How To Plan Effectively Don’t Overlook The Monthly View

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One of the most asked questions in the planner community is, “How do you use your monthly spread?” It seems for many the month-at-a-glance is often overlooked for a variety of reasons. But don’t be too quick to dismiss your monthly view.

If you are using your disc-bound planner for personal reasons, I see how it could cause you to think you are duplicating information if you write something in on your monthly view and then also on your weekly view. But keep reading as to why I think you shouldn’t overlook your monthly calendar.

If you are using your Happy Planner as a business planner you might want to also check out the post on how I use my monthly view for content planning in How to Use Your Happy Planner as a Blog Planner.

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As a planner, the goal is to be organized, focused and to stay on task. So, logically we tend to pay more attention to our weekly schedule and layout. But, don’t overlook (or underestimate) your monthly calendar view. It really is a great tool to use in managing your to-do’s and life in general. It gives you a quick snapshot or overview of your month which ultimately helps to better organize your weekly schedule (and life!).

So the key question you might be asking is, “how can I get into the habit of using my monthly pages?” I’ll share with you a few tips on how I use my monthly pages and maybe some of those tips will help you too.

01. Decorate Your Monthly Pages

One way to ensure you don’t ignore your monthly view is to –jack it up! I admittedly didn’t use my Happy Planner monthly view mainly because after decorating my week(s), the monthly view just seemed too boring. But then I found the monthly view sticker kits from Jump to It Designs. I absolutely love their kits, themes and functional stickers. I’ve been shopping with them since June 2016 and not only do they have superb customer service, I have been happy with every single sticker I’ve purchased from them.

The first monthly view planner sticker kit I ever used was in September (How to Fix Pre-Decorated Happy Planner Pages) and ever since then I’ve been using my monthly calendar views regularly. One of the features I really like about the monthly planner sticker kits is the sidebar notes section. I use this area to list my top three monthly goals that I’d like to accomplish and having a decorated sidebar just makes it that much nicer to go back and reference this box on a regular daily basis.

Shown above is the November ‘cornucopia’ monthly planner sticker kit. I love the autumnal feel while still giving me that seasonal vibe for Thanksgiving. You can never go wrong with the golden yellows, browns, rich russets, greens and warm orange colors for the Fall season. Even with the date sticker covers, I still have lots of room to write in what ever I’d like.

02. Create A Daily Routine

Another tip I’ll share with you that pairs with using my monthly view is create a daily routine. Each morning I pull out my planner and add in any new calendar information or deletions; I plan out my day based on my goals and work tasks; then I set about getting my daily to-do list done. This process really does work.

Now when I plan, I start with my monthly layout then go onto my weekly spread. My weekly spreads tend to lay out all of the above, that are relevant from my monthly calendar, along with my weekly goals and even some inspiring quotes.

You can check out most of my planner spreads over on Instagram @BehindtheDesigns.

03. Use Monthly View For Pre-Planning

The key to utilizing the monthly view is to use it for pre-planning or forward planning, as some call it. Then, when it’s time to set up your week, you simply reference your monthly view and transfer the relevant data over to your week. It’s also okay if your monthly view gets messy; it should be messy because it’s just a “holding” spot for all your life events and happenings and things are bound to change.

Shown above is another November monthly sticker kit from Jump to It Designs called ‘woodland scene’. Although November is most recognized for the Thanksgiving holiday, this woodland scene was just too adorable to pass up.

04. Use Repositional Sticker Boxes

Another thing I really love about their stickers is they are repositionable. So if an appointment changes I simply pull up the sticker box and put it on the new date. Easy peasy!

Still not sure what to put on your monthly calendar? Or looking for new ideas? I’ve pulled together a list of 25 Ways To Use Your Monthly View that you can grab for FREE. So be sure to check that out as well.

Recently, Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI) has introduced a MINI planner. It’s all the rage right now as the perfect size to carry in your purse. In the next blog post I’ll show you 6 Different Ways to Decorate the Mini Happy Planner Weekly Pages using your existing stickers (and even ‘non-mini’ stickers). To keep continuity between my classic and mini Happy Planners, I tend to make my spreads match.

Now all that’s left is to get planning. Let’s plan together! I invite you to join Creative Planning Expressions, the Facebook group for Behind the Designs.

If you are inspired to start using your monthly spread don’t forget to share by tagging me on Instagram and using #btdinspired, I’d love to see your work (and I just might repost your photo)!

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Disclosure: I received free stickers from Jump To It Designs Inc. to review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

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