Planners are amazing tools for keeping your life organized and productive …. as long as you actually use them.
I hear it all the time that people start a planner at the beginning of the year or the school year but within a couple weeks they stop for multiple reasons. I broke down those reasons and what you can do to make sure you stick to your planner so you can keep yourself on track with your goals!
1) Not simple enough
You’re over-complicating a tool that’s meant to make your life easier not harder. Make sure that you write down what you need to accomplish each day, when things are due, etc.
There is no need to add extra things if you don’t have time / it’s slowing you down too much from actually using your planner.
Cute planner layouts are great for Instagram and I love them when I have time but they are not a requirement and if you feel like they are it can be counter productive.
2) Not using 1 planner
It’s easy to fall into the cuteness of different planners but it’s so difficult to maintain them all. Having a fitness planner and a meal planner and a kids planner and a work planner is a guaranteed way to stop using ALL of the planners.
So get one singular planner that works for you and your life and use it for everything. I like the Happy Planner because there is three divisions every day and rather than use them like a time divide I use them as a subject divide and it works perfectly.
3) Not keeping up with lists
Putting to-do and to-buy lists in your planner is incredibly helpful but you need to actually keep up with the lists. Cross things off when they are done. Actively add to the lists. Check a couple times a day to see your progress on a to do list. To make your planner work for you, then you need to keep up with it.
And I promise once you get into the habits of using your planner it will become normal for you.
Some lists are also way more helpful than others. I wrote up 25 Helpful Lists for Planner Girls that are lists that are decently easy to stick to.
4) Not lowering your expectations
I am completely guilty of seeing awesome planner layouts on instagram and trying to aspire for that but it’s not realistic for most people. You can’t expect your planner to be perfectly color coordinated and full of pretty stickers every week.
Your first priority should be making sure your planner is set up in a manner that makes it useful for you. If you have the time and resources to make it cute then more power to you! But for most of us that’s not usually realistic and that’s totally FINE.
5) Not keeping it accessible
You need to be able to check and use your planner throughout your day. And you really can’t do that when it’s sitting on your desk at home and you’re in class or at work.
Get a bag or purse or backpack that is big enough to slide your planner into it. You’ll also want to keep one of your favorite pens with it to cross things off and add things when needed.
I use the Me and My Big Ideas full size happy planner. I have used it for years and love the size and layout!