Different Ways to Use a Planner

I’m guilty of buying multiple planners and never using them. I don’t have the power to beat the impulse that implores me to buy. If a planner is cute, colorful, has topography or pictures (basically a Ban.do planner), I’m sold.

When I was younger, this impulse to shop was especially brutal, but as I’ve gotten older and learned more about myself and my planning style, I’ve started to effectively use my planners instead of simply letting them gather dust and letting Ban.do take more of my money.

I found creative ways to interact with my planner that are interesting and fun to do, not to mention helpful ways for me to stay on top of my plans.

Document Self-reflection

The main reason I was never consistent with my old planners was because it was boring. I didn’t put anything interesting in them! Instead of just jotting down your day to day schedule, you can use your planner to express yourself!

Use a daily planner to give thanks for all of the good things that happened to you throughout the day. This can help you reflect on your life and drown out the worries and angst with good thoughts. Think about the small to big things, like someone caring enough to ask about your day or winning money at the lotto.

Your daily journal can also be a mood tracker. This can be beneficial if you’re trying to build emotional resilience, tracking how you felt that day or any emotional struggles that might you’ve experienced. This allows you to spot any patterns or trends in your emotions that can help you be aware of any triggers. This particular tracking, I did for one whole week, and I was amazed by how emotionally volatile I was during that duration of time. It wasn’t a necessarily a good result, but I gained powerful information and changed my emotional reactions to circumstances.

Income Tracking

Try using your planner for expense tracking. This in particular I’m trying to practice more consistently.

Income tracking doesn’t have to only be about how you’d spent your money. Write down the income from your job, or from side hustles, and see how much you’re making daily.

Your daily, weekly, or monthly expenses can all be tracked in your planner. If you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer, a planner can help you keep track of any orders or deliveries you have coming or that you’ve made during a certain period of time.

Bills and debt payoffs are other common and popular tracking to do. It allows you to see the visual progress that you’re making. Now that I’ll be graduating from college next year, I’m very interested in keeping my own debt payoff planner for the loans that I have. This can help me figure out what I need to do to pay them off and not spend the next thirty years of my life trying to do so. I especially recommend this for anyone trying to achieve financial freedom.

Leisure Activities

As we grow older, we tend to have less hobbies or none at all. I’m freshly turned twenty-one and even I forget to live sometimes. So using your planner to track and schedule leisure time is a must!

If you’re a TV junkie or binge watcher, scheduling when the shows will air and maybe including a synopsis of that episode will help you to be more engaged with the series. Or if you’re a movie buff anticipating the new Marvel movie or a summer rom com, you can set release days for teaser trailers, premieres, and the movie release itself! It’s a fun little hobby that you can create simply by tracking and scheduling.

If you’re a part of any social groups or organizations, you can schedule and track any upcoming social engagement details or plans. Some of us are privileged to have a fully booked social calendar. If you’re one of those, using a planner may help you not get lost in all the commotion.

Your planner is completely your own. If none of these ideas appeal to you, you can literally make your planner whatever you want it to be. It doesn’t have to resemble anyone else’s or whatever guru planner you saw online on Pinterest.

A planner is personal, so make it personal for yourself.

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