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2023 Daily Planner Refresh: 8 Ways I’ve Updated My Daily Planner

Planners

Last year, on my quest to become more productive and take control of my life, I adopted a daily planner lifestyle. Since then, I’ve tried various inserts, binders, techniques and best practices. I dove head first into a planner lifestyle.  

I did my research and watched countless videos on YouTube and reels on Instagram of planner flip throughs. I learned so many hacks to get the most out of my planner. It also took some trial and error to make it exactly what I need to be more productive. It’s not just about functionality, which is obviously very importnatn. But for me, it’s equally important for my planner to be an extension of me in every way. She’s my right hand assistant keeping me motivated and on top of my game.   

In this blog post, I share tips and specific inserts and decor that I currently use to keep my daily planner reflecting my personal and style and keep me reaching for her throughout each day whether I’m at work or home. 

Inside dover of black planner

AFFILIATE DISCLAIMER: SOME OF THESE RESOURCES MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. IF YOU USE THESE LINKS TO BUY SOMETHING, WE MAY EARN A COMMISSION.

#8 Week-at-a-glance inserts 

When I first started using a daily planner, I used monthly calendars to keep track of my big ticket items (i.e., vacations, work trips, birthdays, doctor’s appointments..etc.). Then, each night I would use a daily insert to plan for the next day. Seems efficient, right? Not so much.  

I kept running into the issue of having too little insight of what was coming up day to day. Each night I would plan for the next day, but without my week laid out in front of me, I was overlooking important things. Like, I might not notice the meeting I had on Thursday until Wednesday night leaving me in a panic to prepare.    

To compensate and try to get ahead of this problem, my daily insert quickly became a laundry list of tasks for the week rather than for that specific day, which pretty much negates the entire idea of a daily.   

Enter weekly inserts. Once I started using these, I was more prepared for the week ahead and therefore less stressed. I also began using the time block method to schedule tasks between meetings each day. This has allowed me time for things that pop up and to readjust tasks as needed. My days run much more smoothly.   

Now, instead of fighting the “Sunday Scaries” as I sit down to plan my week, I light a candle, pour myself a glass of wine and ease into it. My Sunday night planning ritual has become something I’ve come to enjoy and look forward to.   

Farrah’s Picks

Weekly Schedule Planner Inserts | Monday Start by Cloth & Paper
Undated Daily Planner Inserts by Cloth & Paper

#7 Goal Mapping Inserts 

“Failing to plan means planning to fail. What are your goals? – Brian Tracy 

I find goal planning to be daunting. Coming up with a list of things I want to achieve is easy. Devising a timeline with milestones for how I achieve said list, not so much. I struggle.  

My list of goals is long and continues to grow. There are things I’d like to achieve within the next five months and those I’d like to see through in next five years. From financial goals to physical fitness goals to becoming fluent in other languages, I’m all over the place. When I sit down to put it in any sort of working order, I become overwhelmed and unsure of where to even start.  

I was elated when I discovered goal mapping planner inserts. They gave me a place to start and were just what I needed to put together an achievable timeline and visually track my progress, which is exactly what my mind needs to stay on track.    

Farrah’s Pick

Goal Mapping Planner Inserts | Refreshed Version by Cloth & Paper

#6 Habit Tracking 

It takes 21 days to develop a habit” – Maxwell Maltz 

I know that the path to living my best life is all about developing good habits, which takes consistency and twenty-one days. Remembering to do something you’re not used to doing is a bit more challenging that one might think. Reminders are key. Hello there, my darling planner.   

I have a section in my planner dedicated to a making-good-habits list. Keeping my habit tracker here keeps my goals front and center where I can’t help but see them. I get a little dopamine hit every time I complete a soon-to-be habit and check it off my list for the day – drink 64 oz water, take vitamins, exercise, listen to Audible for 30 minutes, read my Kindle for 30 minutes, write for 30 minutes, watch a master class for 20 minutes. Check,check, and check.  

I’ve seen other planner lovers with dedicated habit tracker inserts and sections to hold them accountable as well. It’s a great option if, like me,you like to visually see your habits forming on paper.  

Farrah’s Picks

MN001 – Habit Tracker by 8Lotus 
Arched Habit Tracker Sticky Notes by Cloth & Paper 

#5 Lists Inserts 


As you have probably gathered by now, I’m a visual person who is a sucker for a list. It should come as no surprise that one of my favorite sections in my planner is my lists section. But, these lists are a little different. These are more reference than strictly to-do list.  

Things come to mind at the most random moments sometimes. Having a dedicated place to go and write it down helps me not lose track of these lightbulb moments. To help really stay organized, my list section consists of a few different kinds of lists that I add to when something pops into my mind. 

I have a list for date night events that I’d like to do, one for local day activities with the kids, another for family vacations I’d like to plan and—one of my favorites— words of the week. Because I keep running lists of things to do and places to go, I never really stress when it comes to coming up with ideas for the next weekend. We’ve all been in the “where do you want to eat? I don’t know, where do you want to eat?” situation where nothing comes to mind even though there are so many options. Now, when I hear of a cool new restaurant to go to for date night, I jot it down on my date night list. When we find ourselves in “I don’t know” purgatory, I simply pick up my planner and flip to my list section and pick something. The same goes for fun activities to do with the kids. It’s amazing how much stress these lists eliminate!  

Let’s not forget my words. One of my life goals is to expand my vocabulary. In the past when I came across a new word I wanted to return to, I trusted myself to remember it. Mistake! I’d love to trust my memory like that, but let’s be real, that word was gone. Maybe it’d come back at a weird moment, but never when I wanted it. Now, when I read or hear words that are unfamiliar, I write it down on my word list. Each week, I select a new word from the list to be my word of the week. I look up the definition, and write it in an empty area on my week insert and then practice using that word throughout my week.  

Farrah’s Pick

MN022 – To Do List by 8Lotus 

#4 Inbox Section


I don’t know about you, but I seem to remember the things I need to do in the most inopportune moments. “I need to schedule a dentist appointment” flashes through my mind as I’m driving the kids to school. Or, “Oh! I need to respond to that email” as I’m in the middle of an unrelated meeting. Why?! It’s so frustarting, but I have found a workaround.  

The very first section in my daily planner is my inbox. When things come to mind that I’m either unable to take care of in the moment, or not focused enough to slot it in the appropriate section and page within my planner, I grab a sticky note, write the reminder on it and quickly add it to my transparent inbox page. It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s easy. It allows me to snag my ideas and record them so I can deal with them in an appropriate manner when time allows.  

Farrah’s Pick

Crystal Clear Inbox Planner Dashboard® | Arch by Cloth & Paper 

#3 Inspiration Section 


Over the past year I’ve accumulated so many planner dashboards between my monthly Cloth & Paper subscription box and custom orders on Etsy. I love them all. They spark ideas and make me smile.  

Some days, I really need to be inspired, so I decided to create a section just for that. Inspiration.  

My inspiration section consists of my favorite dashboards containing quotes and scenery as well as my vision board that I designed in Canva. When I have a few moments to myself or need a pick-me-up, I flip through this section like a mini magazine and it does the trick to refill my motivation tank. 

Farrah’s Picks

Fika Planner Dashboard by Cloth & Paper 
Self Love Coffee Motivational Dashboard by MissyBelloPlanners 
African American Girl Boss Planner Girl Dashboard by BossChickPlanners  
Vision Board Planner Insert Templates by Canva 

#2 More Personalized Accessories  


I get bored quickly. Nothing wears me down like the same thing over and over. I thrive on switching things up and keeping them fresh especially when it comes to the visual department. Seeing things triggers all the right connections in my brain for me to work at my optimal level. Sure, I could grab a run-of-the-mill planner off any store’s shelf, but it’d probably end up in a desk drawer, never utilized. I need some personality! I need to be visually stimulated by my planner. Over the year, I have added more to personalize my planner, keep it exciting, and bring me joy. My newest additions are charms and stickers to reflect my personal style. It’s a treat each time I open my planner.  

To top it off, I also added a name band on the outside, which jazzes up even the plainest of plain planner covers/ binders. 

Farrah’s Picks

Self-Care Stickers Bundle by Mahoganyrootz 
Planner Girl Magnetic Charm by TheRoseyLifePlanner 
Name Planner Band by NoniesCustomCreation 
Bee Planner Charm by FunPaperCrafts 

#1 More Planners 


My Sunday night planning ritual also includes a mini planner makeover. Just as I swap out handbags, I swap out my planner depending on my mood, activity or event and according to the season. During the fall, I reach for darker planners. When I need to go into the office, I reach for my black or LV planner. During the spring and summer, I reach for my white planners. And, when space is limited during my travels, I opt for a clear or transparent planner cover or my smaller sized planners.  

Swapping out planners each week keeps what could be a mundane task of planning fresh and enjoyable.  It’s not just planning, it’s getting creative. I love mixing the structure of planning with creativity in this way. 

Farrah’s Picks

(Purple) Vegan Leather Binder by NerdyGirlPlanner 
Croc Leather Agenda Cover by Cloth & Paper 
Contoured Leather Agenda Cover by Cloth & Paper 

When it comes to planning, I’m always discovering ways to keep it fresh, exciting and improve productivity. I’d love to hear from you. How have you updated your planner to keep you reaching for it each day? 

Want more ideas for how to create the ultimate daily planner? Check out Daily Planner Essentials.

AFFILIATE DISCLAIMER: SOME OF THESE RESOURCES MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. IF YOU USE THESE LINKS TO BUY SOMETHING, WE MAY EARN A COMMISSION.

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2 Comments

  1. I love this! So smart to list all of the new restaurants to go to because I definitely find it hard to think of new places on the fly.

    1. Thanks Chloe. No need to reinvent the wheel of coming up with ideas every time you want to go out to eat, do a day trip or do an activity in town. Just refer to your ongoing list. Give it a try and keep us posted.

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