How to Create a Habit of Using Your Planner
I love using physical planners! They make it much easier to remember important dates, appointments, tasks and anything else that you can't forget. However, it can be very difficult to create a habit of using, updating and bringing your planner with you daily. Luckily, I have a few tips that will make it easier to integrate your planner into your day-to-day life.
Choose a planner you love, that can be customized to your needs.
You always want to find a planner that you will love using but it's just as important to choose one that you can customize to your individual needs.
Picking a planner that you can easily carry around with you should be a top priority. Part of using your planner consistently is having it physically with you.
There are lots of different types of planners and notebooks available to you. They can be as simple as a lined notebook or have detailed sections for your particular profession. Take a couple minutes to think about what you will be using your planner for. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that can help narrow down your choices.
Do I want a simple, plain notebook, or one with lots of different features and sections?
Do I want it to be dated or un-dated?
What will be the primary use of my new planner?
Do I want a planner small enough to fit in my bag or one that is large enough to handle meeting or class notes?
Whatever your needs are, make sure your planner has all the essentials you need or the ability to add them in later.
Related Info: Planning Resources
Transfer any important information and events into your planner as soon as you bring your planner home.
When you first purchase your new planner, you will likely have previously scheduled appointments, ongoing tasks, and random bits of information that you need to record.
Take some time to consolidate all this information into your planner. This will allow you to plan your time more effectively from now on. Some typical things to enter in your planner include:
Important contact information for your family, friends, clients, and colleagues
Deadlines for projects
Medical and dental appointments
Birthday's and anniversaries
Annual and special events
Schedule a daily planner session to help create a habit.
Part of keeping up with your planner is scheduling some dedicated time each day to help fill in your tasks and events/appointments for the day. I prefer taking a little time in the evening to plan my day ahead but you might want to schedule some time in your morning routine. It's up to you to figure out which works best for your life.
Consult your planner throughout the day.
Make sure you've accomplished everything you have set out to do.
Use positive reinforcement to keep yourself motivated.
Use your planner as a way of rewarding yourself for accomplishing tasks. Soon you will aim to finish tasks simply for the pleasure of crossing an item off your to-do list. Here are a few more ways to keep motivated:
Cross off all tasks and appointments as you finish them. Review your accomplishments for the day or week and reward yourself for a job well done.
Write positive things in your planner as well as your more serious responsibilities. By using your planner to remind you of your favorite activities, you will be more likely to stick to your new habit.
Splurge on some cute extras. Whether you invest in some stickers, washi tape or binder clips, having a few adorable extras definitely makes planning more fun.
Use the blank notes pages wisely. Most planners come with several blank note pages that you can use for whatever you wish. I suggest taking some time to brainstorm uses for those pages. You can map out your goals, store extra notes and keep track of anything that matters to you.
Finally, be patient.
New habits can sometimes take a couple months to become fully automatic. Be patient and forgiving with yourself, the occasional slip-up will not affect your ability to form a new habit.
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