Having a planner can make a world of a difference in your organization. Whether you use an electronic or physical planner doesn't really matter, it's all about using it to maximize your productivity. First, let's be clear, having a planner is not going to make you more productive or more organized. You need to effectively plan AND act on this plan.  And that's what today's post is all about. I'm sharing 5 simple ways to plan and execute for meaningful productivity.

Master Lists
This is more in-depth than writing a to-do list. I keep a separate notebook with master lists covering different areas of my life. In this notebook you'll find for example a Sunday evening planning list which is sorta like an agenda of things I need to do during that time and things I need to plan for the upcoming week or month. I have one called Saturday review and another one for monthly planning and so forth. These list are regularly updated as things change. What's so powerful about these lists is that I don't have to worry about what I need to plan for during the day, week, or month. I add and take out as necessary and don't have to remember a bunch of different things because I have it written down. 

As much as I love my physical planner I do rely on receiving notifications from my phone. Fact is, I'm more likely to be with my phone than my planner and my phone can signal me when something important in my planner needs to be done. I generally use the Reminder app on my iPhone and another simple to-do list app. All I need for these apps to do is remind me of the very important and usually time-sensitive matters. So I make sure to program those into my phone. But just those things, that way I know if I'm receiving a notification it's serious. 

Planning Routines
I plan around the same time every week and every night. I plan my entire week every Sunday evening and each night preview the next day. This habit makes it more likely that I'll actually use my planner AND be prepared to get things done. When you take the time to plan and prepare you're going to want to follow through. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it as long as it's effective. 

Don't Do It All
Get your most important tasks done first. You may not get everything done and that's fine as long as you get the most important things done. Usually these are the most difficult and tend to be the things we don't want to do. But start your day working on these things and put your effort towards them. Don't do everything, do the most important things. 

Define Your Planner's Purpose
This is the bow on the box. Know what you're using your planner for. Don't just say everything. Be specific about it. I use two different planners, one is a general planner that's for work, appointments, and family. The other is for blogging and my online business. You don't need two planners you just need to make sure you are clear about your planning. 

I hope this planning week was beneficial, it might seem early, but I think it's important to get the tools ready before the mad December rush. On Monday I shared some of my favorite planners for 2016, Wednesday I showed how you can pick the best planner for you and today I discussed how to effectively use that planner. Thank for reading and feel free to share any additional tips in the comments. 

Have an awesome weekend,