I’ve been an avid planner addict for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I always looked forward to shopping for school supplies and picking out my academic planner for the calendar year.
To this day, I can’t resist purchasing a paper planner or two to help me stay organized and on top of all of my goals. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a planner obsession. But sometimes I discover that a planner I’ve purchased isn’t the right size for me, doesn’t fit my needs, or isn’t quite what I envisioned. When this happens, I do what every planner lover does and purchase another planner. But rather than let the unused planners collect dust on my bookshelf, I’ve come up with quite a few ways to repurpose the unused pages over the years.
Here are ten non-traditional ways to use your planner.
1. Create a gratitude journal
I love using an unused planner as a gratitude journal. To set up my repurposed gratitude journal, I write down five small moments or things that I’m grateful for each day.
The best part about using a planner is that your gratitude lists will be dated, which gives you an easy way to look back on specific days and memories. At the end of the year, your previously unused planner will be overflowing with gratitude and good memories.
2. Make a scrapbook
Keep special memories alive with a scrapbook. Printed photographs, pretty stickers, and colored paper don’t have to be a thing of the past. With easy-to-use, portable printers like Prynt, it’s easy to transform your unused planner into a fully designed and decorated scrapbook to keep for the long haul.
3. Track your workouts
If you’re diving headfirst into a new workout routine, tracking your workouts is a great way to take advantage of the blank pages in an unused planner. Some of the items you can keep track of include: type of workout, length of workout, total calories burned, and how you felt before and after the workout.
Use your workout log to identify which workouts make you feel your best or help you achieve your health goals.
4. Start a “Finished it!” list
If you’re the type of person who loves checking items off your to-do list, consider turning your planner into a “Finished it!” or “Did it!” list. Separating the action items you’ve finished away from your to-do list can lead to feelings of accomplishment beyond crossing them off your to-do list. Using this strategy will also help you keep your to-do list organized and maintainable.
5. Track your moods
Mood tracking provides a variety of benefits, most notably, the awareness of one’s emotions and mental health. You can use a planner to track your moods by recording the activities you completed throughout the day alongside how each activity made you feel, or how your mood improved or worsened.
6. Plan your meals for the weeks ahead
I dread meal planning! Meal planning is an activity that I find to be overwhelming and time-consuming. To reduce feelings of overwhelm and dread, I’ve dedicated an unused planner strictly to meal planning. I track ingredients needed for recipes, the recipes themselves, and which day I plan to cook which meal. I also recommend tracking which meals you liked and didn’t like.
By using a planner to meal plan, you’ll also have a running list of meals to refer back to, which will save you time down the road.
7. Create a daily affirmations or mantras diary
Daily affirmations and mantras are a simple way to help you maintain a positive mindset. These phrases often provide motivation and encouragement and can be particularly valuable when it comes to sticking to and achieving one’s goals.
Though you can purchase daily affirmation books, creating your own can be equally as rewarding and inspiring. I recommend creating a list of affirmations and mantras in advance and add one per day to your unused your planner first thing in the morning to set the tone for the day.
8. Track and manage your finances and expenses
Managing expenses can be daunting! Using an extra planner to help keep track of your expenses, budgets, financial goals, bills, and savings can help you better understand how and where you’re spending your money all in one place.
9. Express your creative side with one doodle or hand-lettered piece per day
If you’re an artist or aspiring creative, this one is for you! Over the last couple of years, I’ve developed an interest in hand-lettering and have taken advantage of unused planners to practice my technique.
If you’re into drawing, painting, sketching, or any other kind of free creative expression, consider using an unused planner for doodling, testing color palettes, or sketching objects in your immediate sight to level up your skills.
10. Plan your social media content
Whether you own a business, have a side hustle, or only use social media for personal use, paper planners always come in handy when thinking about social media content. Especially if you’re posting on multiple channels, consider using a planner to help you keep track of what you want to post when and how you’re going to deliver that message.
Many apps provide social media planning tools, but sometimes taking a step away from technology altogether can allow you to think more clearly about the vision of your content and how it all works together.
You don’t have to let unused planners go to waste! Next time you purchase a planner and find that it’s not working for you, take advantage of those empty pages and try one of these non-traditional use cases.