You’ve just started your busy day and you’re already feeling overwhelmed. You know you have a list of tasks to get to and deadlines to meet, but instead you start cleaning out your office and watching cat videos because you don’t know where to start.
— Enter: the daily planner.
With this little baby fired up, you’re ready to go! Tackling your day task by task until all your to-dos are complete. Breathe. You did it!
But what if you don’t have a clue about planning your day? Or what if you’ve tried before but things still get missed and you’re left scratching your head wondering where the day went?
That’s what we’re here for.
In this article, we’ll show you how to set up your daily planner so you can be as productive as possible.
Step #1: Choose your daily planners
You’ll need at least two planners to start, both of which monday.com can provide.
First, you need a weekly planner template that’ll show you everything you have in your pipeline/schedule for the month/week, etc. Then, you’ll need a daily planner template that’ll break down your work into daily tasks. (A bullet journal isn’t going to cut it.)
There are loads of monday.com templates you can use as planners:
monday.com template recommendations
- Monthly assignments: use our Projects Overview template
- Team weekly assignments: use our Weekly Team Tasks template
- Your own weekly assignments: use our Weekly To-Do template
- Your daily planner: use our Daily Task Tracker template
Here’s a glimpse at that last one:
For simplicity, we’re just going to show you how to use the Weekly To-do template and the Daily Task Tracker template.
We’ll get to that in a sec, but first let’s back these recommendations up…
Why should you choose monday.com’s planning templates?
You’re going to love our planning templates for so many reasons:
- Our templates are 100% customizable (never feel locked into a set board layout again)
- You can add team members to assign tasks and responsibilities
- You can chat with active team members with one click
- You can view your plan in a variety of ways (Kanban, Gantt, chart, calendar, and more)
- You can use widgets for cross-project functionality
- You can sync your calendars, tools, and other handy integrations
- You can add a timeline column to track time or any other relevant columns and groups
(PS: Running a school, curriculum, or child? Organize your academic planner, teacher planner, and student planner with monday.com!)
Step #2: Look at the big picture
What’s expected of you this month? Make a vision board, look over your agenda, and take a look at all your upcoming deadlines, events, meetings, and appointments. You’ll need this information for the next step.
Sit with this for a moment and really soak in what your month is going to look like. Understanding your commitments is crucial to creating an efficient plan.
(You can also use this method to plan for the year if you have the information ready.)
Step #3: Create your schedule
What and when?
It’s time to create your monthly schedule!
We’ll use this to make your daily planner later. If you already have a monthly schedule, keep it handy, and continue reading.
Start by using our Weekly To-Do template. You’ll see these groups included on the board:
- This Week
- Next Week
Add these groups to complete the month:
- Week 3
- Week 4
Here’s how to add the groups:
- At the top left of the template, click on the ‘New Item’ button. Then ‘New group of items’ to add the Week 3 group and the Week 4 group.
- Click inside the cells of each group to edit the names. (Or you can choose ‘Import Items’ if you already have this information ready to go in an Excel file or CSV file — like in another spreadsheet tool or just a simple text editor.)
Add the timeline column and input a date range for every task.
Adding the timeline column is super easy. Just click on the ‘+’ on the far right of any group on the board, and then click ‘Timeline.’
Plug in the following information for next month:
- Weekly deadlines, events, meetings, appointments, and other tasks along with due dates and timeline date ranges.
- The template already comes with Tasks included underneath ‘This Week’ and ‘Next Week’, but there are no descriptions. Click on each task and then start typing to edit with specific details, or import a ready-made task list as we described earlier.
- Click the ‘+Add’ section under the ‘Week 3’ group and the ‘Week 4’ group to add tasks for those weeks.
Add the calendar view so you can see your monthly schedule:
At the top left of your board, click ‘All Views,’ then ‘+Add View,’ then Calendar.
Step #4: Assign tasks
Now it’s time to delegate tasks under the ‘Owner’ column.
Click on each cell to assign an appropriate team member (or assign yourself.) Be sure to include clear objectives, to-dos, and due dates.
Next, fill in the rest of the columns (or delete any you don’t need by clicking the drop-down arrow next to that column and selecting ‘Delete Column’).
Then, add the calendar widget so you can see all the dates you need across all your boards. (Read how to do it here. It’s super easy!)
Finally, sync your schedule to your external calendar using our Calendar Integration. )Read how to sync it here. You’ll love this.)
Talk about a beefed up monthly calendar! Right? We’re impressed too!
Step #5: Create your daily task tracker (aka ‘your daily planner’)
Now that your whole month is planned out, you can make your daily planner!
Start by using our Daily Task Tracker template.
Click the ‘Drag group’ button to the left of each group name and arrange the groups so they’re all in order like this:
Then, add a Thursday group and a Friday group. Add these groups the same way you did on the weekly template.
Now your board will look something like this:
Alright, now that your groups are set up, it’s time to add tasks and fill in the rest of the columns.
Use the monthly schedule that you created previously to see where to place tasks.
Finally, complete the rest of the columns and delete any you don’t need.
Step #6: Arrange your task lists
Okay, we promise we’re almost done organizing.
The last thing you need to do is organize your daily task lists inside your Daily Task Tracker board. Read on to finish up the planning part and then we can start tackling those tasks!
Here’s how to arrange your task list:
- Each task should start with a verb so you have a clear actionable step to do (like “call Sarah about first start-up meeting” or “review project progress”
- Order the tasks by order of importance and/or by the deadline time
- Keep the momentum pushing forward by checking off tasks after you complete them (use the built-in ‘Status’ column to label a task as ‘done,’ ‘stuck,’ ‘working on it,’ or create your own label like ‘in review’ or something else)
- Use the ‘How long will this take’ and the ‘Total Hours’ columns to measure how long it’s taking to complete a task (just click each cell to fill in)
- Use the ‘Comment’ column to add any comments or notes relevant to the task like ‘Sarah said she can meet on Sunday’ or ‘project review went very well, see review notes’
- Create a reward as your final to-do for a job well done (like 20 minutes of alone time, or your favorite show)
Once you’re done arranging your task lists, move on to the final step.
Step #7: Do the work
Now it’s time to actually start tackling those to-dos.
You can use our boards to complete a wide variety of tasks like checking and solving IT tickets, reviewing a team’s individual project, sending follow-ups to sales leads, and so much more.
Team planning with monday.com
We created monday.com because we faced our own team planning challenges and needed a solution that would meet all of our team’s needs. And so, monday.com was born!
Use our platform to plan:
- Company retreats
- Team tasks
- Marketing team planning
- Sprint planning
- Feature backlogs
- Process management
- Resource management
- And anything else you can think of
Okay, all done. How was that? Wasn’t it cool to see how easy it is to de-stress and let monday.com do all the hard project management work for you? It’s our pleasure, really.
See, that’s what we do.monday.com is dedicated to taking complex projects and turning them into fun, visually-pleasing boards that are so much easier to digest.
Then, we add in all the team members, the deadline dates, and the rest of the details until everything is moving and grooving seamlessly.