Monday, January 7, 2013

Moving to a New Planner

Planners Vary by Color and Design

Pablo Picasso said "Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success."

Every January it is time for me to move into a new planner.  I know, many of you have gone completely digital, but let me just share my experiences with that.  I own a smartphone.  But it isn't that smart.  My first smartphone inconveniently forgot how a touch screen works.  No touch screen, no smartphone.  Smartphone #2 had battery issues.  It wouldn't do anything except phone or text.  No battery function, no smartphone.  I am now on a new incarnation of phone and battery, but I have trust issues at this point.  Being slightly negligent in the back-up department, I am reluctant to trust too much information to that phone of mine.  Paper planners may be dated, but they have NEVER let me down!  So, if you are all digital, good for you!  I am, however, completing my January ritual of moving in to a fresh, new planner.

Plain, but practical.

Planners are personal.  And I believe I have to like my planner or I won't use it.  I am not a slave to my planner.  I easily leave large blank areas in all my planners, but when I need to track a lot of details, my planner is invaluable.  This is my 2013 planner.  It is pale purple.  It wasn't my first choice based on appearance, but it had the features I wanted.  First, it isn't too thick, and it fits into my purse.

A Monthly View

Secondly, I have to have a monthly view in a planner.  I do most of my calendering, tracking, planning, etc. on this page, so it is important to me.  Many calendars just have a weekly view, but I often don't use the weekly pages, so those planners do not work well for me.

Family organizer

Time of life impacts planner usage as well.  When I used these family-style planners, keeping grocery lists and planning menus were as important to the function of our busy family as all of the sporting events and music lessons.  This planner had sidebars dedicated to those two things.  Life has altered a bit now, and I have abandoned the thick family organizer for a slimmer model.  Although I am a casual planner, I find I get more done when I commit it to paper.

Weekly View

My new planner has weekly pages behind the monthly view.  I paper clip the month page to the current week and can find my plans quickly and easily.  I preferred the artistic design of a couple other planners the day I bought mine, but they lacked other features.  This planner has January 2014 in it, always a plus.  It also includes planning pages, contact pages, and a few blank pages for note taking.  This additional capability and versatility made me choose the "plainer planner."  Function over form, in this case.  

There is something hopeful about moving into a new planner.  I choose which things to carry over from the previous year.  I can let the disappointments go, and not move them in to my fresh, new pages.  Each new planner is a fresh start. I can do better this year.  I can put in the plans that really matter to me.  I find this annual ritual to be an act of optimism!

Planning or dreaming?

Despite my best intentions to plan, blank pages exist frequently in my planners, old and new.  Are the blanks lost opportunities?  Could I have done more if I filled them in?  Maybe.  But maybe the blank spaces are where the dreams hatch.  I liked this quote by Gloria Steinhem:  "Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.  Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."

What type of planner do you use?  What helps you accomplish things in your life?  I wish you the excitement of possibilities this year as you plan and dream!


  1. I too like the monthly planner. I admit to having too many blanks, but when I have filled them in religiously, I see how much more I accomplished. Maybe I should take a clue from that...

    1. This year is a fresh start! Get busy filling those blank spaces with wonderful things!