Oops...Planner Mistakes (And Solutions) | Giftie Etcetera: Oops...Planner Mistakes (And Solutions)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Oops...Planner Mistakes (And Solutions)

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I am not perfect.

I'm pausing to let my real life friends stop nodding so hard. They'll get whiplash doing that! :)

Over the years, I've made many mistakes with my planner, in particular. Some of them just made it more difficult to use. Other mistakes meant that I didn't use my planner at all and experienced planner fail.

planner, technology, pen, filing, post-it,

So that my Loyal Readers don't feel all alone with their imperfections, I thought I would compile some of my common errors for you, along with solutions.

MISTAKE: Writing things down on the wrong week. This usually happens when I am jotting things down for next week and accidentally turn the page to the week after next.

SOLUTION: I got a second page marker, in a slightly different style, to mark next week.

planner, technology, pen, filing, post-it,

planner, technology, pen, filing, post-it,

MISTAKE: I don't write enough to know what my entry means.

SOLUTION: I write a verb at the beginning of each task and a re: when relevant.

planner, technology, pen, filing, post-it,

MISTAKE: I forget to write things in my planner.

SOLUTION: Keep my planner with me all the time, whether in my house or in my purse

I realized that I was hanging my purse up when I got home, but not taking out the planner. Then, when I needed to jot something down, like an ingredient for next week's grocery list, I'd slack because it was not convenient to write it down.

I started using one of these to hold my planner on my desk and it solved the problem at home:

MISTAKE: Using your planner for things that are better done elsewhere.

SOLUTION: Use the most appropriate solution for the problem.

If I am working and think of something that I need to write on Facebook later, instead of grabbing my planner (or getting stuck in a Facebook loop and end up not working), I use the sticky note function on my laptop to jot it down.

planner, technology, pen, filing, post-it,

If I need documents that are thin and easy to carry, like for my cruise, I use a folder.

planner, technology, pen, filing, post-it,

If I have documents to file that I will not need outside of the house, they go in my filing cabinet and not in my planner.

MISTAKE: Letting someone else use my planner. It never fails. I ask my husband to look for information in my planner, and he can't find it or asks twenty questions about other stuff.

SOLUTION: My planner is for me. I don't let other family members touch it.

planner, technology, pen, filing, post-it,

MISTAKE: Too many tabs.

: I use active Project sections and an inactive Notes section instead of a ton of tabs.

planner, technology, pen, filing, post-it,

MISTAKE: A complicated system.

SOLUTION: As much as I believe in having a system, I try to keep it really simple so I will use it. 

Two ink colors (writing and highlighting). 

Appointments in one place and tasks in another. 

Write down everything.

planner, technology, pen, filing, post-it,

Anything more complicated always causes planner fail for me.

I also posted a more recent update on ways that I fix planner mistakes.


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KerrieLynn said...

Awesome reminders...been there done that on quite a few of your mistakes. Glad to see I am in good company!

Carnan said...

I've been using a day one Franklin Covey planner for about a month after I started reading your blog. Your method for projects is brilliant and really resonates with me. For the past 10? years, I've been using google calendar and just making lists randomly.I'm having a hard time maintaining the monthly calendar in my planner and the google one. Certain days find me married to one or the other.

pattygardner.com said...

I've made those same mistakes. I hate the one where I write it on the wrong page (I use daily pages). I've gotten really good at using white out tape.

Carrie said...

Remembering to write and use daily is my biggest problem. I'm trying a permanent sticky on door reminding me to bring my planner and one reminding me to take it out.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Giftie! I thought when I retired that things would be easier.... Ha! I am still using my planner because it is the one place that I can keep information that never gets misplaced.

I have a PIM program on my laptop that holds the schedule for everyone in my home. That is done to coordinate the use of our car. We live in a rural area, so any appointments are about 50 miles away, or more. Even banking and shopping are done in another state. Crazy, huh?

I print out the monthly calendar from the PIM for the upcoming month and keep it in the planner to avoid conflicts. Before scheduling something, I can look at that calendar.

Tasks are entered to my weekly and daily pages. My routines are contained in my household planner so that anyone can figure out what is done and when. I write them down in my planner (quick entry) so that I do not over-schedule myself.

I make my own filler pages because I have not found pre-printed ones that really work for me. Less structure is better for me most of the time, but I do still need/want structure.

I use generic monthly tabs, but only keep four month's in the planner to keep the bulk down. The rest of the "parts" are in a small format binder on my shelf so that I can grab them easily. When I remove the pages from my planner, I put them into an archive binder. Doing that is a life saver during tax season.

My biggest mistakes with the planner are the same ones you have mentioned. It is essential to keep my planner with me, or things do not get entered and are forgotten or left undone.

Dianne in the desert

Doris said...

Funnily enough, not having anywhere to jot a quick note. Solution: lots of blank sheets and lots of sticky notes.

RobbieKay said...

Curious--what is your system for then following up with those Facebook sticky notes so that you remember to act on them during your Facebook time? Is that just part of your Facebook routine? My brain dump pages are full of things like that, but if I don't write them down I'll continue to think about them. Thanks for your insights!

The first time I tried color coding it was a fail because I made it so complicated (as is my modus operandi for most things!). I now color code, but it is much simpler. It's just my husband and myself so I have one color for him and one for me and then use red for highlighting priorities/due dates.

Giftie Etcetera said...

The sticky notes are for stuff that is for reference, like a blog idea or fb post idea. Any tasks still go in my planner.

Cori said...

Your filing cabinet is pretty! I understand what you mean about not letting anyone else touch your planner. I have numbered tabs, not labeled tabs, so Husband never knows where to find anything.

Thrifty to nifty said...

Ha, ha I could so relate to leaving my planner in my purse and then writing something done only to misplace it. Grr. I just solved it by actually pulling my pplanner out. I like your idea of having a place for it when at home. Great way to keep it front and center