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Time Saving Tips for Using a Planner


open planner sitting on desk with pen, watch, coffee mug

If you're looking for ways to be more productive and achieve your goals, using a planner is a great place to start. The benefits of using a planner are many. For one, planners help us to stay organized and on track with our schedules. They can also help to keep us accountable for our goals, both personal and professional. Additionally, planners can be a great tool for reflection and goal setting.


You go about planning every day but are you really planning in an effective manner?

If you’re looking for ways to make the most of your planner, here are some tips for using a daily planner effectively, and being sure you use it to

reduce stress, not create it:


Use Your Planner as Your Main To-Do List

Get rid of the other methods of creating to-do lists if you are going to use a planner. You

Don’t want to have multiple lists all over the place, creating chaos and disorganization

in your mind. Have one way to use a planner for your tasks, and keep them there only.

Most planners that you purchase, as well as ones you can print and customize, offer

everything you need for your schedule. This includes areas for schedules (with the

dates and times), to-do lists, notes, goals, and other information that might be pertinent

to your planning.


Incorporate Journaling or Notes Pages

If you are customizing a planner, it is a great idea to have full notes pages or journaling

pages. This allows you to journal right in your daily planner so that you can benefit from

both of these methods to reduce your stress naturally and organically, without too much

effort.


Categorize Items Based on Priority

It can also help tremendously to set priorities for the tasks in your planner. This ensures

you know right away what you should work on first and what can wait a little while, as

well as helping to reduce stress if some of the low-priority tasks are not completed. You

already have it in your mind that they aren’t too important or urgent, so there is no need

to worry about it if they are put on a different day.


Have a Strategic Routine for Using the Planner

Like many other things in your life, it can help to turn something into a routine.

Otherwise, you are much less likely to be consistent with it. It does take some practice

to start a routine, but the more often you do it, the easier this will become. You may want to add a habit tracker to your planner and include the habit of using your planner!


If you are determined to make planning a part of your day, pick a location and time that

you think you will be more willing to do it and make that part of your routine. It can be in

the morning before getting ready for work, while you are enjoying your first cup of coffee

or tea, or even in the evening when preparing for the next day.


There are a few more things to keep in mind when using a planner:


  • Make sure to write down everything you need to do, including small tasks that you might not normally remember.


  • Prioritize your tasks and make sure to focus on the most important ones first.


  • Break down bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.


  • Use different colors or symbols to indicate different types of tasks (e.g. work, personal, etc.).


  • Use your planner to consolidate all of your important information even if that means just including a log documenting where you have the information stored (think of how someone else may need to use the information if you were not available)


  • Finally, use your work hours to complete scheduled tasks and not just plan for them!