Keeping a planner has been pretty useful for me the past year or so, despite going a few days or more without using it sometimes. Especially with many appointments going on and with exams for school, it can help my anxiety knowing what is coming up. I wanted to share some of the things that haven’t or have worked for me when planning.
Getting a planner you like
I find this one quite important as having one you like will make you want to use it more. There are so many different styles out there! I use a day to page planner as it gives loads of space to write down whatever. I also keep a smaller planner with a week to page just to carry around with me. Personally, I really like the style of the WHSmith planners but you could go for something more fancy, such a Filofax, which are more pricey but reusable, or something a little cheaper such as one from the works. You could even get a plain black one and cover it to suit you. 🙂
Adding in appointments
Adding in appointments can help reduce anxiety for me, unless I know it’s going to be a horrible appointment, but then in that case, I know I can prepare myself for it. I like to write my appointments quite big, preferably at the top of the page so I can’t miss them.
In my opinions, to-do lists can be both good and bad. Sometimes I like big to-do lists as it feels like I’ve accomplished more when I’ve ticked them off and it helps to know what needs doing but when I have a big to-do list written out on a bad day, it can both heighten anxiety and lower mood because I am first panicking about all the stuff that needs doing and then get lower because of all the stuff I haven’t done. I suggest doing a short daily to-do list if you are going to do to-do lists. You could also write a weekly to-do list of a sticky note so that you know the stuff that needs to be done that week but if you are having a particularly bad day, you don’t have the stress of all the stuff you haven’t done. If you’re going through a really rough patch, don’t add to-do lists at all if you don’t find they help. It’s not worth stressing over something like that. Your health is always more important.
Whether this be a colour coding system or just some fun little doodles. I don’t use a colour coding system in my planner as I don’t find much point of having one but if you do have lots of different type of activities and such going on, it could be beneficial to you. You can always try it out and if it doesn’t work, you can leave it.
Linking back to getting a planner you like, colour or doodles can help make you want to use the planner more. I use a coloured felt tip pen to write in appointments and birthdays etc. and then a biro or fineliner for anything else.
As for doodles, here is a link to a youtube channel that I found really inspiring for adding doodles to my planner and other things, such as revision: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6FGUTMMHx0dglDOYIWX9PA
Feel free to add in the comments any other useful links or tips you’ve found useful 🙂