4 creative ways to enhance your daily planner and boost productivity


Staying motivated to meet your goals can be challenging. If you're looking for a fun, easy strategy to help you stay on track, try coming up with creative ways to organize your daily planner.

Some members of the #plannercommunity, which has over 3 million posts on Instagram, like to deck out their daily planners with pops of color, stickers, and more.

Putting extra effort into your planner is more than a fun, crafty project. Writing your goals down and adding some flare to the planning process can help you visualize those smaller tasks and bigger goals for the week, making you more organized and productive in the long run.

"This helps you carve out what's important," Chris Bailey, author of "Hyperfocus: How to Manage Attention in a World of Distraction," told Grow last year. "You can decide what needs to get done instead of responding to what's urgent."

Here are a few tips to help you jazz up your planner and boost your productivity.

1. Create a section for creativity

You want to motivate yourself to look at your planner at least once a day to make sure you're on task. So find a way to make it fun. Before you write down your to-dos, take a few minutes to create a space to jot down what you're grateful for each day.

"A lot of times, I'll create a section in my planner for me to write down what I'm thankful for that day so that I can continue to practice having gratitude each day," says Kelly Smith of Freedom In A Budget.

If your creativity comes out in images, use that space to doodle.

Taking a few minutes to use that space for creativity or reflection can help you feel more refreshed, renewed, and ready to take on the day. And if your planner makes you feel uplifted, you're more likely to check it.

2. Pick a word or motto for the week

When you're planning out your week, think of an inspiring quote, or even a single word, that you want to define it. Your word or phrase might be "adventurous" or "try new things," anything that inspires you to meet the challenges you'll face in a given week.

When you've hit a rough spot in your week, or when you don't feel like completing the tasks in your planner, refer back to this quote and remind yourself of what you hope to accomplish.

3. Throw in pops of color

"I usually use a color coding system, which probably wouldn't work for everyone's brain, but it does for mine, and it's a way to keep me organized, while still making the process enjoyable," says Allison Strickland, the blogger behind Financial Flamingo.

Think of a few different categories of tasks that you complete regularly. These might include work-related tasks, household chores, monthly bills, extracurricular activities, or gym sessions, and assign a color to each. That way, a quick glance at your planner will tell you what your day will look like.

4. Keep it simple if that's what motivates you

A planner with lots of bells and whistles isn't for everyone. Your planner should help you feel more motivated to complete your tasks, so if you prefer minimalism and a clean layout, stick with that.

To find something that aligns with your style and cut costs, consider picking up a composition notebook from the dollar store and creating a bullet planner where you section off days of the week and jot down all of your tasks in bullet point form.

"In the planning community, there's a whole lot of planning and stickers, but the main thing I tell people is to do what works for them," says Strickland. "Trial and error and figuring out a planning system that works really well for your situation is going to help you a lot more than trying to emulate what somebody else does."

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