‘Planners just don’t work for me’ – Is that something you have said? But I’m guessing you still want to stay organized and that’s why you clicked to open this article. If you want to see some planner alternatives this is the article for you.

Is it possible to stay organized without a planner?


I know I’m all about the planner life. I personally love planning in my planner, it just makes me all fuzzy inside.

However… I’m here for you. My motto – YOUR goals, YOUR plans, ACHIEVED!

So, I know, because I have talked to many people about life organization, that many of you feel that planners don’t work. You are always looking for planner alternatives to help you stay organized.

With that motivation – I had to give you a guide, to show you just how possible it is. These methods are based on real people and real systems that they have come up with.

General tips for life organization.

– At work

An important way to keep organized at work is to plan ahead.

It’s good to set very clear goals and have an intention about everything you do. It should be moving the business forward and not causing setbacks and fails for you.

– At home

A very important step for keeping organized at home is to declutter. Only have what you truly want and that way you will be motivated to maintain the things you own.

Remember to set up systems that mean that home does not become overwhelming, you want it to be your sanctuary.

– For self-care

Take responsibility here and know that it is a very important job for you to care for you.

It doesn’t have to be scented candles, and manicures. It can be journaling, doing some brain training games, there are lots of ways to take care of all of you.

Make space for your own well being otherwise other things will fall apart.

10 non planner ways to stay organized.

1. Sticky notes

The humble sticky note can be very powerful.

I knew a lady and her technique of keeping herself organized was to write anything she wanted to remember on a sticky note and attach it to a cup. She had her cups hanging on hooks in her kitchen. As she liked to drink tea, it meant that any time she made herself a brew, she was reminded of the things that she needed to remember.

Isn’t that simple but incredibly effective. I actually know this lady to be very organized, but as far as I know she doesn’t possess a planner.

The point is to keep it simple and keep the sticky notes where you need to see them.

Picture of bright colored sticky notes layered on top of each other. The top one says ‘don’t forget’. Part of an article - 10 ways to stay organized without a planner.

2. Desk pads

This was a technique that really worked for my lovely hubby at his job.

He had a giant desk pad which was beside him as he worked and as he needed to remember something he wrote it straight down.

Somehow or another he was able to find things on that desk pad, even though it made me twitch from how disorganized it looked. But importantly, it worked for him!

It works for people who just need to brain dump. The very act of writing things can make things seem clearer in the brain, it’s out. I don’t have the pressure of remembering it.

It’s important to look over it regularly so you don’t forget things but really it’s a pretty simple system.

3. Google calendar

Technically it can be any digital calendar really, but yes, this is a way to stay organized.

Some use the modern technology of digital calendars as a planner alternative, because they use a method called ‘time blocking’. This means that everything that you need to do is allocated a time to do it in.

Although I have mentioned it from time to time, you can learn more about this system here.

It is a little bit of work getting it set up but eventually people find this system keeps them very organized. You can be as detailed as you choose to be, so in theory it should work for most people.

4. Spreadsheets

There are people that run their whole life and business using spreadsheets.

They are pretty amazing. We run our budget on a spreadsheet which we find the absolute best method to keep us organized with our money.

Because of the function possibilities you can do so much, track your progress on goals, create endless lists. There is so much to play with.

5. Phone reminders

Yes, that’s right. Some people purely rely on phone reminders to keep themselves organized.

I know a lady that set herself a reminder every day that her dog had a grooming appointment on Tuesdays. ‘Why everyday?’ – I asked

Because she would simply forget. If someone asked her to go out for coffee she would say yes. So she set a reminder every day, so she would remember not to say yes to things on Tuesday.

There you go, she remembers only because she is using her phone reminders to tell her not to forget.

A picture of a phone that has a reminder saying ‘black Friday’. Part of an article - 10 ways to stay organized without a planner.

6. Photos

It’s amazing but yes your photos can help you stay organized.

Many people prefer to snap a picture of something they want to remember, rather than write it down. You might need to keep on top of keeping your photos organized so you can find things again, but it’s definitely doable.

This is especially good for saving information that you want to come back to. It’s so simple just to snap a photo of it and there – it’s stored on your phone. You have it, and you can come back to it.

7. Notice boards

There is a lot of versatility with a notice board, which makes it one of the favorite planner alternatives.

You can have a white board, a peg board, and can make a vision board, a mind map or a Kanban board.

It is a great option to visually see what is going on. You can create what works best for you visually and so instantly feel more on top and more organized.

These are especially good where there are multiple people working together, such as in an office for a team working on a project.

Picture of a notice board with sticky notes on it. Part of an article - 10 ways to stay organized without a planner.

8. Other people

I think we all use this one from time to time. I know I do.

Sometimes I need to remember information that is not easy for me to remember, such as names or numbers.

As it happens, my husband has an excellent memory for things like names and numbers. So there are times I ask him to help me remember something.

It might not be a way to stay organized for everything in life, but it can certainly help at times.

9. Productivity Apps

I mention these because there are just such a huge range of apps out there that are designed to keep us organized.

There are to-do list apps, habit tracking apps, personal growth apps. There really is everything. There are even some specific apps to organize specific work industries.

So by all means search what’s available on your App Store because there might be just the tool you are looking for.

10. Back of the hand

I put this in here because this is exactly what my dad used to remember things. He would write things on the back of his hand.

I really do not recommend this one – I more so recommend frequent hand washing.

But since it was the way my dad used to stay organized, I thought I would include it for fun along with the other planner alternatives.

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Well, which did you like?

Please do let me know if you thought any of these are a good way to keep you organized. I would love to know.

But, remember the point here..

It is possible to find other ways to stay organized without using a planner. There are many planner alternatives and I’m sure you will find the one to suit you!