Hello, my friends, I hope you're doing well. In this video, I'm going to give some planner tips for beginners. So, if you are new to planning, or maybe you've been planning for a while, these are some tips that I recommend for those that are just getting started with using a paper planner.
If you're new here Hello, my name is Tonya and I make videos on functional and practical planning. And I use paper planning as a tool to help me juggle the many responsibilities in my life. So, if being organized and productive is something that interests you, I hope you will consider hitting the like and subscribe button. So, my first tip for beginners has to do with the habit of planning because it's more important to get in the habit of reaching for your planner than almost anything else. Because what you don't want to do is buy a planner and just end up not using it.
So, when you buy a new planner, put your planner somewhere where it's easily accessible almost anywhere. So, when you go to bed at night as a planner near your bed, if a thought pops into your head, you can pop your planner open and write your thoughts down. Most planners have a section for notes. So, you can write down anything that pops into your head that you don't want to forget. A lot of times we tend to remember things we need to do when we're alone, not when we're out around other people, not when we're distracted with TV or other things. But when we're actually alone, it's quiet.
So, I'm typically alone and it's quiet first thing in the morning and sometimes late at night. Also, while I'm getting dressed in the morning, thoughts tend to pop into my head. So, what I recommend people to do is like for example, when you're getting dressed, just take your planner out and open it to today's page, don't worry about reading anything on a planner or doing anything. So, the main idea here is if the planner is accessible, then you will use it when you go to work. If you happen to work at a job where you have a desk, take your planner and actually have it open on your desk that way is accessible for whenever you need to jot something down.
Tip number two for people who are beginning with planning is to choose a simple planner format. Now in the planner format you choose pretty much depends on the type of person you are and what you will be using the planner for. Now I recommend that most planner, beginners get a weekly planner. So, a weekly planner is not what you see here. This is actually a daily planner. This is a whole day. And this is a whole day. A weekly planner looks like this. So, a week spread across two pages. So, this format is like a vertical column format where this is Monday, this is Tuesday, and so on and so forth. So, you have your whole week that you can look at across two pages.
Another example of a weekly planner is this one. And it is similar to this format, but it's more of a neutral color. And you have the days of the week going down in the vertical column here as well. And here's an example of a weekly one. You have your whole week on one page, but it is in a horizontal format, as opposed to the vertical column format. So, there are all types of formats out there. But I think for beginners, they should be able to see their entire week when they open their planner either across one page like this or across two pages. And I say that because I think a weekly planner works for most people.
Now if you happen to be a person that plans to take a lot of notes in your planner, perhaps you plan to journal each day and you want to use your planner for that as well, then you will want to format like a daily planner format like this. This is a day on one page, as I showed you before. And over here is a whole section for notes. In this planner format, you have a section for your prioritized daily task lists, you have a section for your appointment schedule here, and then you have a section for your daily notes right there. But let me warn you about daily planners. If you end up not using the notes section, it will make you feel like you're wasting space in your planner. And that's why I recommend for most beginners to start with a weekly format. Because if you put your planner down and don't come back to it for a couple of days, you can still see that you used your planner pages, it leads to more planner satisfaction which will lead to you using a planner in the future. But with a daily planner, if you put it down and don't come back to your planner for a couple of days, you're flipping through and you're seeing blank planner pages that you didn't use which can make someone feel like they're being kind of wasteful. So that's why I recommend the weekly planner especially for beginners and especially for people that aren't in the habit yet of using their planner all the time.
By the way, This is a page finder that is sold in my shop and this one has the gold foil on it. If you happen to go with a ring bound planner as a beginner the gold foiling can match the hardware on your planner here and I also had this page finder into silver format.
So, for tip number three, I want to recommend some things that you write in your planner as a planner beginner, and this is what I would like for you to write in your planner right on birthdays. So go on your planner pages and write in all your friends and family's birthdays, or at least the ones that you want to keep up with anyway.
Next, write in your planner your pay dates. It's important to know when you get paid, if you retire, you are writing the dates that you get your pension check or your Social Security check. Whenever you are expecting money, write that in your planner. Next, write in any appointments that you have. If you have doctor's appointments, write them in. If you have meetings coming up for work, write that in. Well, some of you may think well, I've got that meeting already written on my Outlook calendar on the computer. Well, I would still like for you to write a quick note about the meeting, you don't have to write everything in here and all the notes that are already on your computer. But a quick note and then the purpose of this is so when you open your planner, you can quickly see that you have a meeting coming up. And for those details, you can always go to your electronic calendar and look at the meeting details and attachments etc. Just anywhere you physically got to leave the house and write that on your planner.
So, when I say write that on your planner, I recommend that you write that on your monthly spread. This is what I refer to as the monthly spread. This is a month spread across two pages, you want to write things here on your monthly spread. So, you can open this and see how your month is looking. And the beauty of this is let's say you're on a file with the doctor's office and they say, “Well, what day works for you?” You can open up your monthly spread and say, “Well, do you have any appointments available for the 16th because I don't have anything planned that day?" This is a quick way to see your month at a glance. And you can also write those appointments and meetings on your weekly or daily spread. Now, I also recommend that you write down all the bills that are due, don't spread them out just yet all across your planner pages, I wouldn't do that yet. Just find a blank page in your planner on this page, write down all your bills. So, you want to write down, for example, your mortgage, the amount due and the approximate due date. If the amount due for your bills fluctuates, just write an estimate of what it normally runs. So just write that down in a list on your page. Now I have an accounting background, I prefer to type this up in Excel and print it off and put it in my planner. And what this will do is it will serve as a reference, you can always turn to this page and get an idea of what to do and when it's due. So, then you can start to use your planner as a way to start planning your finances. And then you'll have an idea for example and say okay, when I get paid on this date, I plan to play these things with that check. So, this is good for beginners just getting your feet wet and just helping you organize your bills so that you can pay them on time.
Now the fourth and final tip that I have for planner beginners is to find a comfortable writing ink pen that you like. So, when I say a comfortable writing pen, it should be a pen where when you actually write you like the way it writes on the planner pages, you like the way ink flows, it should feel very comfortable. Some people prefer tips that are then some people prefer thicker writing tips. I like something right in the middle like a point five millimeters personally and a pen I think should be attractive. And I say this because when you have cute planner supplies it makes you want to use them. I love beautiful things. I like nice purses, I like nice planner pages, and I like nice writing pens.
Now this pen is relatively inexpensive. It's a pen that I sell in my shop. I don't have carpal tunnel, but I type a lot at work and sometimes I feel a little pain in the top of my hand. So, I want a really good comfortable writing pen. I love this pen because it has a cushion grip here. Another thing that I like about this pen is the clip here. Sometimes I don't feel like fussing with trying to get my pen in the pen loop. Although this pen loop is elasticized independent, we'll go in. I like to simply open up the clip and just clip it in like that. It's just a preference that I have. Now sometimes you'll find a pen that you really liked the way it looks and like the way it feels but you want your pen tip to be different. You may want the pen tip to be skinnier. If that's the case, you can simply open most pins and replace the pin refill to the size that you prefer.
A good writing pen doesn't have to be expensive. There are pens, I'm sure lying around your house that are free. There are pens that are expensive and costs that go all the way up to hundreds of dollars. So, you can spend a little bit on the pen or you can spend a lot on the pen so do find a good writing pen. And that's my final tip.
The main theme of this whole video is to keep it simple and keep it functional at first because the whole idea is for you to see the value in your planner and to actually use it. I plan to do another video where I go into more advanced tips about using your planner. And when I do those videos, I want to go more into writing goals like blocking time off in your schedule and writing out routines and things like that. I already have a lot of videos on my YouTube channel covering a lot of these topics. So, it will be really hard to get all of those more advanced planner tips into one video, so I'll probably have to break it up.
So, with you watching this video, do you have any tips for people who are beginning to plan? I would love to hear about it in the comments. Some of the best advice comes from you in the comments. Please don't forget to like this video. This is Tonya helping you feel more organized so this can be your best year yet.