How to Use a Planner

photo of planner and writing materials

Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of buying a planner and then never using it. Which is a shame, because planners can be incredibly helpful.

They keep track of all your events and to-do lists and help you create healthy routines.

So, instead of letting a beautiful planner sit on your desk collecting dust, I am going to share with you some tips for using a planner to your advantage.

Day to Day Section of the Planner

There are many types of planners out there, but the majority of them do have a week per spread broken up into days. This section is incredibly helpful for to-do lists and routines.

I like to write down everything I need to do in the day. I typically sit down every Sunday to write out my schedule for the next week. And I make a more detailed list the day before.

Write down everything you want to accomplish that day. Be ambitious but realistic. Try to push yourself to get done everything that needs to be done, but don’t bite off more than you can chew.

I tend to write down everything chronologically if I can. It helps me keep order to my day. Obviously last-minute additions come up and that’s okay.

It may also be helpful to put a little icon next to anything that is low priority or you may not be able to complete. I usually add a (?) next to these tasks.

white paper with black pen
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Monthly Layout

Again, there are several different planners, but the majority of them include a calendar spread at the beginning of every month. This section is great for events, special dates, and due dates.

This is a great place to write down birthdays, events, and special dates. It gives you a quick overview of the month and anything you have to attend or remember.

I like it because you don’t need a lot of space to write down an event for the little squares are perfect.

Separating events and daily routines helps the planner look less cluttered and overwhelming. It also gives some order to your life to keep you from getting stressed.

photo of planner and writing materials
Photo by Bich Tran on

Picking out a Planner

This is my favorite part of owning a planner, and the most overlooked. I love going to Target and spending 20-30 minutes picking out a planner and thinking of what layout works best for my life in the upcoming year.

It’s important to analyze your lifestyle and what you’ll be using it for. My taste in planners is much different now that I am out of school.

Think about if you want time stamps on the days, vertically or horizontally sectioned days, and any extra pages that might be important to you.

My planner has a section at the beginning of each week to write my goals, to-dos, people to catch up with, books to read, self-care.

I really like having this in my planner, but you might not. Not every planner is the same and it’s important to get the one that suits you best.

crop woman writing down notes in diary
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Make Your Own Planner

If you can’t find the perfect planner anywhere, you could always make your own! You could try your hand at a bullet journal, or just create a regular planner.

This helps you design a planner that perfectly matches your scheduling needs. It can also be a fun project to work out in the beginning or throughout the year!

I haven’t had much luck with bullet journals but there are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest, YouTube, Blogs, etc.

It’s a bit more work but worth it if you use the planner to your advantage and get the most out of it!

opened diary with pencil placed on desk
Photo by Ann Nekr on

I know we tend to buy our planners in December or January but if you don’t have one already go get one now!! It will be so amazing to have in your life, it’s never to late to start a planner.

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