Using a Planner to Build a Happier Schedule
How I Use Annual Planners + The Scoop on My Favorites
So much of our typical planner use is focused on external demands–meetings, deadlines, and due dates. What if we scheduled ourselves in? Time for unwinding, for daydreams, for that personal project you’d love to finish… There’s increasingly more information available on healthy habits, wellness, and self-care. But are you using any of it? Or are you sighing, “Huh, that sounds nice” and moving on with busy-ness?
When I get a new planner, I go into full-on nerd mode: I sit down with last year’s planner, colored pens, highlighters, and various calendars I want to use. I copy down loved ones’ birthdays, free concerts at a nearby public garden, the local college basketball schedule, school holidays, planetarium shows, and other events I want to track.
Functional organization can be quite addictive, especially since I cope with ADD, depression, and insomnia. Feeling put together is a great result of organizing your life in ways that work well for YOU.
Next, and what I feel is most important, I consider my goals and intentions for my year. Reflecting on my work, my family, and my personal interests and how they fared through the past year, I settle on several focus areas (usually 6-8) for the upcoming year. While I may include 1-2 external items such as a job-related certification I’d like to earn, I also include self-care goals like meditating regularly and keeping a gratitude list.
My Favorite Soul-Centered Planners
The Desire Map Planner
My everyday planner is the Desire Map Planner from Danielle LaPorte. I love that the daily version includes lined space to write in appointments, a 3-item to do list, daily gratitude list, and reflections on my day. There are also monthly reflection pages, allowing you to think about what’s working well for you and what you may want to adjust. Using the daily and monthly reflections allow me to be purposeful about my peace instead of simply allowing the days to pass me by.
See my Desire Map Planner in use above. Features that make this planner my favorite of the two I use every year include tabbed months, the annual astrology overview (including new and full moon dates, along with quick keywords for the astrological signs), and the year-at-a-glance overview with spaces for your loved one’s birthdays and other personal holidays.
Check out the newly available 2021 Desire Map Planners to “create your life with intention”. The 2021 edition is my 4th annual planner purchase, and I consider it a great investment for my peace of mind. There are daily and weekly hard cover versions, along with 3 pay-what-you-wish price points ($42-58 USD).
$ Saving Hint: Select the $50 pay-what-you-wish option THEN use code PLANNERFRIEND25 for 25% off! Your $58 planner (totally worth it if that price is accessible for you) is now…$31.50 before shipping. Woohoo! iPad users can also get the digital daily or weekly planner ($20-30). Same hint as above: Choose the $25 option and apply PLANNERFRIEND25 for 25% off for a before-shipping total of $19.
>>Try the Desire Map Planner FREE with these daily printables!
Biddy Tarot Planner
I also use the annual Biddy Tarot Planner on a monthly basis for seasonal spreads and quarterly check-ins. It’s a smaller, simpler planner than the Desire Map. It focuses on how the Tarot can be used for daily and monthly inspiration and reflection. As a bonus, this planner encourages you to get familiar (or reacquainted) with your Tarot cards.
>>To test drive using the Tarot for planning, get Biddy Tarot’s FREE Monthly Tarot Planner printables.
Setting Daily Intentions with Tarot at Biddy Tarot
The 2021 Biddy Tarot Planner (paperback, $29) is available!
Which planners prompt you to keep your self on the schedule? Comment with your picks.
The Desire Map, a Heart-Centered Approach to Clear Thinking and Joy course from Danielle LaPorte
The Desire Map Planner FREE Daily printables to try before you buy
Biddy Tarot’s FREE Monthly Tarot Planner printables for test-driving this planner style
You might also enjoy 10 Questions to Get to Know Your Tarot Reader – my answers to the “10 Questions Every Tarot Reader Must Answer” challenge.