by Raechel Conover
Whether you are using an electronic day planner or the good old-fashioned paper variety, you probably check it several times a day. Many people use their planners and organizers to keep track of every aspect of their lives. With so many uses, it's no wonder some people can't live without them. Planners and organizers are more than just a calendar; they provide a single location for you to keep every piece of valuable information you might need throughout your day, week and year.
Personal information: You will want to put some of your contact information in your organizer so that it can be returned to you if it becomes lost. However, you do not want to put your address in your day planner. You will not want whoever finds, or steals, your planner to know where you live and when you will be taking your next vacation. A phone number and email address should be sufficient. Store medical information, such as medications you are on and chronic illnesses you suffer from, in the planner as well. Should something happen to you, this information could be useful to emergency personnel.
Contacts: Use your planner to store information for your professional and personal contacts. Most planners offer an address book portion that allows you to organize your contacts. Also, include at least one ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact.
Yearly calendar: Organizers are designed for keeping track of important dates such as holidays, dinner parties and vacations you plan to take. Also, jot down doctor visits and other appointments you don't want to forget.
Birthdays and anniversaries: Use your planner to help you remember the birthdays of your friends, family and colleagues. Write down important anniversaries so you are always prepared and well informed.
Daily to-do list: Every morning, take a minute to write down everything you want and need to do that day. Start with the most important items and end with the least important. Check things off of your list as you work through them during the day.
Receipts: Save receipts in the pocket of your planner. You can also record things like mileage for work and other financial items you want to keep track of in your planner.
Ideas: Use your planner as a sounding board. When you think of random things, like a book you want to read, a blog post you want to write or a craft idea that you want to try, write it down in your planner so that you don't forget later.
Long-term goals: Use your planner to create a list of long-term goals. Mark dates or deadlines that you want to have them done by so you can keep track of your progress.
Short-term goals: Break your long-term goals into monthly or weekly goals. Record your progress by writing down descriptions of everything you did that week or month to meet your goals.
Non-scheduled items: If something unexpected happens during your day, write it down in your planner. This will help you keep track of everything that happened during the year, even the unexpected. This will go a long way in helping you plan for next year.