Beyond simply writing down appointments and to dos, planners are a great tool for tracking stuff. Tracking basically means keeping a log of what happened, such as how much money you spent on e-bay this month.
But not everything is best tracked in a planner.
Some things are better tracked electronically.
For example, my calorie intake and budget are better tracked in applications that can add and subtract for me.
Some things are better not tracked.
I drink plenty of water, so I don't need to track it. One of my friends fills a large container with water, and just drinks all of it everyday. She doesn't need to track it in her planner, either!
A planner has limited space, so don't waste it.
Still, plenty of stuff is worth tracking.
After all, I'm usually not at a computer at the gym. Also, I find writing it down (as opposed to simply inputting in an app) makes me aware that I haven't done yoga in a month!
During a medical crisis (like The Loki's current epilepsy mess), a log can help the doctor see exactly what the triggers or reactions to medication might be.
As a lawyer, I used billable hours software for a long time. If I still worked at a firm, I'd still use it. But there is something about writing the hours that earn you money on paper. Not only is it a superior record that you actually did the work (since going back and adding fake hours is impractical, so people trust paper more than simple entries in a computer), but it is a rush to see that I made money (these days, on legal research for my work-at-home job or on my blog).
While you learn a routine, write it down each time you do it.
I do this the first week of school. In the mornings, we have to dress, brush hair, brush teeth, wear belt, check folder, eat breakfast, grab schoolbag, etc. I list those things on a simple, home-printed piece of graph paper, and check off each step each day. After about three weeks, the kids and I know the routine and can stop doing that. But checking off and tracking the new routine really helps us learn it in the first place.
Weekly and monthly review tracking in your planner can serve the same purpose.
If you are struggling with mental health issues, even mild ones, or overeating, or too much alcohol consumption, a log of your feelings, indulgences, and triggers can sometimes help solve the problem.
Have you set a goal for yourself? A simple list to track it, at first, will help you reach the goal. (This is why some people do track water. And for them, that makes sense!)
Any other things that you track in your planner? Let me know in the comments.