What to Track in a Planner | Giftie Etcetera: What to Track in a Planner

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What to Track in a Planner

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.

planner, log, goals, routines

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!

planner, track, goals, logs, routines


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.

*Billable Hours

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).

*New Routines

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.


Linked at:

Frugal Friday


Parental Journey said...

New routines! I love that.. I never write that down and of course that I completely forget about it after some time.

Sheryl at LibertyHillHouse.com said...

Love these ideas! I note everyday activities and possibly insignificant occurrences in my planner, and it has been really helpful when I need to look back in time. If Jr starts to complain of ear pain on Monday, and we go to the doctor Friday, I can accurately tell them how long he has been in pain. I also find it to be a great place to record travel details so that when I (finally) get around to making sense of my photos I can remember the name of that pretty mountain, or interesting flower.

Heather said...

I put milestones from my kids, and lots of lists in my planner :-) I have an Erin Condren Life Planner and love it. It has turned into somewhat of a scrapbook, which is cool since I don't have time with three littles to actually scrapbook right now! Meal plans, recipes I want to try, which section of my house needs to be deep cleaned, routines, all those things go in my planner.

Jess said...

hey there,
awesome post. I laughed a lot :D I don't understand why people list theirs goals in theirs planners, too. I just have useful things in it (I guess they're useful :D)

Greetings from Germany
Jess aka Filophilista

Amy said...

What a great post! I track how much I read each week. Reading both fiction and non-fiction helps me learn and grow as a person and I want to make sure days are not slipping away without any time spent reading.

Lilyeuhh said...

Thank you for your useful post, I really like reading your blog!
Do you have a special layout to track your workouts and little Loki's medical informations?

Giftie Etcetera said...

Lilyeuhh -

For workouts, I used the yearly spread from my Quo Vadis planner. For Loki's log, I just wrote and underline the date, and write what happens, but I do color code a monthly calendar for the doctor to show a pattern of events.