This is the most comprehensive list of how to set up a new planner! I get asked all the time, how I switch over to a new planner. I shared a few of the steps over on Instagram this week — click here to watch my Instagram Live to see how I’m setting up my July 2021 Week on One Page Planner!
This is the perfect mid-year, academic planner for me! It’s got tons of space for notes and lists. You can see your entire weekly schedule on one page, along with a running weekly to-do list. I find that super helpful because as busy as we all are, I want to see everything I need to do this week in one spot. I’m choose the British Floral pattern and I’m absolutely in love with it!
I’m also going to share a few tips and tricks for keeping organized throughout the year. A few intentional habits during the year will make you so happy when it’s time to transition to your next next planner!
Let’s jump in! If you’re like me, you may find it a little difficult to make that first mark in your new planner. It’s just so crisp and clean. Don’t you just LOVE a new planner? The old one always gets messy (which is the whole point of a planner), but starting fresh means a blank slate.
These five steps will help you transfer from the old to the new and get your planner (and you) ready for 2021!
- Gather your supplies!
- Index your previous planner.
- Transition your lists.
- Add important dates and deadlines.
- Get started!
Now, let’s dig a little further into each of the steps!
Step 1. Gather your supplies.
Set aside some time to pull all these pieces together and jump into setting up your new planner. Here are the key supplies to set up a 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 running list of birthday and Christmas gift 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. This includes the kids’ school dates, vacations, events, big work project dates, anniversaries, birthdays — anything and everything you know you have going on in the next year! This is a great time to use a pencil or erasable pen so you can easily adjust things as needed.
Pro-tip: I use and love iCal, Apple’s cloud calendar! Digital calendars are great. Paper planners and digital calendars work together beautifully; it doesn’t have to be one or the other. 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. Don’t be afraid to make a mess and use the planner in whatever way serves you best!
Now, here are a few things that if done throughout the year will help you easily transition to your next planner! Trust us, your future self with thank you.
- Index everything. The index section in the Week on One Page planner was designed to help you categorize and record your lists and notes. Don’t you want easy access to important information you add to my planner (like contacts, dream lists, important dates) year after year? Every one of our planners come with a beautiful storage box so you can shelve and store your planner after use. I love knowing I can reference the material quickly and easily from my planner shelf.
- Develop a system for color-coding. I love using colored pens in my planner. It helps me get a quick, overall picture of where I’m spending my time. Create a color-coding system in the front of your planner so you have easy access to it. This makes me feel like I’m more efficient and it keeps the information organized in a visual way.
- Keep notepads and notebooks handy for easy access. Notepads and notebooks are great for scratch paper. I keep both close by for notes, a place to index lists and to-dos, and a spot for additional list-making. I like adding the big projects I’m working on to the monthly spreads. I use the column on the left-hand side as a quick reference to help me stay on track. It’s a great quick reference for days when I need help finding focus.
Let’s make sure you have a planner to keep life’s chaos a little more organized. Academic Year planners are in stock and shipping right away! Click here to get your Whitney English planner that starts on July 1.
Is anyone else setting up their new planner? Share your best new planner tips below or snap a pic and show me over on Instagram by tagging me @whitneyenglish!