How To Use Productivity Systems in Real Life

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It’s natural to strive for self-improvement, but what isn’t so easy is figuring out how to go about it. To become more productive, improve the quality and output of your work, and adopt new, positive habits, you’ll need a plan — and a productivity system — to accomplish those goals.

Luckily, there are tools to help you get started. First and foremost, you’ll need a planner or specialized journal. While it may seem too good to be true, the simple act of using a planner can help with time management and improve your productivity. Just keep in mind that you might not become a productivity guru overnight. There’s no set timeline for how long it takes to create a habit, but the more consistently you plan your goals (and use the right tools), the more likely you’ll improve over time.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some of the best planners and specialized journals to help you improve your productivity in everyday life.

Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Planners

Planners are the cornerstone of any productivity or organizational system, but not all planners are created equal. The best planner gives you space to map out all your responsibilities, action items, deadlines, and long-term goals. All-encompassing planners, such as the LifePlanner™, offer personalized, customizable planning options.

It’s important to identify your planning style. ​​If you prefer to map out every hour of your day to ensure maximum productivity, go with a daily or hourly planner. But if you like a more flexible approach to planning, you may work better with a weekly or monthly planner that lets you set top priorities for each week or month. No one productivity system is better than the other, as long as it works for you.

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Specialized Planners and Journals

If you’re working towards a specific goal, preparing for a significant event, or planning a major project, you may want to invest in a specialized planner or journal to ensure you stay on track. A specialized journal can help you concentrate on one particular area, lessening distractions and helping you stay focused.

The best planner will provide templates for setting goals, identifying roadblocks, recording accomplishments, and adapting routines. No matter the goal you have in mind, there's likely a specialized planner for it. Take a look at the following planner types to help you find the planner most suited to you.

Budget Planners

Is managing your personal finances a challenge? You’re not alone. One study found that 65% of Americans don't know how much money they spent the previous month. While wrapping your head around your budget may seem intimidating, it’s much easier if you can break it down into smaller steps — and that’s where a dedicated budget planner comes in handy.

Budget planners help you create a budget productivity system that works for you. These planners contain templates for setting goals, tracking spending, and managing debt. Over time, tracking where your money goes can help you develop greater discipline and money management skills. If you prefer to start small, consider using a simple budget tracker dashboard that you can insert into your everyday planner.

Productivity and Checklist Notebooks

Productivity notebooks and notepads are helpful if you're tackling big projects or juggling multiple tasks. Break down large-scale jobs into smaller steps, or list tasks in order of priority so you know how to plan your day. Our productivity journals, and custom notebooks with a productivity layout, feature lined notebook paper for brainstorming what needs to be done, alongside a checklist section to keep track of each individual task.

Similarly, checklist notebooks provide you with a blank slate to track your to-dos; simply fill in what you need to get done and then place a checkmark or “X” in its corresponding box upon completion. Use your checklist notebook for a multitude of productivity systems, tracking everything from daily habits to family chores.

If you need a more convenient way to track your checklist, a checklist notepad works just as well, or insert a productivity dashboard or washi tape into your favorite planner!

Wellness Planners and Self-Care Journals

One aspect of learning how to be more productive is practicing self-care. Good physical and emotional health habits provide you with the energy and mental capacity to lead a more well-balanced life. But it’s much easier to stick to a wellness or self-care plan with a helpful productivity system, which is where a wellness planner or self-care journal is especially important.

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Wellness planners offer space to set goals and create action plans to help you stay consistent. Use a habit tracker notepad to help you track those small but essential daily steps as you work towards your goals.

With a self-care journal, you can reflect on how you took care of yourself throughout the week and set intentions for the next week. Remember, self-care is a journey, not a destination, and your journal is your guidebook.

Gratitude Notebooks

An important part of self-care is practicing gratitude. It may seem too good to be true, but gratitude has been shown to improve one’s physical and psychological health. If you aren’t sure where to begin, a gratitude notebook can help.

Gratitude notebooks offer prompts that encourage you to reflect on your day and appreciate the big — and little — things that made a positive impact. Over time, you’ll be able to recognize those bright spots in your day more easily, preventing roadblocks or challenges from derailing your productivity goals.

Daily Intention Journals

Combine your wellness, self-care, and gratitude practices into one convenient place with a daily intention journal. Align your intentions with your actions, stay inspired, and motivate yourself to accomplish whatever you set your mind to with the help of this powerful journal.

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Meal Planners and Recipe Notebooks

Cooking at home is a way to eat more healthily, save money, and forge family bonds. If you’ve been wanting to cook at home more but feel overwhelmed by grocery lists, meal planning, and shopping for ingredients, there are productivity systems to help with this, too! Our easy-to-use meal planners, recipe binders, and notebooks help you select, organize, and even develop meal plans and recipes that you can turn to when you need to shop for groceries and prepare meals. You’ll be able to cut down on prep time, focus your grocery lists, and regularly turn out healthy, delicious meals for you and your family (while saving money by eating at home).

Medical Treatment Planners

If you or a family member is dealing with an illness, injury, or a long-standing medical condition, you know how challenging treatment management can be. Organization and productive and effective dissemination of medical information and treatment plans can be critical. A dedicated medical treatment planner can help you and your family track appointments, medications, and treatment progress. Having these details in one place can keep everything organized and help reduce anxiety and improve communication between doctors, caregivers, and family members. This type of planner makes it easier to manage work and family responsibilities while also ensuring that you (or your loved one) are getting the best care possible.

Treatment planners can also provide supplementary records that help medical professionals stay fully informed. While medical treatment can feel anxious and overwhelming at times, a planner helps prevent important details from slipping through the cracks and keeps you organized during a stressful time.

Figuring out the best productivity system for you can help you get things done, stay organized, and improve your emotional and physical health. No matter your needs, there’s an ideal productivity tool for you — and we can help you find it. Explore more organization and productivity tools and get started on your path to a more productive lifestyle today!