Oh, Planner Peace, Where Were You All This Time?

Oh, Planner Peace, Where Were You All This Time?

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

About a month ago I’d been using my Happy Planner and jotting down my appointments and to-dos for the week. After about twenty minutes I tossed my planner aside in annoyance and frustration.

This wasn’t working.

The Quest for Planner Peace

I’ve tried a lot of planners. The original bullet journal. An ARC from Staples. A Happy Planner. Back to BuJo. A Traveler’s Notebook. Then back to Happy Planner (where I most recently was.)

I’ve also purchased a lot of planner stuff over the last couple of years-washi tape, stickers, inserts, more stickers, markers, pens, more markers.

I’ve watched youtube videos, trying to find a style, a plan that worked for me. I went overboard and here I sat, staring at my HP with hate-filled eyes.

Yep. I was freaking out because of my planner. I knew I needed to change things, again, and this time, for once and for all.

Changing It Up

I needed to re-think, re-organize and re-strategize. After a lot of thought and reflection I decided to go simple.

I went back to the basics of Bullet Journaling, the concept that worked best, for me. It’s a Michael’s dotted grid journal. They’re five dollars (at the time I write this. Price may vary by day, location, etc). My spreads are simple: an index, a future log, the basic monthly spread with goals and tasks listed for that month, and dailies. No weekly spreads or habit trackers. I do track things like the days I write, read, do marketing, what manuscripts are in what stages, and jot down notes when I need to. But other than that, it’s pretty simple and straight forward.

Easy peasy. Finally!

So How’s the New (but Old) System Working?

After about a month in my new ‘old’ and simple style BuJo, it’s working fabulously! I am so much less stressed. I can still use stickers or markers, if I want. But I can also just write out my to-dos and be done with it. I don’t feel the pressure to draw, or make everything look picture perfect. I can make mistakes, cross things out, scrunch things together, or leave things blank and I don’t feel bad about it.

It’s a planner/journal. It’s not my life. It’s not the end of the world if I miss a day. Life will go on.

Again, this is what I have to tell myself so I don’t get wrapped up in the planning, instead of the more important part of doing.

Simple. No frills. Just the to-dos and the stuff I’m working on.

Let’s hope this keeps working. I can already see a difference in the time I spend planning (not a lot), and the time I spend writing/marketing/getting things done (a lot more). This, in and of itself, is a huge weight off my shoulders. And hey, it also means I have two books almost ready to unleash on the world, and two more in the halfway there stages. So, something must be working!

I’ll keep you updated if this changes, but right now I’m content. What about you? Have you struggled with finding the right planner “fit”? What system do you use to make yourself the most productive? Let me know your planning strategies/products in the comments, below!

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