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Planner Newbie! Start here.

May 30, 2018 0 comments

You're new to planners, not sure what you are doing... scared to ask for help... but that's what we are here for.

We all started somewhere, nobody was born using a planner (though I suspect that due to the rise in planner-users, that the age with which we start using planners will get younger and younger).

Here's a nice brief space where you can feel comfortable having no idea what you are doing. I say brief, because that will change quickly. We'll get you up to speed. 

Who is this for? The beginning planner user of course. This isn't about how to decorate your planner, this is about how to USE your planner, which are, unfortunately, two different topics.

So, where do you start? With the basic tools: a planner and a writing tool of some sort. What is a planner? A bound paper item with a calendar in it. You could use an empty notebook and draw your own calendar (hey, now you know what "bullet journaling" is, you're learning already. Go you!) or one of the sets we sell at JanesAgenda.com. The skills are the same no matter what you choose.

Let's get started. You've got this empty calendar staring at you. Put stuff in it... what stuff though? Well, let's start with birthdays and anniversaries. Those are easy. They don't change. Mom, grandma, sister, brother, best friend, boss, neighbor... dig deep.

Events of another nature where the date may vary. Appointments, holidays (think of reserved, not just standard holidays, because banks always seem to take a three day weekend around a holiday), school breaks, soccer games. Write it all down. Anything with a date. I prefer doing this in my monthly calendars, because I fill my weekly calendar out once a week and keep it clean. You may want to write these types of events in pencil, but that's up to you. I'm a permanent pen kind of girl.

Be consistent. When you hear of something going on, write it down. Boss give you an assignment that's due? Write it down. You get invited to an event on Facebook, great, now schedule it.

This is where it gets good. Plan ahead. Mary Jo has a birthday on November 6th? Need to buy her a gift/card? Put the date you need to buy and mail the gift. Or better yet, pick one day each month to plan for all the birthdays and anniversaries of the next month. You have a child's birthday to plan? Write down the deadline for sending out invitations, for ordering the cake... the list goes on. Use the dates and think about what will go into them, then plan that. That is the difference between a good planner, and great planner. 

Extra credit: Keep a section for passwords, contacts, insurance information, what size your kids wear, etc. Think of anything that you might need to know at a moment's notice, but would have to look up. Those things are what keeping a planner is great for. Get it out of your brain and onto paper. Don't forget to put your own information somewhere easily seen so that if you lose your planner hopefully someone kind will get it back to you.

Now you know the basics. Look at you. You know things. Start doing them. I believe in you and I know you can do this. Next I'll discuss how to use your weekly and/or daily pages.


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