How to Prepare Your Planner for a New Year

By Naomi Cook

Can you believe that 2015 is right around the corner?  Are you ready for it?  Better yet, is it ready for you and all that you have to do?!   Now’s the time to figure out your plan for your planner, and what better place to start than FranklinPlanner, where you can find a variety of paper planners to create your own unique system!

Do you prefer a paper planner, or do you favor having an electronic planner on your phone/computer?  Maybe you have taken on a hybrid of both, where you write down personal appointments in a paper planner, but add work appointments into your electronic planner.  I have gone through stages where I prefer one over the other, but have found that a paper planner is the right fit for me, because I am a fan of check marks and crossing off tasks.  Yes, I am a professional organizer and a perfectionist, and I’m proud of it!

Here are some simple steps that you can take to prepare your own perfect paper planner for the new year!  Can you say that 10 times fast?!

–     Things you will need: a mechanical pencil, an eraser, pens in different colors, paper clips, one brightly colored binder clip and a warm drink. Are you asking why you would need a warm drink? Well…it’s because you may be getting hand cramps from writing so much, and therefore it will come in very handy!

1)       Get out your 2014 planner, don’t toss it yet!  There is a lot of valuable information in there that will be repeated in your 2015 planner like birthdays and anniversaries.

2)       Ok, well you know what I’m going to say next…add in those birthdays and anniversaries to your new planner.  Use one color pen for birthdays and another for anniversaries.  As a quick trick to always remember how old someone is or how many years they have been married, add in parentheses after the name(s) that age of the person or number of years of marriage, and increase it by 1 every time you update to your next yearly planner!

3)       As you are scouring your 2014 planner look for any other pertinent information like any tasks that never got done, and any phone numbers or e-mail addresses that were quickly jotted down.

4)       Gather all of your new appointment cards and invitations and start entering those.  I like to use pencil for these dates in case any get rescheduled.  It looks cleaner to erase than cross out.  Once I’ve jotted those down, I like to staple the appointment card or clip the invitation to its coordinating page.  It may make your planner a bit thicker, but you’ll be able to see when an event is coming up.  Once the date has passed take out the appointment card or unclip the invitation and toss it.

5)       Add the brightly colored binder clip (so you can differentiate it from the paper clips) as a page marker so that you always open it up to the current week.

Now that you’re done, put the planner aside until January 1st, celebrate the end of 2014, and get excited for the beginning of an organized new year!

Until next time, stay neat people!

4 Replies to “How to Prepare Your Planner for a New Year”

  1. I find it easier/smarter for me to begin working on my Next Year planner in October.

    First thing to do is grab my supplies, which you indicated in your article, but I also grab a \”Small Format\” notebook binder to house things until I move them to my leather binder.

    I put a printout of my confirmation for the planner inserts that have been purchased in front, then add my monthly tabs. I use sticky notes to indicate where all of the other sections of my planner will be included. When my order arrives, I remove the monthly tabs and begin working on transferring important dates and reviewing reminders as I enter them to the planner pages.

    On the morning of December 31, I transfer the new planner contents to the binder that I will use. Following that, I archive my entire remaining planner contents so that they are available to me during tax preparation and other things that get done at the beginning of each year. I do a purge of the archives after the annual taxes are done. I keep what needs to be kept, of course, but the rest is shredded.

    I use an older PIM program on my computer to hold all repeating dates (birthdays and anniversaries) and print that list out during the last few days of the year. I also print out a copy of the year\’s calendars by month and store them behind the calendar tabs by month to use as a \”stop gap\” measure just in case I forgot something.

    My planner is at the computer with me every evening when I am doing my planning or the next day. Notes that were jotted during the day are transferred to the places they need to go, planner or PIM.

    I do not keep my complete address book in my planner. It will not fit in there. I do, however, keep my card lists in the planner. I can write a card or note to people while I am waiting at the doctor\’s or dentist\’s office. I also keep stamps and a small supply of sticky notes in a zipper pocket in my planner.

    By January 1, I am ready to start my new year with fewer hassles and knowing that I have taken the steps necessary to keeping my own life organized. It feels good to start the year \”ready\” for what it brings.

    Dianne in the desert

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