New Users Guide to Planners
If you've never used paper planners before or have decided to come back to paper after giving digital a try, here's a quick guide to help you use your planner effectively.
WHAT'S THE PURPOSE OF YOUR PLANNER?
Before you can decide how you want to use your planner, you need to know what you will be using it for. Will it be for work or your blog? Is it a personal planner or for school? Once you know what the use is going to be, you will have a better idea of what kind of information you need to include.
This will also tell you what information you don't want to include. For example, I don't like mixing my personal and work planners. Mostly because it would be too easy for someone to access my personal information if it was left open on my desk by mistake. It's much easier for me to keep everything in a separate planner that way it's not distracting me from my job. Plus, my work planner is very simplistic compared to my personal bullet journal.
CAN YOU TAKE IT WITH YOU?
Portability is huge when it comes to planners. The last thing you want to do is lug around a 10-pound planner bag, am I right? I recommend finding a planner
that you can take with you everywhere and maybe even fits in your purse. You need to get into the habit of writing everything into your planner as it comes to you.
If you do carry a bag on a regular basis you can go a little larger. If you do decide on a larger planner, try not to go too big. It should be something you enjoy but if it becomes a burden you will never use it.
DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!
If you look around online you'll see tons of ways to use a planner. There are endless blogs, videos, and photos showing how people decorate their planners. There's nothing wrong with adding some decoration to your planner if it helps you enjoy using it more but don't let it get in the way of your planning.
Some people function well with a flexible approach while others need a very structured system. Do what works for you, give yourself time to figure out what you need and your planner use will evolve over time.
USING YOUR PLANNER
The most basic way to use a planner is to record your to-do list and appointments. Write in your appointments and scheduled events along with any deadlines or due dates for any projects you're working on.
Write your to-do list directly onto your weekly spread so you can see when your tasks fit into your schedule. Seeing what you need to do and when you have time to do it will allow you to effectively plan your week.
USE YOUR PLANNER REGULARLY
The trick effectively using your planner is to be consistent with using it. Which means, use it every day, throughout the day. Check it first thing in the morning, several times throughout the day and again in the evening to see what's coming up tomorrow. Then take the time to look ahead to the rest of the week or to what's coming up later in the month.
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