One of the best ways for someone to get organized is to have a planner. These come in both physical and digital options, and whichever one works the best is the one that should be used.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to the size, style, or shape of a planner, or whether a digital option would be a better choice. But there is one problem, and that involves how to get and stay organized using a planner, when the planner itself isn’t organized.
Some people have the best of intentions when they buy a planner, but they might not keep up with it frequently.
Then when they go to catch up their planner, it feels like a daunting task that they aren’t sure they can handle. They may have trouble deciding what to put in the planner, may run out of room to list everything they want to do, or may find that they have trouble filling the space because they aren’t doing a lot or don’t have too many plans.
All of that should be carefully considered, because it can lead to avoiding the use of a planner, when a planner could really be helpful. Here are some important things to consider when finding time to organize a planner is a problem.
1. It’s Not an All-Or-Nothing Issue
By spending 10 minutes after work, or five minutes after having breakfast, a planner can get organized quickly.
It generally doesn’t take that long to organize a planner, and by doing that it’s easier to keep the rest of life on the right track. It might take a week or two to get the planner completely organized when only spending a few minutes a day on it, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Taking an all-or-nothing approach to a planner isn’t necessary, and can quickly lead to someone burning out on the idea and giving up on being organized at all.
Start in small chunks, and organizing a planner will feel a lot more manageable.
2. Have Some Ideas on the Planner’s Best Use
How one person uses a planner could be very different from how another person uses that planner, even if they choose the same type and style of planner.
Since everyone is different, each person will need to consider how they want to use their planner and what they want to put in it. Some ideas can include planning for home organization, decluttering goals, deadlines for work, important events that are coming up, and to-do lists for the day, week, or month.
There’s no point in adding things to a planner just to add them, so be specific in the kinds of things that really need to be included and planned for.
3. Color-Coordination Can Help With Organization
By giving items a category, and giving categories color codes, a planner can be organized efficiently. This also lets a person just glance at the planner and see what has to be done or what’s coming up just based on the color that’s highlighted. Not everyone uses colors and categories, but once a person gets used to doing that it can be very easy to see everything.
Keeping up with categories and colors isn’t difficult, and a quick look at the planner will give a good idea of what the week or even the entire month is going to look like in terms of getting things done. That’s advance planning at its best.
The first page of the planner should be set up with the category and color key, so referring back to it if something is forgotten is easy and fast. It’s always possible to forget which color is supposed to go along with which category, or decide that two categories can be merged, for example. If that’s the case, there should be a place where the change can be made and where it’s easy to refer to how the planner is being organized.
This takes a little bit of time in the beginning, but it will take far less time in the long term because everything will be so neat and orderly.
4. Choosing Between Physical and Digital Planners
So much of life is digital today, but that doesn’t mean a person’s planner has to be. Not everyone likes the digital planners, because they don’t provide anything solid to hold in a hand or write in with a pen or pencil. That “old school” way of planning is very comforting to a lot of people, and plans may seem more solid when they are put on an actual piece of paper.
But there’s nothing wrong with using a digital planner, either. It’s a personal preference, and people who carry a laptop or tablet computer everywhere they go might prefer to have a digital planner so they don’t have to leave it at home or make extra space to carry it along.