I Bought a Planner!
I’ve never been one for paper planners, although I used one in school as a kid. Or an agenda, as it was called when you roamed the halls of middle school.
At home, with the family, I prefer a big 12×12 calendar on the side of my fridge.
Sometimes I throw appointments on my phone calendar, but I’m not consistent. Not because I don’t like tech. I do.
But like an eBook, I can’t touch the pages.
Is that weird?
Back to the planner. I thought using a portable calendar was a little outdated, but as I researched, I noticed they’re quite popular. There are even YouTube videos to show you how to set up and customize your planner. Who knew?
Unsure of what I wanted in a planner, I did some digging. I went on a mini-quest to find out what my friends and family liked about them.
Number one answer: They’re customizable.
I get that. With all the patterns, dividers, and stickers to choose from, it’s easy to tailor your planner to fit your own personality and needs. I’ll probably spend all my free time adding cute little stickers that say ‘You got this girl’ and ‘Hooray’ in every open space because honestly, I need encouragement sometimes.
Customizable options popular across the board were color-coating family members’ appointments, labeling notes, and having menus and grocery lists in the same place.
These are all great ideas!
Another answer in favor of a paper planner: It’s a break from tech.
Yes! Can I get a double yes? Everything is in my phone: photos, audiobooks, shopping, restaurants, school grades, Target—So why not use the calendar there too? After all, it will sync with everything and give me unlimited reminders and notifications.
Being on a laptop all day can be draining. So using paper and pen to write notes or plan menus would be a welcomed break.
I also can’t switch over to social media in the middle of taking notes. Avoiding the distraction of the scroll is a vote in my book.
A third vote for the paper planner: It’s sensory-driven.
There’s something about the feel of paper and pen. Who hasn’t had a “favorite pen” in their hands or the opposite—one that didn’t feel quite right? If you’re like me, you dig around in the drawer until you find the writing utensil you want.
Also, there is a connection between memory and writing for me. Who remembers writing out flashcards as a kid? I recall things much faster when I write them down.
An added bonus to recording life events in a personal planner: It’s like a mini journal of your year.
I’ve always been a fan of journaling, so really a planner can be a collaboration of journaling and organization. After the year closes, I’ll have a mapped-out history of my entire year—my thoughts, my plans, my appointments, and my vacations. All of which will include lots of doodles and stickers, I’m sure.
The last consideration to sway my vote for a paper planner was handwriting.
I love the look of handwriting. Today it’s a lost art. I have recipes from both my side and my husband’s side of the family that are handwritten. Those small treasures of the past are so special to me.
Handwriting is personal. So personal handwriting analysis is sometimes used as evidence in court cases.
Consider the last handwritten note you read. Was it jotted down in a hurry, or did it take time? Time to allow big loopy fonts and long closings. Or can you barely read all the letters? The uniqueness of a person’s handwriting points to personal ownership and can sometimes give a date or a hint to the setting.
For years, people have made their mark through their handwriting. If anything, using a handwritten planner will leave a tiny imprint of my personality on the pages of history.
After a few weeks of deliberation, I bought three planners. Just like the story of the Goldilocks, one was too big, one was… well, you get the point.
Here were my qualifications:
Small enough to fit in my purse.
I needed to see the entire month at a glance.
It needed dividers.
I wanted to personalize it.
It had to have the option to add blank pages for notes.
Here’s what I decided on: An Agenda 52 Planner I picked up from Hobby Lobby.
And as a bonus, I picked up one of the sticker books to go with it. (And yes, I’ve already added several stickers to my first week of January.)
I still use the calendar on my phone for appointments—to keep my hubs in the loop.
And I may never give up the fridge calendar.
But I’m excited to see how my year unfolds using my new paper planner. If anything, it will be fun to look back at the end of the year and see how many stickers I used!
What about you? How are you organizing your time this year?
I’ll be sure to check in throughout the year and give everyone an update on my progress!