My Most Important Planner Tip - "You" | Giftie Etcetera: My Most Important Planner Tip - "You"

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Most Important Planner Tip - "You"

I love my planner, not because it is pretty or perfect, but because it makes my life better. 

I am thoughtful about how I use it, striving to achieve the right balance of usefulness without getting overwhelmed. Over the life of this blog, I've shared many of the little tips and tricks that make my planner work for me, instead of me working to maintain my planner.

Here is a grand tour through some of my favorite planner tips (linked to the original blog entry):

*Have a portable place for papers that you need to keep with you, but that are too big to fit in your planner. These days, I use a see-through plastic folder.

*Think about YOUR organizing and planner problems and choose a solution that works for YOU - not for anybody else.

*Know the difference between a Calendar entry and a Task entry.

*Have rules for your planner. They must be flexible, but jot them down and follow them.

*Use blogs and facebook and other sites to help you design the planner that works FOR YOU, not for others.

*You need a place to plan Projects, even if you don't work outside the home.

*Make forms or custom pages that work for you.

*Identify your needs in a dream planner, and then try to match those needs, not someone else's needs.

*Use codes that mean something to you to save space in your planner for details.

*Use your planner as more than just a calendar, like for meal planning or archiving medical notes.

*Know when you reach the dreaded Planner Fail and deal with it immediately so that you don't get out of the habit of using your planner.

*Put your planner in an order that makes sense in your life - not merely the order that it was in when you bought it.

*Use your planner daily, do weekly reviews of your planner, and s
chedule a yearly reset for your planner. 

*Follow the planner tips in this post, if they work for your life. My favorite is to make your planner portable enough for you.

*Use inks and spacial set-ups that are pretty to your eyes.

*Know why you write it down.

Ultimately, planner success is about YOU and making sure your planner works for your life.

If you have specific issues that you are dealing with regarding your planner, comment and let me know what the problem is and a little about how you use your planner (or post a picture), and I'll try to respond with suggestions, either in the comments or in a blog post dedicated to you.


P.S. I hope you truly enjoyed this journey through my blog. Every now and then, I write something worth sharing. Blogger lets me know when you share on Google+, but you can also pin my post on Pinterest or share on Facebook. I hope that this post is one worthy of sharing.


Unknown said...

This is a great list :D I totally agree - you have to customize your planner for you, not how everyone else does it. I love my Filofax & love reading blogs about planning!! ~ Renee said...

Great post! I especially loved the comment about when you experience planner fail, fix it immediately so you don't get out of the planner habit. Great advice.

KateB TPS said...

Hi Mrs Giftie Planning Genie!! I wish, *I wish* that you can help me solve my problem!!
Lately I can't get into the habit of checking my planner! I can write stuff down in it easy enough, but I always forget to open it and read it during the day! I remember my appointments, but I can't remember all of my to-dos and so I'm not doing them, because I can't get into the habit of checking my planner throughout the day! :(
Please help!!

Giftie Etcetera said...

I wrote this a few months back. Maybe it will help:

The biggest thing for me is to check it before transitions - before bed, before breakfast, before lunch, before I drive from one place to another, before I cook lunch. You get the idea. Check planner, transition.

But the tips in the entry I linked just now, including keeping checklist and logs in your planner so that you are forced to open it, might help.

If nothing else works, set an alarm three times a day (for 21 days) to check your planner (and cross out or check off what you did accomplish!). That's about how long it takes to form a habit, and the checking off will give you positive reinforcement.

Kay said...

Just found this site via the Planner Addicts group on Facebook. Love what I've seen so far. And I especially love that you are an LSMSA/LSU law graduate. My oldest stepson graduated from LSMSA in 1990 (or 1991?) and my daughter graduated from there in 2003. Three of my four kids attended LSU, and my husband graduated from LSU law school. We still live in Baton Rouge.

Giftie Etcetera said...

Kay, I am class of '92 and my husband is LSMSA class of '91. :)

Unknown said...

I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I'm using pocket size filofax atm.

It's mainly for keeping track of daily to-do's, my son and daughter's appointments (they're 2yrs and 11weeks old), I jot down anything they achieve, such as milestones - my daughter's first smile. I have birthdays noted in it as well.

Anything for my son is written in blue gel pen, my daughter is noted down in light purple. Birthdays are in gold gel pen with a cupcake sticker.

All of this is written on WO2P inserts. It can get quite squashed at times. I also need to somehow fit in a monthly calendar to mark down pay days and bill dates. I keep lined paper for shopping lists.

I havent added a monthly calendar yet as I think the poor pocket filo will be over stuffed.

Do you have any idea how I can go about it, pls? I don't think a personal size filofax will fit in my bag.

Sorry for the long post.

Giftie Etcetera said...

Kirsty -

If I were you, I would move the archive from the weekly pages to one beautiful, cut-from-cardstock page for each child. Just jot the info. on that page instead...10/09/13 Daughter took first steps! (And draw little feet...:)) It still gives you a place to archive, you can put the individual sheets in the baby books (or boxes, at my house) once each page is full, and it's still in your planner, but not crowding out your weekly pages, which are really more for planning!

Unknown said...

Ty ever so much. I googled some images and found pink and blue baby foot prints. I've saved these and made 2 template pages.

Each pocket sized page has blue or pink text boxes (borders are blue or pink), with either the blue or pink baby footprints inserted on lower right corner of the page, so the image sits behind the text box.

I've just ordered a pocket purple malden. I think I have the filofax bug.

Unknown said...

I have a wee problem. I'm using my pocket filo with Wo2P inserts. I ran out of space on this Monday's section. I had a cpl of baby gp appts to write in, plus had to jot down a cpl of "Paid" for bills with ref numbers.

That day's section was then seriously cramped as I'd decorated with thin Washi across the monday/tuesday separator line. I need to fit everything in, without cancelling page decoration. If that all makes sense.

Any ideas appreciated, ty.

Giftie Etcetera said...

When I have extra stuff, like that, I usually add a sticky note with Monday overflow to my Today page marker and note "con't" on Monday!

Unknown said...

Ty v much. A good excuse to go shopping for sticky notes.