So you bought yourself a pretty day planner to help you manage your days and tackle your to-do’s. Now what?!
Here’s what often happens: You buy a planner. You wait (impatiently) for it to arrive. You practically bowl over the postman to get to it when it arrives. You rip open the box, do a little dance, maybe even scream a little, and post a photo of it to Instagram and Snapchat. You think it’s the answer to your prayers!
But then it sits out on your desk for months collecting dust. When it gets in the way, you stuff it in a drawer. Because it’s too much of a hassle to set up now, and it’s too late anyhow…
Does this sound at all familiar to you??
ENCOURAGING NEWSFLASH! If it’s never too late to dream a new dream, then it’s never too late to start a new routine! That pretty day planner you were so excited about has a job to do, so put it to work for you!!
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR DAY PLANNER
But maybe you’re afraid to use it. Afraid to mess it up. (I’ve been there. You just have to get over it!) Maybe you just wanted it because it was pretty. Maybe you’re actually a tech calendar and tech to-do list kind of person. (That’s OK! It’s good to know what works for you! But this post isn’t for you… it’s for pen-and-paper people!)
Or maybe you just don’t know how to use it…
That’s what I’m going to help you with today! I’m going to show you how to be friends with your planner and actually use it!!
1 | GIVE IT A PURPOSE
No, really. Give your planner a purpose. Take a few minutes to think about why you needed it.
Most people will probably say something like they bought it to help manage the day-to-day, to keep better track of projects, to tackle to-do’s, to stay organized, to find some sort of balance between work and life. (I know that’s why I bought mine!)
I guarantee that once you give your planner a purpose, you’ll find:
- that it works better for you
- that you can actually get things done with it
- that you’re more productive and efficient
- that you actually want to use it
- that you wind up relying on it even more!
Giving your planner a purpose, gives it value, and ultimately makes it an important part of your life and business.
2 | KEEP IT NEAT
I hear people, all the time, say things like, “It’s OK to let your planner get messy! Go ahead and mess it up!” And that’s OK… Except it’s not.
If your planner is a mess, covered in scratch outs and scribbles, or given to your children to use as an impromptu coloring book—how are you ever going to stay organized and on top of things? How will you keep track of important dates and to-dos?
You won’t. At least not very well.
So keep that planner neat and organized, so you can manage your day and tackle those to-dos efficiently… and with less stress!
3 | LET IT AIDE YOU, NOT CONTROL YOU
Your day planner is a tool, and like most tools is meant to help you and make your job/life easier. Just because you wrote it in your planner, doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. Things change, plans change, to-do’s change. Embrace flexibility and little things like erasers and wite-out! 😉
4 | GET CREATIVE
Even though it’s important to keep your planner neat and organized, it’s also important to have FUN with it! (Don’t be so serious all of the time!)
Use different color pens (or pencils) to block schedule your day, or easily identify important dates, events, and appointments. Use stickers and washi tape. (I love using Emily Ley’s stickers to indicate my top three tasks every day!) Use a pretty paper clip or magnetic page marker to easily flip to and get excited about your day!
Get creative with your planner and make it a pretty, productive, and fun place to “hang” out!
5 | USE IT EVERY DAY
Just buying the pretty day planner won’t do you any good. It won’t magically help you manage your day, stay organized, or keep track of things if you don’t actively and consistently use it!
Commit to using that planner every single day. Check in with it (at least) three times a day. In the morning as you start your day, in the afternoon when you’re midway through, and in the evening when your day is ending. (I like to design my day the night before and then make any necessary changes first thing in the morning when I check in.) And don’t forget to check things off as you go!
Seeing that you’re making progress is a huge motivator to getting more things checked off!
Now get to it, friends! You and your day planner (aka your BFF) have work to do!!
Come back and tell me when you’ve made friends with your planner! I’d love to hear all about it!
Keep reading! My favorite day planner is…
Disclaimer: I was not paid or approached in any way to write about this brand or product. All opinions expressed here are simply because I truly and whole-heartedly LOVE it. A few of these links are affiliate links.
Photo Credit: Emily Ley