Monday, 7 January 2019

Artline Monday - How to start planning

So it’s a brand new year and the perfect time to get organised!  If you got a lovely new planner for Christmas or treated yourself in the sales then I have some tips for you today to help you get started on your planning journey.

My planning tips - created with Artline pens

No matter what kind of planner you use the basics of planning are the same: 

  • Write down any important dates and reminders 
  • Take time to check and use your planner daily 
  • Follow through with your plans (it's no good writing things down & then not doing them)
  • Utilise to do lists 
  • Colour code

For this post I will be showing you how I plan my month but you can also use these tips for planning your week or day too.  

A blank month ready to be filled in

The very first thing I do is decide what colours I am going to use for my colour coding, having a set colour for certain things means it is easy to spot the information I need even when there are a lot of notes on my pages.  

For January I am using dark blue for birthdays, light blue for my children, royal blue for my blog, grey for me, black for my husband and a blue highlighter for any bills or payments I need to make.  I made a note of this in the long, thin box down the right hand side of my page but as the month goes on I usually remember what each colour is for anyway.  Then it was time to fill in the month with my important dates and reminders.  

All my dates and reminders

I also add any money that will be coming out of my account by drawing a thick line with my highlighter and writing over it which bill it is for.

Adding bills & payments with a Supreme highlighter

I like to use a little bit of space to write down my goals for the month (or week or day depending on what I am planning) so I used a Supreme brush marker to create my own header for this and then added them to my notes section.   

Goals for the month

I also made another header for my monthly to do list.  These are usually things that I need to get done over the course of the month but not on a specific week or day.  On my weekly pages I have daily to do lists that include things like tasks and errands.

I use to do lists to help me achieve my big goals too.  Sometimes a goal can seem really far away and hard to reach so I try to break it down into smaller steps that I can complete and it feels less scary and more manageable doing it this way.

Monthly to do list

Now I have all this information in my planner I need to open it up and check it daily!  Every night before I go to bed I look inside to see if I need to prepare anything for the following day and then I check again in the morning to make sure I know what I need to do or where I need to be.  I also need to add more notes and reminders as the month goes on and things change or crop up, setting aside 5 or 10 minutes a day to do this really helps me to keep on top of everything!

My month so far

If this post has inspired you to start planning but you don't have a diary or planner then you can use a notebook and pen to get organised, check out my Bullet journal basics post for some more ideas and information.

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