If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I LOVE planning. I think it’s a Capricorn thing. I haven’t made the switch to an online planner or app; I still use a paper day planner, because I think they’re the best productivity planners out there!
There’s just something about planning your day, writing out your to-do list and checking things off your list that’s so satisfying! I love daily productivity planners because they keep me on track to reaching my goals, and I feel so much less stressed when I can see my day/week laid out in front of me.
How To Start Using a Planner
If you haven’t used a planner since you were given them in elementary school, you may be wondering how to start using a planner. Here are 4 of my best tips to get started with a productivity planner!
1. Choose a Planner Design You Love
One of my favourite things to do at the start of every year is choosing my productivity planner for the year ahead. It’s not something I take lightly! Your day planner is something you look at and write in every day, so it’s important you really love how it looks.
2. Figure Out What Day Planner Features Are Important To You
Do you want a daily planner with a to do list? It is important to you to have an hourly planner incorporated? (PS. don’t know what an hourly planner is? Read more about them below!). Are you looking for a planner that has space for notes and appointments?
Figure out the features that are most important to you and let them guide your decision.
3. Determine How You Will Use Your Planner
Before choosing your planner, it’s important to determine how you will use your planner. Everyone uses their planner differently, and what works for one person may not work for you and your lifestyle.
For me, I like to keep everything in one planner. I use my planner to keep track of my to do list, write in my meetings, schedule my gym classes, girls’ nights, date nights and everything in between.
I find it’s a lot easier for me to have all my plans written down in one place. While others find it more efficient to use their planners solely for career purposes and schedule non-work activities elsewhere. Neither one is better than the other! Determine what works for you and do that!
4. Create a System For Yourself
Everyone has a different system for how they use their planner. I’ll share mine with you and if it sparks your interest, you can try it for yourself!
Every Sunday I like to take some time to plan out my week ahead. I’ll sit down with my productivity planner, look at everything I have do or planned for the week and schedule it in.
I create a weekly plan based around due dates, meetings, appointments and post-work activities. Having my week planned out at the start of the week helps me feel so much more calm and organized heading into Monday!
And don’t forget, you can always change your schedule around if things come up during your week!
Related Post: What to Do Sunday for a Better Week
What Planner is Right For Me?
One of the things I love most about my planner is that it’s uniquely mine. When you’re deciding what planner is right for you, make your decision based on your personal style, the planner features, its size (consider if you’ll be carrying it around with you or leaving it at your desk?), and your budget.
Choosing what planner is right for you can be a really fun task! Take all these elements into consideration and pick your dream productivity planner!
Using a Planner to Stay Organized
Using a daily planner is one of the best ways to stay organized. It helps you keep track of your work, stay on top of deadlines and take control of your plans. If you want to know tips for using a planner to stay organized, take a look!
1. Create a Master To Do List
Before creating a to-do list for each day, create a master to-do list. This list should include anything you need to do that’s floating around in your head, including work tasks, grocery shopping, getting your significant other a birthday present, etc. etc. etc.
When you see everything you have to do written down in one place, it helps you to better organize your week. Once you have your master to-do list, you can break it down by day in your productivity planner.
2. Schedule One to Three Big Goals/Tasks For The Day
If you have more than one to three big goals for the day, you may not get through them all, which can lead to unnecessary stress. Depending on how big the goals/tasks are, don’t overwhelm yourself by giving yourself too many on any given day. When your to-do list is overflowing with tasks, it becomes suffocating and feels like you won’t be able to get through it.
You need to prioritize your master to-do list. Once you prioritize what you really need to get done and what needs to get done first, it will be easier to organize your weeks!
3. Break Down Your Tasks By Hour
I’ll talk about this more below when I explain why you should use an hourly planner, but breaking down your tasks by hour is so hopefully to keep you organized and productive! Giving each task a timeline ensures you get your to-do list done timely and efficiently and don’t waste time procrastinating.
What Is The Best Productivity Planner?
The best productivity planner is dependent on you and your needs. Personally, I love the Day Designer and it’s been the planner I’ve used for the past few years.
I love it because it’s a daily planner with a to-do list, as well as an hourly planner, which means it has numbered time slots from 7 am to 7 pm so you can plan you day by hour, making your days extremely productive!
It also has a spot on every page for your “top 3” priorities of the day, anything that’s due, dinner plans, reminders, notes and daily gratitude.
Not to mention, the first few pages of the Day Designer are “purposes pages” to help you organize your yearly goals, monthly actions and weekly routines so you can live you most well-designed life.
To me, the Day Designer is definitely one of the best productivity planners out there!
Why You Should Use an Hourly Planner
I’ve mentioned an hourly planner a few times in this post! Having an hourly planner is ideal because they allow you to plan out your day by the hour. This is better than planner that only has a daily to-do list because planning your day by hour makes you more productive.
When you give yourself timelines to get tasks done you’re more likely to stay on track and check tasks off your list. An hourly planner is also helpful if you use your day planner for more than just work.
If you schedule everything from work projects to meetings to dentist appointments to after-work plans in your day planner, then an hourly planner will help you keep your days organized seamlessly.
Where to Buy a Productivity Planner Online
If you want to buy a productivity planner online, there are lots of different options. You can go straight to the source and buy planners from their own websites, like daydesigner.com and livingwellshop.co.
You can also buy a productivity planner online at stores that sell stationary products such as Indigo!
5 Stylish Planners and Organizers
Here’s a list of 5 stylish organizers and planners for the girl boss!
The best productivity planners for girl bosses are stylish and keep you extremely organized! Find one you love and be productive all year!
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This post contains affiliate links. I only promote products I’ve used and love and all opinions are my own.