10 Tips to Personalize Planner Layouts for Productivity
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Identify your planning needs
  2. Choose a planner that matches your style
  3. Use colors for visual organization
  4. Add stickers for quick references
  5. Incorporate sections for different areas of life
  6. Use a planning system that works for you
  7. Create a daily routine
  8. Experiment with different layouts
  9. Plan for leisure and self-care
  10. Reflect and adjust your planner regularly

There's no denying the charm of a personalized planner. It's more than just a tool to jot down tasks or appointments—it's a productivity power-house. It's a space where your life, work, and creativity merge. If you're looking to boost your productivity by personalizing planner layouts, you're in the right place. Here are ten tips to do just that, but remember: the best planner is the one that works for you.

Identify Your Planning Needs

Personalizing planner layouts starts with understanding your specific needs. Identifying what you need from your planner is a fundamental step towards creating a tool that truly works for you. Let's break it down:

  • Tasks: Do you need a space for daily chores, work tasks, or errands? Maybe you want a place to track your personal projects or hobbies. Jot down the type of tasks you'll be managing.
  • Time tracking: If you bill by the hour or like to see where your time goes, you might want a layout that includes time blocks or a timeline.
  • Goals: Do you have long-term goals you're working towards? You might want a section for goal tracking or a space to break down large goals into smaller, manageable tasks.
  • Notes: If you're the type to scribble down thoughts, ideas, or doodles, be sure to leave space for unstructured note-taking.
  • Reminders: Do you need to remember important dates, appointments, or deadlines? Consider a layout that includes a calendar view or reminders section.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to personalizing planner layouts. Your planner should reflect your lifestyle and tasks. Once you've identified your planning needs, you can start to design a layout that suits you. And remember: it's okay to tweak as you go. Your needs might change, and your planner can too. So, ready to start your journey towards a more organized and productive life? Let's go!

Choose a Planner That Matches Your Style

Choosing a planner is like choosing a pair of shoes. It has to be comfortable and fit you well, otherwise, you're not going to use it. The same goes for your planner—it should match your style and make you excited to use it every day.

There are so many planner options out there—bound notebooks, ring binders, digital apps, wall calendars—the list goes on. Think about what's most convenient for you. Do you prefer writing by hand or typing? Do you need something portable or will it mostly stay on your desk? Do you like the freedom of a blank page or prefer structured templates?

If you love creativity and artistic expression, you might enjoy a bullet journal. It’s like a blank canvas that allows you to create any layout you want. You could also go for a planner with a variety of templates—daily, weekly, monthly views, to-do lists, goal-setting pages and more.

On the other hand, if you're more into tech, a digital planner app might be your best bet. There are tons of apps like Trello, Asana, or Google Calendar that offer customizable layouts, reminders, and syncing across devices. Plus, they're eco-friendly!

Choosing a planner that matches your style can make the difference between a planner that gathers dust and one that's a joy to use. It’s an important part of personalizing planner layouts. So, what's your planner style?

Use Colors for Visual Organization

Remember how fun it was to open a brand new box of crayons as a kid? The same joy can come from personalizing planner layouts with color. Not only does it make your planner more appealing to look at, but it can also improve your organization and productivity.

Here's the magic of color coding: our brains can process visual information faster than text. So when you see a green task, you instantly know it's work-related, while a pink event might signify a personal appointment. You don't have to read anything—your brain gets the message through the color.

So, how do you do it? First, choose a few colors—four to six is a good range. You could use colored pens, highlighters, or even stickers. Then, assign each color a category. For example, you might use blue for work, yellow for personal, green for health, and red for deadlines.

Once you've set your color scheme, stick to it consistently. Soon, you'll start associating tasks with their colors automatically, making your planner much quicker to scan and understand.

Remember, this is all about personalizing planner layouts to work for you. So feel free to tweak your color-coding system until it feels just right. And who knows—your planner might end up looking like a piece of art!

Add Stickers for Quick References

Adding stickers to your planner isn't just about making it look cute—although, let's be honest, that's a pretty nice bonus. Nope, stickers can also be a secret weapon when it comes to personalizing planner layouts for productivity.

Think about it: flipping through pages to find a specific date or note can be time-consuming. But what if you had a little sticker tab sticking out, clearly marking that spot? You'd find what you're looking for in no time.

Stickers come in all shapes and sizes, and they can serve different purposes. Some are just for fun, adding a splash of color or a bit of whimsy to your planner. Others are practical, like number stickers to mark dates, or label stickers to denote different sections.

There are even stickers designed to help with productivity. Task stickers, for example, can help you keep track of routine tasks. You simply peel off a sticker that says "laundry" or "grocery shopping" and stick it on the appropriate day.

And here's a little trick: you can even use stickers to reward yourself! When you complete a task, add a star sticker. It's a small thing, but it can give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep going.

So go ahead, embrace your inner child and have some fun with stickers. They're a simple, effective tool for personalizing planner layouts and boosting your productivity.

Incorporate Sections for Different Areas of Life

Have you ever found yourself flipping through your planner, trying to find that one note about your kid's dentist appointment, only to discover it's lost among work meetings and grocery lists? Or maybe you've had the opposite problem: you're so focused on one area of your life, like work, that other areas, like family or hobbies, get overlooked. That's where personalizing planner layouts by incorporating sections for different areas of your life comes in handy.

Think of your planner as a mini-representation of your life. Just as your life is made up of various areas—work, family, hobbies, health—your planner should reflect this diversity. By dividing your planner into sections, you make it easier to manage all these areas without them getting tangled up with each other.

For instance, you could have a section for work where you jot down meeting notes, project deadlines, and key tasks. Then, you could have a separate section for personal stuff, like family events, appointments, and your book club dates. Maybe you want a section for your health, tracking things like meals, workouts, and sleep. You might even want a section for your big life goals and all the steps you need to take to reach them.

By separating these areas, you're not just organizing your tasks—you're also giving each area of your life the attention it deserves. Plus, it's a lot easier to find that dentist appointment note when it's not buried under a pile of work tasks! So, go ahead and start personalizing your planner layout with separate sections. Your future self will thank you.

Use a Planning System that Works for You

There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to personalizing planner layouts. What works for your friend or that Instagram influencer you follow might not work for you. That's okay! The key is to find a planning system that aligns with your lifestyle, habits, and preferences.

Maybe you're a fan of the bullet journal method, where you use symbols to categorize tasks, notes, and events. Perhaps you prefer time blocking, where you dedicate specific hours of your day to different activities. Or maybe you like the good old to-do list method, ticking off tasks as you go. The point is to choose a system that makes planning feel less like a chore and more like a helpful tool.

Don't be afraid to mix and match either. You might find that a combination of time blocking and bullet journaling works best for you. Or maybe you like using to-do lists for work tasks but prefer time blocking for personal activities. The beauty of personalizing your planner layout is that you're in control. You decide what system—or systems—to use.

Remember, the goal is to make your planner work for you, not the other way around. So, try different planning systems, figure out what you like and dislike, and then create a system that makes your life easier. That's the real secret to boosting your productivity.

Create a Daily Routine

Personalizing planner layouts isn't just about making them look pretty—it's also about making them practical. One way to do that is by creating a daily routine and incorporating it into your planner.

Start by mapping out what a typical day looks like for you. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, jot down everything you do. Next, group these activities into categories. For example, you might have categories for self-care, work, leisure, meals, exercise, and so on.

Now, transfer these categories into your planner. You can do this in a number of ways. You might want to draw a timeline and block out time for each category. Or you might want to create a list of tasks under each category. The key is to organize your activities in a way that makes sense to you.

By creating a daily routine and incorporating it into your planner, you're setting yourself up for success. You're creating a visual guide of how your day should go, which can help you stay on track and accomplish more. Plus, you're making your planner more personalized and more reflective of your life—which is what personalizing planner layouts is all about.

Experiment with Different Layouts

Let's talk about the fun part of personalizing planner layouts — experimentation! After all, there's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to planning. Different layouts can cater to different needs and preferences, so it's worth trying out a few to see what works best for you.

Some people thrive with a simple list layout, where tasks for the day are neatly lined up. Others might need a more visual layout, like a mind map or a flow chart, to organize their thoughts and tasks. And then there are those who would benefit from a time-based layout, with tasks and appointments mapped out hour by hour.

So how do you know which layout is right for you? Well, the answer lies in experimentation. Try out a different layout each week or each month, and pay attention to how you feel and how productive you are. Do you find yourself accomplishing more tasks? Do you feel less stressed and more in control? These are signs that the layout is working for you.

Remember, the goal of personalizing planner layouts is to make the planner work for you, not the other way around. So don't be afraid to break the rules, mix and match layouts, and create something uniquely yours. After all, the journey to productivity should be just as enjoyable as the destination!

Plan for Leisure and Self-care

When planning our days, we have a tendency to focus solely on work, chores, and other responsibilities. However, it's equally important to allocate time for leisure and self-care. After all, we're not machines, and we can't function at our best without taking time to rest and recharge.

Personalizing planner layouts isn't just about productivity — it's about creating a balanced lifestyle. This means setting aside time for things you enjoy, like reading a book, going for a walk, or catching up with friends. It also means scheduling in time for self-care activities, be it a relaxing bath, a yoga session, or simply a quiet moment with a cup of tea.

When planning your week, consider blocking out time for these activities. You could color-code them in your planner to make them stand out, or even use fun stickers to mark them. The point is to treat them as non-negotiable appointments with yourself.

Remember, taking care of yourself isn't a luxury — it's a necessity. By incorporating leisure and self-care into your planner, you're not just personalizing your planner layout, you're personalizing your path to a happier, healthier you.

Reflect and Adjust Your Planner Regularly

Just like life, our planning needs can change over time. That's why it's important to take a step back regularly and reflect on what's working and what's not in your planner layout.

Maybe you've noticed that a certain section is always left empty, or perhaps there's a task you keep forgetting because it's hidden in the corner. Don't be afraid to make changes — the beauty of personalizing planner layouts is that they can evolve with you. You could try switching up the order of your sections, or experiment with different color-coding systems until you find one that makes your tasks pop.

One way to reflect on your planner's effectiveness is to take a few minutes at the end of each week to review it. Look at what tasks were completed, which ones were left undone, and how your time was allocated. This can provide valuable insights into your planning habits and help you make more informed adjustments moving forward.

Remember, the goal is not to create a perfect planner, but to design a tool that supports you in your daily life. So, keep experimenting, keep adjusting, and keep personalizing your planner layouts to best fit you and your lifestyle.

If you enjoyed these tips on personalizing planner layouts and want to take your productivity to the next level, check out Natalie's workshop, 'The Perfect Project Plan for Creatives.' This workshop will provide you with the tools and strategies you need to create a well-structured project plan that will help you stay organized and achieve your creative goals.