Picking Your Planner: Prepare for the Future

by | Jan 10, 2022 | Personal Development

If your day gets as busy as ours: juggling family life, work life, and social life, AND you desire to be organized and productive—you need a planner. A planner is the secret weapon to productivity, and if you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon yet, let us show you what you’re missing.  

The torso of a woman wearing a blue sweater is shown. She is holding a pen and writing in an unused planner.

Your Ultimate Secret Weapon 

Planners will change your life. Whether it’s a lined notebook or a fully customized binder (more on that later), the idea is physically writing down everything you need to think about, attend, and work on in any given day, week, or month.  

When a planner is used efficiently, it will make the 24 hours you are given in a day much more efficient and meaningful, rather than stressful and chaotic. You’ll be able to not only fit in more “stuff” (great for those especially hectic days) but also motivate yourself to reach your goals (perfect for the days you forget your “why”). Both motivations sound awesome to us! 

Remember, if you fail to plan, you’ll plan to fail.  

A colorfully tabbed planner is lying on the desk, and a woman has a pencil poised over a small, pink sticky pad.

Know What You Need 

So where should you start on your planner journey? Our suggestion is to pick one and just dive in! The more you use a planner, the more you’ll realize which activities you can prioritize and which events you can ditch. It might seem silly, but devote three months to consistently using your planner before you throw in the towel. You’ll find yourself reaching for it more and more. 

Here are a few attributes to consider in your planner-buying journey. 

Page size: Do you have big handwriting? Or enjoy going into detail? Opt for an 8 x 10 in. size rather than a pocket planner.

Time allotments: Some planners will give you three square inches for your whole day, which isn’t enough when you have five appointments going on. Look for time slots that use half hour increments to allow for maximum planning. 

Notes and goals: Do you have weekly goals you want to meet? Look for a spread that includes a section to jot those down, too! 

Additional pages: Having some scratch paper (or a full notebook section) in your planner further simplifies your life, so you only heft one book around. 

The more you use a planner, the more you’ll realize what you want, what you actually use, and what you don’t need—so pay attention. 

Use It Well 

A planner is useless unless it’s being used efficiently and consistently. Just buying it and looking at it occasionally won’t make your day more organized, unfortunately. So whatever style of planner you have available, try to use all the features until you can decide whether they’re helping you reach your goals.  

A good start is to plan every moment of your day in the morning (or complete this the night before), so you’re being the most efficient with your time. Does this sound intimidating? Here’s an example. 

A sample page out of a planner is shown with appointments and activities listed each hour, such as doctor’s appointments and meal plans.

You can plan anything you want in a day … including down time! Setting aside time for relaxation and “me time” is an important part of your day. Schedule what you need to take care of yourself in a day, not just the kids. 

Making the Choice 

If you’ve been using a planner for a while and don’t like its layout, one great option is a custom planner! This allows you to have all the tools you need for success. There are a few companies that specially design planners. Here are our favorites: 

  • Plum Paper is great for those wanting beautiful designs with lots of customized options, both outside and inside. 
  • VistaPrint is perfect for those who want a blank notebook with just a pretty cover or a company logo. 
  • Erin Condren works well when you want a pretty planner, but don’t want to make a lot of decisions on what goes inside. 

Planning for Success 

Overall, planners are a useful tool for those with big goals and busy days. They may not be your natural way to track your day, but give them a shot … you never know what can be accomplished in 24 hours with a little extra planning!

Need some ideas for your scheduled free time? Get inspired here!