Confessions of a Wannabe Planner Addict

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High Angle View Of A Businessperson Writing Schedule In Diary Over Wooden Desk

Unless you’ve been living under a rock on a distant planet, you have probably noticed the booming popularity of planners over the last few years. Erin Condren’s LifePlanner  and the Simplified Planner are two of the big ones that jump to my mind. I totally get it. There’s so many options and layouts, many of which are quite pretty, and there are accessories, and social media influencers. People do full on youtube videos dedicated to showing how they fill in their planners! For a while I thought I might become a planner addict too, obsessively tending a portable hard copy of my life and waiting on pins and needles for the newest release. BUT, as it turns out, the planner life just might not be for me.

What’s my problem with planners? 

  • I have a hard time justifying the price of trendy planners. Based on the rave reviews that some planners receive, I’m sure their perceived effectiveness may validate the expense for some folks. To be fair, I’ve also tried cheap ones from Target and they haven’t stood the test of time either.
  • My life requires space for both scheduling and taking various notes. The space for notes is always inadequate, in my opinion. Yes, I know I could just use a separate product for note taking but I don’t want to. I already carry too much stuff.
  • On a related note, I have yet to encounter a planner that was designed with the intricacies of my life in mind. I’ve got to be able to capture all aspects of life including (in no particular order) home, work, school, hubby, baby human, social functions and self-care. It’s a lot.
  • I struggle with consistently writing everything down. Thus, I start off motivated and ready to document the heck out of my schedule, but inevitably lose steam after a few months (or weeks…or days).

So what do I do instead?

I LOVE cute yet simple journals. I’ve even used composition books before and they work quite well if you need to complete a fair amount of note taking. In general, lined pages and a nice durable cover are all I really need. I’m not convinced on formal bullet journaling yet (it seems cumbersome). For the most part, I make to-do lists, jot down things that I need to remember or notes from meetings. Sometimes content is well-organized. Sometimes it’s not. The main point is that I’m able to grab hold of the chaos in my brain and externalize it on paper. This does wonders for helping me see big picture of what I need to do, while freeing up the mental energy of needing to remember it all. This also decreases my anxiety, improves my sleep quality, yada yada. Heck, it might even clear up my skin!

With that said, as a woman I reserve the right to change my mind. There was a time in my life when I never wanted cheese on my burgers, and well, here I am today, cheesing it up. Maybe I’ll come to a place in my life when planners become a staple for me. Until then I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. In fact, I would say that’s the bottom line. Find what works for you. Try different systems until you find one (or more) that meet your needs. It doesn’t matter if it’s pretty or trendy, as long as it helps you accomplish what you need to do.

So what do you think about society’s love affair with planners? Do you have any favorites or have you decided to go rogue and do your own thing? Is there some magical planner or organizational system that you think I should try? Let’s chat about it in the comments!

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