We often hear how the “hardest part is getting started,” when the most challenging part of anything is actually sticking with it – a sentiment that reigns especially true when it comes to using a Christian planner that you've recently bought with the hope that it would draw you closer to God. Even so, it can seem hard to "stick with it,” especially when you feel like life can get in the way.
It's no wonder we often find ourselves struggling to keep up with our daily lives when we are carrying around planners, notebooks, bullet journals, devotionals, phones, laptops, tablets, and calendars. Remembering something you have written down can get frustrating. Before long, you’ll find yourself with a pile of organization tools that are left unused. With one simple Christian planner, you can make your life easier and not become another task on the list.
Below, you’ll find a few tips that we’ve come up to make sure your planner is working for you, and not the other way around. A Christian planner, when used effectively, can be a blessing that will bring more peace and serenity, even on the worst of days. Here is how – detailed below!
First, You Must Define What “Effective” Means to You
Why are you using a Christian planner? What is the ultimate reason you have a planner for? If it is only because you want to read Bible verses throughout the day, then the next 10 recommendations may not relate to you much. Or possibly, you have recently switched to a Christian planner because you needed a tool that will help you grow your relationship to God, strengthen your prayer life, read the Bible more, or just talk to God more often throughout your week. No matter what, you must decide what your “why” is, because at the end of the day, that will be the strongest factor that motivates you to use the planner every day.
Choose a Christian Planner for Your Own Personality
One of the biggest questions to ask yourself is – will you thrive using a daily planner layout or weekly planner layout? As what works for someone else might not work for you, you must find a groove that works for your life and prioritizes all your needs.
In a Daily Christian Planner – you will place more focus on your daily devotion writing, in addition to everything else you can expect to find in a daily Christian planner. Not only can daily Christian planners keep notes for both your quiet time and everyday life in one place, but you can also scribble all your tasks and goals, keep track of your schedule, record your monthly projects, and organize your weekly verses, mantras and sermon notes. With this planner, you can begin each day with a fresh start for the next six months. Doing so will remind you of how far you've come. Not to mention, a daily option provides you with a foundation to start a daily devotion habit and the reminder to maintain it every single day.
In a Weekly Christian Planner – you’re going to find that there is less emphasis on your daily devotional writing, however you can still enjoy devotion reminders every week! If you already created a great system for maintaining your daily time in scripture, then the weekly Christian planner is probably the perfect set up for you. When using a weekly Christian planner, you will be given a reminder of His wisdom and to intercede for others in prayer, every time you check your schedule. Additionally, your daily routine also impacts your spiritual discipline, so try to make sure it is a positive impact! Lastly, a weekly Christian planner usually displays one week across two pages, has a daily devotion habit tracker, a weekly prayer list reminder, and Bible verses.
Prepare Your Pages
Don't automatically dive into starting your pages! Better yet, prepare your pages for the coming months. The need to prepare is repeated over and over throughout scripture. For example:
Proverbs 24:27 (ESV), “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in your field, and after that built your house.”
Having a Christian planner serves as a foundation for your daily schedule, devotion to God, and life overall. The more you have prepared, the stronger your foundation will remain, even on the most difficult of days. Being prepared is a crucial part of your success and effectiveness.
Bring Out Your Creativity
Most often, we find ourselves spending time looking at Pinterest or Instagram because the visuals and content draw us in. Just think how much more effective your planner will be when it can visually draw you in! We are so blessed to be loved by the Creator of all, and that creativity and unique individuality dwells within you. We recommend looking at inspirational pages or ideas of where to start in scripture, and then let your pages become a world of your own personality.
Make a Devotional Plan
One of the primary purposes of selecting a Christian planner over a regular planner is because you want a tool that will align with your spiritual life too. Is that correct? If so, it is important to develop a plan of what your expectations are when it comes to your spiritual growth. You can do so by using a Christian planner and how you will achieve those aspirations. Some questions to consider are – How will you spend your daily devotion time? What will you use in your "quiet time?" Will you be reading your Bible? Listening to a podcast about Faith? Reading a devotional? We recommend choosing them out while you're preparing your pages, all before getting started.
Schedule Time with God
After purchasing a Christian planner, the purpose is more than just using a planner with Bible verses – it is about using the planner to make your relationship with Christ stronger, improve your Biblical literacy and grow to rely and trust in God more. You are most likely used to utilizing secular planners that schedule your days, however having your day separate from your devotional places a disconnect between both your daily life and faith. Instead, by using your new Christian planner, you can schedule your time, while also writing down your prayers and thoughts. Christian planners often become planners and prayer journals, all in one. By taking time each day to focus your attention on the Word is an investment in your life and relationship with God. If you don’t end up writing in your calendar, you can't be sure it will happen. This is why we believe in using a devoted Christian planner that prioritizes your faith as the key to sustaining your everyday life.
Following the Plan
This recommendation is as simple as it sounds. Once you have set up your planner and daily routine, if you follow the plan day-by-day as you've set it out, you will be successful in being both productive and more faithful - the ultimate goal one can aspire to achieve. Your Christian planner should be utilized as a map, guide or accountability partner in the overall process.
In order to remain consistent in using your Christian planner daily, to receive daily reminders of your priorities and to relieve your mental load, you have to accept that it won't be perfect. Our Christian planners are a representation of us. This means being beautifully imperfect. If your page doesn't have the result you are looking for or is not as pretty as the one you've seen on social media, remember that it is okay. When we have off days, we must remember we can rest in Him and know that tomorrow is a brand new, fresh start. Using this mindset regularly can help you release yourself from the need to be perfect.
Never Give Up
On days when you don’t use your Christian daily planner, such as when we have lighter days or there’s nothing to do on your tasks lists, you can still use your Christian planner to record various thoughts and prayers. And vice versa. Sometimes our days can get busy, leaving us with no time for peace or devotional study; this is okay. Blank pages or sections are just as good as the ones that are full. They are reminders of seasons in our life and adjustments to be made.
Don’t Wait Around to Start
If you ever feel God calling on to you to spend more time in prayer and faith, but due to your busy schedule or lack of setup at home, you must remember that those things do not matter. When God calls you, or places something on your heart, act on it and together you will make a way. You don’t have to wait around for the right day or the right moment, as right now is the exact time for you to begin strengthening your relationship with God. Waiting will only postpone the future blessings that will result from effectively using your Christian planner.