It is true that many of us, people who love using and carrying a planner sometimes use one too many, but why so many planners? You may ask. Using more than one planner, for many of us, goes beyond practical reasoning, yet to us planner-nerds it totally makes sense to have more than one, and we probably use more than one planner simultaneously. Planners may also fall in the category of “accessories”, just like people have more than one purse or shoes, many of us also have more than one planner.
In my case, I have been using a planner since high school when I was having problems getting myself organized and keeping up with all the assignments, studying, handing out papers, quizzes and what not. In high school I had to enroll in this course to learn to organize my life – that back then felt like a very complicated life, little did I know. In that course, the teacher taught us how to manage our time in such a way that we would have time to go to school, do sports, be social, get good grades and yet have time to study and comply with our assignments. Many years later, now in my mid thirties, I realize that what I learned in that class has stayed with me up to this day. The tools I learned in that short course, are tools that I used through high school, undergrad and grad school and now, as a professional-working-mother-wife-volunteer-want-to-do-everything-adult-woman.
It is common sense, you could say, that we should dedicate slots of time to different tasks and try to avoid those tasks that might only seem like a waste of time (like watching too much TV, spending too much time on Facebook or Instagram, etc). These days there are many more distractions at a hands’ reach that I had back then. Even knowing that we should be working on the tasks written on our “To do” list, we just don’t do it, we procrastinate and/or leave things for the last minute (cough,cough), but sometimes, when life happens and things around us change or when major events happen such as changing jobs, changing our routines or simply life goes a little faster than usual, we find ourselves almost losing our mind because we can’t cope with everything that needs to get done by the end of the day, week or month. For me, I became a mother six months ago and suddenly my days are longer (the nights a lot shorter) and yet I have less time to do all the things that I need to do. Not only do I need to take care of my child, but also make sure that my household, my job, husband, my dog, the house and everything is in order without mentioning the activities I do on the side – together with husband’s activities.
Some time later a friend of mine from Australia also heard that I had gone back to my loving stationery things and since my birthday was approaching she sent me a Kikki-K planner, which I think is fabulous and beautiful, now I use that planner for all issues pertaining to finances. I also got myself an A5 Hot Pink Domino Filofax which I love because of the size which is great to manage my blog and other projects I am working on. All in all, yes, I do have one too many planners but by having each one of them I am able to separate the different aspects of my life and put them into different categories, I avoid having “stuff” laying around and also, my mind is clear because I have different “drawers” for different things that I know I need to get done. Now I know where to find a receipt, where to find our doctor’s appointments, where to keep track or our spending or savings and where to work on a calendar for my blog or other projects. I know where things are and where to find them at all times, including my son’s pediatrician’s email address. Yes, some discipline is involved but overall, having different physical spaces for different things allows me to keep track of deadlines, upcoming projects, important dates and everything in between.
Now there is also something that I need to address, in this age and time many people tend to use their phones and computers as “planners”, this is fine if it works for you. I tried using my computer and email applications as a calendar to keep track of meetings and other appointments but it didn’t work. I ended wasting too much time trying to find an email address or a phone number or a name from someone among all the clutter in my inbox and other folders. Also, I didn’t always have access to an electronic device with internet access so that I could write down a meeting that had just been confirmed or a phone number if it had been given to me right away. I ended up scribbling stuff everywhere on random pieces of paper or somewhere in a notebook, then recording it onto my electronic calendar and making sure that I had set up a reminder. Electronic planning tools just didn’t work for me. Besides, you also have the batter issue or the access to the Internet issue. I am a paper person who tends to remember things much better when these are written down, recorded and visualized. If your electronic device works for you, then go ahead and continue using it by all means!
I still have my little moleskine which I love but it is less cramped and stuffed, I now use a general to do list that I use a way to transition between work things and personal things. On these lists I keep things that I need to do while on my way to work, for example, go to the bank, deposit money, go to the post office, call the baby sitter, and other errands. It works for me!
1. It will help you have a visual representation of how your days or weeks look like and what you need to accomplish by a certain period in time.
– finance management
Conversely, if you don’t give up and actually manage to use your planner every day until the end of the year I guarantee you that you will start seeing changes in how you work, manage your household, your finances and how aware you are of your time and how you manage it. You will not become super effective the first week, but you will learn and you will improve.
Remember, whatever planner you decide to buy and use, it won’t work if you only use it once! Be disciplined and keep at it, and most of all, have fun! Be fabulous.