My Bumpy Road To Planner Peace

My Bumpy Road To Planner Peace


Cleaning up my office, and going through the piles of paperwork and other miscellaneous items on my desk, I came across a desk-sized planner that I bought to... yep, get me more organized -- again. Once I blew off the dust and opened it, its contents barely scribbled in, I came to a realization: planners/calendar organizers/ "to-do" notebooks of all shapes and sizes, fancy or functional, just don't work for me. The dust on the small stockpile of unused planners should have been my clue.

Buy hey, what can I say, I’m an optimist. That and I always get suckered into buying planners at PaperSource.

I’ve tried all types of planners over the years: daily planners, planners that ask all of life’s probing questions, ones with a lot of lines and others that allow room to doodle. I even tried a short stint with the Productivity Planner. I’ve watched hours of YouTube videos espousing the joys of Erin Condren, The Happy Planner and Emily Ley. Thankfully, I’ve been too frugal to invest in those paper planning rabbit holes. And don’t even get me started on Bullet Journaling. I know people swear by it, but this is my take: If it takes me longer to draw the grid (i.e. set up the journal) as it does to do the task that I’m “bulleting”… I’d just rather get the tasks done, that plan for them.

I will admit, though, I do like a good quote. Any planner that has doses of inspiration spread throughout make it likely that it will survive a trip to the recycle bin, even if for the quotes and not the calendar. The quote that got my attention for the planner that I am using (pictured below) is this quote on it’s front:

Some women fear the fire, some women simply become it. — R.H. Sin

I also find planners that ask a lot of questions really annoying. The last thing I feel like doing when managing a very overbooked schedule is pondering what my 5-year goals should be. Ditto on habit tracking and gratitude thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I know some of these things work really for people. I’m just not one of them. It is in large part why I don’t journal period. I spend so much of my time and thoughts being intentionally thankful, I just don’t feel the need to write it down and remind myself.

Does that sound bad? I hope not. Just keeping it real.

So I have finally given up the pretense that keeping a colorful and sticker-filled planner is for me. This has really set me on my way to true planner peace. These days I keep just a simple monthly paper desk calendar to structure the broad strokes of my life's activities, i.e. make sure I show up to my dentist appointment on the right day. But beyond that, the hour by hour scheduled activities of my daily life flow like the tide, sometimes high, sometimes low, but always happening. Sometimes it just feels like a force of nature.

Quick tip: And to help keep things tidy, I try to only use the erasable Pilot Frixion Pens. Because inevitably, plans always change. :)


My planner

A simple black and white design.

A view of what the weekly inside spread is. Just enough lines for a tidy to-do list, but not too many :)

A view of what the weekly inside spread is. Just enough lines for a tidy to-do list, but not too many :)