Friday, September 9, 2016

...a planner post...

“A goal without a plan
is just a wish.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Everyday Goth’s post How I Decorate My (New) Filofax Personal Planner started me reminiscing about my own history with planners.

I’ve been planner-obsessed most of my life. There is just something about checking off boxes that brings my heart joy. Well, it’s at least a way to keep me organized. I won’t fall apart without a planner. Once I even had a planner stolen because it probably looked a bit too much like a wallet. I know they were disappointed when they saw a list of meetings and dollars. I simply went out and bought another planner and started fresh. No big deal really.

In undergrad, I discovered Franklin Covey planners and although I could hardly afford them back then, I saved my money and bought one. Once I had a beautiful planner that was a book décor tapestry. The binder portion fell out of the leather after it had been so loved. It’s one of my favorite memories because my father picked up the pieces, and drilled nail bits through the leather and the metal to reconnect it. I still have it in my office but now it’s a visual reminder of my yesteryears, too loved to use on a daily basis.
As a commuter, I’ve gotten away from the bulky binders. Now, thin is in because it usually means lighter in weight. Typically, I’m not a fan of wire binding planners because I find that I always get them caught on something but when I saw my current planner, I was taken with its design. To me it looks like a beautiful gothic garden that was in need of a few skulls and bats here and there. I've added those throughout with stickers. In my May post, I briefly mentioned my new planner by Day Designer called "Navy Floral." I assure you it looks black up against all of my blacks and my blues.

One of the aspects of it that I liked most was the vertical design. A must for me is the inclusion of both weekly and monthly calendars, which allows for detailed scheduling and room to write. Aside from the month at a glance, there are monthly to-do lists. I like that this helps keep me organized with big picture plans.
I took several pictures of the stickers that I have been using. I now realized that some of the pages cannot be shown because I have too much detail about my life (not that I’m uber private but I do have students’ first and last names listed so this becomes a FERPA legal issue for me). I’ve included a month at a glance and a few other pictures of parts of my planner pages.  

I don’t decorate my planner as much as I used to. I have a great to-do sticker collection that I also bought at Franklin Covey nearly a decade ago. When they were discontinuing the line, I bought backups which I still use today. Today, when I see fun stickers or even post-it notes that speak to me, I add them in to my design. 

I also have a system of circling out the days because those Xs always seemed so negative to me.  In my daily pages, I make a to-do list but am willing to note not only that something is accomplished with a check but if I start a task and am in progress. I use a dot to signal this. If I don't touch a task, I include an arrow and carry it over to a later date.

Just a little thank you to Mary Rose at The Everyday Goth for having me reflect on such things.


  1. I have never been a list person but since I am trying new things since the old ways were not working, this might be a good first step.

    1. My father has some serious undiagnosed OCD tendencies e.g. starting to wash laundry in the middle of dinner, etc. As far back into my childhood as I can recall he's had a small black book that contains a calendar. He keeps it in his pocket protector along with some pens and a screw driver (God, I love that man!). He uses tiny little symbols to signify events, the temperature and the weather, and other secrets of his universe. Tracking our lives always seemed liked the coolest thing. He was a huge list maker. When I was older enough, it just seemed oddly natural ;p

  2. I'm a fan of weekly "school diary" books you get every year. They have large enough spaces, the monthly ones are too small for my writing!

    1. Oh I need both. I need an overview of the entire month and weekly pages to jot down notes and make lists.

  3. Love the memory of your dad fixing the book!

    1. Thanks. It's a really good memory of complete devastation (a ruined favorite thing) and the magic of my father mending something else for me.