Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Using A Planner

Are you making the most of your life?

How you spend your days is how you spend your life, so stop for a moment and think about the question. Are you making the most of your life?

It is so easy to get caught up with your to do list that you never have time for fun. Or conversely find time for fun but never get finished with the tough items on your list.

This is why I swear by my planner. I use this one by Erin Condren and my daughter uses this Lilly Pulitzer one.

Find one that you love. The more excited you are about it, the more likely you are to use it.

The trick to successfully using your planner is to keep all of your appointments on the monthly pages and then use the daily pages for your lists and notes.

For example monthly pages are where I keep track of:
 appointments for hair, dentist, doctor, vet, pest control, window cleaner etc
 school holidays
 travel plans

It is a two page summary of who, what, when and where.  If you don't intend to carry your planner with you everywhere then it is a good idea to also keep this information on your phone.

At the beginning of each month I sit down and look at whats coming up and then start planning what I am going to do in the empty spaces. This is when I plan for fun, whether it's a night at the ballet or a weekend away. This is also where I plan for work and long term goals.

3 in 30

One tool that I use is called 3 in 30. Basically at the beginning of each month you think of three things that you want to accomplish that month. These are goals that require several steps, and usually several days and can be overwhelming if you place them on your regular to do list. But when faced with thirty days to accomplish them you will be surprised what you can achieve.

Before I started using 3 in 30 I would have things that were vaguely on my to do list but month after month went by and I just never got around to them. I have been astonished by how much I can get done if I know that I have a 30 day deadline. Try it!

Daily pages are where I keep track of the minutia of life
 meal planning
 exercise log
 to do lists
 to buy lists
 other lists
 medicine schedules
 routine house work schedules

My daughter uses her daily pages to keep track of her school work.

The Erin Condren planner has separate pages to record birthdays and anniversaries, which is fabulous because while I note a birthday party or dinner in my monthly pages, I don't want to use them to remind myself to send a card.

I also keep a notebook in my planner so that I have plenty of room to jot things down.

If you start planning your life, then you just might discover that you are actually making the most of it. It's amazing how much more you do once you start filling up of all the empty spaces on your calendar.

Which planner do you use? Do you have any great tips on how you use your planner?


  1. This is super helpful! I've been considering switching from my classic Datebook to an Erin Condron, because of the list capabilities! The month v. daily view is a great idea!!

  2. I am so glad that you found this helpful, I actually spent quite a bit of time choosing my new planner and even watched some videos on youtube so that I really knew what I was getting before I ordered it! Some people don't like how the pages are broken down into morning, day and night, but I just write over the top of that with my own headings. Every day is different. Let me know if you make the switch. I am finding myself to be so much more productive now.


The musings of a Town and Country friend...