There's nothing worse than buying something you think will change your life, and then bam! You never use it. Treadmills have a habit of falling into this category, but planners can, too, if you take the wrong approach. Here are eight common pitfalls to avoid when using a new planner.


  1. You don't plan consistently


While it's great to have a planner to keep track of your schedule, tasks, and goals, it's only worth the investment if you regularly use it.


We suggest blocking out between 5 – 10 minutes to use your planner daily, and it should always be at the same general time so you can turn this task into a healthy habit. In addition to your schedule, be sure to add your family's must-dos, plus appointments from your phone and work calendar to avoid missing deadlines.


  1. You write your brain dump on the wrong page


            Keep that long, disorganized list out of view! The most effective brain dumps are done on a separate sheet, then you write each task on the appropriate page. Assign a day for every little whim, task, and goal on that list and toss the brain dump in the recycle bin.


Suggestion: The Weekly Kickstart, with ample writing space for a brain dump and weekly schedule. It's a notepad, so you can tear off the sheets when you're done!


  1. Buy a planner that's too bulky to carry


Consider your commute when you choose a planner – if a bulky planner becomes a hassle, you'll be less likely to use it. One of the best things about Inkwell Press planners is that you can remove pages when you're not using them. Our disc-bound planners have a just-right page size of 7 x 9 inches; you control how many pages are used at a time.


Looking for something smaller? Our wire-bound collection with Blue Sky has planners as small as 5 x 8 and 4 x 6: they're also functional, light, and easy on your wallet.


Suggestion: Our pretty wire-bound planners are a bargain at Office Depot! This one has a 5 x 8-page size and comes with stickers, a snap-in ruler/bookmark, and a storage pocket.


  1. You don't prioritize tasks


NOOOO! Doing your tasks first come, first serve is a recipe for disaster! It's the mortal sin of planning, no matter which planner you use.


Learn to use the Escalate, Cultivate, and Accommodate planning method to maximize each day's potential. Your time is your most valuable thing; make sure you focus on fulfilling work that aligns with your purpose.


Suggestion: The uniquely sized Priority List insert keeps you on track.


  1. You choose style over substance


Those cute and colorful layouts on Instagram are gorgeous but impractical for real-life schedules. Feel free to admire your favorite accounts and use them for inspiration, but too much calligraphy makes a page difficult to read, and those massive stickers take up valuable planning space.


Suggestion: Our stickers are all business, but we simply cannot resist these adorable hexagon stickers from ClickyChickCreates to use on mission boards!


  1. Not breaking down larger goals into smaller, manageable steps


            Got big dreams? Great! Write them on your Goals page and use the mission boards to break them down into smaller goals. Divide each mini-goal into subsets of your life and keep track of your progress each month. Pace yourself and set realistic deadlines. The same applies to tasks.


Suggestion: Our open-dated Goals planner gives you the power and motivation to achieve 12 significant goals and plenty of room to break them down over 12 months.


  1. Not utilizing all your planner's features


            Our discbound planners offer more personal-planning pages than any other brand. Beyond your weekly and monthly layouts are a project planning page (useful for weekend endeavors or party-planning), plus pages for your gratitude, bucket list, automations (see our how-to here), a bill tracker, and more.


Suggestion: Our non-dated Daily planner provides hourly planning for action-packed days, but doesn’t come with most of the extra pages.



  1. Choosing a planner that doesn't bring you joy


Did you go for the bargain, even though you didn't like the layouts? A planner is like an office accessory; it should be an extension of your personal style. If you're sacrificing functionality for price, you're not getting the most out of your planner…or your investment!


Suggestion: Indulge in a planner bundle with everything – accessories, notes pages, the works! Go all-in and take control of your life with the LiveWELL Bundle!