All of have something we need to do every day and most of us have things written down to help us remember what we need to achieve on a daily or weekly basis. One of my favorite things to keep me in task is using a weekly planner. I’m going to try to explain to you that you just can’t grab a planner and tell yourself you are going to use it. I know this from experience. Just grabbing one off the shelf from your local store isn’t going to help you be more organized-it just might stress you out and make daily and weekly things harder to do.
My Experience with an Off-the-Shelf Planner
This past year, right around August before my classes began, I remember going into Target and passing the small clearance section of office supplies and seeing a planner that I had marveled at a few weeks before. It was 1 of 3 or 4 left and it was $1-2 off so I decided why not try it-I needed a planner anyway. This planner has monthly calendars and weekly planners. (My idea before I saw this planner on clearance was to make my own.)
This planner worked great for about 1 week. After that week I realized I hated it. I just didn’t work for me. This planer was made for someone with very structured time and projects that didn’t take up more than 6 words. This planner was made for someone who already had their life in a strict pattern of consistency.
Well, that nice, cute, and plain planner got put aside and a notebook stepped in (again it was from the clearance section at Target). And every week I wrote down what I needed to get done and crossed it out as I went.
The lesson I learned was an easy and some-what cheap, but still quite obnoxious one. Planners aren’t meant to be grabbed off the shelf. My main mistake was the fact that I couldn’t see inside the planner before I purchased it. If you can’t look at the inside of the planner – don’t buy it (even if it gives you a preview on the back). Planners are meant to help you with the many things going on inside your life – not create a pain and be inconvenient.
I resorted to a simple list system with very poor organization. The beginning of the year has brought to my attention that I need a new planner (even though a notebook lasts forever and the blue planner would work just fine).
Here is what I have to say about picking out a planner. This isn’t supposed to make you want just one kind, but I’m specifically going to tell you about making your own.
What Do You Need?
Planners come in all sizes, styles, and prices. You probably have an idea of what size you need based on where you take your planner and how much you use it. Deciding what style you need depends on your own opinion; if you like animals, then get a planner that involves animals. The cost of a planner ranges from just a few minutes of printing, or a few dollars, to $50 or more.
Planners can be a BIG PAIN-especially of you don’t have an idea on what you are looking for. My best suggestion for you no matter your confusion on purchasing a planner-just make it for you. Make it for yourself. You don’t always need an off-the-shelf planner that feels impersonal-planners are supposed to be personal!
Making Your Own Planner
When you start making your own planner I recommend thinking about what size of planner you need. Full page/3-ring binder size is very common and easy to create, so that is what I will start with. 3-ring binders are much easier to work with rather than other binder types that need specific things (amount of hole punches, etc.).
Weekly planners are very important-everything that goes on in 1 week happens within 7 days and you need to have space for that information! Weekly planners such as this whimsical, black and white planner, with no lines, from The Suels is great for people that like to color and enjoy designs. If you prefer lines, try My week from Happily Hope, it’s in line format or line-less! If you enjoy color and simple designs (my personal favorite) the Basic Daily Planners from Maxine Renee Designs are the weekly planners you need. She has 1 page and 2 page planners along with other weekly planners! Or if you want a planner with more structure then you might like This Week planner from World Label made by Erin Rippy. Or if you like the to-do list style-try the planners/lists from Scattered Squirrel.
Once you have your weekly planner, you are going to (maybe) need a calendar (if you want). I (highly) recommend the calendars from My Computer is My Canvas. The calendars are available in 3 different styles and are great for a new planner!
I hope you liked the ideas that are involved in making your own planner. If you are using a planner such as the one below, you need to find a new one because there are things in your life that need more space then a 1/2 inch box.
In the new year make time for yourself and make space for your plans.
Good luck and happy organizing!