Planners were always one of those things I wanted to be good at using and then all of a sudden March hits and I haven't written in it in a month. It wasn't until I went to college that I realized how to actually use a planner to PLAN. It always seemed overwhelming especially when my schedule changed from week to week and that's when I realized a planner was what I needed at that time in my life. It seems like a straightforward task of just writing your tasks down until you're staring at a daunting page of ink that all looks exactly the same. Here are my tips to keep a planner from becoming a daunting task.
1) Come up with a color coding system
A page full of ink can be intimidating. Where are you even supposed to start? I found that making a color cheat sheet made it easier for me. My work events are in blue, casual hang outs are in black and high priority events like doctors appointments, flights and trips go in red. Birthdays are written smaller so I still see them but they aren't overpowering. General housekeeping stuff like doing laundry also gets written smaller since it's a daily task.
2) Make sure your planner has a full calendar too
Daily lists are great and help me get stuff done from day to day but when I'm trying to make bigger picture plans, a month long calendar helps me the most. I like being able to look at my calendar and know that I have every Monday free to commit to something and that I get off work every day at x time. It's easier to see the big picture for each month.
3) Back it up on your iCloud
My big fear with a paper planner now is that I'll leave it somewhere and lose my entire life plan for months at a time. Now I back it all up in my iCloud and make sure that my entire schedule is synced between my devices. It's time consuming but worth it.