The natural next step from a To-Do list is a planner. Already using one? Perfect – read on for some tips on maximizing its potential. Haven't made the transition to a planner yet? Then definitely keep reading to see how planners can make the many tasks for which we are responsible easier to handle.
Choosing a Planner
There are thousands of different types of planners. Plain, pretty, complex, artistic, ones with witty quotes on each page, or graphics that make your eyes swim. How do you decide which one will work for you?
Very similar to creating a To-Do list that works for you, planners must work the same way you do. It isn’t so much what is on the outside, but how it is organized on the inside. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What will I be keeping track of on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?
- Does the planner have space for my needs?
- Do I need a planner that is portable, or will it stay in one location?
- Is the planner just for me, or will others need access to it, too?
- Does it feel good in my hands? (If you are tactile person like I am, this is an important consideration.)
- How will I make entries? Do I simply write in the planner, or is it done digitally?
- Do I want the ability to add pages (loose-leaf) or have it completely contained (spiral bound)?
These are all things to consider before buying a planner, instead of just choosing the one that looks great on the store shelf. With their crisp, clean, white pages just waiting to organize your life and make all those tasks seem effortless, planners are your friend in organization. It makes me want to buy one right now!
If you are really looking to find the perfect organizer, now is a good time of year to pick up different ones on clearance and you can experiment with them at your leisure. In the next two weeks I’ll cover paper planners and digital planners – each has pros and cons. The key, as always, is to find a planner that works with your strengths, and you’ll be a time management guru!