If 2021 has been the year you’ve committed to being more organized, or you’re constantly double booking yourself, then a weekly planner is just what you need in your life. These great little tools will help you keep track of all of your responsibilities and appointments - you just need to know how to use them. We’ve put together this step by step guide to help you use a weekly planner and get the most out of it.

How to use a weekly planner

Pick the right one for you
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to choosing a weekly planner. So you should choose one that allows you to track your progress and actions throughout the week the way you want to. You may only want to plan your work for the week, or want to think about everything from work to chores and social plans. Then there’s the format in which you want to plan. You might want to plan hour by hour or just generally for each day, and there are weekly planners to cater to these needs. So ensure that you choose a weekly planner that is suitable for purpose.

Take some time to think about what you need to get done
Once you have the weekly planner of your choice, it’s time to think about what needs to go into it. It’s worth writing a list of all of the things you need to get done before inputting them into your week, just so that you can spread your tasks out well. 

Think about your work style
When it’s time to write in your tasks and events for the week, think about how you best work or what commitments such as appointments you have throughout the week and plan around them. You may prefer to frontload your week and give yourself easier days as the weekend creeps closer, or do the opposite.

You should also prioritize your tasks to reflect any deadlines or how important they are to get done. There’s nothing worse than spending time on less urgent tasks before moving onto more important tasks only to find it takes longer to complete them than you thought. 

Now you know how to use a weekly planner, here are some top tips for when you’re using your weekly planner...

Schedule time to plan before the week starts
Having your week planned before it starts will help you go into the week with more direction and motivation, so try to fit some time in on a Sunday or Monday morning to plan your time. 

Don’t overestimate what you can get done 
It can be pretty tempting to assume you can get a million things done in a week when you have the help of your weekly planner, but to truly get the most out of it, you need to plan smartly. Be realistic about what you can get done each day - if you end up doing more, then you’ll just get ahead which is never a bad thing. 

Don’t try to plan everything
We can’t plan for everything, so be prepared that unexpected things will crop up throughout the week and you’ll have to deal with them. This is even more reason to not overestimate your abilities and time.