Hey Socialites! I figure the best way to start this post is by reminding you guys just how much I use my phone. I’m on this thing almost constantly, unless I’m in the shower or asleep. So naturally, I use my phone as an alarm clock, as a PC, and as a calendar. I always kept track of my schedule over the phone and never considered using a planner. After all, planners are just boring little calendar squares stapled together into a little pocked sized book, right? Wrong.
The new school planners are super cute, and completely functional, with tabs, icons, stickers, you name it! About two months ago, I was roaming around Michaels (the arts & crafts superstore), and came across this spiral bound, laminated, and adorable planner!
So I bought it, because I had a 40% off coupon, and I figured it was worth it. When I got home, I googled how to plan, because organization is not my strong suit. Turns out, there is a whole friggin’ community dedicated to planners and planning! And they are serious: I’m talking stickers, something called Washi Tape, multicolored pens…people have turned using a planner into an art form! I’m not at the level yet where I can dedicate the time into using 15 different markers to make my To-do list, but I do intend to get serious about using my planner to help me stay on task and achieve the goals I shared in this post.
If you’re like me, and trying to get serious about organization in 2018, I recommend trying out a planner, or recommitting yourself to the one you already have! I’m discovering that taking the time to jot a list down, as opposed to simply adding it my phone calendar, stimulates my memory in a different manner, and I’m more likely to complete my task! Here are 5 ways to make the most out of your planner and achieve your resolutions:
1. Find the right planner: I feel like this is an important step. If you are minimalistic or simple, stick with the tried and true Dayminder style planners. Or, feel free to go all out with the pretty, frilly, and personalized planners, like mine above, or those by Erin Condren. (just be prepared for people to stop you all day to ask “OMG! Where did you get that?”)
2. Open your planner first thing each morning: For me, this is the hardest step that requires the most discipline. I forgot my planner at home the first few weeks when I got it. Or, I would write out my list the night before, only for the planner to be stuck inside my purse all day. I’m making it a routine to check my planner at the same time every morning, and stick to my scheduled tasks.
3. Keep your monthly and weekly overviews as functional as possible: It’s a matter of choice, but I like to use the large month calendar view for critical dates and appointments. The boxes are too small to crowd them with every mundane activity you need to complete, and by doing that, you may overlook something! For everyday tasks, I use the weekly section, and include my case plans for work, workouts, grocery lists, party planning notes, etc. Find the best method that works for you!
4. Use Color Coding, Washi Tapes, and Stickers: From what I’ve seen in the planning community, there is an art form to setting up your planner. You can find all sorts of inspiration and instructions for this on Pinterest, but it all comes down to your taste and preference. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t use multicolored pens, but I do use stickers! They’re cute, but they also serve the purpose of drawing your attention to key dates and times. Stickers also take the place of words, if the calendar boxes are too small to put everything in. For example, use a blue star sticker to indicate a workout day, a green dot sticker to indicate payday, etc. I’ve seen some planners that are a little too cluttered with stickers and tapes for my liking, but again, utilize whatever will make you open and use your planner!
5. Don’t stress about filling up your planner: Don’t feel like you have to create extra work for yourself just so your planner won’t look empty! An empty planner can be a downright good thing: you’ve either met your goal, or you’re footloose and fancy free! Fill in your planner with the most pertinent appointments and to-do’s, even if it only fills in 4 calendar blocks. Remember, unless you’re part of these online planner communities, no one will see your planner, but you!
Ready to get started? I’ve rounded up a few cute planners in the shopping widget below! Just scroll through until you find the one you love. And if you want to get started today, I’ve included an option (and one that I use!) from Designer Blogs! Their Ultimate Life Planner is available for instant download, for you to print and customize! Happy Planning! ?
Click these photos to instantly dowload, customize, and print your new 2018 Planners!
See ya next time!