Effective planning and preparation make it easy to outline your short and long-term plans and achieve your goals. Planners require you to check your habits and identify the changes you must make to work toward your goals successfully. Organization is a crucial aspect of quality living; good planning positively impacts your life.
Planning is both a short and long-term process. There are three formats and planning options; daily, weekly and monthly. A weekly daily planner template is a document that helps you organize your tasks and activities for the week. It may include items like meal planning and water intake. A monthly planner helps you plan your monthly activities, financial goals, and budgeting or social and networking activities. Finally, a daily planner helps you set out your activities for the day; it may be focused on different goals like tracking your diet or water intake or setting out a list of tasks you need to complete by the end of the day.
This article focuses on the daily planner, what daily planning is, its benefits, and what a daily planner is. We also discuss what to include in a daily planner, how to build a list of activities, and the difference between a paper and a digital planner.
What is Daily Planning?
Daily planning is organizing the tasks you need to accomplish in a day. It requires creating a schedule that allows you to utilize your time in the best way possible. Daily planning helps you establish a routine to stick by even when you do not feel productive. Most people use daily planners to plan their days and the activities they need to accomplish.Daily planners are essential because they let you organize your day regardless of planned activities. They allow you to plan for diverse aspects of your life, from achieving financial goals to achieving your health goals or completing projects; they help you do it all. The purpose is to keep you organized and allow you to track your activities.
For example, blank planners can keep track of many daily activities simultaneously; work planners help you strategize and allocate time to your tasks, and health and fitness planners help you set and reach your daily goals to achieve your long-term health goals. Regardless of the daily planner you choose, your aim is to set a goal and achieve it at the end of the day.
What is a Daily Planner Template?
A daily planner template is a document divided into sections for tasks and activities to be undertaken by a person. It is a premade document that only needs you to adjust aspects of the template you don’t feel comfortable with to fit into your daily routine. Templates are good because they are reusable, saving time on creating a new template every time you need to make a new daily plan. In addition, we provide downloadable and easy-to-use templates that you can use to make your daily plans.
Benefits of Daily Planning
Daily planning might seem tedious at first, but with consistency, you may begin seeing the results of an organized day. Some of the benefits of daily planning are:
Productivity is the measure of your output against your input. Daily planning helps you remain productive by establishing a routine that helps you get the best out of your time. Making time for each activity can also help you quantify the results of your dedication.
Manage the stress level
An excellent daily planner helps you manage stress by ensuring you can perform the scheduled tasks well, on time, and in order of priority. Stress is sometimes caused by disorganization, which might make you feel overwhelmed. A well-planned day gives you the comfort of moving from one activity to the next without feeling like you have too much to handle.
Enjoy more health benefits
While everyone is unique, good health is a goal for most people. Daily planners are helpful for scheduling activities geared towards growing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Beyond making plans for tasks like drinking water or daily meals, daily planners can also be used to set and keep health appointments like medical check-ups and enhance fitness by scheduling time to work out.
Studies show that while creativity thrives on being spontaneous, a routine helps one attune themselves to concentration, making it easier to work. Daily planners help establish this routine, mainly if they are used consistently. Daily planners also let you create time to undertake any creative interests or hobbies.
Maintain reliable records
Daily planners help you keep track of tasks, dates, and projects. If used properly, all the activities are recorded precisely and simply in a way that allows you to refer to them if the need arises.
Helps with time management
When making a daily planner, you ensure you utilize your time in the best way possible. By extension, all your activities should be done in time, making it easier for you even to have time to unwind. A daily planner helps you manage your time correctly.
Types of Daily Planner Templates
Daily planner templates are used for many aspects of a person’s life. They cater to financial, mental, and health needs, among others. From these aspects of our lives, we may need different types of daily planners, including:
A blank planner allows you to design and allocate your time as you see fit. They can be used to allocate time for different aspects of your life, like finances or meal plans. You may also choose to work on one aspect. Since the pages are blank, you can write your affirmations and activities on the same page.
A work planner helps you stay organized at work. It helps you keep your activities in check to know whether your tasks are done, what you need to do, and who you need to consult. A work planner also helps you manage your time and remain productive throughout the day, even when you’re likely to have low productivity. Finally, work planners motivate you to keep working and achieve your daily work goals.
A bullet journal lets you plan your daily activities however you want. However, unlike a blank planner, your activities in a bullet journal have to be in bullet points. Bullet journals are recommended for minimalists looking for a simple way to plan their day. They can also be used when you are away from your notebook and need to finish work. In addition, you get to keep a record of your activities should you need to refer to them.
It would be best to separate your personal and work life; a personal planner is one of the most effective ways to do it. In addition, a personal planner can be used to improve your time management skills and achieve your daily personal goals. Personal planners serve different purposes and can be customized to suit your daily needs.
Financial planners are tools to help you note down, keep track of, and achieve your financial goals. The contents and activities in your financial planner should be restricted to money matters. You can use them to calculate your daily budget and set daily financial goals. To use this planner effectively, you must be clear on your goals and consistent with your daily routine.
Entry level planners
An entry-level planner is a simple planner to organize your day; such plans are minimalist in that they do not need intricate details, only an outline of the activities to be done. Unlike other planners, they are not specific to life-altering goals; their main focus is keeping track of daily activities like assignments for school and gift giving.
Health and fitness planners
Health and fitness planners help you to achieve your wellness goals. They focus on diet, movement, and fitness activities. Daily fitness planners work for people who have long-term goals they are trying to achieve. They can use the daily planner to set short-term goals and stay consistent with them to achieve their long-term goals.
Travel planners make it easier to plan trips by allowing you to make all the plans in one place. Most travel planners allow you to collaborate with friends you will be traveling with and share all ideas in one place. Travel planners keep you organized and allow you to keep track of reminders and other plans that will help you plan your trip smoothly.
Essential Things to be Included in a Daily Planner Template
Your daily template has to be adequate to help you achieve your daily goal and perform all your tasks as planned. The following elements should be included in your daily planner template:
Your daily goal is your target for the day. It should focus on completing an activity rather than a long-term target. For example, drink 3 cups of water, and work out for 10 minutes. Such activities are meant to create a habit.
Your to-do list is the list of things you need to do that day. Some planners have boxes next to the activities, which you can check once you complete the task.
The appointment section of your planner is for meetings and scheduled appointments. Note that most activities in this section are related to third parties. Having this section separate from the rest is crucial to ensure you are on track with your health, finance, and other aspects of your life.
The priority section of your planner is for activities that must be done within particular periods. Since they are a priority, the time slot for such activities should be enough for completion.
The meal tracker section is where you record the meals you take daily. It is helpful for people with dietary requirements and those on their wellness journey.
Gratitude is good to help keep a positive mindset and take account of the good things that happen in your day. It could include anything from your first laugh in a while to a baby’s first steps.
The extra notes section is for anything you think you need to add, comments on the day, or even to take note of what you need to work on more.
Create a to-do list for your weekend, even if you will be resting or going out. It allows you to schedule a time to relax.
Step-by-Step Guide to Build a Daily Planner
It may seem easy to create a to-do list, but creating a daily planner also means committing yourself to a routine. The steps below should help you create a to-do list for your daily planner:
Make a to-do list
The primary purpose of your daily planner is to help you accomplish tasks and stay organized. While all the activities give immediate results, you also get to form particular habits and work towards a long-term goal. As such, making a to-do list is a necessary process. The following tips can help you make a good to-do list:
Break down the big goals
Set your long-term goals and break them down into daily activities to help you achieve them. For example, a weight loss plan should include daily workouts and meal plans. In breaking down your goals, you may need to indicate the maximum amount of calories you can take per day.
Look at the whole week
Daily planning often adds up to planning your week. Review your weekly activities and break them down into tasks that can be achieved daily. You have different needs for different aspects of your life; as such, looking at your week helps you plan out each day to cater to all of them.
Have to-do tasks
If you have tasks that should take priority, try organizing them around your goals instead of organizing your goals around these urgent tasks. Most times, these tasks do not contribute to your personal growth; that is why they need to be made around your goals.
Make one daily priority
Select one activity to be your daily priority. You will be more productive when you concentrate on and finish one task than when you try finishing many tasks simultaneously. Put another way, having one daily priority a week means completing 5 to 7 tasks, which is better than having to spread yourself thin and still not do as much.
Use a productive method to plan a day
A productivity method is a tool that makes it easier and more efficient to plan your day and complete your tasks. You can use the following productive methods to plan your day:
Eat the frog
The ‘eat the frog’ productivity method entails doing the complex tasks first and the relatively easy ones later. It is advantageous because complex tasks are handled first when you are productive and have high energy. Therefore, the difficult task should be the first on your to-do list when using this productive method.
The Pomodoro technique manages your time by breaking it down into 25-minute sessions with 5-minute breaks after each session. Then, after four sessions, take a longer 20 or 30-minute break. The technique lets you know how much time you need to complete a task. The technique is suitable for people with poor concentration, forcing them to focus on tasks without distraction.
Time blocking is a productivity technique that involves planning your day out in time blocks, with each block dedicated to one activity. With this technique, your day is organized into a concrete schedule, and all your productive time is allocated to a task; this means you get to finish one task before moving to the next.
The Eisenhower Matrix productivity method involves organizing your tasks by urgency, allowing you to prioritize. In this method, tasks are categorized into four quadrants; tasks you need to do (urgent and vital), schedule (not urgent and vital), delegate (urgent and unimportant), and delete (not urgent and unimportant). The technique helps you prioritize critical tasks and identify those that do not need your attention.
Choose a planning tool
Once you’ve created your to-do list and settled on a productivity method, you must choose a planning tool. You can use many planning tools, including mobile applications, digital planning tools, and classic pen and paper. If you are tech-savvy, you might prefer downloading an application. You can also use digital and paper planners, one for personal tasks and the other for professional tasks.
Stick to the plan
Now that you have an active plan, stick to it by remaining consistent. You may not always be productive or able to follow your daily plan, but you should try to stick to your plan as much as possible. You can use some techniques, including avoiding distractions, tracking your time, and checking in on the activities you’ve completed daily as a source of motivation.
Regularly consider your planning
Change is constant, and because of this, you need to consider your planning regularly. While you can now plan your days comfortably, not all your plans will have been accomplished as you thought; you can assess your plans and see what works and what does not. You may also need to evaluate your plans once you have a significant change in your life, like a baby, marriage, or a new job.
How to Use a Daily Planner Template?
A daily planner template may be hard to get used to, especially if you are new to daily planning. Here are a few ideas on how you can use your daily planner template:
Go through the planner every day
Go through your planner daily to familiarize yourself with the tasks you need to perform. For example, in the morning, go through your planner to remind yourself what you must do, and in the evening, go through your planner to mark the tasks you’ve completed and those you need to work on.
Complete the tasks in order of priority
Indicate the tasks that need to be attended to urgently and begin with them. The urgency of a task is determined by its number on your to-do list. As such, your day’s first task should be the most pressing.
Be flexible with the daily planner
Because you’re new to daily planning, give yourself time to adjust to your habit. Test every technique to see what works best for you, and do not be afraid to adjust your planner. Remember, you are constantly learning how to stay productive.
Paper Vs. Digital Planner
Paper planners are physical documents you can use to organize your tasks. They include calendars, diaries, and notebooks. Digital planners are mostly mobile applications and programs that require technology to operate. They include online calendars and productivity applications. Both planners are advantageous in different circumstances.
Paper planners are more private and allow personal reflection as it is a process that requires you to write down your tasks. In addition, paper planners are less distracting because you can focus on one task without notifications interfering with your time. You can also customize your planner using sticky notes and stamps.
Digital planners, however, are cheaper than paper planners, saving you money. In addition, digital planners are easy to edit, unlike paper planners, which can’t be edited at the risk of looking messy and disorganized. You can also share your planners across different devices and set reminders; you can access your planner even when you’re away from your primary device.
Daily planning is a delicate process that needs you to reflect on your goals, habits, and how you want to organize your tasks. To ensure you can make and successfully follow your daily plan, you need to categorize what aspect(s) of your life you want to work on, whether it is health and fitness or work or social engagements. Then, research the techniques that will work best for you; there is a lot of information on the internet on daily planning, including templates you can download and use. You can also order your preferred planners online if you prefer paper planners. Remember, daily planning creates habits that might help you achieve your future goals.