12 January 2011

The Planner Dilemma

Do you have a planner or calendar that you love?  Maybe I'm just hard to please, but I can never find a planner that I really like.    I had one of those leather planners when I was in high school and starting college, but it became just a large checkbook holder, as I never actually opened it to use anything else.  During college, I found that a spiral notebook was my best organizational tool.  I could scribble to do lists, copy recipes, jot down addresses or phone numbers all on one page.  It was everything I needed, well, except for the dates.  It was definitely difficult to plan ahead, but I was a college student.  What did I need to plan ahead for?

Then I got engaged and had a wedding to plan.  Suddenly, I needed to know what date it would be two months from Tuesday.  I had to find a planner, and I found the perfect one.  It was basically a half sized spiral notebook, but it included dates, imagine that.  Plenty of room for my scribbles, but it kept me organized.  It was on sale, since the year was already halfway over and I've never found one like it again. 

In my quest to find the perfect planner, I have seen all sorts of varieties.  None of them inspire me. Does that sound funny?  To be inspired by a planner?  I have to be though, or it will become my coaster instead of my planner.  I have to feel like opening it for it to work.  I do not need a planner that lists every hour of the day.  I just can't schedule my days like that, or I get uptight and then depressed when I don't accomplish things the way I scheduled it.  I like the page to contain a whole week.  That way, I can write my weekly to do list right there.  I'm awfully structured in my planner needs for being so unstructured, aren't I?

Last year, around this time, I was getting very frustrated.  I needed a planner, but hadn't found one to suit me.  Finally, I decided to make my own, and I did.  I liked it, I have some improvements in mind, but I like being able to personalize it for exactly what I need.  That planner had the week on one side, and then lines on the other side.  It was basically a book made of folded letter size paper, held together by string threaded through two small holes punched in the spine. 

Now, it's a new year and I am in need of yet another planner.  I'm trying to decide if I should do a full sized paper and keep them in my household notebook, or if I should play with the half sized format again.  I do want to add a spot for meal planning and a grocery list, but if I get too structured and crowded, I won't be able to use it.  I have to have space to scribble and sketch my crazy ideas.  Maybe I'll add a little picture too.  Something inspirational, or a reminder of what I was doing last year at this time.  I'd better get on it though, or I'll be stuck using my spiral notebook again.


  1. I know how you feel. I'm always on the quest to find a better way to keep track of it all. I always say I'll get a planner...but always end up with the scraps of paper notes tacked here & there. Hope you find the perfect planner!

  2. You know I never "plan" anything, but I do have Dr appointments etc that I need to keep up with. Last year, I didn't even have a calender. I ended up with all that stuff magnet-ed to the fridge. This year, I got a calender - three of them in fact, plus my computer has this sticky notes thing that I keep up with.

  3. We ARE a lot alike! I need just a list for the things that need to get done, but not at a certain time, and I need the schedule so I can write things in that have to happen on time. Like storytime at the library, LOL. Last year I used a page per day planner and some days were filled up with writing, while many were left blank. Do I really need to write down that I have to do laundry? Not on a daily basis, but I do need to have it written down at least once in a "typical week" plan to see if it all fits! I tried doing my own, but the benefit of that was being able to personalize each day, so I didn't print that far ahead. Therefore I didn't have a calendar page for two weeks from now to be able to write down an appointment. This year I bought 2 pages per week, and don't care for it. It will work, but because it has times listed on the side I feel like I can't list my To Do items because they'll be marked at a certain time. Make sense? I recently found this site and she has some cool project pages you can request. Check her out:
    http://triciarennea.blogspot.com/ I can't find the link for the pages I'm suggesting, but email her and ask for the PDF Project & Ideas page. If you have little girls there are some awesome paper toys there...

  4. Kelly, that makes total sense. While I know I can just ignore those silly hour by hour lines, I can't! Just looking at them makes me panic a little. Bad enough that I struggle to be on time elsewhere, but I just can't take feeling late while sitting in my own home. In the future, I may just go to a big family calendar for appointments, etc and go back to the notebook, but I do need some organization just to make sure I have groceries on hand for meals.

  5. ...ah yes, the hunt for the perfect planner. I look online, bookstores every where..some years I even by 2 -3 because one inspires more than the other. I like the plain jane type..but I adore art wotk on the side. Looks like you are on to something with what you have.
    Continued luck on your quest.

  6. Why not make a notebook filled with blank paper, lined if you prefer that,and get yourself a rubber date stamper and ink pad. Use as much space as you need for each day, then when you're ready to begin a new day,just stamp in the new date.(I've never used a day planner, but that might work.)

  7. My "planner" consists of a dry-erase board on the fridge, where I write down short-term things I don't want to forget (grocery needs, chores,). When it's done, I erase it. Future items like dr. appts. or bithdays gets written on the wall calendar. It works for me, anyway. :)