I’m an organization nut, and over the years a planner has given me proof of multiple reasons to use a daily planner to make my life easier. If you don’t have a daily planner, I encourage you to get one, or at least use one of the many apps on your phone for one. I personally think physical daily planners you can write on are the best. They are something you have to tangibly touch and write in each day that teaches great organizational tips and gives you practice for recording down important things. Yet, I know many people like using smart phones better, so feel free to apply these tips to one of the many daily planning apps on smartphones today too. Either way, all these reasons to use a daily planner will prove just how rewarding a little planning really can be.
1. It Takes the Stress off
Possibly one of the best reasons to use a daily planner is it helps takes some stress away. Even if your schedule is jam packed 24/7, seeing it all down on paper makes you feel like you have a handle on things. It also lets you know you won’t forget anything as long as you write it down, and can show you any free spots that you might be able to take time to yourself. Getting up each day and following your planner takes the stress away that you might not get everything fit into your schedule the way you wanted.
2. It Creates Self Discipline
Each time you get or make an appointment, you’ll have to remember to put it in your planner. This helps you remember to start recording events and everything in your schedule, which is great to teach yourself organization skills.
3. It Improves Your Memory
Over time, because you must remember to write in and look at your planner, it improves your memory. After a while, you’ll also notice that you tend to remember appointments you’ve written down better, how many weeks are in the month, or what errands you’ll need to run each week. Even though everything is written down, visually seeing it helps improve your brain’s visual memory. Trust me, it really does work!
4. It Serves as a Recorder
One pretty cool thing about keeping a daily planner is it serves as your personal record of everywhere you’ve been, what friends you saw last month, how many times you went to yoga class, what date you paid which bills on, when your last checkup was, etc. It is like a written scrapbook and reference tool at the same time. I always save my planners for a year and have been surprised how many times I’ve referenced back to them.
5. It Helps Your Budget
Some people may disagree with this, but I find it really useful. I keep all my bill deadlines and my budget in my planner, and have a section at the back where I list all my bills, the dates they are due, etc. It helps me pencil in due dates in better and plan my budget for the month more accurately. Then, I know what I have left over for groceries and other non-bill related expenses.
6. It Can Help You Get More Done
Most of us have free spots in our schedules we aren’t even aware of. This can help you accomplish things you might not normally think you have time for. For example, if you see you have an opening from 4-6 p.m. between work and your yoga class, you might be more apt to catch a light dinner or coffee with that friend you’ve been meaning to see. Or, you might just have time to get up a blog post or check out that new bookstore you’ve been wanting to visit. It can be easy to think we have absolutely no time in our schedules, but with a daily planner, we can actually see we do.
7. It Can Help You Set Goals
Lastly, one of my favorite things and reasons to use a daily planner, is it helps you set goals. Many times, I’ve written out ideas for stories, books, articles, blog posts, etc. in the page margins of my planner. Later, I can look at those and pencil in deadlines for when I’d like to have them done. You can do this with virtually any goal you have. I did this two years ago as well when I scheduled in my goal date of when I wanted to make a brief move to New York. Seeing that date get closer and closer as I worked for it was so exciting and proof I was reaching my goals.
If you’re looking for a great brand of planners, I personally love Franklin Covey planners. They can be expensive, but are some of the best out there, in my opinion. Any kind of planner is a good planner though, so feel free to pick up a smaller one at your local store to get you started. Do you have a daily planner? If so, what’s the number one thing you love about it?