Two times of the year people think about purchasing a planner; July/August for the academic calendar folks and December/January for the yearly calendar crowd. Perhaps you are in the “I need to get organized now” group. Either way if you wondering how to choose a planner there is a crucial question to begin with. Why do you even want to use a planner in the first place? Why is it important to you? This is an important question and let me tell you why.
The reason why you want to use a planner or continue to use a planner is important. Simon Sinek who wrote the profound book “Start With Why” in 2011 focused on why organizations are in existence and their purpose. However these questions are very relevant to all areas of our life, including planning. As Simon Sinek says ,”Why is the thing that inspires us”. And we are engaged and committed to what inspires us.
Starting with why to choose your planner
Why do you spend time with your family? Why do you work out and exercise? Why do you make and keep commitments to your hobbies? There is a reason in each case. With planning the same principle applies, why do you want to use a planner? Your “why” for using a planner will help you choose the right planner. If one of the reasons is because of frustration being behind on tasks and unorganized, then you need to identify a planner that will help with that purpose. Perhaps you are juggling multiple projects with a seemingly infinite number of tasks to track. If tracking your tasks is second to using your planner as a creative outlet, then you would choose a very different planner.
Here is a personal example of why I began using a planner. I began using a planner as a Resident Assistant (RA) in college. A supervisor spoke frankly and said “Christina, if you want to continue being a RA next year then you need to figure out how you will become organized. You are not meeting deadlines and requirements.” That was a very eye opening experience for me. While no one wants to be told they are not performing well, I am so glad she spoke to me in an honest but kind manner. Up to that point I usually did everything last minute. Receiving this truthful feedback caused me to pause and say, “I really want to do this job, so I’m going to get my act together.” I had no idea how to begin since at the time there were not many resources available on how to choose a planner and become organized. Literally through trial and error I began to figure out how I could plan my time better. I tried to read books but most of it was corporate stuffy productivity mumbo jumbo that didn’t make sense to me. Slowly I began with a simple planner and a notebook to scribble out my ideas and projects. As time has progressed my “why” has changed and my planners along with it.
What is your Why?
Your why might be from of a true desire to be healthy because of a health scare. Finding a planner that will allow you to track food, exercise, weight and other items are important because you need a visual reminder such as this planner on Etsy. Maybe your goal is to plan intentional family time every week to combat issues rising up in your family. Or to plan for your business so daily it is moving forward slowly. I would suggest checking out the Passion Planner in these cases. If you have a goal to complete a certification or a college degree to provide extra income for your family, there are specific task for you to accomplish. For example, searching for schools, downloading applications, completing the applications, applying for financial aid and so on all have deadlines. You have that goal and you realize there is a lot to accomplish and it should be planned out.
There are many women who love setting aside weekly creative time with their planner.
I believe planning is both productivity and creativity. First there is productivity, as in I need to complete and check items off my list. Secondly there is creativity to expresses myself through the planning process with pens, stickers or washi. If in the past you enjoyed scrapbooking there are planners such as the Happy Planner that will fit your style.
Irregardless, the reason why you want a planner will help you with the question how to choose a planner. Take a few moments a jot down your thoughts of why. Stay tuned as I share the next steps for how to choose a planner. Please share this article with others who are planners or wannabe planners!
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