Planner Tips for Beginners: How to Plan Like A Boss!

You have seen the cute planners on Instagram.  

Your goals have not quite panned out how you wanted them to in the past. 

And today you have finally decided to give this planning thing a try! Now you need planner tips for beginners because this is all new to you. 

Welcome planner girl! We are happy to help.  Let’s dive right into our full guide of easy planning tips so you can learn how to plan like a boss.  

We’re going to cover a few burning questions you are probably wondering when it comes to learning how to use a planner the right way. The goal is for you to be productive and efficient. Some questions you might have wondered about planning are:

  1. How do I get started with a planner?
  2. What should I write in my planner? 
  3. How do I organize my planner?
  4. What are some planner decorating tips? 
  5. How do you consistently use a planner?

Let’s jump right in so you can get started ASAP! 

1. How do I get started with a planner?

First things first. We are a firm believer in pretty things so it only makes sense to choose a planner that you absolutely love. Remember this is something you will look at every day, so it has to be visually appealing. 

Choose a planner that best fits your personality. Are you a clean and chic type of person? Do Do you admire patterns and shapes? What about bold colors and foil textures? What type of planner girl are you?

There are several types of planners to choose from such as: 

  • Traditional planners
  • Financial planners
  • Bullet journaling planners
  • To-do list planners 
  • Plain spiral notebooks used as planners
  • Fitness and health trackers/planners

The options are endless and you can transform any planner to your liking by decorating with functional stickers which we will also cover. 

Essentially you can plan for anything. If you need to customize a planner you purchased to fit your needs, planner inserts are the perfect solution too. Also as a best practice make sure your planner is functional enough to carry around with you daily.

The most important thing you need to determine before you get started is what is matters to you. What are your goals and ultimately why do you want to track these things?

Many people love using planners because they are forgetful. Some just love the fun of writing a physical list on pencil and paper for the pure joy of scratching something off their list.  Others just love the planning community and the fun of decorating. 

Whatever your reason, find your “why” first to help you stay on track with your planning journey long term.

2. What should I write in my planner? 

As mentioned above, one of the most popular reasons people enjoy using planners is for visual reminders. Of course, everyone has their own set of busy schedules so sing your planner for important deadlines, assignments, and bill due dates is very practical.

You can also use your planner to take note of important phone numbers, names & titles even use your planner as a daily food diary. We could all use a little help recounting our daily nutrition right? 

But planning doesn’t have to be all serious with work, bills or school right? 

Many people also use their planners to write down weekly or even daily affirmations. Reaffirming yourself with a positive quote can have a tremendous impact on how you start and go throughout your day. 

Even better, you can look back on the previous month to see which affirmations got you through one of your roughest days.



3. How do I organize my planner?

Organize by date based on your schedule

The common thing is to organize by date and month which is a no brainer. Most planners have a date functionality option.

If you are creating your own calendar from a blank spiral notebook, you can use dividers to separate the months and even start your week on the day of your choice. Who said the week had to start on Sunday? 

Maybe you want to see the whole month at a glance and further breakdown for each date to write specific tasks. Decide what works best for you! 

Organize by important activities 

Are you more of an action-based planner? Do you like to see what is the important thing on your list first? Instead of organizing always by day, you can opt to organize by action.

Create sections that clearly state the action to be taken for the week or month such as:

  • To Do
  • To Buy
  • Groceries
  • Next week
  • Important 

Not only will this help your key tasks stand out, but it also helps to keep them top of mind on a daily basis. 

Color code and categorize   

Create your own ledger system to organize specific tasks, deadlines, and important dates so things stand out. Color code the separate activities we created above with pens, markers, stickers, or different color paper backgrounds. The options are endless. 

This is also where cute and fun functional planner stickers come in handy. You can make up your own system however you see fit and have a sticker to match. This leads us into tip #4, planner decorating ideas. 

4. What are some planner decorating tips?

Planner stickers! 

We love planner stickers at Goldmine and Coco because they are such a great way to show your personality and bring life to your planner.  

Functional planner stickers not only look pretty, but they also put action and definition to your task. The best thing about functional planning is that you can totally transform an ordinary plain planner into something different based on your needs and lifestyle.

Check out how our Founder Felicia Jerell does functional planner with the Goldmine and Coco functional planner sticker kits


Colorful Pens 

Gorgeous pens are super simple to add to your planner decor. From neon colors to glitter to deep bold colors. You can switch your colors by season, holiday, or mood. Again, whatever fits your personality.  

Sticky Notes 

Sticky notes are super useful as they can be easily transported from the mirror to your desk and then to your planner. Again, have fun and color code these while using them as categories for the tasks and deadlines in your planner. 

Washi Tape

Washi tape is a great planning decorating tool as it really transforms your planner into a totally different look. Use washi tape to break up events and dates on your page and even add them on the edge of pages for some additional artistic flair.

Seriously, go crazy! The amazing thing about decorating your planner is no two planners will ever look the same. 

5. How do I consistently use my planner? 

Set aside time to actually plan 

Are you tired of buying new planners on January 1st of the new year only to find it sitting in the corner collecting dust by Valentine’s day? Setting aside the time to plan is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you stay on track and achieve your goals. 

If possible, set aside 20 minutes every morning to spend time reviewing your planner and setting expectations for yourself. 

Measure your results & reflect 

You can not improve what you do not measure. How will you ever know if your planning system is working if you do not reflect? 

At the end of each month look back to see what you accomplished. Cross off everything that was achieved that month.  Highlight it in green or put a fun sticker next to that accomplishment to denote that is something good! 

Anything that was not completed, let it roll over to the next month. Take note if a particular deadline or task keeps getting pushed from month to month. Is there something you can do better? 

Look back on your daily tasks for the month and see if there are some changes in your daily routine to help you achieve that goal in the upcoming month.

That is the awesome thing about being consistent with using your planner every day.  Over time you can truly see your habits and find ways to improve yourself.

Overall takeaways when planning as a beginner

Your planning experience is unique to your life. Don’t compare yourself to others and what works for them. Take inventory of what is most important to you and takes priority on a daily basis.

Choose a planner that fits your personality and use decorations to keep you inspired and accountable. 

Are you ready to plan like a boss now? Check out our new planners and start knocking things off your to-do list today.


  • Thia

    I’ve been using a planner for some time now, I’m definitely in a place of reset. Reading this was helpful as I look to reset my system to be more productive.

  • Angel

    Thank you for sharing this content. I’m new to the planner community and it is so helpful :-)

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