If you’ve spent any time at all in planner groups on Facebook or been drooling over those gorgeous planner posts on Instagram, you’ve probably seen task cards crop up. Essentially, they’re a super-convenient way to remind yourself of your repeating tasks… but they can be so much more than that. I’ve been playing around with them for a while and thought it was about time I put my own spin on them.
Disclaimer: task cards are NOT my invention – they’ve been around for a while and you should definitely check out Mady Lopez (https://madymicaela.com/blog/) who’s the OG task card queen.
In my opinion, the beauty of planners; whether it’s using rings or discs, is how unique they are. Your planner may be a functional place to keep on track of your work, or a creative outlet, or it may be the only thing keeping you sane as you juggle all of the craziness life chucks at you. Your planner is a reflection of you and your personality, and your planner needs are going to be very different to someone else’s. The more thought you put into what you personally need from it, the more you’ll get from it. With that in mind, the way you might like to use task cards may be really different to the ways you may have come across already.
Functional or decorative?
You may want to build task cards into your planner in a purely decorative way, and let’s face it, they’re perfect for that. They’re small and easy to move around, they can be customised and made to fit any aesthetic you like, and they’re an inexpensive way of adding a bit of deco to your planner. Keep reading and I’ll give you some ideas on how to decorate with them later…
Personally, since experimenting with them, I’ve found them to be a really useful way of reminding myself of all of those promises I’ve made to myself, or routines I want to stick to. I love a pop of colour and I don’t tend to get time during the week to decorate my planner, so I rely on things like task cards to make it look nice while being really functional.
Are task cards just for recurring tasks?
Task cards can be for any type of information you may like to remind yourself of; usually the sort of information that doesn’t change, or tasks that tend to be repeated. I’m using the word ‘tasks’ loosely here, as this could refer to habits, rituals or routines (this may be the psychologist in me, but I think those are different). This is better than having the same information on a page in your planner as they can be moved to where your attention is focused; they provide a great visual cue to help you remember important stuff.
Are you a list maker? Task cards also help you to organise your tasks and routines by breaking information down into more manageable and convenient chunks. Do you tend to write down the things you need to get done each day, week or month? If so… how much of that is the same each time? If you write the same items on your list each time you make it, you could probably benefit from using a task card.
If you’re trying to get to grips with a new lifestyle, whether it’s a new workout routine, a new morning routine to help you start the day refreshed, or you’re trying to implement a new self-care routine, a task card can also remind you of the steps and actions you wanted to do.
Where do you put them in your planner?
As I hinted earlier, if you’re using task cards in a functional way, the beauty of them is that they can be moved around your planner to make sure they remain visible. As with all things planner-related, there are lots of ways to use them.
Card pockets in your planner: If, like me, you’re a ring planner user, you’ll probably have credit card pockets in your cover that are brilliant for storing them.
Punched wallet inserts: Some like to add punched plastic wallets to their planners to store them, which gives that gorgeous layered look as your pages peek through underneath.
Self-adhesive card holders: You can also get single self-adhesive card holders which can be placed on dividers or clear covers in your planner.
Clips: I’m a bit of a clip hoarder, so one of my favourite ways to use task cards is to clip them to my pages, then they double up as a bookmark as an added functional bonus.
Hole punching: If you don’t like using clips but like the idea of cards being integrated with the pages you’re using, you can simply punch them. I tend to punch my weekly or weekly cards so that the top pokes out as a page marker.
Tips for setting up your own functional task cards
If you’re after a more decorative look, Instagram has some brilliant inspiration to help you design your system, but you may also like to consider journal cards – decorative cards to add to your planner for a pop of colour and inspiration. However, if you’re thinking about how to get more from your planner and set up your own task card system, here are some questions to get you thinking about how to get the most out of your task cards so that they reflect your own needs.
What do you want to use them for? There are so many different uses for task cards – the best place to start is to have a good think about what you’d like help with.
- Do you need to save time on writing recurring tasks?
- Are you trying to get into a new habit?
- Are you looking to get into a new routine?
- Are you trying to bring a little order and routine into working from home?
Where would you like to put them? Do you like the idea of having your cards in the same place to refer to them when needed? Depending on the sort of planner you’re using, you may have lots of places to store your cards already. If not, or you’re running short of space, a card holder or wallet could help. If you prefer the idea of moving your cards around with you as you fill your pages, you should consider whether you like to use clips, or hole punching. All of these options are cheap and effective, and with all things, there’s no need to worry about making it perfect when it’s so easy to change it up if it’s not working for you.
What sort of cards would you like? I use a combination of clear plastic cards and decorative cards – I add stickers with my information on to both types.
The clear cards give a more minimal look, and there are normally options beyond that, such as the finish and thickness of them. These normally come in credit card sizes, with the option to have them tabbed so they can be stored together easily. This also means that you can group them; i.e. have tabs for Daily / Weekly / Monthly, or Morning / Afternoon / Evening.
I also use stickers on the back of journal cards to turn them into task cards, which I like because it adds a little colour to my scribbled pages. I’ve also quite enjoyed having printed ones too, which I think I’m going to be sticking with in my winter setup. The benefit of this is that if you already have some journal cards, you can repurpose them.
What information can be on them? You can add any sort of information to a task card, whether it’s your weekly tasks, your daily workout routine, your goals, or even your contact details to ensure that if your planner is lost it gets returned to you. I quite like using my task cards as habit trackers or prompts to get me thinking – which is well suited to stickers that can be peeled off and replaced.
Here are some ideas to help you get the ball rolling!
- Daily, weekly, or monthly tasks
- Habit tracking
- Goal reminders
- Term dates
- Morning routines
- Repeating work tasks
- Bedtime routines
- Self-care routines
- Contact information
- Useful numbers
- Journal prompts
- Payment dates
- Regular grocery lists
- Mini calendars
- Cleaning schedules
- Sunday jobs
If you’re looking to get all set up, all of the items I’ve mentioned in the post are available in the shop – and there’s even more coming soon! Keep scrolling for a list of the items I’ve mentioned in this post….
Everything you need to get you set up with your own task card system!
- Task cards in a range of finishes, tabbed and single cards
- A range of photo task cards to be customised with your own text
- Self-adhesive holders
- Card pouches – A5 with three pockets, A5 with 4 pockets and personal sized with three pockets
- Clips – large paperclips in single colour and mixed packs, teardrop clips in mixed and single colour packs
- Tab labels
- Task card stickers in a range of headings, blank for your own designs, balance and habit trackers.
Hopefully that’s given you a few ideas, or at least given you an idea of what task cards are if you’re new to planning. Now… please excuse me while I get back to designing my next set!