It’s nearing the end of the year. It’s when we begin reflecting on what we’ve accomplished, how we’ve accomplished it, and what we could’ve or should’ve done.
We’ve all started out with an intention to accomplish something throughout the year, but for whatever reason, we become unmotivated after a month or halfway through the year. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it happens to the best of us. It could be that we’re only being accountable to ourselves for reaching our goal. Whether we’ve shared our goals for the new year with our friends and family or not, our set goal is ultimately for our own benefit, not anyone else’s. So when we don’t reach our personal goal, it’s not really a big deal right? No one gets hurt and there’s always next year … Nope. You’ll always have that failure in the back of your mind — what you could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done.
But what about 2019? Will it be the same story?
Whether it’s a long-term or short-term goal, if we’re effective in planning out the steps we need to take to be successful, we’ll be more likely to accomplish our goal. For example, when was the last time you kept a planner? If you have to think about it, that’s not a good sign.
Some of the main reasons people are discouraged from keeping a planner are that they depend on their memory, can’t find the “perfect” planner, or find it a hassle to carry it around. There could be countless other reasons, but these are the ones that come to mind first.
For one, there are so many different kinds of planners out there — monthly, weekly, daily, digital, the list goes on. We live in a digital world. We rarely don’t have our phone in close proximity. Whether you just use your phone’s notes section or Google calendar, that’s SOMETHING. Your phone is easily accessible and you’re always checking it, don’t lie.
But maybe you’re a bit old school like me. The satisfaction of writing your to-dos down in a notebook may help in easing your stress. Depending on your mind to remember everything you need to do for the day and for the week will do the exact opposite.
I’ve always been dependent on my planner. But I can agree with a lot of people in saying that I’ve never been fully satisfied with the layout or design of my planners. I’ve often changed my methods throughout the year in search of the “perfect” planning system.
I finally decided I needed to seriously research the different brands of planners out there and splurge on my planner if necessary. So I did this. Having moved to Australia, I’ve also had to do a bit of research on the different brands that are available in this country. Although I could just as easily order from a U.S. brand, international shipping can turn out to cost half as much as the item itself. No jokes.
So I came across Emma Kate Co., owned by a creator from Melbourne, Australia. Such beautiful designs and layouts! Not too cluttered and has sufficient space for every day of the week. She has written-out fonts and quotes for every page and dotted paper so you can personalize each page. She also has different color and layout options — daily, weekly, undated — to choose from. I personally chose the daily planner because I like to include lots of details about my daily activities and I need the space for that.
Keeping a planner has done more than keep my daily schedule in one spot, it’s also kept me sane and less anxious. And when I find myself slacking on writing down buy to-dos, I get overwhelmed. So yes, I’ve slacked off on keeping my planner up to date at times, but here are a few pointers that I’ve learned along the way. They’ve helped me be more consistent and more put together.
1. Invest in a planner you actually like
It really is worth the money when you find a planner that meets your needs in aesthetic, functionality, value, and layout. Buying a cheap planner that you kinda like or kinda might use just won’t do the trick. For me, if I’ve invested more money on something I really like, I’ll not only push myself to use it because it cost a lot but it’ll also force me to get into a routine of using it.
2. Transfer later
If you don’t want to carry your planner around everywhere you go, keep a smaller notepad with you or use your phone. Writing things down as you remember them is extremely important. Even though you think you’ll remember it later, you won’t. So write it down. It doesn’t matter where. Then transfer it to your planner later.
3. Keep it somewhere visible
This is where the aesthetic of the planner comes in. Everyone wants to use something that’s pretty. And even more so if you keep it somewhere visible. So if your planner is easily accessible, you won’t forget that “Oh yeah, I should probably write down that thing I have to do next week.” And then you’ll remember that you wrote it down somewhere in your phone and all you have to do is transfer it to your planner. Which brings me to my next point …
4. Have a pen handy
It’s easier to write things down when you actually have something to write it down with. Agree? So do whatever it takes to always have a pen, pencil, marker, whatever you prefer, next to your planner, even if that means buying one of those pen holders that attach to your planner so that your pen doesn’t magically walk away.
5. Personalize it
It’s YOUR planner and you can do whatever you want with it. Doodle, add stickers, keep it as a planner/diary. Find it’s purpose and then make it function in that way. And if that means you want to buy a whole bunch of stickers and different colored pens, then do that. Whatever it takes to keep you motivated to use your planner.
I hope these tips help you out or give you some ideas. If you have any tips I didn’t mention, please share them in the comments! Also, what kind of planner do you use? Let me know!