Essential Elements of a Planner

Posted: December 4, 2012 in goal setting, Organization, Planners, Prioritizing, Time management

As I mentioned in the previous post, since there are no cookie cutter people,I don’t think there is such thing as a planner that would fit every person’s needs. But, the Uncalendar may come pretty close because it does allow for so much flexibility.The trick is, figuring out how to adapt it for your needs. The picture below shows a two-page spread in the weekly section of the Uncalendar. On the right, there are weekly calendar pages, which have the Monday-Friday spaces divided into three sections. I typically think of these sections as morning, afternoon, and evening. My days are pretty full, and I like to jot down a few details along with the appointment, due date, or whatever I am writing in those spaces. However, if I put those details in the weekly calendar area, it can fill up the space and not leave room for other notations/due dates. My new method is to number each thing I put on my weekly calendar, and then put a corresponding number on the left side in the big green box, with the added details. (For example, the calendar might say “(1) research paper due,” while the left side elaborates “(1) research paper, 8 pages, MLA citations, bring to Dr. Smith’s office before 5 p.m.”

Now, some of you may not need to write down those kinds of details, but I DO! In spite of my wishes to retain the information, they will be tossed out of my memory, never to be seen again, if I don’t make note of them.

Here are some ways I’ve used the other boxes on these pages: The green rectangle on the top right, I use for money-related  items, such as bills due or making a deposit. The graph box on the lower left, I have used to track reading assignment progress. I was an English major, and would sometimes be reading as many as three novels (for three different classes) at a time. I would write down the name of the novel and then in each box write the chapter numbers I needed to read that week. As I completed each chapter, I would blacken in the box with the corresponding number. It helped me to make sure I was making progress on all of the books and not losing sight of how much I still needed to read that week. These little boxes could also be used if you are keeping track of dietary things, glasses of water, exercises, goals, etc. What are your ideas?

If you have other ideas on how to use these two pages, please share them in the comments.


  1. I love daily planners and relied upon them heavily in school. I developed my own system, as I think most people do, that best fits your organization style and motivation. I personally like the satisfaction that comes with crossing things off of a list and so I would make sure my planner set-up allowed for this.

    • successhacks says:

      I agree! Check lists are so important! I use the “what needs to be done this week” box for my household to dos. I use one of the boxes on the left-hand page for to do lists for work and school… At the end of the week, whatever hasn’t been marked off, I either eliminate it or move it to next week. I also use one box in my planner for an ongoing shopping list…. Jotting down things I realize I need throughout the week.

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