The Beginners Guide to Using an Agenda

In order to be organized, agendas are essential! I use one every year because without agendas and calendars I would miss all my appointments. The agenda I currently have is by ban.do. It has monthly tabs so I can easily flip through it, a month overview and a notes section for each calendar month and some stickers that I can use throughout! It also has a list of all holidays as well as other random days such as National Pie Day and National Compliments day. Here is how I use my agenda and how I get myself to be consistent with it!

Use the month overview section for birthdays and major events
I use the month overview section to lost any birthdays coming up, events I’m going to such as concerts or group gatherings. I also like to cross off the days as they pass to give myself a better visual as to where I am in the month. This allows me to see clearly how much time I have left to accomplish any tasks that needed to be done within that calendar month. Basically, this section gives you an overview (as in it’s title) of what you have to do this month – it gives you the big picture.

Colour code your appointments
I bought sparkly scented gel pens to use in my agenda and I love them! For me, having my agenda look pretty is a motivator to continue to use it and colours make it look pretty! I colour code my appointments when I write them into the weekly section on my agenda. For example, I’m a tutor and I have 5 students, so each student gets their own colour in my agenda. Colour coding allows you to have a more visual idea of how busy you are for the day without having to read each line. If my day is very colourful, I know it’s going to be a long one. And if my day only has 2 colours, I know it will be fairly short. It also helps me keep track of how many times within that week I’m at the same location. For example, if I tutor a student 3 times per week, then I will have their colour 3 times in my agenda for that week. Colours make organizing your week fun, visual and exciting!

Use the notes section to set monthly goals

I like to use the notes section in my agendas for things like goals and event planning. I like to set monthly goals and then plan my month with those goals in mind. For example, if one of my monthly goals is to increase my tutoring profits by 10%, then I might schedule some time throughout the month to post ads and advertise that I’m looking to take in a new student or I might try and schedule an extra session with one of my existing students in order to accomplish my goal. If my goal is to run for 20 minutes at least 2 times per week, then I might download an app and plan my runs and then schedule them – if it’s written down, I’m more likely to actually go.

Being a consistent user can be difficult because using an agenda is time consuming and if it’s not rewarding enough for you to use it, then you slowly start leaving it out of your daily routine. To make myself a consistent user, I make sure I buy an agenda that I REALLY like, even if it costs me $40. If you don’t like it, for whatever reason, you’re less likely to actually use it. Secondly, I like to schedule myself a time to review my agenda. A good time for this is first thing in the morning, as you eat breakfast. If you start to make it a habit, eventually breakfast just won’t be the same without it. Lastly, as I mentioned above, making it look pretty inside is another one of the ways that I get myself to stay consistent with my agenda!