This is why you should have a planner

As someone who works in digital marketing, everyone is always surprised that I use a physical paper planner to organize my life. It's definitely surprising when it is so easy to just plug an event into your phone, but here are the circumstances that lead me to committing to a paper planner.

AM vs. PM

I'm pretty sure this has happened to everyone. You set your alarm, or an event in your calendar, but forget to change the time from AM to PM or vice versa. Then you miss your doctor's appointment and get charged $35. Or you're super late to that incredibly important meeting. How could this issue be solved?

I found that physically writing down my plans not only allowed for less errors in time, location, etc. but it also helped me remember what was going on. Having a better understanding of what you have planned not only will help get things done, but you miss out on those important details that can make or break a project.

Time management

Many people think that they "don't have time" to have a planner which I personally think is ridiculous! Having a planner actually saves me time. Instead of sitting down everyday thinking about what I need to get accomplished, I map out my whole week at the beginning of the week. This way, I can tackle my tasks day-by-day and manage the overall projects accordingly.

I'm constantly asked "Maria, how do you do it all?" Between working two jobs, being a full-time student, pet mom, girlfriend, and heavily involved in a campus club, it can be a lot of juggle. My number one tip to anyone who has a lot to juggle is to write it all down. Having a planner is the only way I am able to balance all of these roles. Not only do I need to know when things are happening, but I need to budget myself enough time to make sure I can get the important tasks done.

Ensure that you always plan for more time than you need. This will make sure that you get the task done, but also has a buffer in case something goes wrong. If you finish early, you have extra time to do whatever you want! Although I truly believe that you can better time manage when you have a planner, I think it depends on your specific needs. This is why customization is important.

Customization

From bullet journals, to Google calendars, traditional calendar-style planners and huge whiteboards up on your wall there are an abundance of ways you can get organized. I personally love the idea of bullet journals, but given my current schedule I know that I do not have enough time to set up weekly and monthly spreads by hand. However, some of my fellow design buddies find that bullet journalling is not only a way to display their needs, but also develop their design experience.

I personally use a standard planner that I got at a stationary store. I am very particular about what I want;  A planner that runs from a calendar year rather than an academic year, a weekly view that has a monthly view before each month, a section for notes, a pocket for receipts or extra papers, and a book mark would be amazing! But it can be hard to find all of the necessities that you are looking for, but this is why you should do some research!

There are planners that work like a binder where you fill the different page types that you would like for a given time. All this customization can be useful when you're doing day-to-day planning, planning a wedding or just mapping out goals and expectations for yourself. There is a planner for everyone, you just need to be willing to find it.

Less stress

At the end of the day, the main point I want to get across is that a planner is extremely useful in order to be able to have less stress. Get yourself a portable planner that you can shove in your purse or laptop bag and always be able to update it when something changes.

If you're able to keep up your planner usage, you will find that your mind becomes more clear. You're less clouded by the idea of having to use up that space in your brain to remember what you need to do. When you write it and forget it, you can focus more on the task at hand rather than remember what you need to do next. Free up your brain, write it all down.

I hope your journey onto a less stressful, more balanced life starts with buying yourself a planner.