My relationship with planners goes a little something like this: I’ll ogle the photos of all of the beautiful, colorful, organized layouts that planner mavens post online and I’ll get a short burst of inspiration. Hey, I can totally do that! How fun! I’ll be motivated to get so much done! I can’t wait to get started!
And then about 5 minutes later I realize that it would be a very bad idea for me to start a planner. I’d get fixated on using the perfect consistent color combinations, using the same pens so everything looks uniform, and I’d get really upset when appointments or schedules change, because what am I going to do now that I have penned the event into my beautiful planner in my perfect color-coordinated ink? Correction tape? But surely you’ll see the white stripe on the page, marring the appearance of my beautifully planned week.
So then I nix the idea of a paper planner and go back to using Google Calendar, which I’ve utilized extensively for the better part of a decade.
But then I thought, maybe what really overwhelms me about planners is that there’s just too much to try to fit into those little pages. Keeping up with work, home, fun, and the kids could easily fill the pages of a 4-inch 3-ring binder, and without the ease that Google Calendar lends me when it comes to making corrections.
So I took the plunge and ordered this beauty: a simple academic year planner in pastel stripes. It has a super thick hardcover, which I’m totally in love with. I also love the bookmark that can be re-positioned on the spiral binding so that I can flip to the current week easily. It’s inexpensive, and Amazon has them in lots of pretty colors, which is totally a bonus.
I appreciate that the inside is no frills, without a lot of extra pages and nonsense that I don’t need crowding my brain. There are tabs for each month with a full calendar view at the beginning of each month, as well as space for making notes.
There’s equal space for each day of the week, including the weekends. I’m going to use this planner only to organize my production schedule for creating my blog and video content. That’s it and that’s all.
As far as pens, I did some research by reading other planning blogs and settled on these beauties, the Tombow Twintone dual-tip markers. I ordered a set brights, but they also come in pastels. They have a thicker, more marker-y (yes, that’s a word, work with me here) end and a very fine tip end, which is the one I use for planning.
I designated one color for each of my blogs and YouTube channels and wrote a “color guide” in the note space at the beginning of my planner. Then I set to work. I started small, scheduling only the remainder of the week ahead of me. I used my colors so that I could easily identify which project each task is for, and I set goals for researching, writing, producing, editing, and posting content for the rest of the week.
You know what? It worked. Things that I would normally procrastinate on became harder to put off because I had put it in ink in my pretty little planner. My self guilt for not completing a task would not let me keep pushing things off. I made time to complete my goals, and man…
I got a crapload done that week.
So yeah, I’ve totally drank the planner Kool-aid and it’s changed my productivity for the better. I’m excited to kick some butt. Let’s do this.
Do you use a planner? Love ’em or hate ’em? Leave me a comment!