If you’re wondering how to use a planner effectively, you’ve come to the right place. I mean, CGD LONDON is a haven for stationery addicts! We’ve always loved a good planner, from the early days of CGD when Celina and I would build our own planners (complete with homemade bookmarks) to the first-ever prototype of the Getting Stuff Done planner. We’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you level up your planning game.
Choose a style that suits you
Right so first, you need to think about the kind of planning style that you need. There are a few different types but the main differences are: one is macro, and the other is micro. By that we mean, do you like to see everything coming up in one big calendar, in a bird’s eye view, or do you prefer to get down into the nitty-gritty details of every day? You can use both macro and micro planning to level up your planning, too. Macro planning requires something like a weekly desk pad or a yearly diary to allow you to see things at a glance, whereas micro-planning uses a daily planner or project planner so you can get into the details of your to-do list and everything you need to get done.
Combining both is the best way to be productive.
Color coding/colorful markers
Being busy makes it easy to get lost in the abundance of tasks and activities. Using color-coding to organize items in your planner will make the picture much clearer – and more vibrant! Yes it’s fun, but it’s also a big part of how to use a planner effectively.
Highlighters, stickers, different-colored pens or Washi tape all work wonderfully for separating urgent tasks from monthly bill payments and birthdays from work appointments. Choose what you like best, develop a color-coding system, and stick to it. Next, watch your life get more structured!
Keep it all in one place
A planner is designed to be your time-management centerpiece, and it works best if you use it this way. The idea is to keep everything in one place so that you don’t have to search for that important note you made on a random napkin at a café.
Make it a point to use your planner every time you need to write something down. Resist the temptation to scatter your thoughts and to-do lists across different notebooks. Life is just so much easier when you don’t have to keep track of your time-management tools.
Make it a habit
Simply buying a planner is not enough to organize your life. You need to actually use it, and you need to do it consistently.
The key to using a planner regularly is to do it the way you enjoy. Some people like laying out their week on a Sunday night, others like to split their weekly planning into two sessions. Find out what routine works best for you, create a ritual that you enjoy and follow it. The only answer for how to use a planner effectively is to use it well, and make it part of your routine.