10 Planner Organization Tips To Stay On Top Of Your Day

What is a better feeling than buying a fresh, clean, and new planner? Absolutely nothing! 

Lots of people set off on a journey to completely organize their life and purchasing a planner is usually the first step.  After purchasing the planner, you take a look at all of the pages and see nothing but opportunity on how much more organized your life will be once you put it to use. 

But then something happens. You use your planner for a week or two and unfortunately, you are no more organized than you were before. 

So what’s the problem? You had no idea of the best planner organization tips to keep you on track to stay on top on your day. 

Lucky for you we are breaking down 10 helpful tips to get your planner organized so you can start to actually achieve the goals you set to accomplish. 

10 Planner Organization Tips You Should Follow

  1. Choose the right planner

  2. Set aside time to plan

  3. Decide on a planning system 

  4. Write everything down

  5. Categorize your tasks

  6. Use functional planner stickers

  7. Keep everything in one planner

  8. Make a Top 3 List

  9. Set a time limit for tasks

  10. Use Planner Inserts for bigger tasks

Let go into more detail for each of these tips. 

1. Choose the Right Planner 

Before you start planning, choosing the right planner is a very important first step. You want to make sure that you are set up for success from the beginning. As a result, take some time to choose the planner that will work for your needs. 

Are you the type of person who likes to see your week at a glance along with an area for to-do lists? 

Do you need a section that lets you set goals for the week? 

Do you need a lot of space to write things down or are small boxes sufficient for your assignments and tasks?

Whatever you need to stay productive, make sure you take that into consideration when choosing the right planner. Take our What Type of Planner Girl Are You quiz to help you get started.  

 2. Set Aside Time to Actually Plan

Now that you have selected the right planner you have to set aside time to actually plan.  Do not leave this up for chance. In order to stay organized within your planner, you have to start by being organized with your time. 

Establish a morning or evening routine so writing in your planner becomes second nature. Something as little as 10 minutes a day before you hop on your phone and check social media can work wonders. Make this just as routine as getting out of your bed and brushing your teeth. 

Also, set a time limit. Don’t expect to plan out your entire year in 30 minutes. That is completely unrealistic and discourages you from continuing to use your planner because you think it has to be perfect. Instead, take things week by week or even month by month.  

3. Decide On A Planning System 

Here is something that will make you feel better about organizing your planner. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to set up your planner! We all think and see the world in different ways. As a result, we all process tasks, deadlines and lists differently as well. 

Decide on a planning system that works best for you. Are you more of a bullet journaling person? 

Do you thrive off making to-do lists so you can scratch things off your list at the end of the day?

In order to organize your planner choose a system and stick with it so your process isn’t all over the place. 

 4. Write Everything Down

Are you known to be a forgetful person? With so much going on between work, family, kid’s schedules, and just everyday life it is really easy to forget things. And worse, we’ve all been there with forgetting even the most important things like a birthday or the date of your child’s field trip. 

One of the best planner organization tips you will ever follow is to write everything down.  And we mean everything! From important phone numbers to appointment times to what foods you are out of stock in your home. Write everything down so you automatically know that it will be somewhere within your planner. 

Here are examples of things you should write down:

  • Deadlines
  • Birthdays, Anniversaries, & Holidays
  • Grocery Lists
  • To-do Lists
  • Important Phone Numbers
  • Work schedules
  • Doctor’s Appointments
  • Bill due dates (Taxes, mortgage, rent, credit cards)
  • Car repairs
  • Vacation days
  • Parties
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Affirmations
  • Goals

If at any point you find yourself forgetting something, head back to your planner to see if you wrote it down. Chances are you did! 

5. Categorize Your Tasks 

One of the most popular planner organization tips is categorizing your planner and tasks. Planner enthusiasts do this by a variety of mediums. Again choose what works for you. Here are some ideas:

Categorize by Action - Organize your planner by having a dedicated section for lists, deadlines, and or notes. You can establish sections by creating your own planner dividers or using decorated elements like stickers, washi tape, and card stock to create sections for each week. 

Categorize by Color - Categorizing by color is a fun way to bring life to your planner. Maybe all deadlines are in red, and bill due dates are in green. Have fun but establish a categorization system that makes sense for you and will keep you organized. 

6. Use Functional Stickers to Highlight Important Things

Functional planner stickers are a great way to really insert your personality into your planner and bring attention to tasks at the same thing. Functional planner stickers can help when creating task lists and highlighting days of the week to give your planner a little life. Planning should be fun after all so choose stickers that will really help you get things done. 

See here how owner Felicia Jerell makes her planner functional with the Goldmine & Coco Decorative Stickers and Planner Girl Doll Stickers


7. Keep Everything In One Planner

Yes, I know there are tons of cute planners on the market, but if you want to stay super organized and productive, keep everything in one planner. The quickest way to become disorganized when using your planner is to have things all over the place. 

If you find yourself still having multiple planners evaluate why that is happening. Is one planner not serving your needs? It is possible you chose a planner that is not the best fit.  Or you have not customized it to make it more functional to fit your needs. 

8. Prioritize Important Things With Top 3 List 

Write a vision and make it plain. 

There is a psychological reason physically writing out to-do lists on a piece of paper is so impactful. If you keep it around and in your line of sight the written item is a constant reminder of what needs to get done.

Creating a top three list and prioritizing it in a specific place in your planner has the same impact. If you want to stay organized and productive, prioritize your top 3 goals for the week and write it in a very specific place in your planner. 

You want to be able to see these goals every day as a gentle reminder to stay productive. 

 9. Set A Time Limit for Tasks

To keep you on track with being productive and getting things done, give yourself a set time to complete tasks. Write how long it will take you to complete the task or project in your planner as well. 

Visually seeing your time limit is a great way to remind yourself that you have to stay focused if you really want to complete it in the allotted time. You will also be able to see how productive you are when you set a dedicated start and finish time for a goal. 

10. Use Digital Inserts for Bigger Projects That Special Attention

As much as we love planners, we also understand one planner might not have the capacity to be all things. There are moments you need a little something extra to fit your planning needs, especially when it comes to special projects. 

For this, use planner inserts to make your planners more effective for your goals. 

Planner inserts pair perfectly with daily and monthly planners. Our Debt Payment Tracker Planner Inserts allow you to go deeper into tracking your financial goals and staying on top of payment due dates. 

In addition, our Weekly Devotional Faith Planner Inserts are also a great way to get more space for journaling, writing affirmations, and spending time studying scripture.

Overall as you can see there a million planner organization tips to help you stay productive. Remember, you do not have to do all of these things to stay organized. Choose the planner that best suits you, the right planner system and organize how you see fit for your life.

How do you organize your planner? Drop a comment and let us know!

Planner organization tips


  • Darrielle

    I plan based on the things that I want to do for the day and any thing that comes up unknowingly.

  • Karen Myrie

    Excellent tips. I do have 2 planners, 1 for work & 1 catch-all. I have the separate one for work because I sometimes have to write in confidential info regarding my patients. In terms of color-coding, I do use 1 color for work & a different color for personal. Also, I’ve assigned specific colors for the various organizations to which I belong. In that way, I can see at a glance if I have a meeting or other organization obligation. I’ve had a VARIETY of planners since I was a young girl. I’ve recently fallen in LOVE with stickers and decorative planning (& now need to put Goldmine & Coco as another monthly bill…smh :-)

  • Emily

    I found this today and it has helped me organise my life. It really improves my mental health so I highly recommend doing it.

  • Macey Smith

    A few days ago, I was on google and found this article. It was how I got started with Goldmine and Coco so I highly appreciate those who wrote it!!

  • Sonia Lowery

    I try to use my planner faithfully but sometimes I forget to refer to it during the day. These are very useful tips. I hope to use them for more efficient planning!

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