People want a way to keep their lives in order and record their thoughts and to dos.
But time and time again, they fail.
Don't be one of those people!
If you can recognize why you are failing at using your planner consistently (yes, that means every day), you can fix it.
Three common reasons that stop people from using their planners are the absence of enjoyment when using them, wanting to take advantage of technology for planning, and giving up on a particular planner too soon.
(Or giving up on twenty different planners in a row...you know who you are!)
1. Absence of Joy
If you don't get a sense of peace when using your planner, you won't enjoy using it.
And if you don't have positive associations with the use of your planner, it won't work for you.
*Pick a planner that appeals to you aesthetically.
*Decorate your planner enough to enjoy seeing it, but not so much that you miss seeing practical stuff.
I use a coffee mug magnet in the above photo.
*Associate using your planner with something that makes you happy.
I make my daily plan over morning coffee. Or I sit outside and plan. As long as it is pleasant, you'll want to do it.
*Get a pen that you love writing with and use it when you plan.
2. Desire for the Convenience of Electronics
Many people are required to use electronic calendars for sharing. Some people just want the convenience of having their schedule, with alarms, on their smart phones.
That's perfectly okay! A planner is not just for tracking appointments (though that certainly is one way that I use mine).
*If you prefer an electronic calendar, skip the monthly layout.
TIP: Since most planner inserts include monthly layouts whether you need them or not, use the monthly layout for logging exercise, Nanowrimo word counts, or hours worked. Monthly layouts make great logs.
*Use your planner for planning instead of calendaring - capturing to do lists, sketching out a daily docket, creating a communications log, and mapping out ideas.
3. Giving Up Too Early
Sometimes, people are so restless, moving from dream planner to dream planner, that they never truly settle into using one planner. Others get one that is too big to carry or too small to write in comfortably.
*Be realistic you and know what works for you.
*Be okay with a reset if something is not working, but don't let that become an excuse to keep trying new planners.
Change planners for issues like size, but not for issues like layout. Just find a different layout, like those at Planner Fun, or create your own.
*Give yourself a goal and stick to it.
"I'll use my planner until January 1, but if I hate it, I'll get a new one then."
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