Why Everyone Should Use a Planner
You might be aware of the basics about using a daily planner, but have still not discovered the many benefits. Take a look at the reasons why everyone – including you – should start using a life planner and then the Top Five best ideas on how to use your planner.
It Helps with Time Management
Do you find that there is never enough time for everything? If so, it is probably because you are not scheduling your time effectively. Tis happens when you just run constantly, going from one thing to the next, without really thinking about everything as a whole. Using a planner allows you to schedule each event, appointment, errand, and task, so that you know what to expect and don’t run out of time. Set specific due dates and deadlines for everything to help you stay on track, and have extra time left for yourself and family.
You Can Improve Your Productivity
This is important for your personal and professional life. While many people think of productivity as it relates to their job, you also want to be productive at home. This might include getting cleaning and home organization done, or working on projects you keep putting it off. Regardless of what it is, planners help you to stay on track with each individual task you need to complete, and encourages you to move on to the next one effectively and efficiently.
They Provide Excellent Stress Relief
Stress has many forms, but one thing they all have in common is that it comes from being overwhelmed. You are often stressed due to a hectic schedule, having too many demands, or just putting too much on your plate. Outside influences do also affect your stress level, but think of how different it could be when you actually have time for everything and are able to seamlessly go from one responsibility to the next without having to worry about missing something, being late, or having to back out at the last minute.
There are a Multitude of Health Benefits
As you might imagine, planners help you stay healthy in a wide range of ways. It helps your physical health by helping you track things like diet and exercise, you can schedule regular doctor and dentist appointments, and make sure you are getting enough fresh air and vitamin D by scheduling days spent outdoors. You get mental health benefits by reducing stress and anxiety, and even having journaling pages for when you just need a good brain dump.
More Time for Creative Activities
Another benefit of using a planner is that because you are sticking to a schedule for all the mandatory responsibilities, it leaves a little free time for your artistic endeavors, whether that means working on a hobby or trying something new.
How Planners Help with Health and Wellness
You are probably familiar with many of the primary benefits to using a daily planner, like being organized in your personal and professional life, never missing an important event, and having a place to write down your to-do lists and other important lists. However, it can also be really useful for your health, including mental and physical health.
Track Your Fitness Goals
Fitness and physical activity is important for everyone, not just people trying to lose weight or bulk up. No matter who you are, it is important to fit some exercise into your lifestyle. The planner is a great tool for this, as you can schedule workouts in the calendar section of the planner, then have pages for tracking workouts, and listing your individual fitness goals.
Keep Track of Weight and Measurements
For those who are trying to lose weight or just maintain their current weight, a planner is a good tool for keeping track of your weight and measurements. There are of course digital apps that do this, but sometimes you want everything in one place, and to enter the weight or measurements on a date on your calendar. Don’t underestimate the power of putting pen to paper when tracking or setting goals.
Plan Meals and Diet
Another big part of health and wellness has to do with what you put into your body. Your diet isn’t just about weight loss, but about physical and mental health. You might have specific goals like reducing sugar and caffeine, or maybe you want to try to get to your 5 servings of fruit and veggies goal for each day. Many areas of the planner offer you the option to track what you eat, set nutrition goals, and even do some meal planning.
Use it for Mental Health
Health isn’t just about your physical health, but mental and emotional health as well. Planners offer so many mental health benefits, from reducing stress to helping with anxiety. You are becoming more organized and don’t have your mind full of things to do, but no idea when and how to do them. Everything is scheduled and planned out, and you can have more time for a little self-care.
Improve Your Mental Health with a Planner
Mental health encompasses everything having to do with your emotional and mental wellbeing, including stress, anxiety, depression, and disorders like OCD and bipolar disorder. If you deal with mental health issues, using a planner can be an amazing tool for you.
Planning Helps Reduce Unneeded Stress
It is amazing how much stress is lifted once you start using a planner. Whether you just use the basic calendar pages, have complex to-do lists, or plan out your goals, it can make you feel like you are accomplishing something. You no longer have consistent stress from missing deadlines, feeling like you have something coming up but no idea what it is, or being overwhelmed by everything you need to get done and no time to do it in.
Daily Schedules Keep You on Track
The daily schedules are especially important, as you can flesh out your main tasks into more specific tasks for each day. Start by noting important days and events in the monthly calendar, then move over to the weekly calendar to set weekly goals. From there, you can choose what needs to be accomplished during each day in order to reach these goals.
You Can Maintain Positivity
If you struggle with your mindset while having issues with mental health, using a planner can actually help you think more positively. It lessens up your stress, you feel more in control, and feel on top of all your responsibilities. This in turn can make you more positive and optimistic, and able to focus on more than just the day to day responsibilities, but find hobbies and new interests as well.
Use Blank Pages for Tracking Triggers
Take advantage of the blank pages in your planner by using them to note down triggers or track your symptoms. This is useful with anxiety and panic disorder so you know what is coming, or to find your depressive episode triggers. Having it in your planner allows you to have more insight into when these issues occur and how to avoid them in the future.
Gain More Self-Control Over Your Life
When you have mental health disorders like anxiety or depression, you often feel out of control. It can feel like the disorder consumes you, and that you are just barely getting by. By using a planner, everything is scheduled and becomes a routine, so not only do you know what to expect, but you feel like you are in control of your life.
Start a Healthy Daily Routine
Using your planner itself can also be good for your health when you add it to your daily routine. Check in each day, write down the day’s to-do lists, check on tasks for your next goal. Really use it to its full advantage, and you will be amazed by how much better you feel.
6 Different Types of Planners You Can Use
In the world of planners, there seems to be an endless amount of information and tips. Even just the types of planners doesn’t have just one option. If you’re a little stuck with how to begin, take a look at these different types of planners you can have.
The first type is the main type of planner, which is one that is for all daily planning, with emphasis on personal. Many people use their daily planner for everything, including work and other areas of their life, which is definitely encouraged! This keeps you from having too many planners all over the place, causing too much chaos. However, others fill up a work planner very quickly, and need additional room, so that is where the personal planner comes in.
Home and Family
If you prefer using different planners, you might want a separate one just for home and family planning. This one here is perfect for keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments, scheduling important dates for the kids, planning date nights with your spouse, and even doing some meal planning. With a busy home life, you can definitely fill up an entire planner just for this purpose.
Finance and Budget
For people who are working on saving money for something big, trying to save for retirement, or just want better control of their finances, this is a great planner to have. Here are some things you might want to track in a finance and budget planner:
Money coming in and going out
Bills and debt
Savings for specific goals
Building your investment portfolio
Setting a budget
If you like using a bullet journal, you can definitely use it as your planner as well. Many people do use it for both, since you have plenty of calendar and schedule places included. With a bullet journal, you are in full control of each page, whether you set it up yourself with pen and ruler, or you get printable pages to add to a binder that is being used as your bullet journal.
If you are a project manager or run your own business, you might be in need of a planner just for work and various projects you are managing. This keeps everything organized and in one place, so that you don’t have computer files, notebooks, and journals everywhere that is filled with random notes.
Health, Diet, and Fitness
There is also the health planner that you can use just for things like diet, tracking weight loss or inches, fitness routines, and just general health and wellness information.
Printable VS Store-Bought Planners: Which is Better?
Are you in the market for a new planner? If so, you should first decide between printing your planner pages to put into a binder, or going with a store-bought planner that is already put together.
Here are some comparisons between the two options.
Printable Planners Save You Money
If you are looking to start a planner without spending a lot, using printables is your best bet. Of course, this depends on whether or not you have the paper and ink already, otherwise it might cost you more. However, with everything else ready to go, you can start small by just printing a few pages, then printing more and adding them to any binder you have as needed. Eventually you might decide on other customizable options, or want to switch to a different type of planner.
Store-Bought Planners are Already Set Up
As far as simplicity goes, a store-bought planner might be good for beginners since it is already set up and ready to go. There is no choosing the types of pages or the order they are in, as that is already done for you. You can still avoid some pages or add more, but this is a great first step if you want to choose one from the store. Just be sure to look inside each one before making your choice, as they are all a little different.
Printable Planners Have Customizable Options
If you are looking for a planner you can completely customize to work with every section you want to include, printable is the way to go. All you need is a folder or binder to start with, then you can choose and print any planner pages you want. Some places offer packages of 10 or more pages that go together, or you can customize them with your own colors and images. Be creative with your printable planner so that it is absolutely perfect for you. This will encourage you to use it more often.
Store-Bought Planners Don’t Have to Be Printed
Another benefit of the store-bought variety is that there is no printing to be done. You don’t have to worry about how to print on either side of the page, making sure you have enough ink, or printing the right size.
In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. You can also combine them by buying a binder planner, then printing and adding pages as needed.
Tips for Choosing the Right Planner
Using a planner on a daily basis provides an excellent way to organize your life, relieve stress, and complete goals. The very first step is to choose the type of planner that will work best for you. Here are a few ideas to start with.
Consider the Size
This is one of the most important factors, not only because you need to consider where you will be using the planner, but also what printable pages to include. While many people who offer printable planner pages allow you to choose from different sizes, it is still something to consider.
There are small, medium, and large sizes to choose from. The larger ones are great for a desktop, so if you want to keep it on your desk, it’s a good option. Otherwise, one of the smaller ones is ideal to keep in your purse, car, or anywhere on the go.
Look at the Layouts
While you will probably fill this planner with more pages as you think of additional things to track, look at the layouts of pages it comes with. This is when you think about what you will be tracking, and how many pages you need for writing or adding your own custom information.
What Pages do You Want?
As you are looking at layouts of the pages, look at the different types of pages as well. Some planners keep it very basic where it is primarily the monthly and weekly calendar pages, while others fit in a lot of extras, such as blank pages for journaling, to-do lists, task lists, and a lot more.
What is it Being Used for?
Still not sure what planner you want? Think about what you are going to use it for. This might be for your daily life and schedules, work and projects, home life, personal or a combination of all of these. This determines everything from the size to the type of pages included in your planner. It will also help you figure out if a store-bought planner works, or if you will get a binder and just use printable planner pages.
Think About Room for Extras
It is always good to choose a binder-style planner with extra room to add additional pages. Many people offer some amazing printables so that you can customize any planner to your own needs. All you need is a printer, paper, and 3-hole punch.How to Add Your Planner to Your Daily Routine
A daily routine is a great way to focus your mind on one thing, get more day, and set yourself up for a productive day. If you want to use a planner, why not add it to your daily morning or evening routine?
Create a Regular Routine
Start by figuring out your daily routine and how to add using your planner to that routine. Do you find that you sit at your kitchen table in the morning with a cup of coffee, and have a few minutes of quiet time? If so, this is a great time to start a daily routine where you write in the planner, and maybe your journal as well. For others, they prefer it to be during their lunch break at work, or maybe in the evening before bed to mentally prepare for the next day. There are no rules here except consistency.
Speaking of, you need to stay consistent. This is why creating a daily routine with using the planner is so vital. It adds it to your schedule, where you know what to expect, and won’t keep putting it off for the “right time”. Think of it like any other part of your routine, like taking a shower or cooking a meal. Write in your planner around the same time every day, and it easily becomes a daily routine.
Fit it Into Your Normal Lifestyle
Be realistic about using your planner daily. You might like the idea of a morning planner and journal session, but if you already struggle getting to work on time, this isn’t realistic. Instead, think of a time during the day when you do have a spare minute, or where you can move things around in your current routine. You know your life best, so work with your current lifestyle and schedule.
Keep it Simple…Sam
This probably won’t be the last time you hear this advice – but just keep it simple dude! Seriously. I have been the queen of getting overly ambitious with my planner and journals, then getting overwhelmed, then finally just giving up on using them and ending up with a bunch of sticky notes all over the place where I jotted random things to do down.
If you are just starting your own planner and struggling to use it every day, don’t bother trying to turn it into an ordeal. You don’t need a bullet journal or a planner with 500 pages to be effective either. Have 5-10 pages to start with, then when those pages fill up or you get new ideas, gradually add in more to your planner. As you have success with this, your momentum will build and then you will motivated (and more disciplined) to do more with your planner system.
Use a Planner You Love
Using a planner you absolutely love that works best for you will encourage you to use it. You will be excited about opening it up every day. One more thing to note – it is best to use just one planner for everything. This avoids any confusion with different planners all needing to be used each day.
Tips for Setting Up Your Planner
After you have purchased your planner, the first thing you need to do is set it up. Here is a quick guide to doing this efficiently, while also keeping it a simplified process.
Gather Your Tools and Supplies
The first step to setting up your planner is to gather everything you need. Aside from your planner and any printable pages you are adding to it, you will need something to write with.
If you are color coding, using some colored pens is a great tool to have, but this isn’t necessary.
Some other tools you may need include:
Ruler (for custom pages)
3-Hole Punch (for printed pages)
Stickers or embellishments
Highlighters (for color coding)
There may be some other accessories you need, but these are the basics to grab for now. When you start working on different pages, you will decide then if more needs to be used.
Decide What to Track and Where
Next is to decide what you are tracking in your planner, if you haven’t made this decision already. This is often something you will think on before you even buy your planner, but it is good to make notes of the main areas of the planner you want to use.
Perhaps you just want to use the monthly and weekly calendar pages for now, or you might want to use it for home or work projects, or setting goals, so you would like pages for listing to-do lists and task lists.
Use the Monthly Calendar First
Now that you are ready to write in the planner and start setting it up, always start with the monthly calendar for the current month. It is good to start with birthdays and anniversaries, since those are pretty straightforward. You can then start adding in other events or appointments you already know about.
You may add more to the monthly calendar later, but the basics is all you need for now. Fill out as many of the monthly calendars as you want, or you can just stick to this month to keep it simple.
Make a List of Goals and Tasks
Before working on the weekly schedule pages, it is good to make a list of any goals or tasks that need to be done this month. This can be added to the monthly calendar, followed by more details added to the weekly schedule. For example, if you have a goal to finish school shopping for your kids by the end of September, then you will probably have tasks like setting a budget, finding sales, hitting certain stores, things like that. This makes it easier and less overwhelming for you.
Add More Details to Your Weekly Schedule
Now it is time to set up the weekly section of the planner. Use your monthly calendar to plan out what needs to be done each week, and on which day. The weekly pages usually have larger sections for each day of the week so that you have enough room to write down details like to-do lists for completing certain tasks, or things you need before an appointment or event.
By now, you have completed the main part of the planner. You can decide to stop there, or continue with other details. You might want to do some color-coding, or add additional pages for other productivity requirements you have.
Don't forget to Grab Your FREE Printable Planner Mini Set HERE.
Have fun planning!