13 Genius Items to Include in Your Planner | Giftie Etcetera: 13 Genius Items to Include in Your Planner

Monday, April 11, 2016

13 Genius Items to Include in Your Planner

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Using a planner is not just about the binder or the inserts. Using a planner is about making it work for you.

planner, day on two pages, Franklin, Franklin Covey, Daytimer hot list

Here are some things that I do to make my planner do its job - keeping me organized.

If any of the ideas help you, go ahead and steal them!

1. Weekly Task List on Page Marker

I put my weekly task list (which I clean up and recopy on Monday mornings, but you might prefer Friday afternoons or Sunday nights) on my page marker so that it shows on any day of the week.

2. Use Context Codes

Context codes are crazy useful for telling me where I'll be doing the task. For example, if I am sitting in a coffee shop while my child is doing his homeschool work, I might work through computer, planner, and anywhere tasks. However, I won't use the phone, as that would distract my kid.

All context codes really are is a shortcut to lead your decision-making.

Lots of computer work? Maybe you need to go to a coffee shop and work through it.

Tons of errands? Pack an errands bag and lunch-on-the-go.

3. Keep Daily Task Lists Short

There's only a set amount of time in each day. Focus on the things that need to be done or will make tomorrow easier.

4. Designate a Space to Track Stuff Dependent on Others

Along with my menu plan, I track anything that I am waiting on my husband to take care of in my "daily tracker" area. "@ A" means "after Alan" - my husband - does his part.

5. Have a Place for the Biggest Priority of the Day

I usually have something that is critical. If I do, I put it in the top slot of the daily schedule.

6. Plan a Menu

Seriously. Even if it just says "peanut butter and jelly sandwich," having at least one food option decreases stress (and overspending and unhealthy eating) so much.

7. Create a Schedule

Remember to include travel time!

8. Add Time-Sensitive Tasks (Like Most Errands) to the Schedule

I need to defrost the steak AFTER I get home but before dinner. I put that task on the schedule because I might miss it on the task list.

Errands need to go on the schedule because they take so much time and require leaving the house.

9. When Using Daily Pages, Have a Deadlines Sticky Note

A Loyal Reader in the Giftie Etcetera Facebook group came up with this brilliant idea!

If you are not depending on a weekly view, you still need to keep upcoming deadlines on the radar. One way is to put them on your monthly pages, but mine are way too jammed up with actual appointments!

10. Put a List of Things Owed to You and That You Owe on a Weekly Sticky

This pairs well with due dates. Plus, it's a function of a planner that lots of people ignore, but it really helps.

11. Make a Prep List

I've previously gone on and on about prep lists, so I won't bore you here.

TIP: Hide them behind your weekly page marker.

12. Low Priority But Necessary Household Tasks Go in a Low Priority Area of the Spread

You have to do laundry. Seriously. I know. I understand. I don't want to, either. Now go do it.

13. Use the Lowest Priority Area for Notes

I use an asterisk earlier on my schedule to show there is a note elsewhere.

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The Fabulous planner said...

It was a great read! I am not sure I would include all of these sections but I always love how you offer a different approach to planning and make us think beyond what we usually think of. Loved your post! :)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic list. As always, you really pin-point the 'must-haves' in a planner that I believe anyone's schedule or lifestyle can benefit from

Jaime Barfield said...

I like the idea of the weekly task list being on the daily marker page. That way it is harder to miss something you really needed to get done.

Emma-Louise said...

Great post and brilliant tips. I'm definitely going to incorporate some of these into my planner. :)

Anna said...

Great list! Having a plan saves time and anxiety. :)

Saar said...

Loved these tips! I definitely already do some of these, but what helps me most is colour coding and using symbols.
I just started bullet journaling and one of the things I carried over from my ordinary planner was to have one colour for the type of tasks - so, for example, school work is blue, music classes are green, blog-related things are red, and anything personal is pink.
At the same time, deadlines are a circle, meetings are a line, etc. This way, I just have to look at my planner and I immediately know what's urgent, what's part of the schedule, etc :)
Definitely helps me to stay on top of everything!

Zinetha said...

You "never spam us with pop-up's"? :D That's the first thing I saw when I opened a link in Pinterest and entered your page. Also, what are context codes, how do they work?

Tanya @ Moms Small Victories said...

I like the context codes idea. I had started jotting those down when I first started bullet journaling. The codes have gone by the way side but I still group tasks that way. Thanks for sharing these great ideas with us at Small Victories Sunday Linkup. Pinned to our linkup board.

Unknown said...

These are all great tips (and reminders that I really need to use my planner more)! Thanks so much for linking up with us at Share The Wealth Sunday! You always have such good info to share :-)

WilliamKing said...


mskatiep said...

Can you elaborate on context codes and the use of them in your planning?

Unknown said...

I need step by step directions on exactly HOW to perform #1 please.

Unknown said...

Hello. Does anyone have any free give away planners that they do not use anymore. I would like to have them sent to me through my postal mail...Thank you so much.