38 Ideas on How to Use Your Day Planner

I am starting my journal writing series on utilizing a day planner because that is the best way for beginners to start a daily writing habit. During my busiest times, I actually write a brief daily journal entry in my day planner.  This habit is not only great for beginners but wonderful for those of us who love journaling but have limited time to sit and write pages upon pages. Right now, writing two or three pages per day in a journal would be impossible.

Having a planner to jot down notes, memories, and little ideas helps to fill that creative void.

If you are just getting started, you can begin a journaling habit with two or three sentences a day. From there, you will experience the benefits of journaling and the habit can grow.

Two or three beautifully crafted sentences is a form of creating art for those of us who like to write.

Just a brief few moments of writing in my planner feeds my need to keep a daily journal and feeds my need for mindfulness. It takes effort and contemplation to select the right adjectives and wording to capture the mood of the day. It also requires me to focus on the most meaningful moments throughout the day. What moments were most profound? When did I feel my heart swell with gratitude? What parts of my life need to become habit and a daily ritual?

I have tried journaling on the computer but handwriting seems to be more calming and grounding. My day planner goes with me essentially everywhere, which is another benefit of journaling in your planner. You can jot notes down on a coffee break or during lunch or waiting for an appointment. The best ideas come spontaneously, and I love having my planner in my handbag to write the idea down immediately.

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You can also personalize your planner even further by including some other daily entries. In addition to the obvious future event documenting (aka appointments, meetings), other ideas for your planner include:

  1. Children’s homework schedule and tests
  2. Books you read with your children
  3. Make this again… recipes your family loves
  4. Grocery lists
  5. Meal Plans
  6. Favorite Wines or Cocktail recipes
  7. Memorable dinners at restaurants
  8. Quotes that inspire you
  9. Bible Verses
  10. Prayer requests
  11. Gratitude lists
  12. Birthdays
  13. Holiday party planning
  14. Gift ideas
  15. Outfit planning (helps with laundry and dry cleaning prep)
  16. Housecleaning schedule
  17. Future home improvement projects
  18. Wardrobe shopping list
  19. Pencil in a few hours for a D-I-Y craft
  20. Top 5 weekly work goals
  21. A weekly home organization project
  22. A book list. Books you love and books still left to read
  23. Articles you enjoyed reading. So you can go back later
  24. Business promotion ideas
  25. Party theme ideas
  26. Blogs you stumble across and want to visit again
  27. Good advice
  28. Budget items you are saving to buy
  29. Savings plans and goals
  30. Memorable, meaningful conversations
  31. Anytime you promise to invite someone over for dinner
  32. Time for yourself, yoga, water aerobics, manicures etc.
  33. Favorite nail polish colors ( I never remember the name of the polish)
  34. Trying something new, ideas, inspirations
  35. Personal health observations
  36. Resolutions
  37. Small steps to reach your larger goals
  38. Travel moments and places

One purpose of journaling for me is to leave a legacy. In my imagination, I can see future granddaughters reading and enjoying my little handwritten notes. It is my way of teaching them how to enjoy life and lived blessed from one beautiful moment to the next.

“I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
― L.M. Montgomery

Be sure to select a quality planner that will be able to store well if you plan to keep them as heirlooms. My past choices were leather with gold leaf, but for the last two years I really gravitate towards floral and botanical prints. This year I am using the one pictured above. I also make sure to use a pencil so I can make erase spelling and grammar mistakes I notice.

There are many more journal writing articles in the works. I know several readers keep daily planners. Help me add to the inspiration list above. Any tips and tricks you have for using a planner? How do you select the right planner?

“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself – What you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and Repeat.
-Warsan Shire

{Photo used with permission from Rifle Paper Co. }