If you’ve ever tried to use a planner but gave up because the pages didn’t work for you, don’t give up! There are a couple of reasons they didn’t work:
- Most planners are designed for people who are already organized; and
- Most planners are designed as generic as possible so they work for the largest number of people.
But not having a planner for that reason is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. You don’t have to buy those pre-printed pages that work for the two groups described above. You can design your own! That’s right – you can design your own. It’s not that hard. But if you feel that you’re a bit out of your league designing your own pages, there are lots of websites with downloadable pages (see list at the end of this post for a few).
Take a look at these pages I made for my planner and then look below for details about how I used the pages.
Section 1 – This is where I write down everything that needs done sometime. You can see that I have some items pre-printed because I do them every week. During my weekly planning session (on Sunday), I put an asterisk by the items that really need to be done the current week. I highlight items as I complete them. At the end of the week, I re-write everything I didn’t get done onto the next week’s page.
Section 2 – This is the area where I write the things that really need to be done that day. I try not to include anything that doesn’t HAVE to be done. I highlight items as I complete them.
Section 3 – These are my priorities. These are the things I need to do as many days as possible in order for me to keep my ducks in a row. Again, I highlight items as I complete them.
Section 4 – This is where I put my appointments. But I only put appointments that directly affect me. For example, if my daughter goes to work at 2:15, I want that written somewhere so I’m aware of it, but not in this area because it doesn’t directly affect me. Appointments that are for information only go in Section 6. The three boxes in section 4 represent morning, afternoon and evening. You could be more specific and put times at the side but I tried that and didn’t need it.
Section 5 – I use this area to record appointments for others that are for information only (see notes in Section 4).
Section 6 – I use the back of the page to record notes about the day and information I want or need to remember.
At the end of each day, after the daily page is updated, I move it to the back of my pages (I print a month at a time) so I always view the things to do page on the left and the current daily page on the right. My plan is that if I finish everything on the daily page, I start working on the things to do page. Or if the time is right to tackle one of the items on the things to do page, it’s right there in front of me so I can see it at all times. For me, out of sight is out of mind so I want to see it all.
These are my pages. They might work for you (downloadable pages below) but they might not because your life is different than mine. So if you want to give a planner another shot or make your current planner work better, consider making your own pages. I designed my pages after I analyzed my schedule, my needs and my personality. A planner company can’t do that for me. Only I can. And only you can come up with pages that work for you! So give it a shot.
- http://simplemom.com/ (she is currently working on her site, but when it’s back up, she has had downloadable planner pages in the past)
- http://www.thehouseholdplanner.com/products/weekly-pages/ (scroll down to find the free pages)