Time management Monday: Planning “just enough”

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Recently I’ve seen several people comment online that they are new to planning, aren’t sure where to start, and are feeling a bit intimidated by other people’s planner photos online.

This is completely understandable, because if you are just getting started using a planner, the variety of how-to photos and videos can be overwhelming. Some people use their planners for more than just planning: tracking things like water intake or mood; as a space to decorate and add designs; as a scrapbook or memory book.

These are all great uses for a planner, but they aren’t for everyone. Especially if you are new to using a paper planner, you might wonder if you really need all of this in your planner. Of course not. It’s your planner, you should write what you want and need in your planner.

I talk a lot on this blog about goals and productivity. Some people enjoy using their planners to outline and track their goals, and maximize their productive hours each day. But not everyone needs or wants to use their planners in this way. If you just need someplace to write down appointments, that’s perfectly fine too.

If you are just starting out using a planner, start with the basics. Write down your appointments, scheduled events, must-do tasks and anything else you need to remember. Add things if you discover you need them. But if you never need more than the basics, that is completely fine.

Your planner doesn’t need to be a big elaborate system. In fact, you should use a planning system that is the simplest you can use for your needs. Some people are very busy in multiple roles and have a lot going on. These people need a powerful planner that can keep up with them. Other folks need less.

The key is to plan “just enough.” You don’t want to feel like you are chained to your planner and have to consult it for every move you make. Your planner works for you, you don’t work for it.

So if you are just starting out, keep it simple. Start with the basics, and figure out what you need as you go along. Don’t add in elaborate trackers, charts or schedules if you don’t need them. Take some time to experiment, and you’ll discover what works best for you.

If you have any questions about how to use a planner or how to find the best planner for you, feel free to email me at Laurie (at) Exaclair (dot) com! I can help you figure out what you need.

Happy planning!

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