Getting started with planning can be overwhelming. If you have never had a system of organisation before, or if you have relied on other methods, it can take a little time to adapt and find your groove.
Not to mention the fact there are hundreds of thousands of planners out there too. And an even bigger variety of planner accessories. Who knew you would suddenly need that sticker collection or those particular pens to complete your planning tool set… but do you really need them?
So let’s take it right back to the basics and work out what you really need to get started with a planner!
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GETTING STARTED WITH PLANNING
Choosing a Planner Format
Choosing a planner isn’t as simple as grabbing the first one you see in the local office supply store. There are different types to suit different needs. Layouts can include page per day or per week, in daily blocks or strips, or even an hourly schedule with times down the side.
If your day involves a lot of appointments or time blocking, the hourly format may be ideal. If not, you may be better suited to the less structured format. Check out a few styles before you pick your planner.
Most popular planner manufacturers, such as Erin Condren or Happy Planner have more than one format to choose, and of course your local stationery supply store will have a variety of options too.
Finding Your Planner Personality
Before I had my first planner, I figured everything was pretty straight forward. You write the things you need to do in there and away you go. Then I fell into the void of glam planning, planner stickers and all things bright and shiny. Uh oh!
Planning can be simple and functional, but it can also be fun and fabulous! For some, it’s more about the creativity and share-worthy layouts. I’m somewhere in between. I love a few functional stickers mixed with the occasional inspirational quote or pop of colour.
Glam planning can also be a huge time suck if you don’t have much time so be careful before you dip your toes into this fun new world.
Which Accessories Do You Need
If simple is your style, aside from the planner itself, investing in some quality pens will be the main thing.
I love erasable pens. I did not even know that was a thing before I got my planner. Now I love the fact if I make a mess or need to change a plan, it’s so easy to erase and start again. My fave are the Pilot Frixion Erasable pens. Plus the great colours make it easy to colour coordinate your planning if that is your style.
Otherwise, planner stickers can be a great way to keep your planner fresh and bold! Use different stickers and icons to mark out important dates. Or if you want to keep it easy, highlighters work well too!
Don’t feel you need all the fancy accessories if that’s not for you!
What Should Go In Your Planner
For some, planners are life! Every little thing goes in there. If it wasn’t in the planner, it didn’t happen! But that method isn’t for everyone. Planners can be a mix of life and work, or just work, or just life. Some people have two planners to separate their different worlds. Or you can chuck in all in there.
I use mine for important dates, to block my calendar and to track certain things in an easy, single location. But I don’t always add in my entire to do list or unexpected things that pop up.
Some of the things you might like to add to your planner aside from your day to day routine are things like meal planning, steps tracking, monthly cycle or fertility tracking, family schedules, fitness/workouts and goal progress.
RELATED READING – HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
If It Isn’t Working Out As ‘Planned’
If you have taken all the steps to get yourself organised with your pretty planner and bright coloured pens or simple and stylish set up, but you’re finding your planner is essentially a fancy dust collector, it’s time to take a look at why.
Like I mentioned earlier, it can take time to get into a new routine, even if that routine is aimed at helping you create a routine. If you’re used to a life of chaos or if you’ve relied on digital organisation tools, making the switch takes longer.
Try setting aside a block of time at the start of your new week to plan the week ahead and mark out any appointments, to dos or important dates. Make sure you are checking your planner early in the day to see what you need to do.
If that’s still not working, perhaps you need to try a different style of planning. Maybe you are better suited to monthly instead of weekly planning or hourly instead of day blocks. Or perhaps bullet journaling appeals more to your list loving mind. Try a few formats until you find the right fit! There’s sure to be one for you!
Good luck with getting started with planning. There’s nothing more exciting than the fresh start of a brand new shiny planner!! And remember… don’t get caught up in the hype. Plan it your way, however, that may be because planning is as individual as you are!
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