Do you remember going to a busy mall with your parents, sibling, friend or spouse and you decide to divide and conquer the various shopping lists - maybe it was the grocery shopping or gift shopping at Christmas time?

You check some tasks off the list but eventually you start feeling overwhelmed with how much more you need to do and feel deflated because you can't find what you're looking for. The shopping centre is so busy but you remember that you agreed to meet each other at a certain time in a certain place.

What relief it is! To have a helpful point to meet up and regroup. To know that no matter how your end of the shopping is going, you have a certain space to collect your mind and get on track.

That's what paper planning tools should be - not harsh reminders of the things and days you've left unplanned, but a gentle space to return to reset and have a fresh start.

Whether it's a printed calendar or a scribbled down template, here are some ways you can make your paper planning tool of choice feel simple and dare I say a joy to use to (even when you feel overwhelmed after not using it for a while):

+ make yourself a warm drink (or cold, depending on the seasons)

+ play a relaxing and enjoyable playlist

+ decide on one small area you'd like to organise such as jotting down a few goals, appointments, key school dates or meal planning

+ set 10 minutes on your timer so that you can make a start

+ use a pencil so that you can change things if you need and jot down your items planned for the month

+ put your calendar up in a prominent spot so that you can see what you've jotted down and plan accordingly as the days pass

+ select one day a week to review this and add, move or delete anything that changes

+ if you fall off the wagon, don't despair - revisit your calendar and start again



If you use a paper calendar that stays at home and you're at work, the doctor's office, school or see a friend, jot down any dates in the same spot on your phone (a digital calendar or your notes app). That way you can add it to your paper calendar when needed, and there's consistency to funnel dates into the same place.

Now, this might seem counter-intuitive - using your digital device for planning but then using a paper calendar. But there's great benefit in writing things down using a pen and paper. You have the opportunity to be more mindful using this tactile approach. Plus, it doesn't hurt to have the same thing jotted down in both a digital device and a paper planner.


So, why not choose a handful of these ideas when you need to get organised again? Know that with a paper planner, you can start with ease to feel calm and prepared in an area in your life.

DOWNLOAD Take Note Monthly Planner template when you gain access to The Artful Library page

READ Inspiring Benefits of a Perpetual Calendar journal post