How to Use a Daily Planner

Did you know that writing by hand helps you remember and learn better than digital note-taking? It’s true! Studies have shown the effectiveness of using the pen over the keyboard, increasing our ability to process information more effectively.

So while you may have a digital calendar or use an app on your phone, incorporating a daily paper planner to create a daily to-do list can be more beneficial for your daily routine. To stay organized and achieve your daily goals, here are our tips for how to use a daily planner.

What’s the difference between a daily planner vs. a weekly planner?

Planners come with different calendar layouts, including an option to see the year at a glance, and daily, weekly, and monthly planning sections. Having multiple options allows for more in-depth planning.

A weekly planner is great for planning pros and organization novices alike. This type of planner lets you see your entire week at a glance. You can look ahead to see what’s due at the end of each week, allowing you to prioritize when you tackle tasks Monday through Friday and on weekends.

If you have a lot to keep track of each day, our Daily LifePlanner™ will give you the space you need to cover every detail. Each day has its own page, which is then broken down by the hour. With this type of planner, you can pencil in meetings, school pick-up times, project due dates, dinner reservations — you name it.

Whether you’re just getting in the habit of planning or have been a master planner for years, our Daily LifePlanner™ lets you keep track of everything life throws at you.

What features of the Daily LifePlanner™ keep you organized?

While our Daily LifePlanner™ ensures you can plan out every hour of your day, it’s also designed to help you keep track of those more flexible items. Each daily planning page features a to-do list section where you can jot down chores or errands you need to get done. Think picking up a cake for your friend’s birthday, returning that phone call, or washing that sports uniform before the game on Saturday.

This extra space is also perfect for detailing unexpected to-dos that come up throughout the day. Do you need to follow up with someone via email or RSVP to an invite? Record it here. As you complete each item, cross it off your list. Seeing that you’ve finished these tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to continue to meet your daily, weekly, and monthly goals.

How do you use your daily planner effectively?

Before clocking out for the workday or putting your notifications on do not disturb, review your daily to-do list. Move any items you didn’t get to over to tomorrow’s list. By taking just five or 10 minutes to plan the night before, you can set your mind at ease by preparing for tomorrow. This sort of daily planning helps you get a jump on the next day, so you’re already ahead of the game.

If the next day’s to-do list, paired with your daily schedule, feels overwhelming, consider which tasks take priority. Move any less urgent items to the following day or week if it’s doable. Your planner helps you plan a life that works for you, so it’s okay (even encouraged) to stay flexible with your planning approach.

Keep in mind your planner is more than a running list of items or meetings you need to get through. Your planner is also a source of inspiration. Use the note pages and white space of your planner to add favorite quotes, words of affirmation, stickers, pops of color, doodles — whatever motivates and inspires you to make the most of your day or week. Plan for growth or chart the progress of projects in your planner. Call out goals with sticky notes or highlights to help you visualize the progression of these targets and keep them from getting lost among your other activities.

How do you organize your daily planner?

There are several ways to organize your planner and make it your own. After all, that’s half the fun of keeping a planner! One great idea is to color-code your plans. Different colors for different items can help you sort, organize, and visualize your day. Write all work-related items in one color, personal items in another, and family items in a third color. Call out any special occasions with planner stickers so you’re sure to remember.

If you’re planning ahead, take advantage of page markers and tabs to flag important pages, dates, and sections in your Daily LifePlanner™. A smart daily planning tip is to look ahead at upcoming deadlines and schedule time each day to tackle small chunks of the project before the due date.

Use your planner’s storage pockets for storing items you may need to keep handy but don’t want to clutter up your desk or purse. If you’re tired of taking up phone storage space with phone numbers, our planners even come with a contacts page so you can keep track of work numbers and extensions.

How do you use a daily planner every day?

Now that you have your day outlined, keep your planner handy. Cross items off your schedule as they happen so you can focus on the remaining tasks of the day. Because change is constant, you’ll want to adjust the contents of your schedule as times and dates shift. Use your planner as a reference when you’re asked to schedule appointments or to provide your availability. If plans are tentative, consider writing them in pencil or on a sticky note so you can move them if necessary.

Get the most out of your Daily LifePlanner™ by making it your own. Fill each page with notes, stickers, tabs, and colorful highlights that will keep you organized and accountable. The best part of using a daily planner is that you get to plan each day your way; so, don’t be afraid to experiment and discover what works for you. Each day is a new opportunity to effectively streamline your schedule and meet your goals, all while keeping an eye on the future. Don’t just plan for your achievements. Watch them come to life with the help of your Erin Condren Daily LifePlanner™.