It’s a fantastic time to start a new planner, just before summer and the school year ahead. Even if you don’t particularly need a midyear planner for academic reasons, there’s something incredibly inspiring and motivating about a fresh start.
Perhaps your current planner is about to run out, or maybe it just hasn’t been working for you. Or are you simply ready for a new outlook on your year? Whether this is your first time to use a midyear planner or you’re a seasoned veteran, we’re sharing our top tips to help you prepare for your best year yet.
Here are the key steps to setting yourself up for success when it comes to your planner!
1. Pick a Planner
To get started, if you don’t already have your planner, you’ll need to choose your favorite layout and cover style. Not attached to a particular format? Then you have a few decisions to make! Ask yourself these questions to narrow down the options:
• Do I want to plan and view my schedule on a weekly or daily basis—or perhaps a mix of both?
• Do I like having everything in one place, all bound together? Or would I prefer the flexibility of a binder system so I can add and remove pages?
Think about what will work best for you! We believe a daily planner is essential for making it all happen when it needs to—each and every day. Many of our planner friends prefer a combination of a monthly overview and daily pages. Our Flagship Day Designer offers two-page monthly spreads, our signature daily planning pages, and combined weekend pages.
However, planning styles vary and we get that! If you’re more into a weekly layout, take a look at our A5 Luxe Collection which allows you to create your own layout! Not only can you choose a weekly spread, but you can also mix in a monthly spread, daily pages, and many other insert options. You can come up with your own layout, add to it, remove pages, and switch it up as many times as you like. The idea here is to customize your planner to fit YOUR life.
So many choices! Feeling confused on which path to take? Our advice: Don’t get hung up for too long on step one! Pick a planner, get started now, and begin to see the difference.
2. Gather Schedules
It’s time to gather your upcoming events. Think through everything you’re juggling and get the dates in front of you. Don’t forget:
• Holidays and Birthdays
• Trips and Vacations
• Health and Fitness
• Appointments: Doctor, Dentist, Specialist, Hair, etc.
• Social Events and Church Events
• Membership Schedules: Clubs, Groups, etc.
• Nonprofit Events and Volunteer Schedules
• School Schedules (yours or your kids’) and Events
• Sports Schedules and other After-School Activities
• Work Schedule
• Spouse’s Schedule
3. Select Favorite Supplies
Day Designer pages are simple in design yet many of our creatively passionate friends choose to add some serious personality. We’re talking planner stickers, washi tape, colored pens, page markers, and darling dashboards! Within each of those categories, you’ll find an array of styles, colors, materials, and more. The options are endless! Planner sticker and accessory companies are popping up left and right, which is super fun. We created this roundup of planner accessory companies that we love. There are even some lovely sticker companies that design products specifically to fit Day Designer pages. And stay tuned — our 2017 roundup of favorite planner accessories is coming soon!
If you’re not the decorating type, don’t worry—you are not alone! You’ll love the simplicity of the pages, especially once you fill in your schedule and to-dos. Just select your pens (or pencils) and you’ll be set!
4. Review 2017 Goals
Think over the goals you set for yourself this year. Ideally, you have these written somewhere so you can pull them out and read back over them. Whether you started the year with a list of big (and small) goals or not, consider which activities, habits, relationships, etc. have been working for you—and which haven’t. Take some time for personal reflection and a midyear review. As you begin to set your goals, start by simply asking yourself these questions:
• Who do I want to be this time next year?
• How do I want to feel?
• What is essential for myself, for my people, for my heart, for my resources, and for my career?
• Are the goals I set earlier this year helping me to be the person I want to be?
• What are the goals that will get me there?
This process is not meant to make you feel bad about what you haven’t yet accomplished or what may not be going well in your life. Rather, it’s about reflecting and refreshing to ensure you’re being intentional about the way you spend your time and the goals you’re pursuing.
To read more about balancing the five major areas of life outlined above, check out our blog series on creating balance. Start here!
5. Review Priorities
In addition to setting your goals, you’ll also be reviewing your priorities. While things like family will always remain at the top of your priority list, you may find that other things have shifted. When new projects, tasks and opportunities arise, you’ll want to think about where they fall on your own personal list of priorities:
• At this point in my life, what’s most important?
• Where do I want to be focusing my time?
• What new habits have stuck? What old habits have been harder to break?
• What’s next? What can I add, if anything, to best support me and my personal and professional development in the remaining months of 2017?
Carve out time to figure out what stays, what goes, and what your next steps are. Aim now to finish strong in 2017!
6. Record Everything
Yay! It’s time to fill it all in—you have arrived at the most exciting part of the process! Get those events, birthdays, holidays, trips, and much more on to paper and see how it all lays out. Incorporate your lists, tasks, and notes as needed! Visualize your upcoming days, weeks, and months.
Finally—admire your work, notice your clear mind, and get started! We can’t wait for you to see the difference in focus and productivity, allowing more time for what truly matters most. Don’t have a planner yet? Shop our midyear collection!
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Which steps will you take in setting up your midyear or academic planner? Let us know in the comments below!