Last week I released my brand new DAILY planner – did you hear the news (here’s the announcement)? I am so excited for this tool and thought I’d share a couple tips and tricks for how I’m using it myself with the hope that it will help you too! If you’re using a different planner, my tips can still help you get it set up 🙂  Like a video format? I shared a video on my YouTube channel here.

Let’s get started…..

First things first, think a little bit about how you want your planner to look – this is a tool that you’ll be using for a year so it’s important to put a little thought into it first. Do you want to use color? Black + white? Choose a writing implement or two and a small stack of sticky notes and/or a notepad get started.

Here are my must-have planner tools:

  • pens
  • colored pencils
  • paper clips
  • large bulldog clip
  • sticky notes
  • notepads
  • stickers
  • eraser

Start by filling out the month you’re starting with and as many other months you’d like to start with – I recommend filling in months as you need them.

The Clean Mama DAILY Planner includes 2018 and 2019 at-a-glance and holiday calendars perfect for referring to as you’re setting up the year.

Put the DAILY planner where you’ll use it. I keep mine in my office on my desk open to the current day and then at the end of my work day I turn it to the next day.

Choose a time of day to fill it out for the day ahead. You might want to fill it out the evening before or in the morning or maybe a little bit all day long 🙂

I start with the TOP 3 TASKS and frame my day around that. These are the three things that I need to get done. It might be work related, family related, or home related – these are the must-dos.

PRODUCTIVITY TIP: On days where I have a lot going on or I feel overwhelmed, or in preparation for the weekend/week ahead, I’ll do a little brain dump and write down all the things that are swirling around in my head. Then I prioritize them and put them into the next day. If they’re on paper and one of my TOP 3, I know I’ll get them done.

When using other planners I have always struggled with 4 things:

  • not enough space to write
  • time slots that made me feel constricted
  • feeling like the planner was lost when I didn’t keep up with the pre-printed days, weeks, and/or months
  • the prompts were irrelevant or non-existent

I set out to create a planner that was different and encourages just the right amount of productivity in a beautiful and simple way. I love having a spot for all those little things that I think about during the day in my planner. Money, homekeeping, menu planning, errands, health – these categories all have a spot to jot down a reminder or a whole list.

Here are a few little things I do that help me keep things organized.

  • I use a paper clip on the current day and move it as I go.
  • I use a little color coding with colored pencils to keep things together.
  • I separate work and home. By keeping these two things separate, I find that I get more done in each category per day.
  • I keep receipts, stamps, stickers, and notes in the back pocket so they’re handy.