Whether you’re new to planners or a lifelong user looking for new ideas, you’ll be glad to know that there are so many different uses for your weekly planner.
A weekly planner is more than just a record of your appointments and deadlines. It’s a tool that can help you be more productive, crush your goals, and lead a positive, more mindful life.
In many ways, a weekly planner is an extension of ourselves. It’s where we pin our hopes and dreams, and create plans to make them come true. It’s also a place to record the small, but memorable details of our everyday lives.
Whether you’re looking to make headway on your goals, or seeking a gentler, more well-rounded schedule, a planner is an effective way to shape how you want to spend your time.
Here are practical and creative ideas for your weekly planner.
Weekly planner idea: Make a to-do list for the week
Get a head start on the week ahead by creating a thorough to-do list.
Write down all the personal and professional things you’d like to accomplish this week.
This includes work assignments, meetings, emails you have to send, laundry, etc.
Instead of feeling like you have to do every single task in one day, make a separate to-do list for things you have to do that day. Then, put the remaining, non-urgent tasks in a column and title it “to do later this week.”
This will help you set and accomplish daily priorities, while also being aware of what’s on the horizon.
Weekly planner idea: Make a list of things you are excited about
So often, we save our excitement for the big things in life. Special holidays. Birthdays. A job promotion. But why not create anticipation and excitement around life’s smaller moments as well? Maybe it’s the season premiere of your favorite TV show. Or a weekend dinner with friends. Or a weekly game night with your neighbors.
We need fun and simple things to get excited about. And when it’s Monday morning and the weekend seems so far away, making a list of all the things we can’t wait to do will get us through the work day.
You can use this exercise to get creative and have fun with your weekly planner. Decorate your planner pages with planner stickers or washi tape. Create bunting and celebratory signs around an activity you are excited about. Draw a little coffee mug to celebrate your morning cup of coffee.
It’s the simple pleasures in life that can make our days feel so much more rich and fulfilling.
Weekly planner idea: Create a weekly meal plan
Whether you're looking to eat healthier or save money on eating out, a weekly meal plan can help you get organized about cooking and shopping.
At the start of the week, write down a list of meals you’d like to have. See if you can find ways to maximize your ingredients (especially produce) and use them throughout the week. This way, you’re not letting fresh ingredients go to waste.
It’s also a good idea to estimate how much time and energy you can realistically spend on cooking and prepping. You don’t want to spend hours preparing meals for the week if it’s going to be a busy time for you.
Another smart way to meal plan for the week is to pick one meal to prepare. So instead of being responsible for cooking all three meals for the entire week, pick one meal like breakfast or lunch. This will help you save time, energy, and money.
Weekly planner idea: Set an intention for the week
Make your planning more impactful by setting an intention for the week.
It’s so easy to feel like the days are slipping by us. We can’t create more time, but we can be more thoughtful about how we spend it. A weekly intention can help you be more mindful about the week and spend your days with a greater sense of purpose.
Here are some examples of a weekly intention:
- This week I will practice gratitude more regularly.
- This week I will take one small risk a day.
- This week I will take a little bite out of my goal each day.
- This week I will be more compassionate to myself and others.
Weekly planner idea : Track your career goals
Your weekly planner can inspire and motivate you to pursue your career goals. Keep your goals in sight by tracking them on a weekly basis.
On Sunday or Monday morning, make a list of things you can do that week related to your goal. So if your career goal is to expand your job network, then use this week to invite 2-3 people out for coffee or lunch.
At the end of the week check in with your goal and see how you did. If you weren’t able to meet your goal, use next week to course correct.
Weekly planner idea: Self-care plan for the week
As previously mentioned, a weekly planner doesn’t have to be your run-of-the-mill calendar or record keeper. Another great idea for your weekly planner is to use it as a self-care tool.
We spend so much of our time taking care of others, that we often neglect ourselves. And when life gets really hectic, we tend to ignore basic self-care needs like remembering to eat three meals a day or going out for a walk.
While we can’t predict or change the frenzied pace of our lives, we can try to make an effort to add gentle self-care instructions into our day. Maybe it’s giving yourself 10 minutes of uninterrupted peace to enjoy your morning coffee. Or eating a comforting meal for lunch. These small but nurturing acts can make your week a better one.
Weekly planner idea: Conduct a weekly reflection
A powerful idea for using your planner is to conduct a weekly reflection exercise.
At the end of the week, set aside 15 or 20 minutes to reflect on the past week. Go through your planner and identify days that felt successful and days that felt challenging. What went well? What could be improved?
Use this information to help you approach the upcoming week with confidence.A regular reflection practice is essential for keeping up with our goals, developing better habits, and building greater self-awareness.