I’ve known so many people who think they just can’t use planners because they don’t work for them, or who try to use a particular planner and fail for various reasons. As it turns out, almost all the time it’s not because the person is inept at using planners, it’s because they are using the wrong planner for their needs.
Is it you? Or are you trying to use the wrong planner? Here’s how to recognize “Planner Fail.”
Problem: not enough writing space: You have to crunch your handwriting to fit into the day spaces. Your writing spaces fill up quickly, leaving no room to add more items. You end up leaving items off your lists or schedule, which causes you to forget them because they aren’t written down. The whole thing becomes ineffective and you abandon it entirely.
You need: a bigger planner. Look at your current planner pages and figure out where you need more space. Do you have a lot of timed events in your schedule? Then look for a planner with timed daily columns like the Minister or Trinote. Do you need more space for lists and notes every week? You’ll want a Space 24 with a notes page every week.
Problem: you don’t carry it with you: You find yourself leaving your planner on your desk all the time and don’t carry it with you. You don’t want to lug it around, and/ or it doesn’t fit easily in your bag. You miss capturing events while you’re out and about. You aren’t able to check and update your schedule. Or, if you use your planner as a backup for your phone, the phone battery dies and you’re left without access to your schedule.
You need: a smaller planner. Choose a planner that you don’t mind carrying with you everywhere. Whether you need it to fit into your pocket or your bag, look for a planner that is small enough for you. Go to our Search page and search pocket size planners. There are loads of formats to choose from in the small sizes so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.
Problem: your days are a jumbled mess. When you write your day’s events in your planner, the days become a confused mess. You can’t see how much time you have between scheduled events, so you end up either trying to cram in too much and running late to the next thing, or having wasted time because you weren’t able to plan to get things done in the in-between times.
You need: timed daily columns. Vertical daily columns timed to the hour or half hour help you organize your time by allowing you to see your entire day chronologically, when you have scheduled events, and when you have open time. This will help you see when you have time to fit in tasks and errands between your scheduled events so you can maximize your time. Check out the Trinote and Minister weekly planners (shown below).
Problem: you keep losing important papers, reminders, notes, tickets, and other stuff. Where do you put these things? Do they float around on your desk or in your bag? Inevitably they will get lost.
You need: pockets in your planner. Our planners with refillable covers like the Club, Soho and Texas style covers have pockets inside the front and back that are the perfect places to keep papers, invitations, tickets and other things you need to keep handy.
Problem: you don’t have enough space to write notes that you want to keep along with your planner. If you want to write things like party or holiday plans, course information or contacts, your planner might not have enough notes pages.
You need: extra Notes booklets. You can buy extra booklets for Notes or Addresses for our Minister, Space 24, Hebdo, Academic Minister and Scholar planners so if you fill up your Notes booklet you can replace it with a fresh one.
Are you experiencing Planner Fail? If you would like help figuring out the issue, and some suggestions to help, feel free to post a comment here or email me at Laurie (at) Exaclair (dot) com. I’m sure there is a solution to your planner situation!