It sounds simple. You want be more productive so you buy a planner. And then don’t use it. Here’s my 3 quick planner tips for beginners to help you get started.
I know it’s not just me. You dream of living this amazing live and see other people using planners to get there. The constant chaos of a busy life results in losing tracking of your dreams and goals. Thinking a planner will solve the problem, you buy one, and then don’t use it. It’s frustrating, because not only are you not making progress, you now have even more clutter in your house. I finally figured out a few planner tips for beginners to put you back on the path to success.
My 3 favorite planner tips for beginners (plus a bonus tip)
Not all planners are created equal and simply buying a planner is not the key to success. Harsh as that may sound, I have more than few unused planners and notebooks hiding in closes as a result. Let’s take a look at my planner tips to help you make progress.
Understand the purpose of what you want to use the planner for
This one seems obvious, but in practice it’s not as simple as it sounds. Have you started chasing planning ideas? Stared at Pinterest and Instagram for hours on end? Assumed the latest popular approach that’s working for everyone else will work for you?
In my case, I decided after some soul searching, I wanted to make a big shift in my life and take back control of my future. I was coming out of a burnout brain fog and finally realized I wanted to set personal goals. I didn’t need a printed calendar to track meetings every day. I wanted to make progress on my future.
I now understood what I wanted to use the planner for, and I was going to need more than a pretty printed calendar.
Find the right process and approach to help you reach your planner goals
Not all planners are created equally. You need to find the right approach that you want to follow as part of taking control of your life. The planner needs to be setup to fit the planning process you’re going to follow.
I went on a binge of buying planners at first, because I thought that would be solution to my problem. The ultimate key to making progress. Long story short, it wasn’t.
For me, I was following Ruth Soukup for a few years, but not making progress on blogging. It took a while but when I had the epiphany that I was ready to set personal goals I was ready to hear the approach. You need to find someone that you connect with and understand their approach to goal setting and planning. Simply buying a printed calendar won’t get you there.
Messy is ok. You’re not being graded on how pretty your planner is
Are you afraid you’re going to mess it up? Or feel like you don’t have sufficient control over your current schedule that writing it down will be pointless?
To test out a timeblocking for goal planning, I started with printables. A binder may be the best approach for you as it gives flexility to both customize to fit your life, but also lets you replace places that have gotten completely messy. While no one should be judging you on how neat your planner is (and that goes for you too!), having peace of mind that you can correct issues is helpful.
This also lets you try out your selected goal planning strategy before committing to a printed planner. If it works for you, great. Otherwise you can move onto the next approach.
The other thing you can do especially if you already have a printed planner you have that you really want to use is check out erasable pens (plus markers and highlighters). For me, once I heard about erasable pens I was more willing to commit to the printed planner having decided the goal planning strategy was my way forward.
Bonus tip: Find the right planner accessories without going overboard
If you also have a pen and stationary obsession like I do, it’s really easy to fall into a a binge purchase on fun pens, stickers, and other accessories.
Depending on the planner you choose, technically all you need is a few pens and maybe some extra sticky notes to help you plan.
Stickers and stamps can be fun, but don’t get overly obsessed with accessories when you first start. Wait to see what you really need and build your collection.
Frixion pens (along with markers and highlighters) are a must have. You can also consider setting up a color coding system so that you can view your plan at a glance.
Stickers or stamps for blank planners can help you setup your months and weeks quickly, especially if you hate your handwriting. If your schedule changes a lot, you may not want to overly decorate with stickers upfront. And depending on where you’re using it, sometimes the minimalist look fits a little better.
Over to you. What additional Planner Tips for beginners do you have?
What helped you get started with using a planner? Or where are you stuck? Buying planners that you don’t use is frustrating for multiple reasons. Hopefully with this planner tips you were able to start making progress on your dreams and goals.
And don’t forget to pin this for later