Who here has tried to use a planner and failed?
No sweat! Despite planners being amazing at keeping people organized, us squirrel brain folk really need a system in place to best utilize these tools to ensure they are effective.
So, here are my suggestions on how to use a planner for organizing your week (and your life!):
1) First, be sure to purchase a planner that suits you. There are so many types of planners out there so it's important to research and figure out which works best. Do you need a day-per-page planner? A planner that has a week across two pages? Just a monthly planner? Are you a paper and pen person or do you do better with electronic versions and apps? Only YOU will know what works best (and yes, sometimes trial and error is necessary)
2) Next, be sure to have a place in your planner-of-choice to "brain dump". It is ESSENTIAL that we get all of our thoughts and ideas out so don't be afraid to do it using your planner.
3) Make your planner your sole source of information about your weekly schedule. Doctor's appointments, kids' events, work meetings, bill due dates, plans with friends, date nights - it ALL goes in!
4) Use your planner to create daily "to do" lists. But remember, don't brain dump a to-do list. Keep your daily to-do list relatively short so that you don't feel overwhelmed! Once you have your items listed out, prioritize them from most important to least important so that you have a plan of attack.
5) Set alarms throughout the day to actually CHECK your planner! It won't be helpful to you if you don't use it! Consider checking your planner in the AM to be able to plan your day, mid-day to make sure you're staying on top of your priority items, and again in the evening to get an idea of what the next day will bring (and what items you need to move to the next day - because it's okay if you don't get everything done!)