How to Use Your Planner to Instantly Boost Productivity

Which liveWELL Planner is ideal for helping you to have your best year yet? This year, we have more options that ever… the bound weekly, coil-free weekly, Daily, Quarterlies and A5 Inserts could be the right fit for you.

With each of these options, you’ll have goal-setting pages, the important dates section, plan + focus sections and more. Two fan favorites that are simple, but important aspects of our planners, are the daily boxes and habit trackers.

Since these two sections have been discussed frequently over on our free and supportive online Facebook group – inkWELL Press Productivity Co. , I thought I would put tips and advice for these sections all in one place for anyone to reference.  Not long ago, we had someone in the group ask:

“How do you use the colored daily boxes in the weekly spreads? I’ve been using them to record workouts and a meal plan, but would love some other ideas!” – Leah H.

The responses were detailed, unique, personal, helpful and just all around amazing. I’m so happy to see everyone in this supportive group conversing and encouraging one another to find their peak productivity! Whenever you’re wanting new ways to switch it up and use your daily boxes or habit trackers in a different way, just read these great ideas from contributors to that post.

I think the best part is, that these are from REAL people, like you, from all walks of life. They’re working parents, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home-parents, young professionals, empty-nesters, etc. The varied characteristics of inkWELL Press Productivity Co.’s group is what makes it so helpful and interesting.

Let’s get started with the daily boxes, and then we’ll move into habit trackers…

 

How To Use Your Daily Boxes

Tip Roundup:

Daily household chore – This is one I’ve seen a lot. For some, it’s helpful to do one simple chore per day. You can use the Daily Boxes in conjunction with your Daily Habit Trackers, which are in every liveWELL Planner. You can see them on your daily or weekly spread, as well as at-a-glance at the end of every month. This way, you can monitor how well you’re doing with good habits.

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Spouse’s job schedule – I loved seeing this one from our Facebook group! Keeping up with your family’s work schedule is important for daily, weekly and monthly planning. From events and appointments to dinner and date nights. This is especially helpful for those who don’t work 9 am to 5 pm.

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Exercise – Another big one I see used a lot in the Daily Boxes. Varying your workout schedule from yoga to walking or running outside or classes at the YMCA is a great way to stay interested and motivated. Keep track of your routines by plugging them in the Daily Boxes. A bonus of this – when I need to reserve a spot in my classes, I have this reminder in my planner to get that done!

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Notes/Memories about family – Also from inkWELL Press Productivity Co.! This is one of my favorites because it’s so personal. And that’s what your planner is for. It’s for your priorities and planning. At the end of the year, you can look back at EVERY single day, and see a wonderful note about the kids or another family member!

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Meal plans– What will you be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner? You can use all three boxes for each meal if you want, or you can fit those three meals into ONE box. It’s whatever system works for you. This way, you won’t have to get home at the end of the night wondering what to make.

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Self-care & emotions – Another one I’ve seen for a while from our customers. We don’t think about monitoring our feelings and emotions, but it’s important. Don’t always just measure those concrete items. Take some time to think about how you feel about your day and write it down in a word or two. Look back over your days and see how it is you’re consistently feeling.

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Events & Appointments – I use my Daily Boxes for any event or appointment. I write down the time, place and any other small note that I need to have in there. Using the boxes as a reminder will reassure that you won’t forget important phone calls or meetings.

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Top 3 items to do or remember – I loved this tip from our group! It can be a fun one, too. It’s not just for remembering things you must get done. It’s for remembering lunch dates or small steps toward big goals. It should fit into your lifestyle and environment. Have various items you need to do each day that change up a lot? Use this method to remember each little thing.

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Gratitude – A relaxing way to use your boxes… writing down reasons to be grateful and thankful for what’s going on in your life. Is your child graduating college or starting high school? Those are certainly reasons to be thankful. Are you progressing toward a promotion or celebrating a friend? These are just a few examples of why we can be show gratitude every day.

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Work or home projects – A while back, I remodeled my deck. It wasn’t just a quick couple of days or even a week process. I had to make sure that we had all the resources and items (and time!) needed to complete the at-home project. I wrote in reminders of what I needed to pick up from the store in those daily boxes so that I could just begin the project. What work or home project can the Daily Boxes help you start and finish?

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Homework – Whether it’s yours or your child’s homework… it’s gotta get done. You can use one box or all three for class assignments, papers, projects, etc. Have six classes? You can use 2 classes for each box…. I promise… there’s room!

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Water intake – I’ve seen this one a lot as well. Some people draw eight water droplets in one of the boxes and then fill in the droplets for each glass or bottle they drink. We all know it’s important to drink more water, so this is a great habit to keep track of!

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Sleep monitoring – This is a newer one, and I talk a lot about the importance of sleep in episode 021 of Productivity Paradox (AND there’s a blog about it too!). Use one box or two if needed, and write down you sleep time for the night and your wake time. It’s so important to feel awake, refreshed and ready when we have tasks to do each day. And you’ll do them much better and effectively with your ideal amount of sleep.

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How to Use Habit Trackers to Increase Your Productivity:

In our weekly liveWELL Planners, we’ve put three habit trackers a the beginning of each month, and in the Daily, since it is undated, we have a spread in the back of the planner of all habit trackers you’ll need.

While you can simply track three habits per month, or whatever works for you, we’ve also seen many track six per month. To do this, half of each hexagon/day is shaded one color, and the other hald of that hexagon is shaded another to represent two habits. Here’s a great example of what I mean from Susanne H. who shared hers in the group:

I’m also liking how the habits are a bit related here too, so you can see some correlation at the end of the month. For example, if water and Pilates are related, and you appeared to be drinking a lot more water, you may have had more energy, motivation and stamina to go to Pilates class more. I love that. Just the same, I think meditation/bed and smile/breakfast go wonderfully together!

 

For more ideas, here’s a quick roundup of ways you can use your habit tracker for day and night items…

  • exercise, workout classes, cardio, yoga
  • water intake
  • healthy meals, snacks, drinks
  • multivitamin or supplements
  • affirmations or prayer
  • mediation or stretching – morning or evening
  • going to bed earlier
  • skincare routine – morning or evening
  • financial/savings tracking
  • journaling
  • reading
  • energy and focus levels
  • chores

There’s so many more ways we can use the habit trackers, but what I love most is when I see each person write in specifically what works for them. That’s why these are just ideas for you to go off of… you should create your own mixture of good habits to track, allowing you to create a full routine for yourself.

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I hope this list gives you a better idea of what to use your planner to boost your productivity! You can always try out a few of these and then switch them up if you find you’d rather monitor different habits. Comment below and give your suggestions on how we can use daily boxes, habit trackers and more to enrich our lives.

Thanks for the MANY of you that commented on the Facebook post started by Leah H. and for emailing us amazing tips for the best ways to use your planners to increase your productivity at work and home!

 

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton