Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day Planners

I am a planner.  I am not one of those fly by the seat of my pants, spontaneous, whatever-will-be-will-be, types.  Not my style at all. 

I love to plan for my future and I use a day planner.  In this era of apps and technology I still use a simple-straightforward-write on-it-with-a-pen-or-pencil paper day planner.  I also make it myself on my computer using Publisher and the understated monthly calendar template.  Toward the end of November I print out all twelve months of the upcoming year and away I go. 

If you don’t have Publisher on your computer you can go online to microsoftoffice.com and print one of the free templates on that site.  They have several day planner templates - daily, weekly or monthly layout, whichever you prefer.  Through trial and error I have found the monthly planner works best for me and because I am thrifty I make it myself as opposed to buying refills at the store or online. 

Once you have printed off the day planner of your choice just punch it with a 3-hole punch and put it in a binder.  If you don’t have access to a 3-hole punch use a sheet of loose leaf notebook paper as a template and punch through the holes with your single punch and you are all set. 

I also like to put a vinyl pencil pouch in my binder to keep a few items handy – mechanical pencil, eraser, ball point pen, black Sharpie marker, a small calculator, a few binder and paper clips, post-it notes and a pair of small scissors. 

I bought a binder that zips so I can put loose items inside it and not worry about losing anything.  It has a couple pockets to tuck in envelopes, stationery, greeting cards and stamps. 

I go through the entire year and “schedule” car maintenance, yard and home maintenance, haircuts, doctor and dental appointments, school closures and holidays.  Then as the dates approach I am reminded to call in advance and actually set up appointments and plan ahead for school days off and upcoming holidays.  If I have a certain goal to reach I put it on my planner.  I schedule grocery shopping, bill paying, gift making, card sending, meetings and commitments, vacations, etc. 

If I put it down on paper then I don’t have to clog up my mind with remembering the multitude of things I have to do.  I am also able to keep better track of time so I don’t find myself suddenly upon something with little time or preparation.  My day planner gives me peace of mind.

If you don’t already use a planner of some sort you might want to consider doing so.  You will be amazed at how much you will find yourself getting done and how many things you stop forgetting about.  It will alleviate a lot of stress and make you a far more productive person. 

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