Planners and Printable and how to use them for the best results
It is no secret that I am a planner addict. I have always liked pretty stationary and productivity hacks. Planners are a great combination of the two.
You might think you have it all figured out but using your planner in the best ways possible is going to help you loads!
Do you need a tutorial for this?
These are the types of people and their planner habits;
- you have many printables and planners in good use and they feel helpful and you have solved problems using them (me now). But you are always looking for better ways.
- you have many printables and planners and abandon them regularly (this used to be me)
- You have no planners but are extremely organised anyway (you are a superhero)
- You have no planners and live in chaos
Need a little inspiration before getting started? I loved this story on how to use planners to take charge of your life!
Not every planner or printable is for you
The obvious reasons are of course if you have printables for things you don’t need. Like a printable for keeping your cat healthy but you don’t have a cat. Or you have meal planners but prefer cooking on the spot.
Sometimes it is just not a good fit. For example, I love a day by day planner. I don’t need my week on one page as long as I have enough room for every day. However, I know people who absolutely need that overview of the week.
So we all enjoy a different kind of planner.
Some people love small planners, some people need a lot of space.
Finding a planner that you love and fits your need will make it much easier to start using it regularly.
If you don’t understand the planner or printable (this had happened to me) and you can’t find an explanation, that is also not a great fit for you.
What Do I use and how?
Because I am wild like that. I have a project/business planner and a personal planner.
I keep these separate because;
1. It doesn’t fit in one planner
2. I like different things for those two different areas of my life.
My personal planner has the dates pre-written. It is a very standard planner like you would have for school. In this one, I write down everything university and family related. Deadlines, coffee dates, birthdays, who cooks tonight etc.
These two things (university and family) are super important to me. So when scheduling these always go first.
After that, I have a few hours in which I will do my business and blogging tasks (which are of course also super important to me!) I only write down which hours these are but never what I am doing because for that I will refer to my business planner.
In my business planner, I have my business plans worked out, my projects are nicely organised and I have a copy of my content calendar in here.
It is where I keep my plan of action for my business an blog. This planner is not predated so I can start it whenever I want.
My best year yet
Apart from those two I also keep a separate planner/printable; My best year yet by Lisa Jacobs!
I love this book. If 2018 is the best year I will definitely buy this planner next year too!
Apart from the planner aspect, it is also great for personal reviews and such! I love the rest of the book as it is super helpful and insightful. I have my personal favourite places highlighted.
I am not sponsored to say this nor an affiliate, but if you are an entrepreneur, a blogger or someone who want to be loads more productive I would highly recommend you check it out! You can read loads more about this planner here!
To do list and checklist are super handy. I love checklist for situations that are stressful. Like packing for travelling or big meetings. Get all the stuff you need on a checklist and when you are packing you can easily see if you have everything!
How to use planners/printables
Find 1 good time to work on them
If you find one time in the day or week to update your planners and printables and note this time down it will be more likely that you will actually keep them up to date.
Say you have a daily planner:
- Maybe you look at this one once, in the morning, to update all your todo’s and schedules.
- And once in the evening to update again and to make sure you have crossed off everything you have done.
Build a habit
Like all things in life, planners will not always feel like fun. Building a habit of reading and updating your planners, helps you to keep doing it even when you are not feeling motivated in the long run.
Some say it takes 21 days to build a habit. So why not open and update your planner once a day every day for the coming 3 weeks?
Keep them organised
I used to be terrible at keeping my planner nicely organized. And loose papers are my worst nightmare. I kept losing stuff.
Lucky for me I had a very good memory back then which helped me remember all my appointments. However, the more stuff I added to my life the busier my schedule and with fewer people to keep me accountable the more, I needed to rely on my own systems.
For them to be reliable I need to keep them organised;
- Keep loose papers in a binder or map or another system. Trust me, leaving them someone in a loose fashion will cause chaos.
Just imagine a 41-page Essay left on my desk without any page numbering for some reason. Add two cats fighting while I am away to that mix. You can imagine how much time it cost me to get everything in order again after getting it from the ground.
- Always write down everything. Small coffee dates, doctors appointments, people you have promised to call, things you need to turn in. It is my biggest downfall. People, who mentioned in passing that they have a lunch on Sunday and I don’t write it down immediately?
That probably means that when they mention it again on the Saturday before it I am completely surprised. This also helps you take up less brain space that you can use for other things.
- Make sure the plan match. Do you have two planners or some loose checklists for cooking or something like that? Make sure that if you have double planners that they match up.
For example; a personal planner and a family planner? Trust me, great idea to check them sometimes.
Don’t overthink it
If you need that one set of stickers before you can use your planner, chances are that you will not use that planner that much. While I love decorating my planners to make me feel happy and stuff, I try to only do that when I have time.
I use my personal daily planner pretty much like my messy planner because I don’t care if I use the right pen or if I need to scratch out something. That is just life.
At the end of the day, it matters more if I can do all the things I want to do, instead of my planner looking nice.
Don’t make it to much work
If you work on your planner more than you work on the things you have planned, try finding a better way. I love planning and making beautiful pages but at the end of the day doing the work is what matters.
If you are doing a lot of work double or you losing the overview, try a different kind of planner or planning system.
Overal planners will only work if you want them to work. You need to put in a little work to keep them up to date.
Maybe you simply aren’t a paper planner person and prefer one on your phone. There are plenty of options for that as well! (My personal favourite is just old and plain google calendar!)
What is your favourite kind of planner? And are you good at using them?
I would love to hear from you! Don’t forget to share this post for other planner junkies to find!