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How to Use a Planner for Success

Goodbye 2020 and bring on 2021 because I am SO ready for you (and it's all thanks to my AT-A-GLANCE QuickNotes Weekly-Monthly Appointment Book). Some may call it an appointment book, others call it a planner or a calendar, and I call it, ALL THE ABOVE.

I do not know where I would be without this planner for the last six years. Well, wait, I do remember: forgetting day-to-day tasks, missing deadlines, sticky notes everywhere and overall unorganized!

Get it together: How to use a planner for success

By using these appointment books each year, I have been able to consistently make all appointments and deadlines on time while remaining organized and far less overwhelmed at the same time. There is no better feeling than being able to manage your time and remain organized while keeping stress at bay. We all have the same 24 hours, but how we decide to manage our time each day can make all the difference toward achieving our goals.

My paper planner allows me to stay on top of my day-to-day to do’s and appointments because of the weekly view feature. Without having to turn any pages, I can view Monday through Sunday all at once. 

Each day of the week has time slots starting from 8 AM to 9 PM, leaving plenty of writing space next to each allotted time slot for appointment titles. Most of the time, I end up needing to use the extra writing space in the margin highlighted “QuickNotes."

Top features of QuickNotes appointment book

Some of my favorite aspects of the AT-A-GLANCE QuickNotes Weekly-Monthly Appointment Book include:

  1. Monthly tabs on the side for easy access to each month: This is make-or-break for me when choosing a planner. I live a fast-paced life. Most of the time when I am planning, I am in front of a client scheduling them. Neither of us has the time to wait for me to flip through an unmarked planner trying to find the right month or day!
  2. One-page monthly calendars have ruled blocks for neat planning: This feature is a critical component for me. I use this most for birthdays, events and the real deal sealer? My bills!!
  3. Opposite page features a full “QuickNotes” writing area: This allows writing space for me to brainstorm on projects and deadlines for that entire month. I also use this space for things I must remember come that month. For example: If I must make a DMV/ car appointment sometime in December but have not gotten there yet, I would make a note here.
  4. One week, per two-page spread has quarter-hourly appointments (8 AM- 9PM, Monday – Sunday): Here is the meat and potatoes for me. I spend most of my time on these pages. Having the two-page spread has allowed me to not overbook myself. Being able to see the entire week without having to flip pages back and forth really adds to the ease of use. There is also plenty of space to jot down notes for specific appointment times.
  5. Appointment times and QuickNotes are highlighted in yellow: This makes it easy for the eye to find times and separates appointment times and important notes.
  6. Storage pocket included at the back of the book for loose sheets: I cannot tell you how many times I have called this a useless feature to a planner until I got this planner with the storage pocket. I use this thing more than you could imagine! I specifically put my business cards in here and sometimes other loose-leaf papers I need when going to important meetings or other various places.

Tips for using your weekly planner for success

  • Take full advantage of ALL the extra writing room in the yellow highlight spaces.
  • I suggest always using a pencil. Gel pens look nice and sharp, until you have all these words crossed out all over the place (I can look back at my first year of using AT-A-GLANCE and I see all the pen marks. I learned quickly.)
  • Utilize the appointment times that are highlighted in yellow for a quick and easy find.
  • Plan out your upcoming week with a weekly planning session on Sundays, viewing the entire week side by side. Use this as a time management tool.
  • Use your appointment book for more than just work appointments. Add your personal stuff, too, so you can view everything all at once.
  • Make time for yourself!

Take control and stop the overwhelm

Calendars, planners, and appointment books can help us manage our personal schedules and make the best of our time. We all have enough stress in our lives. By planning and writing out each day, you can begin to take control of your life and truly mitigate some unnecessary stressors.

I like to live by the phrase, “Fail to plan, plan to fail." If you do not always stay on top of your schedule, you are only setting yourself up for failure. The more you plan, the less overwhelmed you will be. The less overwhelmed you are, the more you can remain focused and take on whatever your day brings!

Video flip-through: QuickNotes Weekly Planner

Marisa Savino is a fitness professional whose passion and life revolves around health and fitness. She practices what she preaches by being a personal trainer, massage therapist, and wellness blogger. You can find her on Instagram (@ms.fitriss) for tips and tricks on fitness, as well as how she manages her everyday schedule.