Connect with us

Life

How to Get the Most Out of Your Planner and Have the Most Organized Year

Avatar

Published

on

how to use a planner

If you’re anything like me, you have a busy life and an overwhelmed and forgetful mind. Between managing work, sports and/or hobbies, maybe you’re still in school as well, perhaps you have children and a family, and let’s not forget about your often overridden attempt at a social life, you probably find yourself misplacing lists and items and forgetting tasks often. As long as you haven’t forgotten to pick up the kids yet, I’d say you’re doing pretty well at managing your day-to-day routine so far. However, it’s time to admit, a little organizational help couldn’t hurt.

You’ve got pages of emails to get through, piles of notes and lists, a grocery list for later today somewhere on your desk, and there was definitely something else you were supposed to remember to do later today. Wait…what time was that conference call scheduled for? The only thing more important than an organized workspace is an organized mind; the best way to achieve an organized mind is to utilize a planner to organize it for you.

I hear and see questions all the time like, “How do you stay on task while working from home?” or “How do you keep yourself motivated?” and “How do you manage to get everything done without feeling stressed and overwhelmed?” To be honest, I do feel stressed and overwhelmed on occasion. But, my answer is always the same, I use a planner; and I actually check it multiple times a day.

So, here are a few tips, suggestions, and things to remember for utilizing your planner for everything it has to offer and living your most organized and well-planned year:

Setting Up Your Planner

Before the new year even begins, you will have the task of choosing and setting up your planner. Personally, I lean towards the planners with all the extra bells and whistles. For example, numerous “notes” sections, stickers, a yearly view (monthly and weekly views are a necessity for your planner, not an accessory), a section to add lists, to-do’s, or goals, bullet journal pages, and so on. If you don’t believe these supplementary items and pages are essential for you or you don’t think you’ll use them, go with a more simplistic or minimalist design.

After you’ve chosen your planner, the first thing you’ll want to to is flip through each month and add in birthdays, holidays, planned trips and vacations, and of course, your yearly goals. Write down your goals as a reminder. If they’re written down they’ll be more difficult to ignore.

“Productivity is never an accident. It’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

This “set-up process” is the perfect opportunity to add things into your accessory sections as well. Be creative and make these sections whatever you’d like. I use my notes section in the back of my planner for important usernames and passwords as well as notes like my frequent flyer and Hilton Honors number.

I have another section of twelve blank boxes which I use to write down my to-do list or goals for each month. I haven’t put anything on the bullet journal pages yet, however, I love this section because you’re free to be extremely creative and make this whatever you want. Track your budget, manage your routine, draw a map and mark places you’ve travelled to; your options are endless.

As You Go

As the days, weeks, and months go on this year, continue adding everything into your planner.

  • Goals and to-do’s for the month
  • Appointments and meetings
  • Reminders
  • Daily tasks and to-do’s (These can be household chores such as grocery shopping, cleaning, or kids’ athletic events and activities, work, or school related.)

WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN! This is the most important responsibility on your part and the sole purpose for your planner. No matter how minute a reminder or task seems, your planner can’t do its job if you don’t do yours. If you want to receive each benefit your organizer has to offer, utilize every aspect of it.

Side note: There’s nothing more motivating than checking off items on your to-do list or completing goals.

“If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal, you have a wish.” – Steve Maraboli

Tips, suggestions, and other ideas to help you get the most out of your planner:

  • Color-code. Travel and vacation can be one color, personal appointments another, kids’ activities another, and social events, parties, and dinners can have a designated color. Color-code in a way that is clear and easy for you to follow and comprehend.
  • Add stickers, different fonts, highlight, add pictures, or drawings to emphasize certain notes and plans.
  • Be very detailed. Like I mentioned before, write everything down and be extremely clear. You never know what you might remember and what might slip your mind. So, make sure you write a clear reminder of what you’re expecting from yourself.
  • Utilize every section of your planner in any way that you need and will work best for you.
  • Have regular (daily or weekly) planning sessions where you can write down your to-do lists, tasks, and/or goals for the day or week.
  • Use a single planner for everything! Don’t try to bounce between multiple planners for school, work, etc.
  • Have a routine for checking your planner and setting your planning sessions. I keep my planner next to me at my desk and refer back to it multiple times a day. I also plan my schedule for the following week every Friday.

There you have it, my secret to staying on task, productive, and motivated while successfully managing my busy schedule. You now have all the tools you need for your most productive, organized, and well-planned year. Conveniently and efficiently manage your tasks, goals, and schedule all in one place.

Do you use a planner? How has it helped you? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

After graduating from Coastal Carolina University in 2017, Taylor Landis began writing the blog content for Skutchi Designs, a national office cubicle manufacturer. Her topics vary from office design to organizational tips and tricks to architectural trends and the occasional how-to guides. Check out her recent posts at https://www.skutchi.com/blog/.

Life

Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

Continue Reading

Life

​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending