After you have purchased your planner, the first thing you need to do is set it up. Here is a quick guide to doing this efficiently, while also keeping it a simplified process. (This post contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure policy. )
Gather Your Tools and Supplies
The first step to setting up your planner is to gather everything you need. Aside from your planner and any printable pages you are adding to it, you will need something to write with.
If you are color coding, using some colored pens is a great tool to have, but this isn’t necessary.
Some other tools you may need include:
- Ruler (for custom pages)
- 3-Hole Punch (for printed pages)
- Stickers or embellishments
- Highlighters (for color coding)
There may be some other accessories you need, but these are the basics to grab for now. When you start working on different pages, you will decide then if more needs to be used.
Decide What to Track and Where
Next is to decide what you are tracking in your planner if you haven’t made this decision already. This is often something you will think on before you even buy your planner, but it is good to make notes of the main areas of the planner you want to use.
Related: Store-Bought vs. Printable Planners: Which is Right for You
Perhaps you just want to use the monthly and weekly calendar pages for now, or you might want to use it for home or work projects or setting goals, so you would like pages for listing to-do lists and task lists.
Use the Monthly Calendar First
Now that you are ready to write in the planner and start setting it up, always start with the monthly calendar for the current month. It is good to start with birthdays and anniversaries since those are pretty straightforward. You can then start adding in other events or appointments you already know about.
You may add more to the monthly calendar later, but the basics are all you need for now. Fill out as many of the monthly calendars as you want, or you can just stick to this month to keep it simple.
Make a List of Goals and Tasks
Before working on the weekly schedule pages, it is good to make a list of any goals or tasks that need to be done this month. This can be added to the monthly calendar, followed by more details added to the weekly schedule. For example, if you have a goal to finish school shopping for your kids by the end of September, then you will probably have tasks like setting a budget, finding sales, hitting certain stores, things like that. This makes it easier and less overwhelming for you.
Add More Details to Your Weekly Schedule
Now it is time to set up the weekly section of the planner. Use your monthly calendar to plan out what needs to be done each week, and on which day. The weekly pages usually have larger sections for each day of the week so that you have enough room to write down details like to-do lists for completing certain tasks, or things you need before an appointment or event.
By now, you have completed the main part of the planner. You can decide to stop there or continue with other details. You might want to do some color-coding, or add additional pages for other productivity requirements you have.
Have fun planning!