February 16, 2021

Planners, journals and notebooks have grown in popularity over the last few years, both in physical form as well as in software and apps for the phone. What are the benefits of using a planner? Here's five good reasons for using a planner as your daily sidekick.

shelf_with_notebooks

shelf_with_notebooks

1. It helps to manage time and get things done

Starting a day without a specific schedule is like visiting the grocery store without a shopping list. You can end up with impulse spending and forget all about the essential items. This is where a planner can help.

In its most basic form, a planner functions as a calendar for scheduling events, appointments, errands, and tasks. Never forget another medical appointment or gym session. Set aside time for your hobby or family gathering. By scheduling and executing the tasks that matter in life, you can enjoy the benefits of work life balance.

2. It can improve your productivity

To me, productivity is defined as how well a goal has been achieved. Since everyone has different goals at various stages in life, the measures of productivity vary.

By using planners to set specific due dates for each individual task you need to complete, it helps you stay on track and encourages you to move on to the next one effectively and efficiently.

Delving deeper, in order to reach optimal productivity using planners, we need systems. Popular systems include David Allen's 'Getting Things Done', Edwards Deming's PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) and Ryder Carroll's 'Bullet Journal Method', just to name a few.

With a system to guide the processes, planners become the tool for execution. By systematically chipping off each task on the to-do list, the path to goal achievement is set.

3. It builds a knowledgebase for self improvement and project management

Life is lived forward and understood backwards. Planners set a path forward when scheduling future events and to-dos. Once the date has come and gone, it becomes evident which were the completed tasks, and the lessons learned. If you are meticulous about reviewing and recording key events and the related experiences, you can understand yourself better and take steps for improvement.

In addition, the activity records in your planner provide excellent reference when similar projects come along in future. You will have a record of the task lists, time estimate, resources required and mistakes to avoid. Having a knowledgebase for reference greatly increases productivity and chances of success.

4. It Provides Excellent Stress Relief

Stress comes in many forms. A common sign of stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed. This could be due to a hectic schedule, having too many demands, or just putting too much on your plate. On the other hand, stress could be due to the difficulties encountered in reaching the goals you set for yourself.

One common symptom of stress is the nagging thoughts flooding the mind, crippling the brain to do its best work.

This is where the systematic use of a planner can help take the load off the brain. By off loading all ideas, concerns, fears, worries, tasks and problems from the brain to paper (or an electronic note pad), the brain can be freed to do what it is best designed to do, which is analysing, problem solving and planning.

Brain dump is also useful for management of emotional stress relief like anger and grief. The planner is like a trusted confidante, listening and not judging. It is a safe way to let off steam, leading to health benefits.

5. It is a chronicle of your life

By periodically reviewing your planner for what you have accomplished, it provides a sense of achievement and a memory record to cherish for years to come.

Many creative scrapbookers like to combine the functions of a planner with pretty planning accessories like stickers, washi tapes, stamps, photographs and colourful doodles. The beautiful pages mark the passage of time, with you in the limelight.

frixion_stamps

frixion_stamps

petit_deco_rush

petit_deco_rush

The planner community has grown tremendously over the last few years as more people discover the benefits of planning and journaling. From students to retirees and everyone in between, there is always a compelling reason to keep a planner.