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7 Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up a New Planner


I'm sure you've heard the old saying "fail to plan, plan to fail." I think this is especially true when it comes to setting up a new planner. Let's face it, there are so many planners out there that it can be hard to know which one will work best for you. Whether you're setting up your very first planner or trying something different from last year, make sure not to make these common mistakes! To help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, we've compiled 6 mistakes to avoid when setting up your new planner.

We hope this helps!


Mistake # 1 : Using A Planner That Is Too Small For All Your Tasks

Do you find yourself juggling too many tasks at the same time and constantly switching between your to-do list, calendar, and planner? Have you ever found yourself looking for a pen in the middle of an important meeting because your planner is too small to fit all the meetings on it? It's time to stop using a tiny planner that can't hold everything. Take note of the amount of space that you need for each of these tasks and whether or not it will provide you with enough space to fully plan your days.


Mistake # 2 : Planning The Same Way Others Plan

We all have a plan, but what if it's not the best one? What if we're planning like everyone else and missing out on opportunities to be innovative or creative. Whether you focus on creating beautifully curated planner spreads with planner stickers, color code, time -block, etcetera should be determined by your needs and your needs alone. The first thing you should do when setting up a new planner is determine what system works best for you. If you're new to planners, first get comfortable planning out how much space you need before adding additional decorations.


Mistake # 3 : Failing To Decide On A System

Deciding on what system to use for your planner is a big decision. There are so many options out there it can be hard to choose one. Here are some things to consider when deciding on a system:

  • What things are you going to jot down in the weekly section vs the monthly sections

  • What Habits/Tasks do you want to track

  • How are you going to use your notes pages

  • How do you want to divide your day? Morning/Afternoon/Evening? Home/Work/Family? By Priority Level?

All of these things play into what kind of system will work best for you.


Mistake # 4 : Forgetting To Prioritize Your Tasks

One of the most difficult things to do in life, is prioritize our tasks. Whether it be at work or in school, we are always being bombarded with new information and demands on our time. It's hard enough to get everything done that needs to be completed! But when you have a million other things going on in your life, it becomes even more difficult. So what can you do? It's important to take the time each day (or week) to deconstruct what all needs to be done and prioritize them accordingly. I've found that if I don't put my tasks into order then they never get done - which stresses me out because there are so many different deadlines for various assignments! Be sure to start with high priority items and add in lower priority items as space allows. Make sure you know which things you must complete over the course of your day and week.


Mistake # 5 : Avoiding Functional Stickers

Once you've figured out your ideal setup, you can (& should) start to add In functional stickers & decorative stickers. Functional stickers are things such as checklists, habit trackers, reminders, etcetera. These things can help you maximize space as well as remind you of upcoming deadlines and bills. Plus, if you have the space left over why not decorate?


Mistake # 6 : Not Color Coding

Color coding Is a great system to use to quickly identify tasks. You can color code by academic subject, by task, by priority, etcetera. You can use different color pens, markers, highlighters, or stickers to color code. And If we've learned anything at all from The Home Edit Is that we love a good rainbow and a system!


Mistake # 7 : Not Having Fun

Have you noticed that the optimal time to plan is when you're not busy? There's something about being in a relaxed state of mind that really helps. It could be because our brains are more creative or it could be because we have the energy to do the things necessary for planning. One of the keys to sticking with something is by making it fun. People who find a fun workout program tend to stick with it longer right? The same thing applies to using your planner. If you forget to keep It fun, you'll dread using it and quickly lose interest. Don't forget to HAVE FUN with your planning sessions!