How to Organize a Day Planner

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You may say your day planner comes already "organized," and in some ways, it is, but as busy people know, the organization of your day planner also depends on what you put into it. Many of our daily planners get chaotic as more and more notes get scrawled in the margins. As you can imagine, having a carefully laid out day planner helps to optimize time management and contributes to getting more done in a day. Here are some ways to keep your planner in good order.

  • Make sure you have adequate space for entries. When choosing a day planner, get one with a large amount of space for each day. Yes, it's great to have a personal agenda that fits in your pocket, but for best management, evaluate how quickly your days will fill up and try to get a planner big enough to handle your agenda.

  • Keep your entries short. The shorter your entries are, the more you can fit into your day space. You don't have to write a book on what you're doing that day. It's best to keep it to a couple of words. It may be helpful to sort out which words you need in your planner entry, including client or customer, meeting type or purpose of appointment. Abbreviations can also be useful.

  • Color code entries. You can save more space by using color codes for different clients, jobs or employers that you deal with every week. Then you can save the space where you would have wrote in which type of meeting or appointment you are planning for. Color coding also lets you see at a glance how much time you are spending on each of your various ventures.

  • Add entries by time of day. It gets hard to read when you just scrawl in notes. Try to separate out morning, noon and night. If you have vague times of appointments, you can still try to get them in the right time slot in your day space.

  • Paper clip your add-ons. If you have a book-sized planner, it's easy to fill it up with loose leaf papers, tickets, etc. Keep these in order with paper clips and attach them to appropriate pages.

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