How I use my Day Designer planner to increase productivity and organization
Hi Everybody! Any of you who know me in real life know I am an organization and planning FREAK. I love to fill out my planner and clean my house. If stuff is out of place, I cannot function. Some might think it is an issue that I have, but I love feeling like I have it all together. Because, let’s be honest, nobody really has it all together. It just helps me feel like I am on top of everything and that I’m being intentional with my time.
Let’s dive right in, shall we? Today, I want to discuss the exact planner that I use to keep my life in check. It is called a Day Designer Weekly planner. Now, I do like the weekly planner, but I am planning to switch back to a Day Designer Daily planner for 2020 (I will elaborate a bit later).
One of the things I love about this planner is that you can get it in a few different forms. You’re able to get one that is undated, you’re able to get one that is January-December, or you can get one that is the academic year (July-June). You are able to pick which one is best for you. Me personally, I used to get the academic year planner when I was in school, but now I get the Jan-Dec one, since my life doesn’t run around school years anymore.
Here’s a quick glimpse into my planner spread from last week:
As you can see by the above, there aren’t many items in the “to do” section. That is because I took this photo on a Monday at work before I sat down and realized all I had to accomplish last week. Trust me, it doesn’t look this clean now. But, sometimes an organizer isn’t about how beautiful it can be. I often find most beautiful planners unhelpful because you are so focused on how pretty it looks that you forget why you need it in the first place – ORGANIZING/PLANNING. I don’t have pretty handwriting and I don’t pretend to. I write how I write because my planner is my blank space to get all my appointments and lists out of my head and onto paper. I feel like when I use my planner, I free up space in my head to focus on other things because my main focus doesn’t have to be remembering appointments or what I said I needed to do when I got home from work. (Shoutout to the More Than Normal podcast episode 4 where Melissa and Adam discuss scheduling and how she also uses her planner as a mental release)
I didn’t always utilize the “Top Three” option in my planner, and I still don’t feel like it does much for me. But, I also still need to work on my prioritizing, so I hope in the future, this will help with that!
I didn’t used to utilize the above portion, but now I love it. I love sitting down with my planner at the start of a Monday morning and writing in my notes (which I usually use for motivation) and my gratitude. If I’m feeling down throughout the week, I just look over at those parts of my planner and it makes me feel so much more grateful for what I have. I’m working on my optimism and bringing a more positive outlook into my life, and these are the baby steps I need to help promote this new outlook!
As you can see, the weekly spread is split into two sections do day-to-day planning. There is a section for the schedule and there is a section for the “to do” list. With this more compact layout, I have to write in the times when I have appointments. As you can see, I use this for home, work, and gym scheduling. I like to see ALL of what I am doing in a day, no matter if it is personal or professional. I would rather keep everything in one planner than switch between a work planner and a personal planner. Not everyone does it like me, you need to find what works for you.
Now, my biggest issue with the weekly planner is the lack of space for a “to do” list and the lack of space for scheduling. I’m sure looking at this day spread, you are thinking I have plenty of room to add more in. I did. And then I had even more to add that I ran out of room for. I prefer the daily planner because there is a schedule on the left-hand side of the page that has slots for the day from 5am-9pm. Of course, the daily Day Designer planner is MUCH thicker/larger than my current planner, and I realize the size is not for everyone. It is simply my personal preference.
As far as the “to do” list goes, I don’t add work to this list. I have a notebook at work that has my full list because it is almost a full page long at all times. I don’t need those things haunting me when I’m at home. I keep my “to do” list strictly for home/personal items.
I honestly don’t really use the monthly portion of my planner, it just doesn’t really help me in any way. I also don’t know how to properly utilize it yet to help me. As you can see by the May spread, I went overboard with stickers because I thought they would help visualize and they actually made it much worse. My June spread is much more simple, with only big events/appointments written on it. I’m not going to dive much more into it because I simply don’t use it much at present moment. I prefer the day-to-day look.
And that’s a full walk-through of my planner! My next post will be about how my planner has improved my life and how it have also improved my boyfriend’s. In that post I will also dive into WHY the Day Designer is the BEST planner out there. But for now, enjoy my layout advice/walk-through and hopefully it helps you get started on organizing all of your thoughts and plans!