How to use your planner when you have nothing to plan
I’ve seen that meme a thousand times now.
I’m sure you know the one I mean, about a 2020 planner being the worst purchase of the year.
Funnily enough, I disagree with this statement.
You can still use your planner, even if work or going out isn’t really a thing any more.
Today I’m going to share with you a few ways how to use your planner when you have nothing to plan.
Let’s start with the obvious one that even if you think you don’t have anything to plan, life is still going on, to an extent. There are still birthdays, bills to pay and cleaning to do. How many times during all this have you forgotten what day of the week it is? Utilising a planner, will help ensure you keep track of time and don’t forget any friends’ birthdays. Hopefully you’ll see in good time to post a card!
Trying to keep to a routine and keep your home clean and maintained will give you something to focus on. You can then track those things in your planner and not feel like those pages are being wasted. What about all those home projects you’ve never had time to get around to? Now is the perfect time to get that Spring cleaning done!
Alongside looking after home, looking after yourself shouldn’t be ignored
I created some habit trackers for the first few weeks of lockdown to go in my planner. They had things like shower, get dressed, and go for a walk on them. I knew I needed to start lockdown with some good habits to keep me going throughout, no matter how long this all lasted. It’s not probably anything you’ve felt like putting in your planner before but planning out your self care for the week will stop you from falling into the trap of living in PJs with bad hair and scratchy nails. This is what would have happened to me without this focus.
Fitness and diet is another thing you can use for planner for during these times
There are so many great YouTube channels out there and people like Joe Wicks doing daily workouts, you don’t need a gym to break a sweat. I’ve upped my workout game during this lockdown for both the physical and mental health benefits. If I have a couple of off days and don’t get out for a walk or get a workout in, I really do feel worse for it.
I’ve adapted my monthly pages in the Weeks to track those workouts. I can’t wait to look back at the end of the month and see how much exercise I’ve achieved throughout the month.
This isn’t something I’ve personally wanted to partake in, but many people are chronicling Covid-19 in their planners
Milestone dates, media coverage and stats are some of the things I’ve seen people tracking. People have also been journaling about their experiences during lockdown/quarantine. If you like your planner to be more a record of your life, than just dates and to dos, this might be something of interest.
Speaking of journaling, maybe now is the time to get into it, if it’s something you’ve never done
I’m dipping my toe into this myself, this time utilising the monthly pages of my Cousin to write a little summary of my day. Nothing major, but I’m hoping it’ll get me into the habit of writing about my day. I’ve never really been comfortable with journaling or reviewing my day, but I’m hoping if I start small over time I’ll be able to increase how much I write until I can comfortably journal about my day in my planner.
I definitely don’t utilise my daily pages fully. I’d love to get to a place where I’m filling those Cousin pages each day.
Related to journaling, and another something I’ve never been good at; but a daily gratitude log is a great way to stay positive throughout all this, and gives you something to write in your planner each day.
Finally, my favourite idea (and what I’m going to be doing this week)
This lockdown has definitely given me the time and space to really think about my life. It’s definitely prompted a period of self reflection, and I’m seeing this with my friends too. Future planning, or even just reviewing what’s working well in your life now is a perfect lockdown activity. Are there some new hobbies that you want to discover? Have you realised that your 1.5 hour work commute each day is nuts and you want to change your working situation? You’ll never have a better time than now to think about these questions and start planning how to make some changes to your life. I’ve never really mastered goal planning, so I’ve reading up on how to do it on various blogs this week.
Hopefully this has given you a bit of food for thought as to how to use your planner at the moment
There’s so many more things you can be putting in your planner, depending on how you’re using your time at the moment – free online courses, learning a language or doing a different online quiz each night. If you just can’t bring yourself to use your planner though – there’s always the idea that you can just redate it and use it for next year! There’s so many date cover stickers available on Etsy (I have printable ones for the Cousin coming this week) that you can just sticker over the dates and pretend like this year never happened!
Planner spreads keeping me productive during lockdown
Alternative uses for the Hobonichi Cousin weekly pages
How I use my daily pages