for you.
If you are someone who regularly uses a planner, tell us in the comments what works for you!