Creating the perfect daily planning system can be a challenge. So many people (and by so many people I mean… me) continuously go through different daily planning routines in the attempts to find the perfect recipe for success. Can you remember a time when you woke up and had everything ready for a day full of productivity? Well, that is exactly what a successful daily planning process can do for you! After countless years of searching for the right daily planning routine, I finally think I’ve found it. It isn’t perfect, and it will probably change again over time, but today I am going to share with you everything I do to ensure each work day is successfully organized and productive. Let’s dive in!
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What is a Daily Planning Routine?
A daily planning routine is a simple, short checklist of planning tasks you complete each day. This usually involves staying up to date with your to do list, checking in with your habit trackers, and planning out the next day. Pretty straight forward!
Why is Having a Daily Planning Routine So Important?
Next, having a daily planning routine is the key to maintaining a successful productivity system. This makes sure nothing falls through the cracks and that you’re continuously keeping yourself accountable with your priorities and responsibilities. So, in short, it keeps you productive, helps you manage your time wisely, and keeps you on top of everything in your life.
Top Planning Supplies
Everyone plans in their own unique way. Personally, I have found the most success combining both paper planning (physically using pen and paper) and digital planning (using apps and computer programs). Below, I have listed my go-to planning supplies and products. All of these I completely SWEAR by and wish I had used about them sooner!
- The Olden Chapters Ultimate Student Printable Planner: I was never able to find a paper planner that perfectly fit my needs, so I created my own! This planner includes over 50 great planning layouts, student worksheets, financial planners, project trackers, and so. much. more. Plus, because it is a printable, you can print off any page as many times as you want! Check it out!
- The Olden Chapters Goal Printable Planner: This is the ultimate goal printable planner! With over 25 different workbooks, calendars, trackers, goal worksheets, and more, this planner includes everything you might need to reach each and every goal this year.
- The Olden Chapters Project Planning Freebie: Another great resource (and completely free, I might add!) is my Project Planning Freebie! This includes a project planner dashboard and a complete project planning checklist to help ensure each of your projects are planned to perfection.
- A5 Filofax Binder: Hands down, my favorite binder to put my planner pages into is the Filofax A5. I prefer the Malden style, but they also offer a great Original binder and a Finsbury binder (plus more options seasonally…). Kikki K offers some great A5 options too!
- Bullet Journal: Along side a planner, many people turn to a bullet journal to jot down their everyday thoughts and ideas. Many have also created a great planning system with it as well! This system is outlined in Ryder Carroll’s bestselling book.
- Coleto Pen and Refills: Every planner needs a great pen. The Coleto Pen is my current favorite! It is a multi-pen that offers four different colors to use, all at your finger tips.
- Zebra Mildliner Highlighters: Another planning must-have is a highlighter set of course! These help ease your color coding process and allow you to highlight important events or tasks. Zebra Mildliners are, hands down, my favorite go-to highlighter, as they are much more mild than regular highlighters and offer two different sized tips!
- Colorful Page Flags: Page flags help you index important pages and easily navigate through your planner. A cheap must-have planning essential!
- Washi Tape: Finally, washi tape is my planning supply obsession. It is colorful tape that you can easily write on, allowing you to decorate your planning pages, flag multiple dates on a calendar, and more.
Check out my Ultimate Student Printable Planner Bundle, it has everything you need to skyrocket your GPA, plan your life, manage your finances, score some killer scholarships, and so much more!
Project Planning Freebie
Are you ready to get serious about your productivity? Well, me too… This great project planning freebie will help kickstart your productivity and turn your major projects into small, bite-sized actionable tasks you can easily schedule into your future. Download this freebie now and get started mastering your projects today!
How to Plan Your Day For Success: My Daily Planning Routine
Like I’ve mentioned, I have found the best way to ensure a daily planning system is successful is to create a daily planning routine. Below, I have listed each of things I do every evening (it only takes me about 5 minutes or so…) to ensure I have reviewed the day and have prepared for another successful day tomorrow. I hope that you can take this list and modify it so you can have your very own, successful daily planning routine as well!
1. Review Your Day and Check off Completed Tasks
The first step is very straight forward, review your current day’s task list and check off any completed tasks. This is also the perfect time to jot down any notes you might need in the future and write down anything not on your to do list that should have been there.
2. Migrate Any Unfinished Tasks
Next, be sure to move any of your unfinished tasks to a different to do list (or make sure they are written down somewhere else!). This might mean they need to be moved to tomorrow’s task list, back to your weekly task list for a different day this week, or your “Someday Maybe” list (from David Allen’s GTD system). You could even cross it off all together if it no longer applies.
3. Review Tomorrow’s Schedule
Now is a great time to review tomorrow’s schedule. Write in any major meetings, classes, or events and put them onto your daily planner (I offer a great one in my Undated Printable Calendar Bundle). Also be sure to jot down any related notes and tasks you might need for these events (such as preparing for a meeting, practicing a presentation, reviewing notes, purchasing a birthday card, etc.).
4. Create Tomorrow’s Task List
Now that you have a good grasp on what’s happening tomorrow, start creating a realistic list of to dos by using your weekly task list. My top tips for creating a daily task list are as follows:
- Schedule tasks in between each of your major events/meetings
- Utilize time blocking and group tasks by category, theme, or type (such as phone calls, homework by subject, computer work tasks, etc.) this will help you get these tasks done much quicker! (See more tips on time blocking in THIS post)
- Create a Top 3 list for the day, so you always know what your priorities are! Indicate them using a star or by numbering them 1, 2, and 3
5. Check in with your Habit Tracker
Next, quickly check in with your habit tracker. This will help you keep track of your goals and keep you motivated throughout the year. If you’re in need of a good habit tracker, I have an awesome one on my Etsy shop HERE. Also, if you would like to learn more about habits and goal creation, check out this great post!
6. Check in With Other Daily Trackers
In addition to habit trackers, you might have a few other daily trackers that need to be updated regularly. Be sure to add these to your daily planning routine! Some trackers might include: budget sheets, workout trackers, food log, etc.
7. Reflect and Journal
Finally, spend a few minutes journaling about today’s events. What went right? What were your favorite highlights? How can you make tomorrow even better? Getting into a daily journalling habit is great for mental health, reducing stress, and so much more. In need of a good journal? This one is my favorite because it doubles as a productivity tool!
Top Books on Planning:
Books that cover productivity and planning are my favorite kind of non-fiction books. Is it just me? Am I weird? Oh well! If you’re in that same fun productivity-loving boat as me, you will adore these great planning books!
This is the O.G. of planning books (in my opinion…). This book is the reason I started reading other great productivity books. I can not recommend it enough! In fact, I have read it multiple times (I listen to it on Audible while I am driving to and from work). What is it about? Well, David Allen creates this unbeatable productivity technique that can be incorporated into anyone’s planning system. It is a must read. Check it out HERE!
If you loved Getting Things Done (um hello, how could you not?!), you will love this great workbook! It is pretty much a kickstarting workbook that forces you to get more productive. Check it out HERE!
Okay, The Bullet Journal Method is another must-read planning book. It is a complete guide to bullet journalling by the creator himself! What is bullet journaling, you might ask? It is a completely flexible planning system that you make up as you go! It is based in a blank dotted journal and works on a cataloging system. Want to learn more? Or, perhaps you already use a bullet journal and want to learn the top secrets of success? Don’t miss THIS book.
This best selling book has been a hot topic item for quite some time now. It tells the amazing tale of how Ferriss went from working 80 hours per week, to 4 hours per week (with the same income!). This book is filled with productivity tips, goal setting hacks, and so much more to ensure your energies are spent in the right areas of your life. A must read!
My last favorite productivity and planning book is The Power of Habit. This book covers the importance of habit creation in our daily lives. Duhigg covers how one habit can truly change our lives and how we can control our future with small, everyday changes.
And… that’s a wrap! That is everything I use (tips, books, supplies…) in my daily planning routine. I hope you have found this helpful and are able to bring some of these tips into your daily life. Again, my ultimate secret to daily planning success if having a daily planning routine. Once you create one, you can modify it as you go and you will see huge improvements in your productivity and daily life! Have fun and happy planning!