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I’ve been using a daily planner for almost five years now, and it’s made a huge difference in my ability to care for and manage my home.
For the last three years I’ve used a Happy Planner (and it’s still my absolute favorite), but these tips will be helpful for anyone who uses a bound/spiral planner with a weekly spread.
Here’s how to get the most out of your planner!
#1 Schedule a set time for weekly planning sessions
Once a week, sit down with your family calendar, your to-do list and your planning supplies. Fill in the week with everything that needs to be accomplished, starting with the things that happen every week (Bible study, daily chores, sports practice, music lessons, etc.). Go back and add the extra appointments, tasks, holidays and birthdays.
You’ll add to this as the week goes on, but it helps to already have an idea as to what your week will hold. I also recommend referencing your planner first thing in the morning to make sure you know what needs to get done and before you go to bed at night to cross off everything you accomplished!
#2 Pre-Plan and Post-Plan
Pre-Planning: During those weekly planning sessions, look ahead at the birthdays, projects, deadlines or vacations that are approaching. I like to put a sticky note on the weeks that need reminders.
For example, a week before someone’s birthday, I’ll put a sticky note reminder to mail their card. When I sit down to plan that week’s tasks, I’ll add mailing the card to one of the day’s to-do lists! Just think of this as notes to your future self.
Post-Planning: Use your planner like a diary to look back on what you’ve already done. Can’t think of what to make for supper? Look back on last month’s meals for inspiration. Can’t remember the last time you mopped the floors? Look back on your daily to-do list for the last time it appeared.
#3 Use your planner as a one-stop shop for all your home management needs.
Here are some things you can keep in your planner:
- To-do lists
- Bill payment reminders
- Household cleaning schedules
- Menu plans
- Blogging/YouTube content
- Calorie/Exercise/Water Tracking
- Plant watering reminders
Bonus tip: use stickers and fun planner supplies to make it pretty! I found that mixing functional stickers with a few fun ones really helps me to notice and enjoy my planner.
Here’s the exact planner I’m using for 2019. I try to grab it during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales and never pay more than $15 for it. My stickers and planner decorating supplies usually come from the Dollar Tree and Target’s dollar spot, but I love having a book of Happy Planner stickers on hand as well.
Watch the video below if you want to see my weekly planning session in action! This video is from a couple years ago, but my basic planning system hasn’t changed.
Do you use a Happy Planner (or a similar planning style)? What do you love about it?
4 thoughts on “How To Get The Most Out Of Your Happy Planner (or any planner!)”
Great advice!! My husband and I sit down every Sunday to do our “Schedule Sync”. I love doing it. I feel like I’ve got a better game plan for the week when we take the time to do this. Plus, it’s nice to divide up duties, responsibilities and ask for help. I keep tons of lists in my planner and really feel baffled when people say they don’t keep a planner haha. I can’t even wrap my head around that 🙂
Paul and I are trying to have a nightly schedule sync – this is a very busy time of year for him and it gets crazy so fast! I’m with you, I would lose my mind without a planner.
I love the idea of putting a sticky note a week before a person’s birthday for a reminder to mail their card. I always wait until the last minute and then their card is probably late. This is my first year of using the happy planner. I’m using the mini one because I found it on clearance for $3. So far I like it!
I had the same problem of mailing cards too late – the stick note trick really helps! 🙂 That’s a great deal on the Mini. I used a planner that size for several years and loved it, too!