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We’re two and a half months away from 2018 and as a planning fanatic, I can’t help but get excited for the year ahead. The new year means a new planner and a fresh start where you can rejig your goals and set up an action plan for the year ahead. I love using a paper planner to schedule my days and write out my to-do list to stay on track. This past year I started using the Day Designer and it’s literally changed my life (NOT a sponsored post, just really, really love it), so I thought I’d share my best tips on how to use your planner effectively this new year!
Why I love using a planner
Ever since I was in elementary school, I’ve loved using an agenda. I was one of those students (right up until University) who always got their projects and papers done well ahead of time, and I chock a big part of that up using my planner effectively.
Now, I use it to plan out each and every day from meetings to due dates to events to girls’ nights in. I like to sit down at the end of each day and write out my to-do list for the next day. I find it extremely calming to know exactly what I have going on when I wake up in the morning. It’s a great way to organize your life and keep you on track, especially if you have a busy schedule. Plus, the Day Designer, also has a spot for “Daily Gratitude” which I find incredibly grounding – it keeps you in check.
Here are 7 tips for how to use your planner effectively to reach your goals and kick some serious butt this new year!
1) Use one planner for everything
One of the biggest mistakes people make is using a bunch of different schedulers to plan out their commitments. They use their phone, their Google calendar, and their paper planner, but this usually results in things either being forgotten or double-booked. Use one planner only to schedule everything from work due dates to meetings to gym sessions and wine night with the girls. Having all your plans, due dates and to-do lists down in one place will ensure you’re always aware of everything going on in your life.
2) Sundays are for planning
A lot of people get the Sunday Scaries, but as an entrepreneur, I never dread Mondays and I use Sundays to prep for the week ahead. I look at my agenda and write down everything I need to do for the week. Since the Day Designer allows you to schedule by hour, I know when I have room in my schedule to work in meetings or events. Then I can fill in the times . I like to schedule my time with the most important/crucial things first and go from there.
3) Choose a planner you love
Your planner is something you’ll use on a daily basis, so make sure it’s one that you really love. This isn’t just about design (although there are some seriously gorgeous designs out there these days), it’s about what you want your planner to help you accomplish on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. For me, the Day Designer has it all. A beautiful design, plus it’s so much more than a day planner. It helps you figure out a focus for intentional living, and guides you through an action plan to live your best life through goal setting and action-taking every single day.
It has helped me find organization and simplicity in my often times chaotic life and I couldn’t be more thankful for that! Find a planner you love as much as I love my Day Designer.
4) Use the monthly calendar
Many people skip out on the monthly calendar, and only use their agenda on the day to day. Most planners have a calendar at the beginning of each month, and these are great because you can see your month all laid out in one place. First, put in the dates of special occasions and events you already know you have, like birthdays, vacations and anniversaries. Then you can start filling it out as the month goes on with new events and commitments.
5) Bring your planner everywhere
I always have my planner with me, no matter where I am. Pop it into your bag whenever you leave the house and always have it in plain sight when you’re at home. It’s easy to forget about it if you put it away in your desk or leave it on a shelf somewhere. If you’re using it as the main way to schedule your days, make sure you’re constantly checking it to keep you on track and add in what you need.
6) Check things off as you go
There really is no better feeling than checking items off your to-do list, and this is what you should be doing whenever you complete the tasks you have written down in your planner. This helps keep you organized and also ensures you’re on track as you go through your day. It gives you a sense of accomplishment that you’re getting things done and can move onto the next thing on your list!
7) Don’t over-schedule
It’s easy to think you’re super woman and can accomplish a million things, but keep it realistic and don’t over-schedule your days. It can get really overwhelming and stressful if you schedule too much on your plate, so make sure each day is filled with tasks and events you know you can check off. You can always add things on if you do get through your list, and it’s not the end of the world if you over-schedule yourself – you can take things off too! But I find it easier not to overwhelm myself with too much.
Planning your day is key to an effective schedule and crushing your to-do list! Do you have any tips on how to use a planner effectively to reach your goals? Sound off in the comments below! And if you loved this post, make sure to share it on Pinterest!