When you get the instant urge to get your life together at 3:00am and then can’t go back to sleep, your first nocturnal thought may be, I need to get a planner. And yeah. You probably do need to start writing in a planner. But when the light of day shines and you awake after a night of restless sleeping haunted by dreams of organization, highlighters and color coated pen, there may be a bit of panic that sets in. But no fear, below are the things that you need to consider when you are ready to invest into your very own planner!
The Size of Your Handwriting
Do you have enormous handwriting that has caused headaches for you every time you had to fill out a form or homework assignment with pre-planned lines? Well, it doesn’t need to be a headache for your planner but it is something you need to consider during your planner search.
Many planners have many months but no weeks. And when that happens, that spaces are usually super small and don’t work well for people with big handwriting. The frustration of trying to fit your Mother’s birthday party, plus your final exam, plus your 9:00am Yoga class will cause you to lose interest in using a planner all together! And that would be a shame.
There is an easy fix to this problem! Look for a planner that is by the week and make sure that there is plenty of space for you to plan and write as large as you may please.
What Size Planner Are You Looking For?
Are you hoping that this planner will be one you throw in your teeny tiny purse? Or your shoulder bag? Maybe your backpack? Well it doesn’t really matter how you choose to carry it as long as you consider that when you look to purchase one.
The reason being if you invest (and yes they are not always cheap so it is an investment!) in a large or small calendar, you want to make sure it fits in whatever you will be carrying it around in! Otherwise, you will leave it here or there and never use it deeming it retired to the cemetery of good ideas that ran their course!
What the Planner Will Be Used For
Is this planner going to be for school or work? Personal events or only work? School assignments or doctors appointments? This is of course, entirely up to you and what will work best for your schedule but it tends to get confusing when everything is going to overlap in one place.
The easiest way to get ahead of the confusion is to start color coating when writing your planner. Don’t be unrealistic in thinking that every time an event is scheduled you will have time to sit down and whip out your 45 gel pens and get planning. Maybe decide on two colors, blue for personal and red for school. Or purple for work and orange for personal. Whatever you need the planner for, just try to keep it uniform!
How Much Time You Are Actually, Realistically Going To Spend On It?
Now I know I discouraged the 45 pen routine above BUT if you have that kind of time and endurance then go for it (and I envy you!). Just be honest with yourself when deciding how much time you have to dedicate to it for the long run (or at least the year!).
You don’t want to end up with this beautiful but unattainable planner! You want something pretty and useful, functional and fashionable! So make it happen, it is all up to you and though that may be overwhelming, that is the best part!
Other Things to Keep in Mind:
When writing your planner-
It is important to consider last minute events because these will be the ones you forget to add. When you forget to add something to a planner, the eventually your planner renders itself useless because you just start to remember everything! Or so you think.
My sister has always kept a very organized life but even for her things come up last minute. So every night when she gets home, she goes right to her planner, records whatever she did that day that she didn’t have scheduled and looks ahead to her day tomorrow.
Maybe that is a little too much to ask from some of us but just do what you can to keep your planner accurate to your life!
It can be fun years later to look back at a well kept planner and laugh about what you were doing in 2012 or whatever.
While you are writing your planner-
You may run into frustrations when you are writing your planner like you are doing your best and you just can’t seem to get organized! That is 100% okay! Getting into a system that works for you is not as easy as googling “How to Get Organized”. It is much more complicated because not everybody is the same! We all work so differently and because of that, it will be trial and error, with a lot of error to begin.
It can be extremely easy to get burnt out while writing your planner. Try not to think of it as a must but instead a want. Though this may be uncomfortable at first (new habits always are) it will pay off in the end.
Soon, you won’t even think about it at all, it will just be another one of those things that you do, like washing your hands after the bathroom for example.
In writing your planner-
When you are writing in your planner, you may find that suddenly things are looking up! You are feeling more on top of things, appointments are being scheduled, bills are being paid and assignments are being done and that is great! That does not mean it is time to stop using your planner.
Having a planner is something that you maintain, like eating healthy or going to the gym. Just because you start to see your results and you are fitting into your old clothes does not mean you stop working out. Because things would go right back to normal completely defeating all of the hard work you did.