How to set up a new planner

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Continuing my series on tips for new planner users, today’s post is how to set up a new planner.

It’s important to set up your new planner at the beginning of the year. What do I mean by “set up” a new planner? It’s nothing complicated. It’s just getting your planner ready so it fits your needs right from the beginning. I happen to be using a Quo Vadis Trinote planner in these photos, but the steps are the same with any planner.

Go through your planner and highlight or circle (I like to use red) any holidays and events important to you that are already printed in your planner.


I like to circle holidays, special days, and reminders to change the clocks.


Then fill in your dates and events. You might need to consolidate information from various sources to get it all together and into your planner. Gather up all of your class syllabi so you can write in all of your projects, exams and due dates. Make sure you know when all of your bills are due so you can write those due dates in. Find your old calendar so you can write people’s birthdays.

Use the Priority boxes for each day to write in things you need to keep highly visible. Write in birthdays and anniversaries:


Write in due dates like rent and bills due. Make a special note of big events like exams, travel, vacation days, etc.


For projects, exams and events, write in the weeks before, “Exam next week!” or “Work on project” so these deadlines don’t creep up on you and take you by surprise.

Fill in any appointments that you already know about. If you are supposed to bring anything along to your appointment, be sure to make a note of it.


It’s very important to get all of this information into your planner right at the beginning of the year. The more accurate the information in your planner, the more you will be able to trust your planner.

If you just jump right into using your planner, it will be missing crucial information and you may feel doubtful about what you can schedule. What if there is an event or appointment that day that you forgot about? Writing all of this information in at the start means you can trust your planner to have all of your important dates covered.

It’s worth taking some time when you first get your planner to fill in all of these details. Then after that, the most important thing is to update your planner often! Any time new information comes at you, write it down.

For more tips on how to use a planner, click here.

6 thoughts on “How to set up a new planner

  1. In addition to marking dates that bills are due, I made a note three or four days earlier (seven if I’m paying by mail, not online) to actually pay the bill! It’s a system that’s been working for me for years!

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