Paper, Please!: New Year, New Planner

It’s a new year, and that can only mean one thing…

A new planner!

my new planner!

my new planner!

New agendas are so exciting I absolutely love the idea of a fresh start, in paper form. (Although I do have a little bit of initial separation anxiety from my previous planner…it does contain a year worth of notes, memories, and memos).

I have had a Lilly planner since I started college, so I wanted to stick with that personal trend. Except this year, I went with the large planner rather than the medium sized one, which was a great choice and I’m loving all the extra space.

Once you begin a new planner, though, you need to take the time to set it up appropriately (as far as I’m concerned, at least). Here are the steps I take to get my new agenda ready to go:

1. Add in all special dates – The first thing I do with a new agenda is add in all special days – birthdays, anniversaries, school breaks, and so on. That way, I’ll never forget them. I add these to both the “Dates to Celebrate” section in the Lilly planner as well as to the individual calendars at the beginning of each month.

2. Equip it! – I like to have certain things inside my planner that I frequently use. For instance, I always stick some post it notes and memo pad paper in there, in case I ever need it. I usually put a few sticky notes in the “Notes” section as well as on the page opposite the current date. The memo pad paper (about three sheets) goes in the front pocket. Finally, sticky tab notes go in the front pocket as well in case I am ever annotating anything.

3. Work out a system – I always follow a certain format in my agendas, so I like to have that in mind and mapped out right when I start using it. For instance, at the bottom of each day I write all appointments or important events I have going on in fancy, bigger writing and in the body of each day, I write any assignments or projects need to be worked on. Also, I only use black pen and yellow highlighter in my planner. The black pen to write anything with, the yellow highlighter to show an assignment or project is finished. On monthly calendars, as things pass, I simply cross them out – one black line through the note. I like to follow a consistent format in my planner to make it neat and organized (for some people a color coding system is the way to go…I am a little more plain).

4. Add in notes – Each planner has notes that I know I will need in the future. They are always really simple things like websites or reminders or things like that which I frequently use. Once I get a new planner, I transfer the notes still needed from one planner to the next, simply by rewriting them neatly into the new notes section.

5. Label it! – In case my planner is ever (tragically) lost, I always label it with my name. I use my “This Belongs to Sara” premade labels by placing one on the inside front cover. Remember that in case you ever lose your planner; never put any personal information in there such as credit card numbers.

I probably seem really crazy with these tips, but they help me start the year organized!

Everyone has different systems with their planners, what’s yours?!

lets hope my calendar doesn't get quite this crazy again

lets hope my calendar doesn’t get quite this crazy again

sometimes my notes section gets a little out of hand

sometimes my notes section gets a little out of hand

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