If you’re a junkie for journals, highlighters, colored pens, post-its, then I’m sure you start every year with a blank, newly-bought planner. I get it! Organizing your schedule and ideas physically in a journal helps with time management, improves productivity, serves as a record, and even relieves stress. (image source)
Are you maximizing your planner’s purpose? Regardless if it’s a bullet journal or one already with calendars and other templates, it’s best to fill the pages up to the last piece of paper. Check out these must-have sections for your next one. The internet is filled with other journal junkies; you just need to take a look around and get inspired!
- Annual Goals
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Since planners are typically made for a whole year, think big and write down all your annual goals. Don’t forget to include their target months or deadlines. Place this section on the first few pages of your journal to serve as a reminder every time you open it.
- Monthly Schedule
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This one shouldn’t be missing in any journal. Plot your schedule for the month in order to get a clear overview of your set plans and remaining flexible time. There’s no need to write down the specifics yet; we have the next section exactly for that.
- Weekly Plan
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Go into the details of your monthly schedule and jot down your specific plans for the week. Make sure to come up with a system to note whether you finished, canceled, or postponed an activity. Highlighting with various colors or putting down a small mark will do as long as you remember which color or symbol means which.
- Daily Tasks
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Maybe not everyone likes to get too specific with their planning, but many actually like organizing their daily to-dos up to the last hour. Apply a system as well for noting completed, canceled, or moved tasks.
- Financial Breakdown
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Yes, tons of software and apps already exist for more efficient financial planning. If you like the old-fashioned way, however, a journal is the perfect place to keep your financial breakdown. You might want to start using a pencil first since finances involve lots of numbers and adjustments.
- Meal Plan
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Whether you’re following a diet or simply in need to know what ingredients to buy at the store, the journal is a good place for your meal plan. You can go as detailed as you want; putting the number of calories per meal or noting the shopping list below, for example.
- Health, Habit, or Emotion Tracker
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Tracking your fitness, habits, and emotions involves personal details so there’s really no place better to put them in than your planner. See whether you’re getting enough days with exercise or positive moods. Check out if you’re doing well on quitting a habit like smoking or drinking, too.
such as a list of accomplishments and things to be grateful for, Christmas wishlist, life bucket list, and even personal reminders like your email credentials.
Since the journal is (and should be) for your own eyes only, you can put whatever you wish to ‘hide’ in it. That includes the bucket list for your lifetime, or even a page of passwords and combinations if you’re simply poor at remembering them. Get as crazy as you want! List down all the movies you want to watch, books to read, and countries to travel!