How I Use My Planner to Stay On Track

Even though so much of what I do for my blog and social media is digital, when it comes to getting and staying organized, I’m a paper and pen kind of girl.

I take a notebook with me everywhere I go (usually one from May Designs) and typically have my planner in my bag. I write down everything in those two things, from grocery lists to blog ideas and appointments.

No matter how you stay organized, no amount of planners, nice pens or calendars will work unless you do. This system has worked well for me for years, but only because I work with it.

All that being said, I wanted to share what I do daily, weekly and monthly to use my planner to the best of its abilities.

Before we dive into the process, a bit about the tools and products I use.

I mentioned I always carry a notebook with me, and for months now it has consistently been a classic May Designs notebook with dotted grid pages. I dump any and everything into this notebook and love the dotted grid pages over lined paper because it doesn’t make me feel like I have to write in any specific format or style.

Now, as for my planner (aka where the magic happens), I’ve been using the Me and My Big Ideas Classic Happy Planner for over a year. I won this planner last year in an Instagram giveaway and haven’t looked back since. I can’t see myself trying a different brand of planner any time soon.

My favorite feature of this planner are the unique rings and the layout. The disc rings allow you too easily take pages out or add pages in, which is amazing. I between weeks, I usually have a piece of lined or grid paper to jot down any extra notes.

The weekly layouts are vertical, and broken into three sections. I use the three sections as three different times of day: morning, afternoon and evening. It’s a natural way to break apart the day and week. But, for the times when things aren’t so clean cut, I’ll use the sections differently such as using one for appointments, one for a to-do list, etc.

Sundays/Start of the Month

On the last day of every month, I use the monthly spread in my planner to note any big events, birthdays or important dates. I don’t use the monthly view much but I like to get big dates out of my head and onto paper

Then every Sunday, I sit down for 20-30 minutes with my planner and go through the week. I note any appointments, deadlines or major to-dos. I put everything in those weekly spreads. I’ll sometimes use stickers or different colored pens to call out certain dates or events (like pay day or when a bill is due).

Doing this every Sunday helps to get me on track but also helps me to mentally prepare for the week ahead and avoid a bit of overwhelm.

Daily

Okay, so my week is more or less laid out with major happenings on Sunday. So each day, usually in the morning when I’m having coffee number one and still waking up, I go over what’s happening that day.

Then I use whatever is going on that day to write out my to-do list and create a plan of attack for the day (what I can do on my lunch break, what I’ll do at home after work or go to a coffee shop and finish).

And that’s it. Pretty simple and straightforward, but that’s typically what works best.

What tools do you use to stay on track during the week? Share in the comments!

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  1. I used a plain gridded notebook for my planner and also my life haha. At the beginning, I have monthly calendars for the academic school year, and after that I organise everything weekly. In between weeks I might fill pages with random notes; my notebook is my everything. For the monthly calendars, I have two monthly calendars for each month of the academic school year; one calendar for my blog and one for life/school. The weekly structure I have afterward works well for me because college is often organised by week. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • I love this! Basically bullet journal style? I could not function without my notebook for sure