How to Use a Planner

Ideally, a planner is there to help you make it through your days and weeks seeing to all the tasks that you are obliged to see to. It’s supposed to make that job, at any rate, easier. Therefore, the idea of having to read a help article to be able to use a planner might seem like missing the point of the whole thing.

It isn’t that planners are difficult to use, it is that because they have such enormous potential for effectively organizing your life, it’s wise to work out how youcan make the most effective use of a planner.

People plan in different ways, and what might work very well for one person might work not so well for another. Getting the most out of a planner isn’t so much about learning how to use it, but howyou can use it. Furthermore, there are many types of planners, arranged according to what type of person they are best for.

For example, there are planners for more visual people, planners over different timescales such as years and weeks, and there are planners for those withs specific conditions such as the ADHD daily planners created by companies such as Next Level Daily.

Learning how to use a planner most effectively, therefore, means first of all choosing the right one.

What Planner is Right for Me?

To answer that question, you need to answer two further ones: what type of thinker am I, and what are my goals? The timescales of your individual goals, for example, will make it clear what timescale your planner should cover. Many planners cover several timescales but with space for more or less detail within each one.

If your goals involve a lot of daily attention and contain many check points along the way, then you probably want a planner that can let you plan in more detail with daily or weekly tasks. For very long-term goals, yearly planners might be more appropriate.

You can also get planners that are either digital or physical, and you can get planners which are more suitable for including visual aids or which are more suitable for lots of detailed text. It all begins with picking the right one.

Customizing Your Planner

After getting your planner, you need to use it in the way which is most suitable to you. This means customizing your planner. This should be done according to some fundamental planning principles. Generally, the items on your planner will fall into two categories:

Calendar Events

These are events or obligations with a set start time, and which have to be done or attended at that time, normally because they involve other people. Meetings are a good example of this.


To-dos are simply tasks that need to be seen to. These can of course have deadlines or even set times for completion, but they are generally arranged each day according to priority.

A fundamental for customizing your planner is that calendar events take precedent and normally determine the timing of the to-dos. Generally, it is easier to schedule everything else around calendar events.

An Organizational System

You should also enter items into your planner in a specific way. Some important things to include are the task name, the due date/time, its priority for that day, the location, and supplementary info such as names and contact details.

In summary, all there is to using a planner properly is having all your tasks properly detailed, organized according to importance and working towards an overall goal. Precisely how you do that though depends very much on you.

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