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10 Ideas to Include in Your Planner in 2023

10 Ideas to Include in Your Planner in 2023

New year equals a fresh start. You have a new planner and are ready to organise your life. But where should you start? Here are 10 ideas of what to include in your planner so that you are set up for success.

What is the purpose of a planner?

The Purpose of a Planner_The Design Palette

The purpose of a planner is to help you to organize your schedule and tasks, and to keep track of important dates and events. Planners can be used for personal or professional purposes and can help you to stay on top of your responsibilities and achieve your goals.

Planners typically include a calendar, to-do lists, and space for notes and other important information. Some planners may also include additional features, such as goal-setting tools, habit trackers, or resources for productivity and organization. The purpose of a planner is to provide a central location for all the information and tasks that you need to manage, and to help you stay organized and on track.

Avoiding Information Overload

I have been keeping a planner since school and one of my learnings has been the amount of information I add to my planner. It is important to ensure you have enough detail to create structure but to avoid information overload as this can inevitably cause overwhelm and anxiety every time you look at your planner. We want a happy balance 😊

10 creative ideas of what you should include in your planner to get started:

1. Calendar Events

    Firstly, and probably the easiest aspect to tackle are important dates you want to track throughout the year. This can include a range of things, for example:

    • Home and family dates - birthdays, anniversaries, social events
    • Health and wellness dates – doctor, vet, and dental appointments
    • Financial reminders - this can include dates when subscriptions need to be renewed, when bills need to be paid or when important documents require renewing (e.g., passports and driving licence)
    • Deadlines for personal or professional projects
    2. Goals

      Planning Goals_The Design Palette

      What do you want to achieve in 2023? Write down any goals you want to achieve in the new year, such as learning a new skill or starting a new hobby. Consider your long-term goals and identify daily tasks that will help you to work towards those goals. If you have any large or complex tasks, consider breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps. Use your planner to schedule your tasks for the day, week, or month so that you can consistently work towards your goals. Be sure to leave room for flexibility, as unexpected tasks or events may come up.

      Goals can cover a range of topics:

      • Professional goals: List any professional goals you want to work towards, such as getting a promotion or starting a side business.
      • Health and wellness goals: Consider setting goals related to your health and wellness, such as exercising regularly or eating a healthier diet.
      • Financial goals: Write down any financial goals you want to achieve, such as saving a certain amount of money or paying off debt.
      • Educational goals: If you want to learn something new in the new year, consider setting an educational goal, such as taking a course or earning a certification.
      • Travel goals: If you want to travel in the new year, consider writing down the destinations you want to visit and any travel plans you want to make.
      • Personal development goals: Consider setting goals related to personal development, such as reading a certain number of books or volunteering your time.
      • Hobbies and interests: Write down any hobbies or interests you want to pursue in the new year, such as taking up a musical instrument or joining a club
      3. Habit Tracker

        If some of your goals include changing your habits or routine e.g., going gym twice a week or reading more, then a habit tracker may help.

        A habit tracker is a tool that helps you to track and monitor your daily habits and routines. It allows you to record and track your progress as you work to develop new habits or maintain existing ones. Habit trackers typically include a list of the habits you want to track and a way to record whether you have completed each habit each day. Habit trackers can be a helpful tool to make lasting changes to your daily routine and improve your overall well-being.

        Some examples of habits you can track:

        • Exercise: Tracking daily exercise habits, such as going for a run or going to the gym.
        • Water in-take
        • Eating habits: Tracking daily food intake, such as recording meals and snacks.
        • Self-care: Tracking daily self-care habits, such as taking breaks, meditating, or getting enough sleep.
        • Productivity: Tracking daily productivity habits, such as completing tasks or working towards specific goals.
        • Reading: Tracking daily reading habits, such as reading a certain number of pages or minutes per day.
        • Personal finance: Tracking daily personal finance habits, such as budgeting and saving money.
        • Education: Tracking daily education habits, such as studying or completing assignments.
        • Professional development: Tracking daily professional development habits, such as learning new skills or networking.
        • Creativity: Tracking daily creativity habits, such as working on a creative project or practicing a creative hobby
        4. Budgets

          Tracking your budget can help you to stay on track with your financial goals and ensure that you are spending and saving wisely. It can also help increase awareness of your spending habits. By tracking your budget in your planner, you can get a better understanding of your spending habits and identify areas where you may be able to cut back or save more. Having it all in once place helps to identify patterns in your spending and saving habits and allows you to adjust as needed.

          Tracking your budget in your planner can help to hold you accountable for your spending and saving habits. It can be easier to stay on track when you have a record of your financial activity. This increases the chances of staying on budget. Research has shown that people who track their spending and set budgeting goals are more likely to succeed in managing their money. By tracking your budget in your planner, you can increase your chances of success in reaching your financial goals

          5. Meal Planner and Grocery List

            Thinking of varied meals to make every day is difficult, especially after a long day at work. Putting some time aside on a Sunday afternoon to plan and prep your meals for the week will saves you time in the long run (no more procrastinating on a weekday trying to decide what to eat or spending your evenings at the supermarket shopping for groceries). Meal planning can reduce stress by eliminating the need to decide what to eat at the last minute and reducing the likelihood of having to make multiple trips to the grocery store.

            Meal planning also helps you make healthier food choices by allowing you to plan and prepare balanced meals in advance. You can take it one step further and increase your efficiency in the kitchen by batch cooking and prepare meals in advance, which can save you time during the busy week.

            Planning and preparing your meals in advance can be a difficult adjustment to start with but with time it becomes easier to your schedule and manage your time.


            Stripe To Do List_The Design Palette


            6. Inspiration and Ideas

              Seeing inspiring quotes or ideas in your planner can help to keep you motivated and focused on your goals. Adding quotes that you find motivating and engaging can add personality to your planner and make it enjoyable to use. 

              Adding inspiration and ideas to your planner can expose you to new concepts and perspectives, which can spark new ideas and help you to think creatively.

              7. Reading list

                Start by making a list of the books you want to read – these can include books for personal or professional development. I have decided to challenge myself and read one book a week i.e., 52 books in 2023. Wish me luck!

                If you find putting time aside for reading difficult, you may want to decide on a schedule. Consider how much time you want to spend reading each day or week and how many books you want to read over a given period of time. This will help you to determine how much time to set aside for reading. Use your planner to schedule reading time for the week or month. You might want to set aside specific blocks of time for reading or simply add each book to your to-do list as you finish it. As you make progress with your reading list, use your planner to track which books you have read and how much progress you have made. This can help you to stay motivated and on track.

                8. Daily to-do’s

                  This list would be incomplete if I didn’t mention the daily to-do tasks. My main tip with this is to focus on the three main tasks (personal or work) that you must complete by the end of the day. Don’t forget to give yourself a small reward after completing your list!

                  Remember to review your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your schedule as the day goes on. You may need to reschedule tasks or add new tasks as they come up and that is ok.

                  9. Weekly Review

                    A weekly review allows you to assess your progress towards your goals and ensure that you are staying on track. It can help you to identify any tasks that may have slipped through the cracks and ensure that you are making progress on your most important tasks. It also allows you to look ahead and plan for the week ahead, which can help you to stay organized and stay on top of your responsibilities.

                    It also offers an opportunity to reflect on your progress and accomplishments over the past week, which can be motivating and encourage you to continue working towards your goals. 

                    A regular review allows you to tidy up your planner and get rid of any unnecessary tasks or information. This can help you to stay organized and ensure that your planner is a useful tool rather than a cluttered mess

                    10. Monthly Review

                      During a monthly review of your planner, you might consider what you have done well, such as:

                      1. Achieving your goals: Consider any goals that you were able to achieve during the month and how you were able to accomplish them.
                      2. Managing your time effectively: Reflect on how well you were able to manage your time during the month and any strategies or techniques that helped you to be more productive.
                      3. Sticking to your schedule: Think about how well you were able to stick to your schedule during the month and any strategies or techniques that helped you to stay on track.
                      4. Managing your tasks effectively: Consider how well you were able to manage your tasks during the month and any strategies or techniques that helped you to stay organized and on top of your responsibilities.
                      5. Staying motivated: Reflect on what helped you to stay motivated during the month and any strategies or techniques that you found particularly helpful.
                      6. Improving your habits: Consider any habits that you were able to improve during the month and how you were able to make lasting changes.

                      And that’s it! 10 ideas to build into your planner to help you achieve your goals. Do you follow any of these tips already? Let me know in the comments what’s working for you.


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