Do you struggle to remember things? Friend’s birthdays, dentist appointments (I feel you there!) or buying an anniversary present for your S.O.? Well, a planner that’s utilized well and properly maintained is definitely the key to your issues! Never had a diary or got one but barely use it? Here’s my advice for finding peace with your planner (and your life!)…
1. Get one that suits your lifestyle
For some people, remembering upcoming events and to-do’s, the calendar in their phone is all they need. For other people, that sometimes just doesn’t suit. A small pocket-sized diary is absolutely perfect for those who can just throw it in their bag and go but sometimes that just isn’t feasible.
I have a beautiful large Kate Spade diary that I leave open on my bookcase in the bedroom. It’s one of the first things I check in the morning and I put everything into it. It works for me and that’s the most important thing because if it doesn’t then you simply won’t use it. So figure out which will suit your lifestyle best: a large paper diary, small pocket diary or an app on your phone.
2. Use prompts and reminders to avoid surprises
Everyone’s been in that situation where they’ve realized the day before a friend’s birthday party that they’ve neglected to buy a present (okay, so probably not everyone but most people). A spot of re-gifting and a poorly wrapped present later they’re not feeling too good about the situation.
Instead, write yourself reminders in your diary. Got a birthday party coming up? Put down “Buy birthday present” two weeks before. Got an important function where you need a new outfit, do the same thing. Use your diary, not only as a way of noting events but as a physical (or digital) reminder to purchase things, clean things, give loaned items back, the list goes on.
3. Create space in your diary for inspiration and creativity
Don’t make your diary all about dates! I know how bizarre that sounds, but use it for writing down some lists of things that will get you inspired and excited for the month ahead.
You could write down a list of books to read that month or movies to see. Maybe a new skill you want to start or a free festival that starts. Either way, try to use your diary as a way of inspiring you each month!
4. Set aside time to check it
I like to give my diary a good once over on a Sunday afternoon. This gives me time to make sure I’ve got a gym bag packed for Barre class on Monday or an outfit for the girls’ dinner on Thursday night. That way you’re not rushing around in the morning packing your clothes for yoga or a clutch for dinner after work. Make some time every week to check your diary and soon it will simply become a habit and you’ll start checking it more frequently!
5. Make everything work for you
Go beyond using your diary just as a way of jotting down upcoming dates and reminders. Try some bullet journaling – where you simply jot down goals for the month, tasks for the day and a daily log of what you achieved (things could be as simple as ‘Finished the first Hunger Games book’ or ‘Worked on psych essay’ and they could be as memorable as ‘Saw Tommy’s first steps!’.
Also look at using different colored pens and pencils or brightly patterned Washi tape to keep things creative. These can help you color code days or months as well as make events more important at a glance.