Are you someone who uses your smartphone to keep track of your schedule or do you instead write everything on your paper planner? Or maybe your style is both smartphone and a planner. In each case, how you choose a planner will depend on the items you should track in your daily life. There are so many amazing types of planners available. When you begin looking at the options, you can become very distracted and begin looking for what looks nice compared to what you need in a planner. You can buy a beautiful planner and realize, “This looks great, and it doesn’t do a thing for me. What a waste!” So what should you track in your planner?
If you need to track all of your appointments on paper then you will need a planner that has daily appointment schedule with time increments. What is the common time increment for your appointments and meetings? Would the normal 60 minutes increments work in your planner or do you need further detail such as 30 or possibly 15 minute increments? Finding a planner to meet your needs will depend upon the number of appointments scheduled daily.
How many roles do you have? Are you a parent, spouse, student, work outside or at home, volunteer or balancing a plethora of kid activities? The number of roles you have in your life can often determine how many tasks you need to manage. If you feel you always have so much to get done but have no idea where to start first, then you need an area to write your tasks. How much writing space is needed for your tasks? Is a weekly list with 10 lines enough space or do you need a daily task list? I use a daily task list which I pull tasks from my Master Task Lists in the note section after each month. I share about my process in my article 7 Steps to Plan Your Week.
Some people still enjoy keeping all of their contacts and birthdays in an address book with their planner. If that is you, then make sure whichever planner you choose it also includes an address book.
One word of caution I would suggest never keep your passwords in your planner or any easily accessible location. Passwords are one item I strongly urge everyone keeps in a secure location. Personally I use 1Password which is an excellent app with computer software options that works across all devices.
It is a great idea incorporating meal planning into your planner. I’ve written an article on meal planning and depending upon your personality there are many ways you can go about this. Some paper planners offer an area to record your meal plans for each day. Other planners may not have a section for meal planning however you can always write your meal onto your calendar or daily appointments. There is also an option of using an online resource such as Plan To Eat to plan out your meals which could be added to your smartphone calendar (I love this option!) or you may also write the meals into your supper time slot.
Different Kinds of Planners that Fit Your Needs
I use my smartphone for my calendar so I do not need to schedule my events into the appointment portion of the planner. However as a reminder I do write down my appointments at the top of each day so I can plan my tasks around those events.
You have so many options for your planner so do not rush the process. Spend a few minutes deciding what should you track in your planner. This will prevent you from dealing with planner failure or #plannerfail.
This is a second in the series of articles on how to choose a planner, you can find the first article here. If any of your friends are getting ready to look for a planner please share this post with them. Stay tuned for more great tips on choosing your planner.
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