When your life is a mess filled with jumbled events and several to-do lists, what do you do? A small solution to try out would be simply using a planner.

I have to admit, I have used planners in the past. At the first day of school or even at orientation, the school would supply free planners to the students, and of course, I can’t ignore the opportunity for free items, so I always end up taking them. Then, later it’ll be found in the recycling bin with the rest of the school planners I have collected from the years. Even if I did get a chance to use them, it never lasted long.

However, it is a great help in seeing all the things you have going on on your life. Whenever I used them (though it may be for a brief period), it helped me be more organized and more mindful in managing my time. You do not have to go all out and buy an expensive or fancy planner to use. You can simply buy an affordable planner at your local Walmart or Target (or any store that brings easy convenience to you). All in all, if you are a college student and trying to spend money wisely, you can simply just use the planner that your local institute offers for free, and you will have to work with that :).

At first (at least for me), you will be overwhelmed at the variety of planners they have to offer. They come in different sizes, colors, layouts, etc. If you don not like bulky and big planners, you might want to try something on the smaller side. You might even want just the pocket-sized planners, vice versa with those who like more space. Choosing your layout, surprisingly, is very crucial. You might don’t care about the layout of your planner, but you will soon realize what works with you and what doesn’t. Some might still go with the flow and not care much for the layout. For me, I turned out to be very picky about the layout of the planner. I don’t often use the pages for contacts (phone numbers, addresses, etc.), so I often avoid a planner that offers many pages dedicated for that. I personally enjoy a planner that particularly goes in the order of overview of the whole year, month overview, week overview, and then repeat. There’s a big variety to pick from.

There is a difference between a planner and a bullet journal, but I’ll save some explanation for another post.

Once you have chosen a planner to work with, there are several things you could use it for. Obviously, you can put down your events, work, appointments. grocery lists, etc. Instead of keeping everything in your head, you can dump your brain out onto the planner. However, there are a few more that IHeartPlanners’ Laura mentions on her post. For starters, you can track habits. Habits that you want to strive for. For example, if you want to be more healthy, you can track exercise or drinking water a day. You might want to track your cleaning around the house or even to strive to go on the planner once a day. Simply, by adding a little chart of on your daily view, you can check off/mark the habits you want to incorporate in your life. If you achieved your habit for the day, then you mark it. By the end of the month, you can look back and adjust or continue on what you want to personally work on. You can find several templates for habit trackers online.

Using a planner kept me organized and on track of my own life, and it can do the same with you. Though it may seem dumb or simple it doesn’t hurt to try. And to those who already been using a planner, what do you think of it? Or to those who do use a planner or had used a planner and seen no affect, what could be another solution for the jumbled mess that goes in our heads?

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