You’ve been saying it for years, but for real this time, you need to get more organized! Marie Kondo proves the power of tidying up and decluttering a home on her Netflix show,, but what about doing the same for your brain? That’s where a daily planner comes in handy!
Are you feeling inspired to get your act together? Quality Logo Products offers more than four hundred custom daily planners on our website. Customers know we like to stay organized, so they often ask if we have planning tips for beginners. Now we do!
Get a stylish planner that you love, use it right, and you’ll be on your way to a more well-rounded, productive life.
How Does a Daily Planner Work?
69% of people believe they’re either “busy” or “very busy” on a regular basis. A daily planner gives you the chance to find a better work life balance and use the most of your time. It also helps you remember important dates, tasks, and any other details that you need to stay organized, no matter how small.
Writing or typing things in a paper or digital planner helps you break the bigger picture into more manageable pieces. You have the chance to map out and prepare for your future, and as a result, you’ll be less likely to drop the ball on anything that matters.
What Are the Different Planners I Can Use?
You can use a digital planner, a paper planner, or a bullet journal planner. Digital planners are accessible on your phone, while paper planners have to be carried with you. Bullet journals are also a good option if you prefer to make a list.
Whether it’s digital, paper, or bullet style, a planner organizes your life by each hour, day, week, or year.
If you like to follow a very specific schedule, you might want to pick up an hourly planner. Every hour of the day is broken down line by line, so you know exactly what you’re doing at any given time. This type of planner is best for traveling or client-based professions like lawyers, realtors, or doctors.
A daily planner has an entire page dedicated to each day of the year. There are often sections for to-do lists, appointments, and maybe even inspirational quotes to keep you motivated. You can see what needs to be accomplished in any given day, which narrows your focus to what needs to be done right now.
It’s Sunday and a new week has officially started! Get your ducks in a row by using a weekly planner. You’ll see all 7 days laid out on one page, which gives you the chance to think ahead. For example, if you know you have a wedding coming up on Friday, you can buy the gift on Tuesday or Wednesday.
This is a very common type of planner to use. You’ll see a whole month laid out on the page with individual boxes to write in for each day. Monthly calendars are great for families with kids who are involved in extracurricular activities and students who need to keep track of due dates.
Where have the years gone?! Time goes by pretty fast, which is why it’s not a bad idea to get an overview of each year. You’ll be less likely to have any scheduling conflicts if you know about milestone events, vacations, and other occasions way ahead of time.
How to Use a Planner For Beginners
The truth is you’re not going to start magically using a planner. You can have all the good intentions in the world, but the only way to get started and keep going is with the right strategy.
Are you ready to start using a daily planner? Follow these steps to keep yourself on track!
- Buy a daily, weekly, or monthly planner with a stylish cover. Another option is to download a digital planner if you prefer to use your phone.
- Immediately start filling in birthdays, upcoming appointments, and other important dates.
- Put your planner in a location where it’s noticeable and accessible. You should see it every day.
- Get into the habit of checking your planner twice a day – right after you wake up and before you go to bed.
- Brainstorm a system you want to use to record information into your planner. It can be a certain ink color that you use, or maybe little pictures instead of words.
- Record any new commitments, tasks, or events that come up as soon as you know about them.
First things first, decide if you’re more likely to use a paper or digital planner. You’ll also want to think about whether you want a daily, weekly, or monthly planner. Are you new to this whole scheduling thing? Go with a daily planner so you take things a step at a time.
You know your husband’s birthday (hopefully) and when your car payment is due. Record those dates in your planner as soon as possible. Ideally, you should do this right after you bring your planner home from the store. Thinking ahead will make your life easier in the long run.
It’s not a good idea to tuck your planner away in a drawer or at the bottom of your bag. Leave it on a counter in your kitchen, on the coffee table in your living room, or any other place where it’s noticeable and accessible.
Consistency is key. When you wake up in the morning, take a peek at your planner to see what’s on the agenda. Do the same before you go to bed at night so you can prepare for tomorrow. This should become part of your routine. You can even set up phone notifications to help you remember to check your planner.
There’s no “right” way to set up your planner. Create a system that works for you, whether it’s using gel pens, drawing pictures, making lists on sticky notes, or writing outside of the boxes. Do whatever makes sense to you!
As soon as you know you have a commitment, write it down in your planner. It’s less likely to slip your mind if you put it in your planner right away.
See – it’s not that hard to use a planner! It can be daunting if you’re looking at all of the time in front of you, but just work with things a day, week, or month at a time.
More Tips for Using a Planner
You’re almost ready to start being more organized! Give any of these planner ideas for beginners a try, and you’ll be one of those on-the-ball people before you know it!
Keep Your Pens Nearby
Leave White Space
You don’t have to cram every inch of your planner with information. Feel free to leave some days blank and only record what you need to know. This makes the important tasks easier to see.
“X” Out Each New Day When It’s Done
What good is a planner if you can’t read what’s inside? Take your time and write neatly so you can easily decipher the words later.
The more specific you are in your planner, the easier your life will be. For instance, if you have a doctor’s appointment, write down the time and location. If you have an essay due, write down the name of the class. Detailed entries save you a headache in the long run.
Check It First
Before you agree to lunch with your mom on Sunday, make sure there aren’t any scheduling conflicts. You’re less likely to let someone down if you know what your day looks like ahead of time.
Don’t rush to fill in your planner so you can move on to something more “fun.” Sit down, take your time, and record the information you need.
You can’t look at writing in a planner as a chore. Have fun and enjoy the process! Think of your planner as a friend that makes your life more productive and less stressful.
What is the Best Planner?
The best planners are affordable, have a stylish cover, and offer ample room for writing. Some people like to bring their planners on the go, so they should also be lightweight and portable.
Find a planner that fits your personality!
The planners featured here are customizable, which makes them excellent marketing giveaways for trade shows or gifts for employees. All you need to do is print an awesome design on the cover, and you can use them as bulk gifts or company merch!
What Are the Best Planner Apps?
If you prefer digital planners, there are plenty of apps you can download to your laptop, phone, or tablet. Your tech device will keep you on track, which is a much more productive use of your time than mindlessly scrolling through social media!
Download any of these planner and calendar apps to stay organized:
- My Daily Planner
- Google Calendar
- Planner Pro
- Clear Todos
The average person looks at their phone 58 times per day. We’re all glued to our screens, making a digital planner a great option in this tech-centered world. You can look at the online planner throughout the day and even receive notifications that keep you on track.
What Should Be Included in a Personal Planner?
Use a daily planner to jot down events that you don’t want to forget about. This includes work meetings, due dates if you’re a freelancer or student, birthdays, and special occasions like weddings, graduations, church services, and reunions.
A planner should include all of the following:
After the COVID-19 pandemic, 90% of companies plan to keep some kind of remote workforce. It’s easier to keep up with tasks, Zoom meetings, and phone calls with a good planner. Your boss will be impressed by your ability to stay organized while you’re working at home.
Whether you’re in high school or college, an academic planner will be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping up with your class schedule, campus events, sign up deadlines, assignments, and upcoming tests. Copy the syllabus straight into your planner at the beginning of the year, and you’ll be well on your way to a 4.0!
Birthdays & Anniversaries
60% of Americans see gift-giving as a competition. It gets harder and harder every year to wow your mother-in-law, brother, spouse, or best friend with something amazing, but you’ll have more time to brainstorm if you put birthdays and anniversaries in your planner.
Weddings, graduations, baptisms, reunions, parties, and other milestones should be in your planner. The invitations for these events go out way in advance, but they can still creep up and surprise you. Your planner will help remind you as the event nears, which gives you time to prepare an outfit, gift, or hotel reservations if needed.
Plans With Friends & Family
As soon as you make plans with friends or family, put it down in your calendar. You don’t want to come across as a flake because you forgot about brunch on Saturday with your in-laws or a hiking trip with your college roommate!
Did you finally score tickets to see Hamilton? Put the date in your planner. Not only does this help you remember, but it also gets you pumped up to see the show!
The United States Census Bureau reports that 57% of children between 6 and 17-years-old are involved in at least one extracurricular activity. It could be music practice, swimming, baseball, debate club, or some other pastime. Stay on schedule by writing your or your child’s practices, games, events, and lessons in a planner.
You have to book doctor and dentist appointments way in advance, so it’s a good idea to keep track of them in a planner. Are you treating yourself to a pedicure or massage? Jot those dates down as well! You can also record appointments with the vet, haircuts, and parent-teacher meetings.
Make sure you take your pills, vitamins, and supplements at the right times by recoding them in your planner. You can also do this for your children and pets if they have medications.
Keep track of automatic payments and when rent is due in your planner. You can also note other important financial information like when your cable contract ends, gym membership renewals/cancellations, and most notably, when payday comes each month!
According to The Daytona Beach News Journal, the average American spends $397 each year on car repairs. You need to keep up with not only tires, brakes, and oil changes, but also emissions reports, license plate renewals, and so much more. A planner can help you keep track of the maintenance.
Whether you’re getting new windows installed, have a regular landscaping service, or just need to remember when the garbage truck comes every week, a planner can be great for maintaining a household. Your neighbors will also be thankful for the heads up if you have a noisy project on the horizon.
If you don’t already, you should start planning a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. This saves you time and money and also leads to healthier eating. Consider buying a separate planner that you can use strictly for meal prep if you don’t want to clog up your personal planner.
Woohoo! It’s almost time to go on vacation. Use a bright color to write the dates you’re leaving and returning as well as important info about the flight, hotel, or car rental. You probably won’t forget about a vacation, but it’s still fun to count down the days until the trip!
Is there a new movie, TV show, play, or book that’s on your radar? Write down the release date in your planner! You can then make a plan to meet up with friends, check Netflix, or run out to the store when the time comes.
You don’t have to write your goals in a calendar, but it could help them become a reality. Jot a goal for each day, week, or month in the margins, and do what you can to make it happen!
You should only record the information you need, which includes important dates, deadlines, and any other planner must haves to keep you on track. If your planner is jam-packed or difficult to read, it totally defeats the purpose of using one!
How Can I Organize My Planner?
Whew – there is a lot of information that needs to go in a personal planner. A great way to organize it all is through some kind of system. This system is totally up to you and should be something that you’ll actually follow!
Here are some planner ideas to get you started.
Planner organization ideas:
Create pictures such as balloons for birthdays, rings for weddings, stethoscopes for doctor’s appointments, or whatever works for you!
Use different ink colors and highlighters to bring a pop of color to your planner. You can even create a key, such as blue for meals, red for car/home maintenance, green for finances, etc.
Do a quick self-assessment. Is organization a real struggle for you? Are you not likely to color code? Use the same pen and write your tasks in a bulleted list instead.
Mark your planner with Post-it Notes or sticky note flags. These memos give you extra space for reminders or lists, or you can use them as makeshift bookmarks to quickly open to a new day, week, or month.
If there’s enough space, box off or draw a line to create a grid or individual sections on each day. You can then divide up tasks with labels like “Work,” “Home,” or “School.”
Draw tiny squares next to each new task so you can fill it in with a checkmark when it’s completed. You’ll keep your planner nice and neat if you do this instead of scratching out entries.
Sometimes there isn’t enough space to write inside of your planner. Give yourself more room by folding scrap paper into your planner. You can even 3-hole punch the sheets if you’re using a binder or spiral bound planner.
Create big boxes at the top of a new month and write the most important tasks inside. This will stand out and be hard to overlook.
Set Up Notifications
Are you using a digital planner or online planner? Check the settings to make sure you’re receiving notifications.
It’s important to be realistic. Set up a system that you’ll continue using throughout the year. Start small and you can gradually improve your system as you get more and more comfortable using a planner.
How Do You Stay Committed to a Planner?
Planners are like marriages – they take commitment, work, and trust to be amazing!
It’s time to finally stay committed to your planner. While you need to feel intrinsically motivated to stick with it, here are some other tips that may help you out:
Create Phone Reminders
Your phone is good for more than just text messages and Facebook status updates. Use it to remind yourself to look at your planner. With enough repetition, you’ll get into the habit and won’t need the reminder in the future.
The space in your planner should be reserved for only the things that you truly and realistically need to accomplish. It’s perfectly okay to write goals down, but don’t do it at the expense of more immediate tasks.
Get the Whole Family Involved
You know what they say – “the more, the merrier!” It will be way easier to stick with a planner if the entire family is involved. Everyone can hold the others accountable.
Follow Planner People on Instagram
@JoyandJudy, @Creative.Pine.Apple, @ThePlannerSophisticate, and many other Instagrammers post awesome pics of their planners and stationery. Follow them, and you’ll be inspired to create a beautiful planner of your own.
Read About Organization
If you like to read, check out some books on organization or productivity from your library. You can even download audiobooks that you can listen to while you exercise, shower, or cook dinner in the evenings.
Was your planning kind of lackluster this month? Resolve to do better next month. After all, you don’t have to wait until January to make resolutions!
Did you have an awesome week? Treat yourself to something special as a reward! It can be a nice dinner out, a massage, or a really good cocktail.
Never Give Up
Sure, this is advice may seem kind of generic, but it’s true! Just because you stopped using your planner, doesn’t mean you can’t start again. Pick up where you left off and keep going.
According to Healthline, it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. A behavior, meanwhile, won’t become automatic for 66 days. This can make it challenging to try something new like keeping a daily planner.
But you can do it! You have an idea of how to use a planner for life, so now it’s time to put it into action.
Should I Keep Old Planners?
It’s not a bad idea to keep your old planners as it’s a good way to see where you were and how far you’ve come. Put the previous year’s planner in a filing cabinet or in a drawer. You can then look it over, note any patterns or important info, and then repurpose it into something new at the end of the year.
What to Do With Old Planners
Planners are kind of like notebooks. Once you fill up the pages, it doesn’t seem like a good use of space to leave them lying around the house. So how can you get rid of old planners while being as eco-friendly as possible?
Avoid throwing your old planners in garbage or recycling. Give any of these upcycling ideas a try instead!
Create Kindling for a Fire
Nothing’s better than a bonfire on a chilly fall or summer evening. Keep the fire burning by throwing in torn up pages from your old planner. This also is a good way to get rid of any sensitive information that may be written inside.
Turn the Pages Into Décor
Are you planning a kid’s birthday party? Tear out the pages from your old planner and turn them into DIY party hats, paper lanterns, or banners for the wall. Decorate them with markers and stickers and no one will know the difference!
Use as Scrap Paper
If you mail a check, it’s not a bad idea to fold it into a piece of scrap paper as extra protection. Why not use old pages from your planner? You can also use the unused sheets for games like charades or for jotting quick notes to your spouse.
Cut the old pages into strips and use them as makeshift bookmarks. You can even deck them out with paint or rhinestones, laminate them, and create a hole at the top and weave ribbon through.
Arts & Crafts Projects
Paper is always handy when it comes to arts and crafts projects. You can reuse the old planner pages to make origami, decoupage coasters, paper flowers, and holiday wreaths.
You can also try these projects if you want to recycle old notebooks or calendars. Every little thing we can do for a sustainable future is worth the effort!
Why is it Good to Use a Planner?
Life is hard. You should do any little thing you can to make it easier and a planner can definitely help. It’s a good idea to use one because you’ll feel more focused, less stressed, and better prepared for the future.
By using a personal planner, you’ll have improved:
Studies show that you can increase your memory by as much as 70% by writing things down. Not only that, but you can always look back through your planner if you need to know where you were at during any given time.
We all have a lot to juggle. A planner gives you the chance to break it all down day-to-day, so you can manage your time wisely.
Should you study, go grocery shopping, or pick out a dress for a wedding? Your planner can help you make the right choice based on what’s most time sensitive.
Ugh – there’s just too much to do this week! Take things a step at a time by writing tasks in your planner and going day to day.
According to Intermountain Healthcare, disorganization, unfinished projects, and a large to-do list can contribute to depression. Take care of your mind by checking off each item one by one in a planner.
How sad would your loved ones be if you forgot their birthdays? What about blowing them off for lunch? A planner helps you remember it all, so you don’t let anyone down.
Sometimes you need to share your schedule with other people, whether it’s co-workers, family, clients, or friends. This is way easier if it’s all laid out in a planner.
Sense of Accomplishment
It feels so satisfying to complete all the items on a to-do list. You’ll feel accomplished every time you cross off or put a checkmark next to a task.
Overall, a planner is good for your personal growth and can improve your quality of life. It can be on old-fashioned paper or your phone, but either way, just get started and stay consistent!
Do Daily Planners Really Help?
A day planner is only helpful if you actually use it. You’ll be better at balancing time between work, meals, school, finances, personal health, family, friends, extracurriculars, cars, households, kids, pets, entertainment, and everything else in your life.
It’s helpful to narrow it all down and break your day into accomplishable chunks. Stick with a planner, and you’ll be thanking yourself for years to come!
The Bottom Line
Adulting can be hard, but you can do it! It’s as simple as buying and actually using a planner. With a ton of stylish options out there, you’re guaranteed to find a planner that fits your personality and lifestyle. So take the leap and start getting organized!
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