Can you believe it? January is over, and you may be thinking to yourself that the year has charged ahead at 9o mph leaving you hanging onto the back bumper.
Or, perhaps you’re so on the ball right now, feeling great because you’ve got a firm handle on the steering wheel of 2018. You’re cruising down a scenic road at a Sunday drive’s pace with the windows down because you’ve got this, Boss.
Whatever the case may be, you’re here and you’re curious to learn how you can either start using a planner for the first time, or up your game a little. So, let’s get right into it!
Why I Love Using a Planner & You Can, Too
I’ve used a planner for years, and like anything else, it can take some time to find your rhythm. We can look at how someone does something for inspiration and tips, but to enjoy doing that same something, you have to use methods that work for your own lifestyle and personality. Not every method works for everyone, right?
When I realized this about the way I plan, I came to enjoy it so much more! I developed a system that works for me, my lifestyle, personality, and the way I organize thoughts.
In this blog post, I’m going to help you do that, too. I think that once you know what planner style fits you best and how to set it up for a successful year ahead, you’re are going to love how a planner keeps you inspired, motivated, and on-track.
How to Pick the Best Planner for Your Lifestyle & Personality
When you’re out shopping for a planner, you’ll likely come across three planner layouts.
The Hourly Layout
This layout breaks your day down by the hour. Personality wise, I think this planner is the perfect fit for the beautifully meticulous lady who doesn’t like to waste a precious minute. She loves working out the details and seeing her days so well-planned and intentionally spent.
While you may not consider yourself this type of gal, it still may be a great fit for you based on your lifestyle. I imagine it’d work well for:
- the mom who needs to manage appointments and many weekly extracurricular activities for the family
- the student needing to keep track of class times and study dates
- the entrepreneur scheduling coaching calls, speaking engagements, meetings, and appointments.
If you like (or need) something detailed when it comes to managing specific time-slots, this planner is going to rock your world.
The Horizontal Layout
This layout is great for the no-fuss kind of gal. She appreciates having a simple overview of her week without too much drama going on in her planner.
She is probably the least likely to sit down to plan her week for an hour, unlike the gal who may gravitate to the hourly layout. She also probably wouldn’t want to waste her time or resources on rubber stamps, stickers, or washi tape. She’d rather simply jot down a note here and there as it come to her.
*This layout doesn’t provide a ton of space for the itty-bitty details. But you can use it to easily track appointments, meet-ups, and notes. You may be able to fit a couple of to-do’s or what you’re having for dinner in there, too.
If you’re wanting to keep it clean, simple, and functional, this one’s for you.
The Vertical Layout
This layout is probably the most flexible of all, with it’s three separate boxes to use in so many different ways. I tend to think that this one works great for the creative gal who may have a few irons in the fire. She loves her projects, but needs to keep in mind her responsibilities. This layout can help her get it all done without the confinement of the hourly layout, or the lackluster of the horizontal layout which seems to not quite cut it for her.
If you want structure without confinement and the ability to manage a few things at once, this one will help you get it all together and accomplished.
Planner Setup & Organization Tips
A great planner helps it’s handler in three key areas:
PROJECTION | PROGRESSION | REFLECTION
All three styles of planner styles will get the job done beautifully.
Let me unpack this concept a little bit.
In your monthly layout, you’re projecting an image of what you hope to do, who you hope to connect with, and what you’d like to see that month.
In your weekly spreads, you’re progressing through that black and white image, bringing color and life to it as you walk it through.
At the end of the month, some planners have a note page. My particular planner does not, and if that’s the case for you, you can get creative with sticky notes or hole-punched inserts. On this page, I like to write across the top “Highlight & Accomplishments.” This page may be one of my favorite parts of planning. It creates the opportunity to look back over the month and see what I accomplished and what I particularly enjoyed.
Things to Add to Your Planner
I’m a big believer in keeping your goals and vision for the year in front of your eyes as much as you can. In the beginning of your planner is a great place to include your focus for the year. Here’s how that looks for me.
A page or little booklet containing passwords and addresses (for those birthday and holiday cards) are great to include in your planner. Some planner have a pocket that you can insert something like this into. I like the idea of it standing alone, that way you can easily take both out and insert them into your next planner. If you have a disc-bound planner, you can easily transfer those individual pages as well.
Tools I Use & Love
The Happy Planner – http://amzn.to/2E2DXBt
Disc-bound Paper Hole Punch – http://amzn.to/2EFDaHM
Hourly Page Inserts – http://amzn.to/2EcuL0S
Planner Pockets – http://amzn.to/2FFYzjB
Grid & Note Paper Inserts – http://amzn.to/2BUDAr5
Erasable Gel Pens – http://amzn.to/2E2cZdz
Fine Tip Markers – http://amzn.to/2FJK12d
Washi Tape – http://amzn.to/2E0x6ZA
Decorative Sticky Notes – http://amzn.to/2GKqtMN
Well friends, I hope you enjoyed this post and that it was helpful for you! I’d love to know what planner tips you’ve used and love, as well as some of your favorite planner accessories!