Organizing Your Planner Page | Giftie Etcetera: Organizing Your Planner Page

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Organizing Your Planner Page

If you use a planner (or struggle to use a planner), you probably like writing on paper. 

I certainly do. I love the connectivity of the ink scratching across the paper. The feel of having a plan, written down and organized, makes me believe I can handle anything.

But writing things down in a way that works can be a challenge. So I took a picture of my weekly planner page and took some notes about how I organize my planner spread for maximum performance.

planner, planners, planning, weekly, weekly pages, planner pages

Get out your ink pen and write down the hacks that work for you!

Planner Hacks That Will Change How You Use a Planner

*Dedicate a space for DUE dates and notes.

Otherwise, those important pieces of information can disappear in the chaos of the planner page.

*Underline and capitalize the word DUE.

But beware! Use that tip sparingly for only items that have actual, hard due dates. Otherwise, you might ignore the task and miss a deadline.

*Circle repeating tasks.

Once a circled task is done, use the circle as your cue to copy it to the next time it'll be due.

For example, I do this with my time sheet, which is due every other Friday.

*Let there be wasted space.

Waste some space. White space makes the rest of the planner spread easier to read and leaves areas to add information onto as it things crop up.

I leave space for daily plans and in the weekend boxes for overflow notes.

*Write due dates on the day the tasks must be done and NOT on the day the task is due.

Note the real due date in the task, but this puts the task on your radar in time to complete the task.

*Dedicate a space for daily planning.

Some people even use a separate page or notebook for daily plans - and that's just fine.

I just leave a column for things that crop up.

*Add details to meeting times.

Meetings noted in your planner should include the date, time, and location, unless they are truly routine for you.

*List MUST DOs by the week with a star marking the most important ones.

Actually write things that must be done this week in your planner. Don't put them on a sticky note.

Rewriting them is a good consequence (and reminder) when you fail to do those tasks.

As a bonus, I sometimes realize while rewriting that the particular weekly task isn't really that important.

*Use a circle for tasks and a square for subtasks.

Circles are quicker to write, so I use them to mark tasks. If you click on and enlarge the picture, I noted the marks that I put in a circle when it is done.

Subtasks right under the main tasks help me deal with small, multi-step projects.

*Keep a pending list, marking what you are waiting on with an @.

There are usually things on your to do list that require someone else to do something, a particular date to pass before you do the task, or another task to be done before you move forward.

It's easy to lose track of that stuff, especially if you mix it in with other tasks. So I have a dedicated waiting on/pending list for that purpose.

Enlarge the photo to see examples!

*Put non-priority tasks on a sticky note or page divider that can move from page-to-page.

Sure, at some point you will need to rewrite it, but since the nonpriority tasks are less time sensitive, don't waste your time rewriting them every week!

*Note in your planner near the task where supporting documents are kept.

I used to keep a "planner black binder." It was just where I kept documents related to tasks in my planner. A tote bag also works great for that purpose.

Currently, I refer a lot to my hold box (marked [H] in my planner) or my task box (marked [T] in my planner) on my desk. Holds are for tasks that cannot be done until something else happens - a date passes or someone does something that triggers my action.

*For tracking items that cover more than one week, use sticky notes.

Saving time is important. So if you are tracking something over more than one week (like my two-week time sheet in the photo), use a sticky.

Plannerds who are members of my Facebook group (see below to join) are welcome to visit and upload a picture of your planner spread so that we can give you feedback on things that might help you have a more organized, workable planner! I might even review yours personally!


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MySummerTouch said...

So you don't use rings planners anymore?

Laurie said...

Nice planner! Is that by Gallery Leather?

lisa said...

Very nice. Love my bound planner;hints and hacks appreciated!

Giftie Etcetera said...

Not leather.

I still use rings every day for my personal planner and cannot imagine doing any differently, ever!

Unknown said...

I like it! Thank you for the great tips. I just bought my first Baron Fig planner for 2018 and will definitely use some of your hacks. Too bad I'm not on FB because I would love to see what else you and other Plannerds do in your planners.

Butanben said...

I loved the circle tasks that need to be re-copied idea, that recur monthly, weekly, annually or whatever. I'll be using that. With due dates, I have a pre-deadline, which is get this done early on up date and a deadline, which is the actual due date. So my school reports will be due to be written by me by the last week of June that is what I call my pre-deadline date, but the actual final submission date to senior management will be in early July, something like July 7th say, so that is my deadline date. I allow for elastic time, for law of Whatsit is that you get flu the week of the actual deadline if it's left until last minute. I tend not to use sticky notes unless they are by the Post IT brand. Too many times they've fallen out of my planner, glue has not held unless they are of the Post It variety, got lost by me taking them out to use and I would rather write things into my planner now in pencil or in the notes section if it's a fleeting thing!! I only use sticky notes in my EDC handbag diary,to pass on my phone number/address/e.mail to a friend in town say,or brief info to others, but not for my planner. Thanks for your fabby ideas. xx

Anonymous said...

Kristy - you're back! Oh how I have missed your posts. Looking for planner posts that really drill down into functionality and use are nearly impossible to come by. It's mostly pretty planning, flip throughs, plan with me and unboxings. Nothing wrong with those, but I sometimes I need meat and not milk!

Your 'white space' hint is something I'm going to take to heart. My pages are crammed (well, most of them are) and I feel like white space signified my failure - especially my section for daily cleaning! Not anymore. Part of my problem is that I use a pocket planner, which I love, but I have limited real estate. You're bound planner has week on one page with notes format that I've been using last two years. (btw, what kind of planner is that?)

Glad to hear you're still in rings and hope to see more of it in future posts. I'm sure your absence means you're busy, busy, busy - which is good, but.....don't be too bush - lol!

Jaime Barfield said...

Love the ideas.Thanks. Some will work great in my TN!

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