Tips for Setting Up a Planner for a Friend

Setting up a planner for a friend, family member, or colleague can be very helpful. You get the job of being able to create a system for someone that will hopefully get them and keep them organized. As we all know, organization can lead to increased productivity and goal attainment.

I had the opportunity to set up a couple of binders for others and thought I’d share some tips for setting up a planner for another person.

Some things to consider when helping out friend with their planning systems:

  1. Talk about their specific needs for the planner. Is it for work or personal or a combination of both? What are they interested in tracking? How do they usually work? Is there a way to incorporate their strengths into the way they work and downplay any weakness?
  2. Choose the right planner – binder, spiral, or bound.  There are a variety of planners on the market and so the selection of the right planner is a matter of personal preference. There are pros and cons of each to consider. Be sure to discuss them with your friend and determine which one would be better.
  3. Choose the right layout or planner inserts. This is probably the hardest of the tasks. People are very specific about paper quality, information that they’d like to track, specific layouts, and the like. Some folks will not have too many preferences or they will be fairly simple to address as they may be “novices” to the whole idea of paper planning. I would suggest looking for pretty standard layouts and allow them to live in and customize as they go along.
  4. Show them how to use it, how it is intended to be used. There will likely be some need to tweak the set-up as the person lives with it for a while. Ask them to live with it for at least a week before changing the system. Ask them to make notes about what they like and what they would like to change.
  5. Keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm your friend with an overly complicated system. If they haven’t used a paper planner before or haven’t used one in a long time, it is probably not a good idea to create a system that they don’t get or that requires too much maintenance. They may give up on it before realizing the potential of what the system can do for them.

Let me know if you’ve set up a planning system for someone else and any advice you would give.


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