How To Plan Better: 11 Easy Tips

Sharing is caring!

Ever found yourself rummaging through a mountain of sticky notes, only to realize you’ve forgotten that super important meeting? We’ve all been there, trust me. It’s time to level up your game and transform those chaotic moments into a symphony of organized bliss.

Enter the world of planning, where every pen stroke leads you closer to becoming a maestro of your own life.

Today, I’m spilling the beans on 11 simple yet life-altering tips that promise to not just elevate your planning skills but revolutionize them. Whether you’re a seasoned planner or a newbie trying to figure out how to plan better, these tips are your golden ticket to turning what feels like endless daily tasks into an exciting adventure.

Welcome to your new best friend for getting the most out of your day, every day.

Ah, the thrill of cracking open a new Bullet Journal (or any planner that you’ve lovingly chosen)! It’s like opening the door to a world where your life is more organized, your tasks are manageable, and hey, you might even have time to binge-watch your favorite show because you’re that on top of things. Yipee indeed!

First off, welcome to the tribe!Trust me when I say, it’s not just about keeping track of things; it’s about reclaiming your time and peace of mind. And who doesn’t want a bit more of that in their lives?

But hold up—before we get too carried away dreaming about all the free time we’re going to have, there’s something I’ve got to tell you. Planning isn’t just a matter of throwing tasks onto paper and calling it a day. Nope, it’s an art form, and like any good art, there are techniques and tricks that can elevate your planner from a simple notebook to the command center of your life.

Think of these guidelines not as strict rules but as friendly advice from someone who’s been there, doodled that. They’re here to help you plan better, work smarter, and maybe, just maybe, sneak in a little fun along the way.

Without further ado, here are 11 tips to kickstart your planning adventure. Trust me, by the end of this list, you’ll be itching to put pen to paper and start organizing your life like a pro.

11 Tips On How To Plan

It was pretty hard to keep this list to just 11 tips because as I started my planning journey, I discovered so many things, so many ways you can do better, and so many techniques to consider for success.

But these 11 are probably the most impactful ones. And I found that many of these I didn’t pay attention to or even knew about at the beginning, which ended up in me making tons of mistakes and not really getting to where I was going.

You, however, won’t need to worry about that! Here are my top 11 tips!

This post may contain affiliate links. They will be of no extra expense for you, but I receive a small credit. Please see my Disclosure for more details. Thank you for supporting Masha Plans!

Set Your Planning Goals

Before you dash off to snag that perfect journal, take a beat and ponder the big “Why?” behind your new venture. It’s like standing at the edge of a giant map, ready to plot your course.

Why are you drawn to the world of planning? What treasures are you hoping to unearth along the way? Whether it’s sculpting your dream fitness routine, bringing a sense of order to the delightful chaos of your daily life, or finally ticking off “Learn Spanish” from your bucket list, understanding your motivations is key. This isn’t just about filling pages with tasks; it’s about sketching the outline of the life you want to lead.

How To Organize Collections In Your Bullet Journal (+ 50 Page Ideas) | Masha Plans

Your goals need to resonate with you on a personal level. They should be like those songs that you can’t get out of your head—constantly playing in the background, inspiring you to move forward.

Jumping on the planning bandwagon because everyone else is doing it might seem like a fun idea at first. But trust me, if your heart’s not in it, your shiny new journal might just end up gathering dust on a shelf, turning into just another “I’ll do it someday” promise. And we both know you’re way too awesome to let that happen.

Instead, approach planning with a genuine curiosity and a dash of enthusiasm. Imagine it as your loyal sidekick on this adventure called life, ready to help you tackle dragons (a.k.a. deadlines) and uncover hidden treasures (like that oh-so-satisfying feeling when you check off a completed task).

When you start with a clear understanding of why you’re setting off on this planning quest, you’re not just following a trend—you’re crafting a tool that’s uniquely yours, designed to guide you towards the goals that make your heart sing.

Align Your Planning With Your Goals

Mastering the art of planning doesn’t mean you have to turn into Picasso and create a masterpiece on every page. (Unless that’s your jam, then by all means, paint away!) But there are two non-negotiables I swear by, and I’m about to share them with you.

First up, jot down those goals. I know, I know—writing goals can feel like making a promise to yourself that’s kinda scary to keep. But trust me, once you’ve got them penned down, they transform from vague daydreams into solid, actionable targets.

It’s like they’re saying, “Hey, we’re real now, no backing out!” And even if you’re not actively thinking about them, your brain is like a sneaky ninja, working in the shadows to bring those goals to life.

Now, for the second golden rule—regularly check in with your goals. In my own Bullet Journal, I’ve got this whole setup where I track yearly, quarterly, and monthly goals.

2021-2022 Bullet Journal Setup, goals page | Masha Plans

It’s like having a roadmap that shows where you are versus where you want to be. You wouldn’t drive across the country without checking your map, right? Same goes for navigating through your goals. Make it a point to revisit them often. This isn’t about obsessively ticking off tasks but about moving forward with intention and purpose.

And here’s a little secret between you and me: when you align your daily planning with those bigger objectives, something magical happens. You start living your life more mindfully, making decisions that inch you closer to your dreams. It’s not just about crossing off tasks; it’s about crafting the life you’ve always wanted, one little bullet point at a time.

Remember, the magic isn’t in the planner itself—it’s in you and the steps you take towards making those goals a reality.

Formulate Your Tasks In An Easy Way

When jotting down tasks in your planner, the golden rule is simplicity and clarity. You’re not drafting a treaty here; you’re setting up actionable steps that even your future, half-asleep self can understand and tackle.

For instance, instead of jotting down something as broad as “study for the exam,” get specific. Scribble down “read and make notes on chapters 2-3 from Modern History 101.” It’s like leaving breadcrumbs for yourself, ensuring you know exactly which path to follow.

Take a moment and picture your to-do list as your trusty sidekick. It’s there to guide you through the day, not to add confusion with vague commands. Because, my friends, when your to-do list resembles a riddle more than a clear set of instructions, that’s when procrastination creeps in.

It sneaks up like a cat, whispering, “Oh, look at that, your task seems a bit fuzzy, why not start tomorrow?” And just like that, you’re scrolling through social media, convincing yourself that watching cat videos is a form of research.

This nifty trick of being specific with your tasks does more than just combat procrastination—it transforms your planner into a productivity powerhouse. Suddenly, each page becomes a roadmap to accomplishing your goals, no matter how big or small they may be.

Monitor Your Results

Now that you’ve laid the groundwork by setting your goals and breaking down your tasks, there’s a crucial step not to be overlooked—the art of tracking progress. It’s like taking a moment to pat yourself on the back, or sometimes, give yourself a little nudge in the right direction.

Regularly checking in on your monthly or quarterly achievements isn’t just about tallying up wins; it’s a powerful way to gauge how far you’ve come on your journey and what adjustments need to be made to keep the momentum going. Think of it as your personal progress report card.

I remember when I first started my Bullet Journaling adventure, I was all gung-ho about weekly check-ins. Picture this: every Sunday evening, armed with my journal and a cup of tea, ready to conquer the world one reflection at a time.

But, as life would have it, time became a precious commodity, and my weekly ritual shifted to a monthly one. And here’s the kicker—this change taught me something valuable. The frequency of checking in with yourself isn’t what’s most important; it’s the commitment to doing it regularly that truly counts.

Without these reflective pauses, your planning might as well be a boat without a rudder, aimlessly drifting. But when you take the time to jot down the results of your efforts, it’s like marking your position on a map. You can see how far you’ve traveled and which direction to head next. Plus, there’s something incredibly motivating about seeing your progress in black and white (or whatever color pen you fancy). It’s a tangible reminder that, yes, you are moving forward, one checked-off task at a time.

In the grand scheme of things, these check-ins are your secret weapon to staying motivated and on track. Whether you’re checking in weekly, monthly, or quarterly, what matters is that you’re taking the time to reflect, adjust, and celebrate. Remember, every little achievement is a step closer to your goals, so don’t underestimate the power of pausing to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Stay consistent

Planning, my friends, is not just an activity; it’s a lifestyle choice. Picture this: You’ve been running a marathon called life, and somewhere between mile “I have too much on my plate” and mile “Where did all my time go?”, you dropped your planning habit like a sweaty water bottle.

Maybe you missed a day, or even a week, of jotting down your to-dos and aspirations. Hey, it happens to the best of us! The key? Don’t beat yourself up. Just lace up those sneakers, pick up where you left off, and get back to it as soon as you can.

Now, I hear you saying, “But what if I only have five minutes to spare, scribbling on a post-it while chugging my morning coffee?” To that, I say, perfect! There’s a certain charm in crafting a plan amidst the chaos, a hastily written plan on a scrap of paper. It’s raw, it’s real, and above all, it’s infinitely better than no plan at all. Remember, it’s the thought that counts, and this thought is your ticket to becoming a master planner.

Developing a habit of consistent planning is akin to building any muscle—you’ve got to work it out regularly. Each day you decide to delay or skip your planning session, you’re essentially telling your planner, “Not today,” and we all know how quickly “not today” becomes “never.”

This isn’t just about keeping track of tasks; it’s about setting the stage for future successes. Think about it—the more you put off planning, the less you’ll find yourself doing it down the line, and before you know it, your results will start to wane.

But here’s the silver lining, the light at the end of the organizational tunnel, if you will. Every moment you choose to engage with your planner, no matter how brief, is a step in the right direction.

It’s like planting seeds in your very own garden of goals; with a little sunlight, some water, and a lot of love, you’ll start to see the fruits of your labor in no time. And trust me, there’s no greater feeling than watching your dreams grow and blossom right before your eyes.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Ah, the eternal conundrum – the day stubbornly insists on having only 24 hours, no matter how politely we ask for a few extra. This unyielding time limit means we’ve got to be ninjas about how we plan our days. It’s all about strategic allocation, folks!

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks and talk priorities. We’ve all got those never-ending lists of must-dos, right? I’m talking about the mundane yet mysteriously time-consuming tasks like cooking up a storm in the kitchen, turning your living space from chaotic to sparkling clean, and tackling the wild beast that is grocery shopping.

Oh, the joys of adulthood! But here’s the kicker – those things are going to get done regardless because, well, eating and living in a not-so-chaotic space are pretty high up there on the survival list.

But here’s where it gets interesting. Amidst the whirlwind of daily chores and responsibilities, it’s absolutely crucial to carve out a little nook of time for something that moves the needle closer to your personal goals. Yes, I’m talking about dedicating a slice of your jam-packed day to activities that fuel your soul and inch you closer to achieving those big, beautiful dreams of yours.

Think of it as your secret weapon against the productivity-sucking vortex of daily routines. By consciously deciding to include goal-oriented tasks in your daily plan, you’re throwing down a challenge to the status quo. It’s about making every day count, not by overhauling your entire life overnight (we’re planners, not magicians), but by taking consistent, purposeful steps towards your aspirations.

Sure, progress might feel like it’s moving at the pace of a leisurely snail at times, but remember, even the slowest snail reaches the finish line with steady determination. And that, my friends, is how you keep the spark of productivity alive, ensuring that the daily grind doesn’t grind your aspirations to a halt.

Learn To Forgive Yourself

Your planner is like that trusty compass guiding you through the wild forests of life, right? But here’s the thing – even the best explorers sometimes find their compasses going a bit wonky. And just like that, life throws you a curveball, and suddenly, sticking to your meticulously drafted plan feels as likely as spotting a unicorn at your local coffee shop.

Here’s the reality check we all need from time to time: not every day will unfold according to plan. There will be days when, despite your best intentions, your planner remains untouched, its pages as blank as your bewildered expression when you realize it’s already bedtime. Or perhaps, you managed to scribble a few tasks down, only for life to laugh in your face and say, “Not today, pal!”

But here’s where the magic happens – in the art of self-forgiveness. Missed a day of planning? Hey, it happens to the best of us. The world won’t stop spinning, and your planner won’t judge you (promise!). The key isn’t to dwell on the missed opportunities but to chuckle, shrug it off, and say, “Alright, tomorrow’s a new day, and I’m going to rock it!”

In these moments, remember why you started planning or journaling in the first place. Was it to add a dollop of organization to your life’s sundae? To chase after those dreams with a bit more gusto? Whatever the reason, it’s still there, waiting for you to pick up where you left off.

Treating yourself with kindness and understanding is just as crucial as any to-do list you’ll ever create. Forgive yourself with the same enthusiasm you’d use to cheer on your best friend. Then, armed with a fresh perspective (and maybe a tasty treat as a peace offering to your planner), gear up to tackle the next day with all the vim and vigor you can muster.

Learn To Say “No”

Have you ever found yourself juggling so many tasks that you feel like a circus performer, minus the applause and sparkly costume? If so, it’s time to master a tiny but mighty word: ‘No’.

Now, I get it. Saying ‘no’ can feel like you’re turning down opportunities or letting someone down. But here’s a little nugget of wisdom from the trenches of planning: spreading yourself too thin is like trying to spread a teaspoon of peanut butter over a whole loaf of bread. It just doesn’t work.

Being selective about taking on new tasks isn’t about being unhelpful or selfish. It’s about recognizing that your time and energy are finite resources.

Think of your planner as a garden. You want to cultivate it with care, not crowd it with every plant under the sun. By saying ‘no’ to others occasionally, you’re actually saying a big, resounding ‘yes’ to your own priorities, goals, and well-being.

And here’s the kicker – when you do choose to say ‘yes’, you’ll be able to bring your full self to the task, rather than just the frazzled, stretched-too-thin version.

Give Your Head A Break

At first glance, your planner might seem like just a collection of dates and tasks, a simple tool to keep track of your oh-so-busy life. But it is so much more than that. Think of your planner as a treasure chest, a place where not only your daily to-do’s find a home but also your wildest thoughts and brightest ideas.

Now, I know what you might be thinking, “My planner? A home for my ideas?” Yes! Absolutely, yes. When you take a moment to jot down your thoughts and ideas, something magical happens.

It’s like opening the floodgates of creativity; you give your brain the green light to wander, explore, and, most importantly, expand. It’s in these moments of free thought and reflection that we often stumble upon our best ideas—those lightbulb moments that seem to strike out of nowhere.

But wait, there’s more! Not only is scribbling down your thoughts a fantastic way to fuel your creativity, but it’s also an incredibly effective stress buster. Picture this: all those swirling thoughts and nagging worries that keep you up at night, laid out neatly on paper. Suddenly, they don’t seem so big and scary anymore, do they? It’s like you’ve transferred some of that mental load onto the page, lightening your mental load and, in turn, lowering those pesky stress levels.

Now, if you’re sitting there wondering how to start incorporating your thoughts and ideas into your planner, allow me to introduce you to the concept of a “brain dump.” It sounds a bit funny, I’ll give you that, but the practice itself can be downright revolutionary

Essentially, a brain dump involves taking a few minutes to pour out everything on your mind—no filter, no judgment—onto a page in your planner. It could be anything from a snippet of a dream you had last night to a sudden inspiration for your next big project.

Giving yourself the freedom to unload your thoughts in this way can be incredibly liberating. It’s like clearing the clutter from your mind, making room for new, exciting thoughts to take root and grow. And who knows? Among those scribbles and musings could lie the seed of an idea that could change your world.

Plan Rest Time

Oh, the sweet, exhilarating rush of starting a new planning regime! I remember it well. It’s like you’ve been handed this shiny new tool (hello, gorgeous Bullet Journal), and suddenly, you’re convinced you can conquer the world—or at least your gargantuan to-do list.

You think, “If I can just plan every single minute of my day, I’ll turn into this productivity superhero, cape and all!” Sound familiar? Yeah, I’ve been there too.

The enthusiasm is palpable, and why wouldn’t it be? The promise of ticking off those tasks, one after another, in a beautifully organized fashion is downright intoxicating.

But here’s the kicker, and boy, did I learn this lesson the hard way—trying to cram every possible task into one day with the hope of achieving maximum productivity is a surefire recipe for disaster. Or, as I like to call it, a first-class ticket to Burnout City.

You see, in my eagerness to do it all, I quickly realized that not only were my goals slipping through my fingers like sand, but I was also left feeling like a deflated balloon post-birthday party. Yup, totally spent and in dire need of some R&R. That’s when it hit me: this whole overzealous production planning was doing me more harm than good.

But don’t fret! There’s a silver lining to this tale of planning gone awry. I learned that the secret sauce to sustainable productivity isn’t about filling every nook and cranny of your day with tasks. Instead, it’s about striking that oh-so-delicate balance between doing and, well, not doing.

That’s right, folks. Planning isn’t just about go, go, go; it’s equally about slow, slow, slow. It’s crucial to sprinkle your planner with liberal doses of relaxation and recovery time. Think of it as penciling in little love notes to yourself, reminders to breathe, stretch, maybe do a little happy dance—whatever it takes to recharge your batteries.

Incorporating downtime into your planner isn’t slacking; it’s smart. It ensures you have the energy, both mental and physical, to tackle your tasks with gusto when it’s go-time. Plus, it makes the whole planning process feel more like a self-care ritual than a relentless race against the clock.

Give A Try To Different Systems

You see, the beauty of organizing your life, whether it’s through Bullet Journaling or another method, is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. And isn’t that just wonderfully liberating? It means there’s a whole world of planning possibilities out there just waiting for you to explore them.

Take the Bullet Journal, for example. It’s like a Swiss Army knife for your thoughts, tasks, and dreams—all neatly organized with your personal flair. For me, and many others, Bullet Journaling has become more than just a way to stay on track; it’s a creative outlet, a moment of calm in the hustle and bustle of daily life, and a personal archive of all the little things that make up our big lives.

But hey, not everyone’s going to jump on the Bullet Journal bandwagon, and that’s totally okay! Maybe you’re someone who gets a thrill from the sleek, ready-to-go structure of a Moleskine planner. There’s something about flipping open a brand-new planner, with its pristine pages and that promise of organization, that just feels like a fresh start, doesn’t it?

Or perhaps, you’re more of a digital maverick, someone who finds solace in the click-clack of a keyboard and the sleek interfaces of planning apps. Excel might be your jam, with its endless cells ready to be filled with color-coded tasks and deadlines. Or maybe Trello’s boards and cards system feels like home to you, allowing you to drag and drop your life into neat, organized columns.

The point is, there’s a myriad of ways to plan your days, each with its own charm and set of advantages. The trick is to give yourself permission to experiment. Try out different methods, mix and match tools, and don’t be afraid to ditch what doesn’t work in favor of something that does. Remember, the goal is to find a system that makes you feel like the most organized, productive, and (dare I say) happiest version of yourself.

Free Bullet Journal Printables

I hope by now you’re convinced how effective planning can be and looking forward to getting ready to start planning. And I’ve got some freebies to help you with that!

Meanwhile, be sure to check the Resources Vault which has tons of pre-made pages that will help you crush it with planning.

If you don’t have access yet, you can always sign up in the form below.

Once you confirm your subscription, you’ll get the password to get 50+ free Bullet Journal printables, stickers, and worksheets to use right away.

If you’ve never used printables before, be sure to check my post How To Use Printables In Your Bullet Journal.

It’s pretty basic, and you can find all the supplies you need in my post Supplies For Using Bullet Journal Printables.

More Resources

Do you want to learn more about planning? Or maybe you’re thinking of trying out the Bullet Journal method?

Here are some posts for you to check out next:

>>> What have you learned from your planning experience? What are some tips you could share? Share with us in the comments below!

Hope this post was interesting. If you find it so, please share! If you enjoy my content and want to show your appreciation, please consider supporting me with a cup of coffee.

And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be A Blob!

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *