How to Use a Daily Planner

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 manage your daily appointments and 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.

Different Types of Daily Planners

Different Types of Daily Planners - A5 Daily LifePlanner™ Ring Agenda

While the Daily LifePlanner™ Duo is our best-selling day planner, we have several daily planners designed to fit different daily schedules, needs, goals, and styles.

A5 Daily LifePlanner™ Ring Agenda

Customize your planning experience effortlessly with the A5 Daily LifePlanner™ Ring Agenda. This refillable planner features an industry-standard six-ring binder system + plenty of storage pockets in a stylish vegan leather agenda cover. It’s the perfect portable folio organizer for adding and rearranging your choice of planning inserts to suit your unique needs while enhancing daily organization and productivity. Here’s how you can create your own agenda planner.

Daily Wellness Planner

Prioritize daily self-care and wellness effortlessly with the daily A5 Wellness Planner, featuring daily planning pages, food logs, trackers for healthy habits, and more to help you maintain balance and reduce stress in your daily life. This daily planner is ideal for anyone who is serious about creating a healthy lifestyle. It's great as a standalone wellness planner or as a companion to a more traditional day planner.

PetitePlanner Daily Planners

Simplify your routines and boost productivity with PetitePlanner Daily Planners, compact and portable daily planners covering three months of daily planning each (you can get them individually or in a daily planner bundle set of 4). Perfect for anyone who likes to stay organized on the go and designed to help you navigate each day with ease and clarity.

A5 Daily Intention Journal Planner

Part guided journal, part prompted planner, start each day centered and balanced with the A5 Daily Intention Journal. Perfect for cultivating mindfulness, improving organization and focus, and reducing daily overwhelm. Utilize the thoughtful prompts to set your daily intentions and manifest them through inspired action. This daily planner journal is ideal for anyone who wants to navigate each day with purpose and enjoy more intentional living.

Daily LifePlanner™ Duo

Last but not least, the customer-favorite Daily LifePlanner™ Duo is a powerful set of two six-month daily planners you can customize to help you plan each day your way. Use the hourly sections to streamline your schedule, the productivity sections to tackle daily to-dos, the weekly overview pages for recapping your week or planning the next week ahead, and the monthly calendars and dashboards to organize your big-picture goals, events, appointments, and more. This daily planner set is designed for anyone who has a busy schedule or just loves to have a full page to plan each day.

Want to explore more planner types? Check out 11 Different Planner Types Explained + How to Choose.

What’s the Difference Between a Daily Planner and a Weekly Planner?

daily planner vs. weekly planner

2024 Daily + Weekly LifePlanners pictured above. Shop new arrivals in our LifePlanner™ Collection.

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, a daily planner 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 a day 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, a daily planner lets you keep track of everything life throws at you, down to the half-hour. Learn more about the pros and cons of the Daily LifePlanner™ Vs. Weekly LifePlanner™ + get expert planning tips and prompts for each.

What Features of a Daily Planner Keep You Organized?

Daily LifePlanner™ keep you organized

The best daily planners have an hourly planning feature to ensure you can plan out every hour (and half-hour) of your day. They also include features like note pages, customizable blank spaces, and more to help you record your thoughts, notes, journal, and keep track of those more flexible items in your day to day. The daily planning pages should also feature 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.

Discover Daily, Weekly, Monthly Planning Tips to support your goals and organizational needs at every stage.

How Do You Use Your Daily Planner Effectively?

How do you use your daily planner effectively

2023 Daily LifePlanner™ pictured above. Shop new daily planners in our LifePlanner™ Collection.

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 daily planner helps you plan a life that works for you, one day at a time, so it’s okay (even encouraged) to stay flexible with your planning approach.

Keep in mind your daily planner is more than a running list of daily tasks or meetings you need to get through. Your daily planner is also a source of daily 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 daily 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?

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 planner. 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.

Explore more fun and functional ways to How to Organize Your Planner.

How Do You Use a Daily Planner Every Day?

How do you use a daily planner every day

Now that you have your day outlined, keep your daily 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 planner 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 day 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 daily planner. Start with the best-selling Erin Condren Daily LifePlanner™.

Related Planning Guides

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