JANUARY 20, 2020

Best to plan


Promise yourself: this year will be the year you maximize your planner to its full potential.

To say that we had an, er, colorful start to 2020 would be a massive understatement—when we haven’t even got our bearings back from the crazy Christmas revelry, January decided to throw massive (massive!) curveballs that has left us more in a daze than during the holidays.

This decade’s way of kicking off seems to be sending a message all-too-clear: plan ahead, and plan well.

Got a planner yet? It’s never too late to cop one, and as the month of January is infamously known to merely be every year’s “trial month,” we say it’s still high time to heed these tips to make the most out of your journal of choice.

We sought advice from Winnie Wong, Youtuber and founder of planner brand The Everyday, which held a pop-up for its 2020 planner in Glorietta last December.

This year’s version of The Everyday is extremely special, as Winnie produced it with her business partner and longtime friend, actress Toni Gonzaga.

Winnie shares four ace tricks in using your planner, so you won’t end up with a half-filled pile of paper come year-end:

1. Pinpoint parts of your planner you feel you can help you the most.

Planners exist to guide you through pain points you might have in terms of organizing your life. While most planners have a trove of different features, you don’t need to fill out every single blank space to the brim.

Pick an area of your life you feel your planner can help you with, and utilize it as needed. 

For example, The Everyday planner has a nifty budgeting section where you can jot down where your money goes for the week.

The budgeting page from The Everyday planner

Winnie suggests not nitpicking and writing down every single cent the moment it leaves your wallet. “Just focus on parts of your life you think you have the tendency to overspend on, and jot those down,” she shares.

2. When planning big goals for the year, make it work by breaking it down to smaller, achievable goals.

New Year’s resolutions can be daunting, and we often write down our massive goals for the year at the front of our planners without knowing where to start on achieving this huge feat. 

The key is in breaking down your big goal into small, more achievable touchpoints you can more easily accomplish little by little, and these mini milestones should inch you nearer and nearer to the main objective. 

Pro tip: Break big goals down into small goals.

Say, if your goal for the year is losing weight, Winnie suggests to break it down to an exercise goal and a health or food intake goal, and work on each of them according to what you’re more comfortable with.  

Taking small steps you can easily achieve will always be better than remaining stuck at a grand ideal you’re too intimidated to accomplish.

3. Before the start of the week, jot down your to-do list for the week ahead.

As you head on to start another week, it’s best to list down everything you plan to achieve for next seven days, so you’ll know which tasks to prioritize. 

Oftentimes, menial everyday tasks tend to take up our time, distracting us from the things we should be prioritizing.

Winnie suggests pinpointing your priorities for the week to come to avoid being sidetracked.

The Everyday’s daily to-do space—a full week in one page

She also suggests writing all repetitive tasks for each day in just one sitting, to save you time when you’re in the thick of your activities for the week.

4. Don’t spend too much time working on your planner!

Planners are there to help you get through your day with ease, and with more of your tasks accomplished. Spending too much time doting on your planner may prove counterproductive. 

While designing planners may be therapeutic to some, remember that the main reason planners exist to simplify your life, help you achieve your goals, and encourage you to actively work on the things you set out to do. 

Winnie suggests beautifying your planner during your free time or after you accomplish what’s written on it. 

Image from The Everyday

Also, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have mad design skills or if you were born with terrible handwriting—your planner will love you just the same.

Visit The Everyday to get your own planner.