If you aren’t already aware, the planner community is pretty huge. It’s full of (mostly) women who love to decorate their planners. Some decorate because it helps keep them motivated to use it, or they don’t like white space. I know some Planner Babes that don’t think they have anything to plan, so they use stickers instead. What many don’t realize is that their planner is an extension of their mind. Your brain knows exactly what you need to empower your planner with knowledge. There’s plenty of things to plan, you just have to decide what’s important to you and then commit to keeping up with it.
I’m what some may consider a “Type A” planner. I have several that I use daily. My “Frankenplanner” (multiple planners merged into one) maintains my blog planner, my health planner, and our family budget planner. That will most likely change next year. I have another planner that currently supports my freelance projects and my family life. I will be transferring my family planner to its own planner this summer. My third planner is for my faith journaling. I’m incredibly diligent about keeping them all updated daily because I know that each day depends on what I can remember to do.
Having multiple planners or being a member of the Planner Community is not necessary to be a planner. Not everyone is a “Type A” planner, and not everyone likes putting on stickers, color coding, or Bujo (Bullet Journal) planning. I’m a firm believer that planning is a personal thing. So if you’re struggling to figure out how or what to plan, here are a few ideas for you to consider. Let’s start with you.
#1 Knowledge About What Matters To You
- You are the most important person in your life because without you there is no life. So how are you treating yourself? Reminders to go to the gym, take a walk, or eat healthier is the kind of knowledge your planner needs. Adding personal goals is also a great way to motivate and keep yourself accountable.
- Who are the people in your life that make a difference in your world? The people in your household make a difference, especially if they are busy and you rely on them, or they rely on you. My brother isn’t a planner, but once a month he makes it a point to reach out to someone he hasn’t spoken to in over a year. Perhaps there’s someone you’ve been meaning to chat with that you haven’t had time to call.
- What about your bills? Everyone has financial responsibilities. Not handling them could lead to missed payments and late fees, or worse, disconnected services or eviction/foreclosure. If overspending is a problem or you’re saving up for something specific, keeping track of your funds in your planner will help you stay on track.
- Are you a student? I always tell my kids that your assignments are like making money. The better you do and turn them in on time, the better your grades. And good grades lead to good money! Your planner can help you stay on track with your assignments and improve your chances for better grades. Teachers are also fantastic planners in their own right. Keeping up with new resources you want to try, or meetings to attend are also examples of the kind of knowledge that would empower your planner.
- Do you have any community obligations? Things like volunteering, church/faith-based services, and social events are often forgotten because people don’t plan for them. Committing yourself means you’re obligated to remember to be there. That’s the kind of knowledge your planner needs to know! If it’s important to you, creating time in your planner for faith-based studies is something else you can include, as well.
- What about hobbies, movies, or TV shows? Do you find yourself wishing you had time to enjoy them? Scheduling time for hobbies that are important to you is part of self-care because it helps to relax and keep you happy, so definitely consider adding that piece of knowledge to your planner. Also, if you’re a sports fan with a favorite team or teams (like me!), then adding schedules to your planner will help you keep track of the games you want to watch.
I’m sure you could think of more things that matter to you, these are just a few to consider. I can’t say enough that your planner is for you to customize however you like, so if it’s important to you, empower your planner with that knowledge.
#2 Knowledge About Your Roles
We’re all born with the title of Daughter or Son, and as we go through life, we collect more titles or roles. Of course, all roles have certain obligations, like student and teacher mentioned above, and recognizing yours will help empower your planner. Many roles have multiple parts. For instance, parents are also potty trainers, educators, social workers, domestic helpers, chauffeurs, banks, and more! So if your role as a designated driver means your weekends are tied up with driving, you should keep track of that knowledge in your planner.
#3 Knowledge About Your Goals
What are your goals? People who successfully complete their goals keep excellent track of them. From writing down your intentions to finalizing your last step, your planner needs that knowledge to help you stay on track. Thankfully we don’t live in a “one goal at a time” world. We’re able to have personal goals, financial goals, work goals, and more! You could also consider including inspiration and motivation to complete your goals. Don’t forget to include ideas on how to reward yourself for accomplishing your goals!
#4 Knowledge About Your To-Do List
It’s one thing to have a to-do list, but another thing to know the details about it. For instance, if you have “Buy Groceries” on your list, how will you know what to buy? Let’s compare two people and see how effective empowering your planner with knowledge is.
- Person A likes to have a running list that they add to randomly until it’s time to go shopping.
- Person B likes to wait until they’ve run out of everything before trying to make a list.
Which person do you think will forget to buy something they need? Person B, right? If you keep track of the details of your to-do list, the chances of you forgetting or doing something wrong are much lower.
My whole mission for creating this blog is to help you find time to take better care of yourself. Empowering your planner will allow you to minimize, or even eliminate surprises that can throw you off, and reduce stress. You can’t keep other people from trying to make their problem your problem. The good thing is you can confidently let them know whether you have time to help or not without lying. There are many more ways that you can empower your planner. This is just a few ideas to help you get started. Now you can stop staring at white space and fill it up with actual plans!
Help you help yourself by taking another look at your planning tools. Then, empower them with more knowledge about what matters to you, your roles, your goals, and your to-do list.