It’s been awhile since I wrote about planners…

A few years ago I bought what is known as an academic planner- It went from August of one year to July at the next: obviously it left me mid year without a planner. So I did what every organizing nut does: I went on the hunt for the perfect planner. And I found it.

Last year I introduced you to my Plum Paper customizable planner. It was perfect. I got to add note pages where I actually needed them. It gave me weekly grids that made it easy for me to right out what needed to be done, what was due, what everyone’s schedule were. It gave me a central location to keep all my lists. It was a little expensive but worth it because it really kept me somewhat organized.

Recently I realized that I was in need of a new planner.  I went to the Plum page. I began designing my planner for the upcoming year. And then I realized something: without my daughter at home, my planner needs have totally changed. I no longer need the Mercedes of planners.

Cue silent weeping.

My daughter is leaving and my planner needs are changing.

Oh the inhumanity.

Could life be any worse?

Ok- after I calmed down, I started to look for a new planner. The first issue I faced was of my own making. When I created my Plum planner, I somehow had it end in May. Why did I do this? I don’t know- I’m an idiot. I didn’t plan properly. OMG- could it get any worse? Now I failed at planning?

Cue banging head against wall.

When I calmed down, I wrote a list. (really- what did you think I would do first?) I need something that would enable me to write blog ideas and novel notes. I need to be able to track future to do’s. I still need a weekly view, but I realized I no longer needed the grid system that I have used in the past- my lifestyle is about to change.


Ok. Back on track. Weekly, but I can switch to a day block.

Whew. That was a tough thought process.

I still need to look at the month as a whole. I’m not an animal. I need to long range plan.

Good. Now I’m on track. I need a weekly look with blocks, and I need a monthly view.

I need a notes page per month. I have monthly “fun” bucket lists.

This is where I sensed a fail. Without creating an expensive planner, there was no way I was going to find a planner with monthly note pages. Not at mid year any way.

I then remembered that I needed to find a planner that starts in June.


Huge Fail.

While there are undated planners, I know from experience that these don’t work for me. I don’t like writing in the days, creating the month. I like it done for me. (yes- I’m a Princess)

When you’re about to go off the deep end, you have no option but to regroup. Which I did. I went on Amazon and found a reasonably efficient planner that started this past January and ends in December, when all planners should end. Calendar year. It had the weekly and monthly views that I desired, and I figured I’d wing it with a notes page. And the planner was about 75% off because you know, half of it is useless.

In October, expect a week of blogs regarding my search for the new perfect planner. As always, we need to constantly adapt, because life is always in flux. I know. We don’t always like change. We would often prefer things never change. But that’s not realistic. Change is inevitable. It’s all in how we handle the change. And, it’s all about the plan…



49 thoughts on “A New Plan (ner)

    1. My problem is I’m a fill in the blanks person. I like it laid out. I’m going to overthink this for a few months and figure it out. I do have a separate notebook to keep track of my lists and I’m going to see how that works. It’s going to be a few months of trial and error to see what I’m going to need

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The thing is I could do plum paper again which was great, but it’s expensive. I’m trying to be cheap, which probably won’t work out….😆

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I feel your pain! Mostly I’ve purchased what was there at Wal-Mart, taken it home, gotten frustrated by design flaws like the ones you mentioned, felt clueless as to how to ever solve the flaws, and gone back to my phone calendar only. :/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I keep a phone calendar for appointments, but I like to be able to long range plan and see it. When I’m structuring out my time it helps to have it in pen and paper and not having to type it in!.,!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes external forces bring about subtle changes in our lives. Not talking anything spiritual here, just the power behind life changes around us. You remind me so much of myself at different points in my life, until all the little things converged, I made some major decisions, kids became adults…
    What I’m trying to say is that I’m finding it easier and easier to let go of all the “have to have and do things” that took up so much time. I can be an organized maniac. I can be a control freak, but slowly I’m coming to realize that those needs are gone. Life happens, I deal with it and the world (my world) is fine. My calendar is gone. If I have an appt. my phone reminds me. For someone who always had to be doing something, for someone who needed structure, I’ve found a new rhythm beginning. It’s incredibly nice… 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The thing is, I wasn’t always a planner. My mother was not a planner, so I grew up in the house that didn’t have Halloween candy to give out, and I went to school without breakfast because there was never cereal or toast or anything like that. And when I went to college I realized I had absolutely no idea how to manage my time. So I learned. And I know I like being prepared. Life throws crap at you no matter what, so I need to have certain things in order to get by. I’ve seen the other side and I. D.o.n.t ever want to go back there

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand, as that is an extreme way to face each day and it makes perfect sense that you would want to avoid that in your life. I personally was surprised at my growing ability to let go little by little. Maybe, down the road a bit when daughter is really well on her own after college, when you have accomplished your book and other goals, some of that letting go can happen. I think you deserve it, given the probable fear and anxiety early life has forced on you {{ Hugs }}

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Over the years I’ve created my own planner system based on the monthly layouts of a Franklin Planner [remember them?] and a spiral notebook. Somehow it all makes sense to me and I don’t seem to miss appointments and events, so I’m sticking with it. Although last January I watched a video then tried putting together a Bullet Journal using scrap paper, not investing in their special products– and ended up saying WTH! So complicated and involved. Not how I prefer to do things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I plan out things like posts, and what I’m working on in my novel, and things I want to get done. I like to look at what my month looks like. I used to to use Filofax, and that was for awhile. Then I had a palm pilot, which I enjoyed but when they went out of business I never found another online tool that was helpful. I switched back to paper after that

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love planners! Because I work in education, Target sells really awesome ones that go from July – June. You can get them as minimal or detailed as you like. But what you are really writing is about the change coming once your daughter leaves. Been there. That’s nothing you can plan except for self care and finding other things to plan for until she’s home on breaks. Best of luck!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. As a mom with a few years of “planners” behind me, it will be okay, just different. Which for me has been a joy because my children as adults are awesome. Best of luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Have you considered a software that lets you do all those things? It was just something I thought about when reading this and something I’d consider for BG as she is a massive planner person. She likes to fully customize hers and likes to do her own thing, but I think she prefers being able to actually write something down rather than enter things on a computer or device (which is kind of funny considering her generation).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I used a palm pilot for awhile but then I went back to paper after they went out of business. I’m really happy with paper now. My daughter has a page on her computer and she writes little boxes and it really works for her but I hate typing things in

      Liked by 1 person

  6. On your recommendation last year I got a Plum Planner and love it, but I really wanted daily pages not weekly. Plum planner heard me (and perhaps some other people) and came up with daily pages with sections that you can custom label. I did and ordered one for next year so I’m set. Yes, a little pricey but they all really are and PP was having a 20% off Mother’s Day sale. Planners are SUCH personal things!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I love plum, but I don’t know if I need something that big again. I’m going to see how the next few months shake out and start the calendar year fresh

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can relate, sort of. I have no children, but used to have a fondness for organization. Now that I’m retired, I barely recognize myself. I used to track my spending to the literal penny. Now I check the bank balance once a week, at most. I made spreadsheets that tracked the blooming period of each plant in my very large garden. Now, after a dozen or more moves, no gardens. No tracker. And that’s OK.

    But if I were to purchase a planner, I’d prefer one “off the rack.” I don’t have whatever is required to design one of my own.

    I think Mom2times, though, nailed it. The subtext in your story is the feelings you are processing as your daughter leaves home. Courage, my dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I understand that people plan deeply, in the way that you do. I’m fascinated, in a way, because I have a calendar that has a large page per month, with enough space to jot in appointment times and birthdays. And this is all I do. I don’t plan much. I know you’ll be horrified. (I’m smiling to myself here.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am surprised you worried so much about money when it comes to something you use/look at everyday.
    You should read Jan Struther’s story in ‘Mrs.Miniver’, “The New Engagement Book”. It suits this situation perfectly.
    Oddly enough I just ordered a new planner yesterday as I do the academic year too. I hate not holding and seeing it in person but I couldn’t wait any longer, so much going on in July! I finally printed out a July calendar just to stick in the back of my current planner for now. (Why do they wait so long to put the academic planners out? They act like we don’t need them until Sept, like we don’t use them over the summer. Plus my son goes back to school in Aug!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know! Planners need to be out at least three months because you’re probably thinking about things 3 months the money thing…it all goes back to a blog I wrote recently about my being an underbuyer. I hem and haw about the cost of things even if it’s a necessity. It’s a bad habit. My guess is when January rolls around I will have bought the plum planner again, but I’m going to see how my new life shakes out


  10. It was odd to me that now that I am retired I need a planner. When I was working I was on auto-pilot. I did certain things on certain days etc., so now I have a planner, and I have to plan to use the planner as this is kind of important. I will admit to some days not really paying attention, but just the act of writing things down helps me to remember. I will review my planning needs in December so I can get a better handle on it. Being a newbie to it made it a crap shoot.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve been putting some thought into a new planner myself lately. I do have my EC planner that I’m using right now– and have been for a long time. But I don’t know if that’s what I am going to be doing in 2020 or not. I like having all the space for planning things– but I rarely use it all!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. At one time, I used several calendars. A pocket one, a wall calendar, a giant white board one, and the one on my phone. I would sit down once a week to consolidate calendars, plan meals for the week, and check my budget. I’ve gotten lazy and just use the phone calendar now. Don’t do any budgeting or meal planning either. I think I need to start up again. I eagerly look forward to your planner planning blogs. Maybe I’ll find one that strikes my fancy in the meantime.

    Liked by 1 person

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