Planner: Best Practices for Easy Use
A place for everything and everything in its place!
A few simple techniques make all the difference between a planner that looks overwhelming and a planner that is actually helpful.
Here are the highlights:
Identify things consistentlyBirthdays, anniversaries, all day events, appointments, time-sensitive personal reminders like purchase deadlines or coupon expiration date, vacations.
NOTE: Use colored graphics or stickers for birthdays.
Keep yourself grounded in timeCross off each day as it passes.
NOTE: Just cross off the number rather than the whole day. Many people experience stress and anxiety when the whole day is "x'ed" out.
Track important events• If it's mission critical, write vertically but always right vertically in the same area of the box.
• For births and deaths, it's OK once the day has passed to highlight the event by writing large letters and filling up the box.
NOTE: if you want to put these date on next year's calendar, this will make it easier to see.
Keep drudgery tasks on track• This may not be drudgery for some people but it's a task that can be a taskmaster to me: I want to keep up with my goal to walk 500 miles in a year. I've broken that down far enough to know that means I need to walk 2 miles five days a week. Every time I walk, I write the number of miles in the lower right corner of the box. My weekly tally it is recorded on the right hand side.
• Do you want to spend 30 minutes a day working on something boring like cleaning, scanning, or organizing? Put a time circle in the corner of whatever day you are committing to work on it.
NOTE: Under-promise and over-deliver. And only use the time circles to get yourself focused on one kind of task. Multiple time circles for multiple tasks is overwhelming and no one wants to start something that feels overwhelming. :)
Make it easy to flip through• We do what we see - so keep the planner visible by keeping it on a book holder next to your computer. It will be easy to see and easy to access!
• Label tabs and stick them to pages that you regularly access in your planner.
NOTE: I have one tab that says "MONTH" and each month I move it to the new one. My other tab is for "NOTES" as my planner has a few pages at the back that I use for all my random notes (recommended movies, books, restaurants, flight credits, gift ideas...)
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