Managing life is always so much easier with a planner. Whether you use it to remind you of just the “big stuff” or it’s an in-depth schedule of each day of your life; a planner can be responsible for making you look like you’ve got this life thing down pat, even when you don’t! If you haven’t started yet, may I recommend you do? Check out this post which will tell you what you need to consider when getting yourself started with a planner. Today I want to talk to you about set-up. So you’ve got your planner – what’s next?
People use a planner, diary or schedule for lots of different elements of their life. Some keep everything they need to know in there, plan their days to the minute and utilise every second of time to it’s fullest potential. Others just write in important dates, birthdays and events, appointments and fun-filled holiday plans. So when you’re setting up a planner initially, it can be overwhelming to remember all of the things that you need to remember! Oh the irony! Well we’ve got you covered here at TYP today, because I want to talk to you about some of the things you might just want to include in that set-up process.
Annual and Monthly
Some events come round year on year. Most of the time we remember them, sometimes we don’t. And as we get older families start to expand with loved ones and friends having tiny humans, getting married, and generally doing all the life-stuff, and we mere minions are expected to remember every single one….sigh…. But my suggestion for this is to keep a master list in the front of your planner or, shock horror, a spreadsheet on your computer where you can update birthday’s and anniversaries. This allows you to transfer that information to your planner each year without getting it wrong. This year alone I have added 5 annual events to my master list! That’s two anniversaries and three new humans that I have to remember are marvellous at least once a year! And the list keeps growing! This master list is also great for remembering who you’re buying for at Christmas, but that’s a whole’nother conversation for another day!
Seasonal Celebrations don’t always need writing down because, let’s face it, we’re unlikely to be allowed to forget Christmas! But other events like Ramadan and Easter change each year so they’re always good to be noted. On top of that, if you’re holding celebrations around these times of year, it’s a good idea to drop them in the planner so that you can be prepared for the day, buy food and decorations in advance and generally know what you’re doing before people turn up on your doorstep!
Speaking of doorsteps, you didn’t think I’d let you get away without noting down home maintenance stuff too did you? Ensuring that you schedule things like appliance servicing, exterior maintenance (drains & gutters) and general household checks keeps your home safe and in working order. I also like to record meter readings monthly, as this has saved my tush in the past when a company have questioned our readings. Additionally, you can save yourself an absolute fortune if you keep track of policies and when they renew each year. Include:
- Car Insurance
- Home/Buildings & Contents Insurance
- Landlords Insurance
- Home Emergency Cover
- TV, Phone and Broadband
- Travel Insurance
- Other subscription services
- Mobile phone provider
- Business & Liability Insurance
Double checking your renewal quote and getting new prices is now a very quick and simple process. I save, on average, £300 per year with less than a couple of hours work. It’s completely worth it!
And, on the topic of finance you may also want to consider noting down large annual expenses like MOT’s, servicing, car tax, holidays and other expensive events. Keeping a budget tracker and saving a little each month toward these is a great way of ensuring that those large bills don’t crush you when they come around.
Weekly and Daily
Personal preference usually dictates what you’d like to record on a weekly and daily basis. Those health conscious folks or people who suffer from chronic illness might want to record information about their health; blood sugar readings, medication, hydration/water intake, weight, vitamins and supplements or mood tracking for those with mood-imbalances or mental health struggles. The list for health related tracking is endless and really is down to the individual. And on that point, it’s super important to schedule some “me time” or have white space between jobs. This helps you to keep topped up and invest time in yourself which is good for you both physically and emotionally. There are some ideas about self-care in this post if you’d like to find out more.
Home management is another topic that can be covered in a weekly or daily routine. Tracking household chores, maintenance jobs and DIY to-do’s is a good pointer. Testing smoke alarms comes high up on that agenda for me and it should for you too! Once a week guys please! Once a week!
Meal planning on a weekly basis is beneficial for a number of reasons. One is managing your time effectively. It avoids the whole pa-lava of standing in front of the fridge wondering what you’re going to make! Another bonus of this is financial; if you meal plan and make a list before heading to the supermarket, you’re far more likely to spend less or make impulse purchases which inevitably get wasted. It’s also a really good way of managing your diet and food intake if you’re health conscious and want to ensure you stick to a good diet and routine – you cannot hide from what is written down!
As some use their planners as a journal or memory keeper (which I think is a brilliant idea!) other ideas of things you might include are:
- News headlines
- Notable personal events or nice things that happened
- Motivational quotes
- Random Acts of Kindness (known as RAK within UKPA and the best possible thing to keep you smiling!)
Whatever you choose to use your planner for it really can be the key to calm amongst the chaos of life, so setting it up properly is a great way to set yourself up for success.
Tell me, what does your planner look like? I’d love to see! Tag me in your planner pics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! You can join in the fun on the UK Planner Addicts group Pinterest Board and get heaps of beautiful planners, accessories and stationery from the Directory which is always being updated with new shops and recommendations.
What do you use your planner for? Shout out in the comments!