Documenting My Days: Five Things I Jot Down in My Planner

Five ways I use my planner

I had an epitome one evening sitting in the parking lot of Target. I had been struggling with managing my time. I couldn’t keep track of my responsibilities and my thoughts were all over the place.

Sitting in my car, it came to me that investing in a planner would be the best thing for me to do in order to accomplish the list of things I really wanted to to do. So nearly three years ago, I started back using a paper planner. Since then the planner and the way I’ve used it has changed.

At the base, I still find it as the place I jot down all the things that I’ve wanted to do and needed to do from new project ideas to places to visit, and of course, appointments and such. 

Five Things I Document in My Planner

I write a weekly to-do list.

I originally started planning to write down my daily plans.  This hasn't changed too much. During this season, I tend to focus on what I want to do for the week versus on specific day unless there are time restraints. I write down the things that I need to do around the house, places we are going, and appointments along with my Outschool class times. 

I am intentional about keeping my list short so that I am not overwhelmed. I am also intentional about what is written down in my planner. You want find me giving myself random tasks to complete because I don't want the lines filled simply to be filled, but I want whatever is written to serve a true purpose.

I write my prayers for the week.

It wasn't long after I started planning that I began including a prayer list in my journal.  Since I check my planner most days, it is the perfect place to write down who I am praying for.  It also makes it easy for me to look back to see when I prayed about a specific thing. 

My favorite part of this weekly exercise is knowing that at some point I will be able to look back to see how the prayer manifested itself in the physical world. It can be easy to forget how God answers our most simplest prayers and our out of this world prayers when life starts pulling in too many directions.

Illustrated Faith 18 Month Agenda from DaySpring

I write a gratitude list each day.

When I got back into the habit of planning, I started writing a weekly gratitude list.  I haven’t been consistent with this area of my journal, but I know when I take the time to write down what I am grateful for I feel encouraged about my journey.

Today I am getting back into the habit of taking a moment each afternoon to write down at least one thing I am grateful for in my planner. 

This simple act is a cure for distraction and helps me to remain focused on my goals.

I keep my favorite picture of the week.

This is a feature I’ve intended to add to planner for nearly two years. Since I now have my accountability journal, I know that there is enough space for me to add this feature.

I keep my planners for the long haul, and I often find myself referring back to my planner I picked up from Target when the revelation hit me that I needed a planner. Since my planners are truly like journals for me adding a bit of life through pictures seems like the perfect thing to do.

I’ll be using photo paper that came with my HP printer. just like I do with scrapbooks so there is no wonder that I am now wanting to add photographs to it.

Scripture or quote that speaks to me. 

Each week, I focus on a new Scripture or quote.  I write it at the top of my weekly spread so that I can read it each day. I have noticed that I am more focused and intentional when I have a Scripture to guide me for the week.  

Some of my favorite scriptures and quotes are:

Each month in the Illustrated Faith Planner is introduced with a Scripture or quote.

Each month in the Illustrated Faith Planner is introduced with a Scripture or quote.

No longer do I see my planner as a place for me to write down only my to-do list, but instead it is truly a special place where I document all the things that are important to me.

I appreciate being able to look back at planners from the past to see which prayers have been answered and all the things we have done as a family.  

How do you use your planner?