Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How to get inspired (and stay inspired) to plan your day + PRINTABLES - Planning for beginners

A lot of people have told me that I am an intense planner (I agree). People have also told me that they cannot, for the life of them, plan consistently like they see me or any of those planning gurus on the internet do. So I decided to make this post on what inspires me to plan my day so you can too!


Planning has been a key part of my life for a long time now. I think I initially started planning in high school to keep track of assignments, tests, etc. and to also establish a studying schedule for my finals in 10th grade. I remember buying a dark blue planner (it was my first one) and being so excited for January to roll in so that I could finally use it. And I did. I decorated it with washi tape and tried to write in decent handwriting. That is when I fell in love with planning. 

The idea of being able to see tasks either get ticked or crossed off gave me satisfaction for some reason. I slowly realized that I could detail my planning as much as I wanted so I created a very detailed calendar schedule for studying for my final exams (10th grade) and for the first time, I realized I actually finished tasks and that I was really productive throughout the time period when I had to study for my finals. 

Making a proper schedule helped me to organize and assign tasks and prevent cramming information the night before the exams.

why does planning help?

In my personal case, planning helps because I am lazy. Usually, I am in denial of tasks I have to do and make myself believe I have enough time or that I don't really have to do that task. I could even make myself believe over a few days that the task is completely unnecessary, hence the task doesn't exist. 

Physically writing down my tasks on paper helped solidify them in a way (if that makes sense) and make them "real". I don't like to have incomplete tasks (I either do the whole thing or don't do it at all) which in my case, I believe, is an inherited trait. Writing down a task in a planner/notepad suggests that it is incomplete. It's like I have already begun the task by stating it. So seeing the task still there on my planner at the end of the day makes me feel awful because I absolutely love productivity. It makes me feel like I have kind of failed myself and I couldn't even do a simple task in the entire day. 

Planning helps me remember the tasks whenever I check my planner incase I have forgotten them and then I proceed to finish the task.


start with a notepad

Now, there are several ways you can go about this; it honestly depends on what kind of person you are. If you are a morning person: after you wake up, have a glass of water, and brush your teeth (whatever your initial routine is in the morning), the first thing you should do, after the essentials I mentioned above, is to write down your tasks for the day in a notepad. They don't only have to be tasks with strict deadlines. It can be as simple as doing a hobby or reading a chapter in the book you are currently reading.

If you are not a morning person, do the same thing, but do it the night before. And be sure to read the list in the morning/afternoon as soon as you wake up.

false productivity

Similar to what I said above, write down simple tasks that you would otherwise do anyways, or simple routine tasks you sometimes forget to do. You are very likely to tick these tasks off so it will seem that you have already done a lot in the day! Even if you end up not completing the actual, bigger tasks, you will still get a sense of being a little productive. 

The reason for doing this is, if you only write large tasks that will consume a lot of your brain power, resulting in the rest of the tasks being incomplete, you will end up repelling the idea of planning since it only shows you that you haven't done anything in the day (if you are like me, that is a bad feeling).

The idea is to basically get hooked to the idea of  planning.
 So you have to associate a good feeling with it when you start.


Get inspired by flawless layouts on Pinterest. Get inspiration for format, decoration, etc. Pinterest basically has endless posts on whatever you search for so it's a great place to get a lot of ideas for what ways you can plan and how you can plan.

Once you get used to planning on a notepad or a random notebook, you should definitely advance to a planner, even if it is a small one! If you don't have too much to do every day, you can even print out monthly overview sheets (go to the bottom of this post to learn how you can get my printables!). Having a proper planner will help you organize your day(s) better and will encourage you to plan in a more detailed fashion (since you will probably have more space on each page than on a notepad and your pages will be dated). You can also make a DIY planner from a normal notebook but you will have to waste some time in adding dates/month headers to your pages. However, if that doesn't make a difference to you, then go ahead and save a few bucks by making a DIY Planner. You can even use an old planner and revamp it like I showed in the following video:

(P.S. phone planning apps didn't really work for me because the notifications would annoy me and it was way easier to move a task to the next day)

Personalize your planner/notebook by adding washi tape, doodling in it, etc. By making your planning therapeutic, it'll make you get work done as well as destress!
You can even add sticky notes and other elements to your planner to make it personalize and fun to use. You will not want to use your planner if it doesn't look attractive.

what else you can do heading

  • Add boxes for ticking instead of crossing your tasks out. It will keep your planner less messy (unless you make really clean cross outs)
  • Print out stickers and/or headers if you want to make your planner look pretty but you aren't good at drawing or you feel that your handwriting isn't that good.
  • Get creative and customize your planner to your needs
  • Get used to opening your planner every day in the morning so you don't forget your tasks
  • Make it your goal to make your planner #PlannerGoals ! Inspire yourself!

Don't forget to slowly start omitting daily-routine tasks from your planner once you get used (and hopefully addicted) to planning! Or you will end up actually not doing any work and telling yourself you were productive because you checked your emails!

Once you become a pro at planning, you may want to consider making a bullet journal. Head over to my Bullet Journal posts:

How you can get my printables!!

Here are my self-designed printables: