Tricks To Make Yourself Use Your Planner | Giftie Etcetera: Tricks To Make Yourself Use Your Planner

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tricks To Make Yourself Use Your Planner

The most common complaint that I hear about planners is that people forget to look at their planners. A planner doesn't do you any good if you don't use it! 

Here are some of my favorite tricks and tips to help you use your planner and avoid planner fail.

1. Get a planner that you love. For some people, that means an expensive leather planners, like the popular Filofax or Gillio planners. For others, it's a cute cover. For me, I need something fairly neutral, but with texture, like my black Franklin Covey compact 365 planner (bought many years ago) and with lots of color inside:

planner, write, tricks, planner tricks

2. Keep your planner in a designated spot or two, convenient to the places where you are most likely to look at it and write in it. For me, that means next to my netbook:

...or in the basket that holds my purse and outgoing items.

Girly aside: Isn't my new purple purse gorgeous? (Jennifer Lopez Monica purse in purple at Kohl's, discontinued and on clearance.  You're welcome.) It fits my planner perfectly, and opens and closes easily with this magnetic folding top:

3. Carry a purse or bag big enough to keep your planner with you.

4. Keep errands items in your planner so you remember to take it everywhere. You can see the Kohl's cash that I will use next week tucked into my planner.

5. If you keep any running logs (examples: budgets, checkbook registers, logs of tax-deductable donations, food logs), keep them in your planner so that you open it daily.

I keep a budget log each month in my planner, with an envelope to save important receipts.

I also keep a log of school expenses.

And I keep a food log daily.

6. Have a dashboard. You need an area where you can write things down quickly. If you are cooking dinner and just need to jot down that you need to buy more onions or if you are brainstorming places where you might have stored your phone charger, the dashboard is your place. Having a quick spot to write things will save you from random stickie notes and lost slips of paper.

7. Write ALL appointments down.  This sounds obvious and simple, but do you write down your kid's weekly karate class? If not, when a friend calls for a playdate, you might not remember the conflict. If you write every appointment down and train your friends and family to watch you write it (or it's not really a "plan"), you'll use your planner daily and be able to depend on it.

8. Put routines in your planner.

9. Use your planner to plan projects. Events, shopping lists, and brainstorming all go in your planner. Once your brain gets used to thinking when you open your planner, you'll almost NEED it in order to function.

10. Keep important information in your planner (unless it is secret, like your social security number). If your kids' school hours are in your planner, you don't have to remember the times when you book a doctor's appointment. Your planner should be your go to place for finding out when your husband has vacation or your boss's birthday. (Tip: keep secret info. in your planner by using a code. For example, change social security numbers by subtracting one from each number.  455-68-9150 becomes 344-57-8049. Only you know how to break the code. If you are consistent, you will remember.)

Happy planning.


5 comments: said...

Agreed. I especially like the business card holder for your routines. Passed on the article to my daughter - I think that might work well for her.

Kelly Marriott said...

Great article! You've inspired me!

RobbieKay said...

I love that you have "chocolate frosting" as an entry in your food log. That is totally the kind of thing I would have on mine. Just standing in front of the fridge, eating frosting from the can on my way to bed...

I'm The Queen of My Castle said...

I like your routine set up in the business card slots! It breaks down what you need to do each day and doesn't seem overwhelming! Good job!

Anonymous said...

I turn social security numbers into phone numbers by adding a digit in a certain location. Only I know which digit in which location.