How To Use A Planner for Newbies | Giftie Etcetera: How To Use A Planner for Newbies

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How To Use A Planner for Newbies

For plannerds, the holiday season is a special time of the year. New planners and calendars for the next year appear on store shelves. There are naughty and nice lists to make, pies to bake, and people to visit. Time and money become rare commodities. A planner can help plannerds allocate scarce resources and enjoy the holiday season with less stress.

But for people new to the idea of using a planner, it's a difficult time to start. Ironically, it also may be the time that most demands a planner. Holidays are stressful and a planner can help to relieve that stress.

Today's post is intended as a guide to using a planner for the beginner, who needs to be off and running without much time to think about how to plan.

Know the Difference Between a Planner and a Calendar

A calendar is only based on dates, maybe with a scribbled task list on a side column.

A planner gives space to think out the day, week, and month, including a place for tasks, lists, notes, and anything else the plannerd might need to make good decisions about what to do with the available time. It can be ring bound or wire bound.

Use Single Planner

Yes, many people use two planners. With experience, managing two planners becomes a seamless process. But at first, stick to one. Otherwise, time will be wasted recopying and ultimately missing appointments that don't quite get recopied.

Map Out Timed Activities

Once a plannerd uses a planner for a while, it becomes second nature to glance at the page and know how much time each item will take, to understand exactly how early to start getting ready for tonight's event, and to plug in daily stuff like carpool into the schedule.

But, at first, it can be daunting to use a planner for time management. Most people do better mapping out time daily and following that plan. With more experience, plannerds can stop putting everything on the calendar.

Write Down Everything

In addition to mapping out time, jot down everything (e.g., tasks and shopping lists) that needs to be remembered. 

Everything does include making a note in the planner when someone-who-will-not-be-named spills coffee all over her shirt at the coffee shop and needs to treat the stain when that same anonymous person gets home.

Writing everything serves a several purposes. It helps with memory. Writing everything also forces one to use the planner on a regular basis, so the habit of opening the planner and looking at it can develop. Finally, for planning, having a realistic picture of the things that must or should be accomplished helps.

As with the calendar portion of the planner, an experienced plannerd can ease off on this rule, once it is clear what needs to be written down.

Bring the Planner Everywhere

Again, with time, an experienced plannerd can learn when to leave the planner in the car. But for now, it goes to the mall, to church, and to dinner. It goes to the zoo and to the opera. Just get a bigger bag.

Become an Expert Plannerd

Eventually, every beginner moves beyond the basics and needs tricks to help write task lists more efficiently or to organize projects.

Giftie Etcetera can help beginners become experts in several ways:

*Join the conversation

*Sign up for emails (right gutter)

*Share this post (on Facebook or Twitter or Google Plus) to start a conversation with friends about planning

*Read archived and popular posts (scroll down right gutter)

Happy planning!

Etcetera (aka Anonymous Coffee Klutz).

1 comment:

lyn said...

Excellent tips, Kristy! And I agree with using a one-planner-to-rule-them-all approach. I tried using two separate planners but it didn't work and only lasted about 3 days before I switched back to a single planner.