If there’s one thing that everyone has in common, it is the fact that we are all confined to time in one way or another. We all measure our days in hours and minutes, from how long it takes to get to the office, to how much time dinner takes to cook, and everything in between. Wherever we go, we are constantly watching the time, counting the hours, and marking the minutes.

When it comes to planning and being productive, it all comes down to time—how much we have and how well we’re able to manage it. While there are plenty of methods out there for managing your time more effectively and lots of ideas for claiming back more hours in your day, there’s one especially basic yet fundamentally important aspect of time management that’s important not to overlook: the importance of a calendar-based time management system.

While there’s nothing wrong with writing to-do lists on note paper or jotting things down on sticky notes, incorporating these into a planner will help you keep track of your tasks, stay on schedule, and gain a better grasp on what you need to do—and when. Instead of just having a big list of things to accomplish, you’ll be able to plan and prepare, visualize, and achieve more as a result.

Here are just a few reasons why planning things out on your schedule can be much more effective than your standard to-do list!

Plan More Effectively

When it comes to your schedule, tasks, and projects—relying on a planner for some guidance will make life much easier. Not only will you be able to make plans far more effectively when you can see at a glance exactly what you have going, but you’ll also be able to assign priority to those things that you’ve been meaning to do for a while, but haven’t gotten around to yet. When every task has a place, you’ll be far more likely to accomplish them, instead of having to push them to the back burner, yet again.

Prioritize Important Tasks

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated with everything that life hands you, especially when your lists are constantly growing and nothing seems to be getting done! By scheduling things out on your calendar, though, you can take a proactive approach to your day, and ensure that you prioritize the most important tasks. Instead of simply writing things down and packing your day full of activities that may not be important, meaningful, or otherwise conducive for helping you to reach your goals—you’ll be able to assign priority to the most important tasks, ensuring that they’re not forgotten.

Stay Current With Due Dates

A to-do list is great but giving it some order is even better. Instead of living with a massive list of things to accomplish and seemingly no end in sight, you can easily see when things need to be done and how long you have to do them. No more letting things slide or getting caught off guard. Schedule it out, get it done, and move on!

Keep Track of the Big Picture

Finally, keeping the big picture in mind is especially helpful when it comes to living intentionally and accomplishing your goals. The best goals always have a specific time frame attached to them—to help ensure that they’ll get done. By breaking your big-picture goals up into doable steps, and assigning dates and deadlines to them on your calendar, you’ll be able to drastically increase your chance of following through with your goals.

When you schedule things out using your planner, you enable yourself to stay on track, accomplish more, and also live more intentionally. No more overbooking or being blindsided by important tasks. Instead, easily glance at your planning pages and see everything you need to know! It’s the best way to keep yourself accountable and an essential part of living with intention.

Looking to make the most of every moment? Be sure to check out the Day Designer Flagship Daily Planner—your best tool for leading an intentional, productive, and balanced life. Jot down important daily tasks and map out your day to ensure that you’re working towards your high-level goals.