5 Essential Sections That Every Planner Needs | Giftie Etcetera: 5 Essential Sections That Every Planner Needs

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

5 Essential Sections That Every Planner Needs

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When setting up or updating a planner, one of the most critical decisions is how many sections (or tabs) to have.

There are five that cover almost any needs.

planner, tabs, sections


Projects includes any current, multiple step plans that are happening.


*logging my youngest child's behavior for a potential epilepsy diagnosis

*doing a research project for work
*planning a birthday party


Most tasks belong on the weekly calendar pages because they are active and coming due, but for those that need remembering but not on a serious timeline, this is the place to dump them.


*clean out the deep freeze
*edit my novel
*make an emergency tote bag


The monthly and weekly pages are the heart of the planner. They go in the middle so that the planner is easy to write in.


*doctor's appointments (on monthly pages)
*pay tickets (on weekly pages)
*schedule dentist (on weekly pages)


Like Tasks, Future is a catch-all spot for anything happening after the calendar ends. (No tab is pictured because I put it right behind my calendar tab.)


*husband's birthday next year
*yearly physical
*tax deadlines beyond the immediate ones


Notes are exactly like Projects, but they are currently inactive, yet needed for reference.


*list of current medications

*list of sizes for clothes shopping
*contact information in case of emergency

The full page sized Avery Dividers cut down to fit any size planner really easily.

Make sure to Pin this simple list for future reference!


Partied at: A Little R and R, Wise Woman LinkupWorthwhile WednesdaysWaiting on WednesdayWay Back Wednesday


Amanda said...

My calendar is a mess! Thanks for these great tips- I finally got a pretty planner. Now I can make it fun and pretty!

Becky said...

I started using a planner a month before I found your blog and it was unorganized with too many dividers. Since that time, I have added those exact dividers (I also have food and money dividers but they would probably fit in my files section!) and it has worked wonderfully.

Angie Nelson said...

My problem is remembering to use one thing consistently. I get the perfect setup going and then start using something else, for one reason or another.

KariP said...

My planner has 4 main sections. 1) Capture (untabbed). Then the 'guts': 2) Focus - calendars (FC Compact) : tabbed Mo2P, Wo2P, and when needed a daily page/docket. Grocery lists, chore lists, notes (later move to section 4, and become part of a file. These are all on FF Personal, and are contained within the week pages, which are between the month tabs. As you can tell, everything is tied to the calendar section. I absolutely detest bouncing around; that would cause me to not use my planner. Section 3) Projects. Here I've adopted your indexing system. Love it. 4) File. A-Z tabs.
I've used this basic setup for years. Every time I try something else, it lasts a few days, then I invariably go back to my basic 4.

Unknown said...

Great Tips, thanks for sharing! :)

Denise said...

I have been struggling with planner peace for awhile now and this article hit me on the head.

I have changed the order that you use but have decided to use the same sections.

I have also made a tickler file with 12 Month folders and putting paperwork in there to follow up on. I am also putting a smiley face (aka tickler) on the date so I know there is something I need to follow up on.

Thanks so much for your sections. I now have planner peace.

KariP said...

Denise Williams: I love the "tickler" idea.

Unknown said...

I need any organizational tips I can get! Thanks for sharing!

Jill said...

Neat idea! I only have the calendar sections in mine, but "projects" sounds like an interesting one! I don't know if I'd remember to check it though!

Ali @ Glutenfreehomebakery said...

I need to do a planner again! Thanks for the ideas!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain everything out in an understandable way. I really appreciate it.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your tips. I'm still trying to figure out my best fit "system" so it's great to see what's working for others.

Unknown said...

Too true. My planner has no places for any kind of notes and I need it!

Lil said...

Love these tips! Thank you for sharing!

Jaime Barfield said...

For people who are strapped for cash, you can use cute notebook covers as your dividers. I did it because I was curious how it would look and it worked great. As long as the notebook covers (or journal covers) are tough and you can punch holes, you can use them as your planner dividers.

~ Mari said...

Jaime - what a great idea! thank you. :)

my planner is currently a total train wreck. i'm trying to find ways to "fix" it ...

Unknown said...

If you scrapbook, you could use cardstock cut to size and laminated. Add on some index tabs or trace around the tab of a file folder and punch holes to fit your planner's size. The laminated paper scraps could be used as place markers. Punch holes in these to make a moveable place marker.