Do you love opening a brand-new planner? I do. There’s nothing like taking a new planner out of the box, opening it to the first month, and starting to write in your important dates. With a new planner, you have a whole year of planning and dreaming to start. Planner set-up for a new planner is so much fun.
Did you know planner set-up will impact how you use your planner and if you use your planner? Experienced planner users know that planner set-up is an on-going process and routine you follow every week and sometimes every day.
Taking time for planner set-up helps you get organized for the week and the month. Having your planner set-up right will make your planner more useful for you.
These planner tips will help you make the most of your planner.
Planner Tips to Set-up Your Planner Right
Start with the basics
Setting up your planner can be overwhelming in the beginning. It can be hard to know where to start when you first open a new planner with all the blank pages waiting to be completed.
Let’s simplify by taking it in smaller steps. Start with the basics, which is to fill in your monthly calendar pages with birthdays and anniversaries. Once you finish this step, you will feel your planner has been started.
Next, you can start filling in with the current month. Be sure to include all appointments and events you know for sure are happening this month. I like to work with the monthly calendar first so I can see the big picture, and then move to the weekly pages or daily pages for specific appointments and confirmed events.
Pencil it in
Before you start writing final tasks and appointments in your planner, make sure you have your month and tasks planned out. Consider all your appointments, deadlines for certain tasks, to-do lists, assignments, and anything else coming up.
You can use a separate piece of paper or notepad to write down what you have planned for the week or month coming up, then figure out what tasks to do on each day, and schedule in any deadlines you have.
Once you have a clear plan for the month, you can “pencil in” everything you think you will get done each day plus all your daily appointments. I prefer to only write in pencil in my planner because plans and appointments frequently change and I don’t like big scratched out marks from pen.
Color Code Your Planner
But if you like your planner bright, color coding your planner is an easy way to quickly see specific appointments and tasks. For example, you could assign each family member a color. Each time they have an appointment or task, you would use their color. You could also assign repetitive tasks a color like cleaning chores or meal planning.
If you like a colorful planner, create a key and assign a color to each person/task you want to have color coded in your planner. Keep the color code key in the front of your planner for reference.
Customize the Blank Sections and Notes Pages
Many planners include some areas with blank sections for notes, to-do lists, and anything else you want to write down. These additional sections and pages are perfect for customizing with goal setting, keeping a mini journal, or just making a long ongoing to-do list that will not fit on weekly or daily planner pages.
You can also customize these pages with stickers and washi tape with your own designs and layouts.
Create a planner routine
A good planner is your daily guide. It will reminds you of important tasks to complete, meetings/appointments to attend, birthday and anniversaries and so much more. Rather than just checking your planner just once a day, it should be consulted throughout the day.
Start your planner routine on the weekend (Saturday or Sunday) when you take time to thoughtfully review and plan your week. This is your chance to add new activities and meetings so you have a clear action plan for the week.
During your weekly planning session, it’s a perfect time to do your meal planning and add your cleaning tasks to your planner, too.
As you begin each day, consult your planner to confirm your daily plan and start working on your appointments and tasks. If it makes you feel good, check things off as you get them done. (I like to check things off in my planner, do you?)
Before the end of your day, review your planner. Check your plan for tomorrow and move forward anything you did not complete today to tomorrow or another day this week.
With a little time each week, these planner tips will help you set-up your planner for success.
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- Erin Condren Planner Review
- PurpleTrail Planner Review
- Best Weekly Planners
- Best Family Planners
What is your best planner set-up tip? Leave a comment…
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