Now that it’s a couple of weeks into 2021, I have to make a confession: I have a planner problem. I don’t badly say “problem” though; In fact, I prefer my addiction to my daily planner!
I think I got my first planner back in middle school. It was a little student planner that everyone got to organize our homework. The cover was ugly so I immediately restored it with stickers and drawings. I vividly remember the majority of the male population in my class who tossed their planners in their lockers never to be seen again … until one of the girls wanted a new one. Then they’d like to search their locker to turn it over. After having a student planner for two years, I had to provide my own. something that was sometimes done and sometimes not. I can honestly say that the years I had a student planner were the years I stayed most focused and organized.
The impact and support of using a planner that went beyond my school days and over the years I bought at least one planner to help organize myself. There were years trying to do the digital on my phone, or trying to design and print my own planner, but those attempts failed and I waited for July when the new planners released for these were who didn’t start in January.
The last few years have dealt with my planning problem, which now also extends to the areas of calendars. In 2017 I bought a Carpe Diem brand planner from Barnes and Noble. It was a smaller rose gold binder style planner that you could refill for each year. I used this planner for all of 2017 and 2018 before surpassing it in the sense that I just couldn’t fit everything I needed into the planner. I tried using my phone again but grabbed an evacuation planner in 2019 to end the year even though it didn’t meet my needs and fueled my desire for “the perfect planner.”
In 2020 I “tried” a lot more planners than I’d like to admit! I happened to have two five-year monthly planners! I still use one to write down important events or future plans, but the second must have ended up in the trash after trying and giving up as a daily planner for a month or two. I ordered a cute teal planner with gold foil pineapple, but didn’t realize it was another monthly planner so one didn’t even get used to it before I gave it away and found an actual daily planner, then another and another … Me tried a variety of different layouts, styles, and sizes until I finally found one I loved in June! I landed on Happy Planner that I bought at Walmart. It was larger and had both monthly and weekly layouts. There was enough space to organize my life professionally and personally on paper. It also had a sturdy, cheerful, yellow-striped cover which was very appealing! I pulled up my collection of felt pens and went to work, color coding and writing everything down. I perfected my system and it worked wonderfully … until it stopped working. Towards the end of 2020, I found that my Happy Planner, which had easily been my favorite of all time, was no longer big enough to keep me all organized and in one place due to changes in life (and hockey practice). I was so sad!
Give my good friend, Heather (not me, another Heather). Heather is probably a bigger planner nerd than me! She introduced me to Plum Paper, a company that offers customizable planners in a variety of sizes, formats, layouts, and a variety of customizable features and inclusions. It was a planner’s love at first sight! I probably spent a good two hours creating my perfect planner, and after placing my order, I spent every day determining how I would use it in the future. Heather also introduced me to the world of planner stickers, which I had wonderfully avoided until she sucked me in. My Christmas party was full of new pens, planner stickers, and other doodads and whatchamacallits to use in my planner. When it arrived and I started using it, I loved it even more. I think I have finally found peace for the planners!
In addition to my wonderful daily planner and the five year planner I mentioned earlier, I have a variety of calendars because I still need them! At work, I have a standard monthly calendar next to my desk and a weekly desk planner to organize my work tasks in more detail than I keep track of them in my daily planner. I also have one of these dry-erase magnetic calendars on the side of the kitchen fridge for organizing family events, another dry-erase calendar especially for kids, a wall calendar in my home office, and a wall calendar in my husband’s workshop. I’m not kidding you, we all use them and they all serve important purposes!
As you can clearly see now, I have a planner problem! I would love to hear from my fellow planners! Which planner do you use? Why do you love it What are your favorite tips and tricks? Write me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heather Kantrud is the lifestyle reporter for the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.