7 Signs You Aren’t Using Your Planner to Its Full Potential

There it sits, in the corner of your desk collecting dust…

“It’s not you, it’s me.” You say to your beautiful planner that you just HAD to have. 

And guess what? You’re right. 👀

It’s not the planner’s fault you aren’t using it to its full potential! 

So how can you elevate your planning sessions to the next level? Well, first you’ve got to understand what’s going wrong before you can make it right… 

#1. You Only Use Your Planner When You’ve Got a Big Deadline.

I know, I know. Isn’t a planner created to plan things?! 

Technically, yes. But it could be so much more for you! 

You didn’t buy that beautiful planner just to write your to-do list. 

Assign time-blocks to when you’ll do the task, assess how much energy each one will take, and think ahead based on your schedule. 

By using your planner before something urgent comes up, you’re less likely to be in a panic when it’s time to execute!

Besides, we have big (sometimes important) stuff to do every day. 

So why aren’t you using your planner just as often?

#2. You Still Own a Million Different Notebooks.

We all have wayyy too much to juggle in our lives with work, school, relationships, health, and hobbies. 

You don’t want to combine all those things together and have a big scattered mess. Your brain is already scattered! 

So you get a book for every different topic to feel more in control of things…

But before you know it, you’re struggling to find a different book everytime life throws you a curveball. 

Our brains don’t file away information in separate books, so why should our planners? 

By combining the different areas of your life into one hub that you can see at a glance, you make it easier (and faster) to make decisions and plan a course of action.

Bye bye, mental clutter! 👋

Hello, organization station. 🚂

Still don’t believe me? Let me ask you this: How often are you using those other journals? 

Yep. It’s time to combine a few! 

#3. You Spend More Time Making It Pretty Than Completing Tasks.

Okay…this one’s controversial. Don’t get mad! 

But all those stickers and gel pens could be a stalling tactic… 😬

It’s a delicate balance, and you may be asking yourself what the difference is between wasting time and enjoying the process. 

Well, I would ask myself this: “Can you easily see at a glance what you need to do, when, and how?” 

If the answer to this question is “no”, it’s time for an intervention!!

Good design is critical to our happiness. In fact, studies show that when a person sees something beautiful, their brains light up and give them a boost of dopamine (which makes them feel pleasure and motivation)!

There’s nothing wrong with creating your own “dopamine designs” to boost your productivity, but there is definitely a point of diminishing returns.

Stay in tune with your big goals by setting a time limit to these beautifying sessions! ⏱️


#4. Opening Your Planner Feels Like a Chore. 

The tools we use to organize our lives should excite and help us. There’s already so much on the agenda that we don’t feel like doing… 

Our planner shouldn’t also fall into that category! 😩

Maybe you keep forgetting it exists, or there’s sections of the planner that you don’t really know how to use. 

Honestly, the reasons don’t really matter, your feelings do. Because guess what? 

If we hate using the tools we need to be productive, then… 

We won’t be productive!

So how can you make this more fun? 🤔

Get in the mood! Play some music during your planning and strategy sessions, add some journaling into the mix, or do a bit of doodling. 

It may not feel productive, but suffering never is. 


#5. You Still Feel Like You’re Rushing All the Time. 

Now here’s the kicker: do you remember when I said a planner could be used to do more than planning? 

Well, I was telling the truth…BUT!!

If you aren’t using your planner to plan, then Houston, we’ve got a problem

Because your to-do list means nothing if it isn’t rooted in a schedule. 

Some things need to happen sooner than others, and some things need a lot more action than the one-and-done tasks. I mean, it takes more work to write that paper than it does to do the laundry, right?

If you’re using your planner to its full potential, then why are you still rushing to get things done? 

It’s critical to put a time to those tasks! Without this foundation, you’ll get nothing done. 

And there goes all that potential 😞



#6. You Cross Off Your To-Do List Without Feeling Accomplished. 

All that work, and look what it got you. 

You should feel proud of your progress and be able to celebrate the small wins! So what’s going on? 

It could be that you aren’t scheduling any breaks or rewards into that busy schedule. Is this ringing a bell? 

As high-priority as those tasks may be, it’s just as important to pat ourselves on the back for our work! 

Giving ourselves a reward is just another way to practice gratitude. And we all spend enough time on the internet to know how important that is for our mental health, at this point. 😂

#7. You Don't Know What to Write. 

It takes you a surprisingly long time to get organized in the morning. You have a million different tabs and virtual calendars open just to see what all you have to do…

It’s no wonder your eyes cross when you look at that blank page in your planner!

Does this sound like you? 

A lack of priority in your goals can make it impossible to know where to start. Your planner should guide you through the process, not leave you hangin’.

One easy fix for this is to break your priorities into “important” and “urgent” tasks. What is the most important and urgent task that needs to get done today? 

What’s that one thing that you really gotta do, like ASAP?

(HINT: Put that at the TOP of your to-do list! 🗣️)

Anything that doesn’t fall into this important and urgent bucket can wait until later on in the day. 

See? That wasn’t so bad. 


So, have you diagnosed yourself yet? 😆

What sign showed you that you aren’t using your planner to its fullest potential? Drop your answer down in the comments below!

All it takes is a small tweak to revamp your entire routine for the better.

Still unsure how to fix your relationship with planning your daily tasks? Guess what? 

Our daily planners are designed with your productivity in mind so you can tackle the day ahead with joy. 🌻

(Psst! You won’t have to make them beautiful either– they come that way!)


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