How to Start Using a Planner to Organize Your Life – 7 Genius Tips

HOW TO START USING A PLANNER TO ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE – 7 GENIUS TIPS

Do you fail to plan…. so ultimately, you are planning to fail? 

You might think that using a planner is a waste of time and money, but in all honesty, if you are feeling a bit frazzled with all of the demands on you, a planner is an excellent way for you to learn how to organize your life. 

But are you not quite sure how to start using a planner so it improves your life and is not just another thing you have to do?

Whether you are a working mom or a full-time mom, the need to be organized is essential. Otherwise, you might just find yourself on the next episode of Hoarders, but you’ll be the one sitting there in the corner with the G&T trying to remember when everything unraveled in front of you!

HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE WITH A PLANNER

Using a planner effectively can and will save your sanity. 

Have you ever gone shopping to buy three things, and returned home with three things, but they weren’t the three things that you set out to get? 

african american woman juggling life responsibilities

As humans, we need to write things down. It’s not a weakness. It’s normal. Not writing things down is almost like planning to forget them. 

DECIDE WHAT AREA OF YOUR LIFE NEEDS ORGANIZATION

Before you even start with a planner, figure out what area of your life needs more organization.

Is it around your children? Are you feeling frazzled remembering to sort out, wash, iron and hang their clothes? Is it their toys, books, and games? Lunch boxes, snacks, and all things food-related? What about a specific area of the house – homework area, arts and crafts station, or their toy box?

What about your work? Do you think of ideas while shopping, and by the time you return home, you’ve forgotten what that ingenious plan was? 

Are you starting the month off with a well-structured budget, and by the end of the month, you have no idea where your money went?

All of these ‘problems’ can be solved by the use of a planner. 

If you find that you run around a lot with work, shopping, and school runs, the best thing to do is get a planner that you can take with you. You can just whip it out when you need it and jot things down!

BE CONSISTENT ABOUT USING A PLANNER

Once you have your planner use it consistently.

 Keep it on you when you go out

 Keep it in the same place in your house so you always know where you can find it

 Write in it on the same day, every week

 Try different ways to use it for three weeks before giving up and trying a different method. 

It takes approximately 21 days for a habit to become automatic, so pushing through and making yourself commit to doing this, even when you don’t feel like it, will be worth it when you can see and feel the benefits in a short space of time. 

USE COLOR IN YOUR PLANNER

Whether you use different colored pens or highlight certain sections in your planner, getting organized with color will help you to spot various activities easily. 

I love the quality of the Pentel EnerGel Liquid Gel Pens. With twelve different colors you have lots of options when making lists or just doodling.

For example, you could write your work information in blue, and your appointments and Zoom meetings in red. School activities should be a different color, while any extra murals and activities outside of the house can be in another color.

Even if you choose to use only two colors – one for work activities and one for home activities – at a glance, you will be able to see if your day is more filled with work chores or home chores.

Even if you choose to use only two colors – one for work activities and one for home activities – at a glance, you will be able to see if your day is more filled with work chores or home chores.

Even if you want to keep it simple and only use two colors – one for work activities and one for home activities – you will be able to see at a glance if your day is more filled with work chores or home chores.

ADD STICKY NOTES, TABS, AND PAGE FLAGS

Your planner is yours, so go wild! But in an organized way, of course.

If your planner is not divided into different sections with tabs down the side and you want to have different areas in your planner, you can create your own with tabs and sticky notes. This will make it easy to quickly find the area you are looking for. 

You can also keep a loose vertical list pad in your planner. When you need to jot things down quickly, you can do that. Later you can then enter it into your planner. 

I personally don’t like to have untidy scribbles in my planner. I prefer to write it in later when I am feeling more relaxed and not rushed.

You can also add binders, colorful paper clips, and some fun stickers to decorate your pages for the upcoming week. Release that creativity monster on your planner so you will want to look at it and use it!

You can use stickers created for use with planners like these Practical Planner Stickers.

You can also decorate your planner pages with Inspirational Quote Stickers, Health, Wellness and Fitness Stickers, or just have fun adding decorative stickers. There are many to choose from.

BREAK YOUR YEAR DOWN 

There are such a huge variety of planners available. If you are new to using a planner, try and get one that is broken down into the year, then broken down into the months, then into the weeks, and then the days. 

In planning for the year ahead, write in the activities that you already know for certain are going to happen, such as birthdays, holidays, school dates. 

Do the same with the monthly section. 

PLAN ONCE A WEEK

Set a day of the week aside to plan the week.

And in your planner, you can decorate the week ahead, if that is what you enjoy doing. Do this on the same day every week to ensure this also becomes a habit!

Here are some ideas that you can incorporate into your weekly or daily planner:

Dinner plans for the week
Household chores
Shopping list
Extramural activities
Doctors, dentist, vet appointments
Goals for the week
Gym, HIIT, yoga, hair and nail appointments
Laundry day
Teacher meetings, work meetings, Zoom calls, webinars

GET INSPIRED

If you feel like you’re in a bit of a funk, look for inspiration.

Instagram has beautiful planners to inspire you. Look for the style that resonates with you and take inspiration from them – don’t copy someone else but make your planner your own.

Some people prefer to keep everything white and clean, with the only color being tags for their various sections. 

Or do you prefer to decorate with bling and pizzazz?  Whatever your style is, make this your own.

There are Facebook groups that you can join to share ideas, meet other people who are also planner people, and get inspired!

A PERFECT PLANNER FOR BEGINNERS

Not sure which planner you should get to begin your planning journey?

I like the Happy Planner for people new to using a planner. The Happy Planner Year Round Classic Sized Planner is a 12-month version that you can start using any time.

Happy Planners have dated planners that begin either in January or July if you prefer something that has the dates already entered.

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FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO START USING A PLANNER

Using a planner in your daily life is setting yourself up for success. It’s only upwards from here!

It creates a shift in your way of thinking and helps you get those cluttering thoughts out of your head and onto paper, freeing your mind up for creativity. 

You will feel organized because you will be organized. Everything will have its place and be prepared.  Getting organized doesn’t mean you need to wait until January. Get a planner today and learn how to get organized in a fun, easy-to-use way.

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