The start of the new month is just a few days away and that means it is time to get everything in order for the month ahead. Learning how to set up your daily planner for the month is an important step in maximizing this tool!
So you’ve purchased a planner and are feeling motivated to get things organized, but now what?
As a busy person, life can quickly become overwhelming even with the right tools if you’re not using them correctly.
Your daily planner is the perfect tool for helping you to stay on task and productive throughout the day.
But no tool can do the job itself, so be sure to take a few minutes before the start of each month to set up your planner for the coming month.
How to Set Up Your Daily Planner for the Month
1. Fill in The Monthly Calendar Spread
Setting up your daily planner for the month starts here! Setting up your monthly spread at the start of the month is a crucial step to making sure you aren’t forgetting events, important appointments, and due dates. Here is a look at what to include in your monthly spread:
Important celebrations: birthdays, anniversaries, parties
Sports and school events: sporting events, teacher meetings, early pick-ups, days off, field trips
Work-related events: meetings, days off, project due dates
Important financial dates: bill due dates and paydays
Workout schedule: schedule your workouts ahead of time to make sure they happen.
Meal Plan: as your plan is made each week you can list them on their respective days
2. Fill out the Monthly Brain Dump and Master To-do List
Life gets busy and oftentimes there are a million to-dos running through our minds at any given time. At the start of the month, take time to “clear the clutter” with a monthly brain dump. You can use your Well Planned Daily Planner or simply a sheet of paper.
Take a few minutes to write out every single thing that is running through your mind. These can be simple tasks, big projects, to-dos, and things you are afraid to forget.
There is no right way to do this, instead, simply write out everything that has you feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Then when you have completed your list, take a few minutes to highlight the FIVE most important or immediate tasks to accomplish. These tasks need to be the first tasks you work on in the coming days. As you accomplish one task, move down the list. You can continue to work down the list until you’ve completed your first priority to-dos. Then move on to your second priority items.
As you work through your list you might notice that there is simply no way you will be able to complete all of the tasks listed. Take time to highlight tasks that, while important, can be addressed next month. These tasks will be the first priority for your next month.
3. Decide and Declare Monthly Goals
One of the most important aspects of the Well Planned Paper Daily Planners is our focus on helping busy moms remember that their own personal health and wellness are important. If you remember, at the beginning of every Well Planned Daily Planner is a goal-setting section. In this section, you will have created goals for the next 6 months.
Each month you need to pick 1-4 goals or habits you would like to work on that will help you move the needle closer to achieving those goals you declared at the start.
These goals can include anything that you think will help you move closer to achieving the life you want.
For example: drink 100 ounces of water a day, write in your journal each day, read for 20 minutes daily, no eating out, etc.
Each day check-in with your planner and your monthly goals. Evaluate your progress and check off when you achieved your habit/goal for the day. By the end of the month, you will be able to see how many days you successfully completed the steps you need to achieve your goals.
Related: 4 Daily Routines All Busy Moms Need
4. Make Note of Nonroutine Dates and Events for the Month
Throughout the month you will experience two types of events, routine and nonroutine. Your routine events include the things you do each week most months of the year. This may include school drop-off, church meetings, volunteer events, or regular monthly meetings.
Routine events are so routine that they often do not slip our memories or need extra reminding.
Nonroutine events such as doctor’s appointments, birthday parties, or special events are not something we do each month and therefore we might forget them if we aren’t careful.
Help your future self by making a note at the start of the month of all of your nonroutine events. Take the reminder a step further and make note of anything you need to remember pertaining to the events. This could include reminders to “pick up Jack’s birthday present” or “mail card to Grandma”.
Planning ahead will help prevent things from falling through the cracks in later months.
More Tips for Setting Up Your Planner
1. Keep your planner close and check-in with it throughout the day.
While planners are pretty they aren’t just a stylish accessory, they are also a tool for your day. You’ve done so much work to set up your daily planner for the month, so let’s make sure you continue to be successful!
Start your day by going over your top 3, your schedule for the day, and your meal plan. As the day progresses, add in any new to-dos to your master to-do list.
Use highlighters or markers to keep schedules easy to understand at a glance. Assign each family member a color and on your monthly spread, color each event based on the person it belongs to. Assign a color to financial-related dates, workouts, and meals as well.
2. Review the Day and Plan for Tomorrow
When the day comes to an end and everyone has settled into bed, take a few minutes before you head off to bed and inventory the events of the day and the tasks completed. Move anything you didn’t get accomplished to another day. Review the events for tomorrow and make sure you are prepped and ready.
Taking time to look over your plans for the next day will help you to set your alarm for the right time, pack any necessary items ahead of time, and prepare yourself for the day ahead.
Are you worried you’ll forget everything we discussed here? Sign up below to get a quick reference checklist you can use each month to set your daily planner for the month. Sign up below and I will email you a copy right to your inbox.
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