How to Set Up a 2021 Planner
Happy 2021! A new year means a new year and I’m excited to be using a January 2021 Week on One Page planner as my weekly planner for next year. Normally I find it difficult to make that first mark in a new planner (it’s just so crisp and clean!) but this year, I am beyond eager to start fresh.
I’m going to walk you through how to set up your new planner. These five steps will help you transfer from the old to the new and get your planner (and you) ready for 2021!
Step 1. Gather your supplies.
Here are the key supplies to set up a new planner. I encourage you to set aside some time to pull all these pieces together and jump into setting up your new planner.
- New planner and old planner
- Pens and a pencil or an erasable pen (we have the cutest pen if you need a recommendation!). I personally like to use colored pens in my planner to help with visual organization.
- ALL THE BIG LISTS like your current to-do list, dream list, master list, and monthly projects lists
- Calendars and schedules for your entire family. I typically have work calendars (for me that’s at least a product calendar, a launch calendar, and a marketing calendar) as well as calendars for doctor’s appointments, school, church, volunteer, bills, life, and family events.
- A pocket notebook to use as an index and scratch paper
Step 2. Index your previous planner.
The next step is to ensure you can find the information in your old planner so you can easily access it throughout the next year. I use my planner for a lot of list-making. Index everything to keep track of the information (lists, to-dos, notes, etc.) you may need in the future. Last year I kept a list of Christmas ideas for David and the kids. I’ll use the index to note which page those ideas are listed in my planner. It might come in handy next year to jog my memories for future gift ideas!
Step 3. Transition your lists.
The next step is to go through my old planner and transfer everything from my Dream List (my bucket list) and the Master List page. Just as I went through indexing the various notes from my previous planner, I’ll do the same thing with my lists. A quick note on lists: The Master List is full of the things that are going to get me to the things on my Dream List. These are the projects I’m not currently working on, but ones I want to keep front of mind.
Step 4. Add important dates and deadlines.
Take your gathered calendars and start plugging in dates. While COVID-19 means there is a lot up in the air, I’m still adding important dates to my planner. This is a great time to use a pencil or erasable pen so you can easily adjust things as needed.
A quick note on digital calendars: I use and love iCal, Apple’s cloud calendar! It doesn’t have to be one or the other; paper planners and digital calendars work together beautifully. Writing things down is important but I also keep a digital calendar that I share with my husband and my team. Digital calendars are great for plugging in future appointments and allowing groups of people (like your family or work colleagues) to stay connected and on the same page.
Step 5. Get started.
Now, you dive in! While it can be stressful to make that aforementioned first mark in your planner, cherish the opportunity to start fresh. I can’t imagine starting the new year without a new planner in my hand. We’re so glad to see you, 2021! Please be kind.
Is anyone else setting up their new planner this weekend? Share your best new planner tips below or snap a pic and show me over on Instagram by tagging me @whitneyenglish!