Planner Tips For Beginners: what everyone should know!

Starting a planner is an amazing step towards creating a more organized and productive life. But if you are new to planning then it can be kind of overwhelming. So as a long time planner user I wanted to share my planner tips for beginners! I hope that everyone who starts using a planner should know these tips.

Before we jump into this post I also wanted to share that I do have a video of how I set up my planner that you can watch here. Setting up a planner is easier to learn via video so that should help you with the actual set up!

Planners are such an awesome tool for your life but if you don’t know where to start or how to be successful with planning then they can end up being counterproductive. So I hope these tips help you use your planner in a way that actually helps your life. Remember- planners are supposed to help your life be organized and easier.

So for my favorite and most helpful tips for using a planner keep reading!

Planner Tips For Beginners: what everyone should know!

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Planner Tips For Beginners

{ How to stick to and use a planner advice }

Tip 1: Find the right planner for you.

Planners and planning is totally personal and dependent on what is going on in your life.

At different phases in my life I have used different planners and it took awhile to find the best one for my current phase in life.

Take the time to do some research on all of the different planners you are interested in and think about how you like to organize. I really like to break things in my life up into different categories which is why the vertical layout Erin Condren Life Planner works the best for me.

But if you prefer more of a list style planner then this Bright Day Checklist planner might be better for you!

So do some digging and find the right planner for you. If you are using a planner that doesn’t work for your life then you are going to be less likely to stick to it and it won’t help you be as organized as you could be.

Tip 2: Pick a day of the week to set up your planner.

Okay this next one of the planner tips for beginners is so important for successfully using a planner.

Setting a specific day and ideally time each week to do your planner can end up making or breaking your planner success.

If you are just doing your planner setup for the week whenever you have time you may find yourself not actually making time to set it up. So make it a routine!

For me it works the best to set it up on Sunday afternoon which helps me be able to jump into Monday morning full speed ahead. However, a lot of people prefer to set theirs up Monday morning or even Friday evening before the weekend starts.

Your day will also vary based off your job and/or school schedule. If you have a more unique life schedule then consider getting a planner without set dates on the top so you can fill them in. For example, when I worked in hotel operations I had a year where my “week” started on Tuesdays so I set my planner up Tuesday mornings.

Tip 3: Start more on the simple side.

If you find yourself deep in the planner community you may get overwhelmed. There are so many talented people out there who do such cool sticker and artsy planner layouts.

But I need you to remember that a lot of those people literally do that for a living!

And it isn’t practical for most people to spend hours drawing and creating a gorgeous planner layout each week. So don’t feel guilty if your planner is just black ink and no stickers. Mine usually is!

Simple planners are easier to actually stick to and can help you be more organized and productive.

That being said- if you want to do cool and decorated planner layouts that’s totally great! Just don’t feel pressure and remember that your planner is no better or worse if you decorate it or keep it simple.

Tip 4: Figure out what elements are most important for you to plan.

When you are setting up your planner you need to think about what motivated you to start planning.

Are you in school now? Started a new job? Kids schedules getting out of control?

When you think about what you are trying to get out of a planner you can start to figure out what elements are the most important to focus on when planning.

For example, if you just started college and are trying to stay on top of class times and school work then a planner with an hourly daily element may be the most helpful for you.

Or if you feel that your kids schedules are super busy and you want to stay on top of it then planning to do lists each day may be the way you can take control of the busy days.

Focus on the parts of planning/planners that are the most important for your life. If hourly planning doesn’t matter for your life then don’t waste time doing hourly planning! If to-do lists don’t help your life then don’t worry about adding them to your planner.

Tip 5: Use the right additional supplies.

Supplies are a very big part of planning but don’t worry they don’t have to be crazy expensive!

If you are using a pen that is bleeding through to the next page then it’s going to make your planner feel messy and disorganized. I found the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens years ago and have never stopped using them. They are so easy to write with and don’t bleed through to other pages.

If you want to highlight make sure you get highlighters that won’t smudge the ink underneath. I use the Pilot pastel highlighters and they are amazing!

It’s important to figure out what supplies are the best for you and your planner. And stick to the supplies that work for you! If you are using supplies that frustrate or annoy you then you will start to associate those feelings with your planner.

Tip 6: Don’t be afraid to try different planning systems.

The final of the planner tips for beginners that I am talking about today is reminding you to not be afraid of different planning systems.

If you tried doing an hourly planner and it doesn’t seem to be working for you then try a new system. If a system isn’t working for you don’t feel obligated to stick to it.

Trial and error is going to happen at the beginning of becoming a planner and that is normal and okay! And chances are when you are planning in a few years your life may have changed and your planning system will change. Don’t be afraid of new planning systems and styles!

Planner Tips For Beginners: what everyone should know! How to start using a planner!

I hope that these planner tips for beginners was helpful for you and inspires you to start planning!

Planners are such a great organization and productivity tool but starting consistent planning can be overwhelming. Remember to be patient with yourself and try not to over-commit at the beginning. Take it one week at a time and remember that planners are only helpful if you are focusing on what’s the best for you.


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