use planner effectively

How to use my planner effectively

Have you been wondering how to use your planner effectively? Whether you are new to bullet journaling or a seasoned user, there are lots of ways to develop and grow your planner habit! In case you are unfamiliar — a bullet journal is a hybrid that combines your daily planner, your journal, your diary, and your to-do lists.

Bullet journaling has gained such a following in the last few years; it has become an industry to itself. I am always on the lookout for new tips and tricks, and love to collaborate with my fellow bullet journal lovers to share ideas. The amazing journalers linked below have some wonderful tips and tricks and hacks that can really take your ‘bujo’ to the next level!

how to use my planner effectively

5.The co-authors at Diary of a Journal Planner Bullet Journal Tips and Tricks recommend starting simple and to focus on the information instead of the aesthetics at the beginning. In order to develop the habit of using your new bullet journal, use it daily even if that is just for five minutes. Start with a quick outline of what you intend to use it for and use that to build your index.

how to use my planner effectively

4.Nancy from Sweet Planit has some great tips to share with us. First and foremost, to be patient with yourself — that not every page in your personal bullet journal has to be Instagram-worthy. And only create pages that you plan to use so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Using stamps, stickers, washi tape, and doodles to decorate really make the pages pop but minimalist is okay too if that is your style. After all, this is your bullet journal!

how to use my planner effectively

3.If you are already familiar with the basics, Shelby from Little Coffee Fox has some great hacks to take it to the next level. If you want to use your planner effectively, try color coding — along the outer edges of your journal makes things easy to organize and see categories at a glance. Markers and washi tape are great for color-coding and make sure to color-code and categorize your index to match.

how to use my planner effectively

2.Kalyn has two great page hack tutorials. I wish I had found her post earlier! She describes how to create a great dutch-door or the perfect flip-out page. It’s like making your bullet journal 3D! I love my flip out page because I can have my color coding “cheatsheet” readily available no matter what page I’m working on.

Over 100 things to track

1.One of the most common questions I get from everyone, new bullet journal folks and seasoned users, is what else can I track in my bujo. I have created a great list of over 100 things to track from all facets of life – calendar, celebrations, entertainment, faith, financial, food, health, hobbies, household maintenance, kids, pets, self-care, to-do lists, and even work.

Subscribe below and get the great cheat sheet to add something new to your bullet journal!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the most out of my planner?

Your planner is your employee — it is here to work for you. That said, sometimes it can be hard to figure out just how to use all of those pages and features. My methods have certainly evolved and will continue to change as life evolves. Sometimes I’m good at using it and sometimes I’m not so diligent. But I keep at it. I love having my color-coded so that I can see at a glance what is coming up in my month.

What do I include in my planner?

Oh so many things! I highly recommend starting with a simple calendaring system and growing from there. You can also sign up below to get access to my library of printables which includes a terrific cheat sheet of tracking ideas!

How do I start using my planner effectively?

Block out a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day to focus on your planner habit. Over time, you will really see a difference in how effective it becomes when you figure out what needs to happen that day and when you plan ahead for the next day.

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organizing on paper

Why I like organizing in paper

Photo by Kaboompics .com on
There is a time and place for electronic organizing, but my default is always the paper!

I have tried and tried to switch to electronic organizing formats, however I always come back to my paper versions. I have used Day Runner, Filofax, Moleskine, and have finally landed on a Talia discbound journal. It seems that I prefer the ones that are customized over hardbound or spiral bound. I like being able to add, remove, and rearrange pages as needed. Plus, if I mess up a page I can just replace it easily! When I used the Moleskine, I sometimes had to turn a page into a scrapbook of sorts to cover up some bad lettering attempts. I am currently using the set that came with this handy starter set from Talia Discbound Notebook. Not only did it include the covers and discs, but it also came with an amazing variety of planner stickers to help get you started. I have the simple grey cover but I will admit I have been eyeballing the purple marble! I’ve also taken a look at some of the nice leather covers with credit card slots on the inside. It would be so handy for business cards.

undefinedI love the paper. I like the tactile aspects of paper – turning the pages, the pens and pencils scratching along the surface or the gel pens gliding out their beautiful colors; the physical act of crossing something off the to-do list; the ability to add a mandala to color or tracing a new picture as a monthly cover. These things you just can’t get with an electronic list!

And lest you assume that paper planners are boring, you should take a look at some of the beautiful layouts people have created! I can really get lost down a Pinterest rabbit hole looking at layouts or stickers or planner pages.

Now I do use electronic means to create some of the pages that I use. Word will draw a straighter line or a more even circle than I ever could! But I print them out, hole punch them, and add them right into my discs. I was admittedly skeptical that a set of loose discs would actually hold a planner together but it really does work. I bought a small hole punch when I first put my system together but I will probably end up getting a larger one that can accommodate more pages at once.

The Talia Junior which I have is interchangeable with numerous other discbound brands of the same size, such as Arc or Circa by Levenger. I would invite you to check out this terrific guide from Laura at I Heart Planners — ‘The Ultimate Guide To Discbound Planners’. She says it all so much well, I can’t improve!

Anyway, thanks so much for reading! I would love to hear about what planners you like best and why you enjoy the one you have!