Diaries can be wonderful tools for getting organized and improving productivity! Whether you have a busy schedule or not, agendas allow you to express yourself and organize yourself better. If you want to learn more about how to start a planner, this article was made just for you.
Step 1: Buy a laptop
To start, you will need a notebook. You can choose from several options. If you love bullet journaling, a dotted journal is the perfect option for you. When choosing, be sure to pay attention to the weight and thickness of the page so that the markers do not cross. If you don’t want to start a journal on your own, a regular planner is the one for you. Choose the one that best suits your organizational needs. Take into account the type of spreads it offers.
Both of these can be easily found at most stationery stores and online. I recommend that you check the reviews of the laptops you are interested in before buying. After all, this notebook will accompany you all year round.
Step 2: Choose stationery supplies
Now that you have your notebook, you will need supplies to write in it. A pen is an essential part of planning, so pick your favorite. If you want to decorate your planner, you may want to get additional supplies such as markers, brush pens, highlighters, sticky notes, and washi tape. Also, for bullet journaling, unless you can draw lines seamlessly like Amanda Rach Lee, a ruler will be a great addition to your pencil case. Keep in mind that you don’t need expensive supplies to get your planner started!
Step 3: Make it unique
One of the benefits of a planner is that it can be unique and personalized to your tastes. With the supplies you have gathered, decorate and personalize it. Scribble on it, highlight texts, put washi tape on, etc. You can find tons of planner decorating inspiration on Pinterest and We Heart It. Your notebook should reflect your mind so you can organize it!
Step 4: Decide how you will use it
The actual organization starts here. From this point on, you have to decide how you will use it, i.e. which spreads will benefit you. Do you want to use the monthly calendar? How often should you check it? What about weekly pages? What do you want to keep track of? Ask yourself these questions and decide what you think will work best for you. Don’t be afraid to make the wrong choice! If you think your system isn’t working, tweak it until it does.
More examples of questions to ask yourself:
- What is the main thing you will use your planner for?
- Do you prefer daily pages or weekly pages?
- Do you want to have spreads specifically for school/college/work?
- Do you also want to use my planner as an agenda?
You can also do online quizzes to help you find your scheduling system. A good example is the Erin Condren quiz that you can find here.
Step 5: Fill in important dates
Now that you have a system to start with, fill your pages with important dates and reminders. Write down your exam dates, tests, homework, due dates, birthdays… Anything you need to remember, write it down! Then build your planner from these, they will be the foundation and foundation of your organization.
Step 6: Check it daily
Being consistent and checking your planner regularly will get you faster results, I can assure you. Something I struggled with when I first started planning was doing it every day. So I was never completely organized! But if you commit to checking your calendar every morning to set daily tasks or every night to reflect on the past day for five minutes, you’ll feel more organized and productive. To help you, you can set an alarm clock to remind you. Also, devote more time to your journal on weekends and less busy days. Personally, I like to use Sunday for this, but feel free to pick any day that works for you.
Step 7: Don’t be too hard on yourself
You have to be realistic and know your limits! Sometimes a simpler layout might be more useful for your organization. Speaking from personal experience, when you try too hard to be artistic, you miss the point of planning and bullet journaling. If you’ve decided to give planning a try, you’re probably struggling with time management. It should therefore be a supplement rather than a burden. I remember when I first tried bullet journaling, I gave up two weeks later because I had put too much pressure on the artistic aspect. Working your journal to its full potential can only happen when you balance the organizational and artistic aspects of planning.
Step 8: Take your time
Launching a planner and enjoying its benefits can take some time. If you and a friend start at the same time and your friend seems to handle the situation better, don’t worry. Adapting to a new mode of organization takes time and differs from person to person. Be patient with yourself: relax, work hard and become Santa Claus in the meantime! I know it’s easier said than done, but nothing risked, nothing gained.
Once you’ve done these steps, have fun with them. Discover different methods! Changing your routine from time to time also helps you maintain your productivity. Keep it dynamic! When you get bored with your routine, you are likely to fall into cycles of procrastination which are super hard to overcome. So seek balance in your life and in your journal. Happy planning!