10 Miscellaneous Planner Tips

Planner Tips

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1.       Don’t let unused space go to waste. If you have a page that isn’t being used, figure out a way to use it.  My planner pages come with a Business Expenses chart at the end of each set of monthly pages.  I don’t need it to track business expenses but it works great for tracking goals.

Planner Tips

2.       If you need to put contact information in you’re address pages temporarily, use pencil, or better yet, put the information on a post-it note.  When you no longer need the information, erase or toss.

Planner Tips

3.       Use the area between sections for specific information.  There’s nothing between my YZ tab and my monthly calendars so rather than use up one of my tabs, I use that area for as an in-box.  No, it’s not labeled but I know it’s there.

Planner Tips

4.       If you have room on your monthly calendars, record big or important events and mark them so you can find them quickly.  I have them in my Monthly Index but sometimes it’s easier just to glance through my monthly pages.

Planner Tips

5.       Use symbols on your Notes pages so you can see at a glance the different topics.  Or you can even use headings.

Planner Tips

6.       Write wherever you want to! Just because there are boxes for certain things doesn’t mean you can’t write elsewhere.  I take advantage of every space.

Planner Tips

7.       Write reminders to yourself directly on your pages.

Planner Tips

8.       Add pages to make things easier.  I pay my bills weekly.  When I record the bills on my bill paying chart, I used to flip back to my monthly pages so I could figure out which week the bill needed to be paid.  Finally I got sick of doing that and taped a calendar to the tab next to my bill paying chart.  So much easier!!!

Planner Tips

9.       Write each day’s menu on a post-it note and stick it on the appropriate page.  Then if plans change and you don’t make that meal, move the note to another day.

Planner Tips

10.     If your day gets complicated and your original to-do list doesn’t work anymore, don’t switch planners!  Instead, insert a blank piece of paper, make a new list, get done what you can, and start fresh tomorrow.  This works, too, if you just need to do something different for a day or two.  It doesn’t mean you need a new planner format.

Planner Tips

Nothing spectacular here, just a bunch of little things that make my planner work better for me.  What do you do to make your planner work better for you?


  1. I’m on a weekly only planner (the Star Trek 16 month engagement calendar). It just has blank spaces for each day of the week, so no appointment lines and a bit of a blank space to the left or right of those. I’ve always liked these kinds of planner/calendars because they don’t look office-like and have a lot of different pictures, so I made the leap for the new year. To make it work:

    1. I used the back blank part of the cover for contact information.

    2. I also use the back part to stick doctor appointment paperwork in, like test paperwork.

    3. For doctor’s appointments, I write the address or a joggle for the address on a Post It and stick in on the day of the appointment.

    4. I have a lot of potential events. For example, I go to about four or five science fiction conventions a year. But there’s probably 20 or so in the area all year. That I made into a list on Evernote, rather than writing the dates on Post Its planner and having it clutter things up. Then I just added the ones I was definitely attending into the planner and could use the list to decide on ones later in the year.

    5. The blank spot next to the weekly section I use for story responses (i.e., Tor rejected X story), most as a reference for when I go to critique group so I don’t have to remember it. I’ve also been using it for word counts.

    6. Some work stuff that ended up needing to be in here is on Post Its. I have a report I have to send out on a certain date. It’s not done at an actual time (mainly because I never get all the parts on time) and alternates weeks, so I just need the Post It as a reminder.
    Linda Maye Adams, Soldier, Storyteller recently posted…Book from one of the Korean AdamsesMy Profile

  2. Kathleen Mixon says:

    Great ideas. It is so easy to get overwhelmed when you try to use the planner exactly like it was created. Some, (I have been known to do this) trash one set of inserts to buy a different one because it is hard to not ‘color outside the lines’ so to speak.

    • Kathleen: I’ve never had any trouble “coloring outside the lines”. In fact, it’s kind of fun to do it. I don’t like my planner page to look too orderly so writing everywhere makes it look the way I like.

      Live dangerously – write on your page where you’re not supposed to! :)

  3. The first tip was the one I needed! Thanks.
    Susan recently posted…‘Twas just before ChristmasMy Profile

  4. You have the best tips!
    Kristy recently posted…Skinnying Up A Fat PlannerMy Profile

  5. Dianne in the desert says:

    Hi, Patty! The flexibility aspect is something that some of us lack when we start using our planners. “But my pages are so pretty” yada, yada… Using pretty pages is a choice that I make, but that does not mean that the pastters or printed lines/areas can only be used “as designated”. Oh, heck no!” I have been using highlights and colored pens/pencils, plus the famous “Post-it” notes!

    I figure it this way: The planner and its contents are mine. If I choose to make changes that make it more “user friendly” for me, then so be it. If the change migth be helpful to others, I can always propse it to the maker of the planner, right?

    I am now into getting ready for the holiday. My holiday planner is out on my desk and everyone knows not to move it. It is sitting right next to my everyday planner. The “two planners” situation will not really arise again until Easter, then 4th of July, then Labor Day, then Thanksgiving and it stays out until after the Nw Year. I keep the used pages in the planner until I am ready to start preparing for the next year’s holiday. When I have things reviewed and have done the pages for the next holiday, I carchive the old pages.

    This is part of the reason why I make so many of my own pages. I can buy any of the monthly calendars that I want. The rest of my pages are already in my files or in my storage files waiting to be used. When I design forms, I leave a lot of room for notations and the other things that I need.

    Now that the holidays are arriving, I have made the needed changes for this year and printed my forms. I have my gift shopping done other than stocking stuffers. My daughter and I will be doing that this week. My husband’s gift was fun to find this year and he will love it. This “be organised” stuff is working out just great!

    Merry almost Christmas!


  6. I just ordered the Original Filofax A5 , and I’ve heard the inserts they are sending with them are the vertical week on two pages. I don’t usually use that lay out, so I’m really hoping I can figure out how to tweek it to my advantage. Should be interesting. Maybe next month, I’ll have a response post for you on my efforts. ;)
    I’ve been pretty succesful with the GTD system, although I do tend to get overwhelmed. I’m considering using the GTD as my organized “Master task list” and add 5 to do’s to each day. I’m hoping that will leave room for appt’s and so on.
    Lynzy recently posted…Killing time…My Profile

    • I love the vertical weekly! I think it really gives you a good view of your week. Sometimes, if I’m feeling overwhelmed, I print out a vertical weekly and plot out my week. I don’t usually look at it again, but seeing it helps me figure out what to do when and if I can even do it. Then I transfer the information to my daily pages. But if I was going to use weekly, I’d use vertical.

      Let me know how it works for you.

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