You’ve purchased your planner, set it up and studied its features and benefits. Now it’s time to begin your daily planning process.

Keep it with you
The best way to begin using your planner everyday is to simply just begin. A great tip for starting out is to carry your planner everywhere: to meetings, to the grocery store and even to the coffee table as you watch evening TV. By simply making your planner omnipresent you will find yourself more frequently using it in different facets of your life.

Create a routine
To begin your planning process, it’s a good idea to create a cheat-sheet that offers quick reminders. It might include action items such as list appointments, list daily tasks, review yesterday’s notes and so on. At first, follow the blueprint for your schedule to a tee. In time, you will learn areas where you can be more flexible. Be sure to include time for planning throughout your day.

Commit yourself
The hardest part of integrating planning into your lifestyle is forming the habit. Learning a new planning system requires breaking old habits like working without a task list, not keeping a schedule and writing notes on random slips of paper. Commitment is necessary, otherwise you may find yourself skipping steps and falling off the planning wagon. You will enjoy better time management and productivity when you’ve bought into your planning system.

Plan in daily sessions
Schedule a 15-minute daily appointment with yourself. Choose a time of day that works best for you. Many prefer to start their day by creating a plan, others choose the end of the day so they can get out of bed with a plan set in motion. Take this time to focus. Update your task list, prioritize tasks, set appointments, reflect on your goals and review the previous day’s unfinished tasks and accomplishments. Establish a routine for these activities that is the same every day. Plan, prioritize and review.

Process your information
An important step in daily planning is the processing of information. No planning system can exist without it—otherwise, your information will become lost or difficult to recall when needed. Be sure to document key information such as appointments and tasks that result from conversations, meetings and thoughts of your day. Be sure to process your notes frequently and avoid a backup of information.

Enjoy your success
As you continue down this path to better productivity and time management success, be sure to celebrate your achievements. While you’re busy with daily planning activities, it’s easy to forget how much more organized you are than you were before. Remember: Success isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.

How do you use your planner on a daily basis? Share your best practices, thoughts and ideas here.

Get more tips on planning, organizing and productivity for every facet of your life by visiting the AT-A-GLANCE Success Center. Enjoy your road to achieving your goals.

[photo by Inspired Harbor]

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