Why I Suck At Using Planners


I desperately want to be one of those people that use planners. I want to have a pretty layout and use pretty stickers and be all sorts of organized. Every year, I buy a brand new planner with the best of intentions. But, every year, I fail miserably. I use the planner for a few months then it ends up getting tossed in a drawer for the rest of the year. I’m going to try to look into the ‘why’ of my planner failure. Maybe you can help me overcome it so I will be plantastic this year.

First, I’m going to say that I don’t think the problem is the type of planner I buy. I have bought a few different types of planners and they all end up barely used. A couple of years ago, I purchased a classic Happy Planner (not that specific one, though) because I liked the layout and I prefer my planners to be dated. But it was way too big for me. So last year, I purchased a mini Happy Planner so I could fit it in my purse. If I had it with me all the time, I’d me more apt to use it, right? Nope. That also ended up in the drawer. This year I bought an Erin Condren planner that I customized. Maybe if it’s more ‘me,’ I’m more likely to use it.

So why do I think I give up on planners? I think the big reason is the limitation of a physical planner. My personal life, where I maintain the schedules of three people, is entirely kept on my phone’s calendar. I use the DigiCal app to color code all of our events. I can, with the flick of a wrist, tell you what we have planned for any particular day, complete with who planned it or what type of plan it is. (For example, all of my daughter’s dance classes & events are pink but her school concerts are yellow.) Unlike my phone calendar that I can use anytime and anywhere, I have to make time to use a physical planner. I have to find somewhere I can sit with my colored pens (I like to color code things) that isn’t too distracting. Considering I spend approximately three hours per night, three nights per week at the dance studio, it doesn’t leave me tons of undistracted time.

Another possible problem is that, every time I sit down with my planner, I feel like I need to plan at least a week, if not an entire month, ahead. And I just don’t have that many ideas. It was worse when I still filmed videos for YouTube. I’d need ideas for three videos per week plus blog posts. (I think I was trying to post twice a week back then?) I’m creative but I’m not THAT creative. I tend to do a little better when I’m spontaneous. Granted, sometimes that ends up with me sitting at my keyboard with writer’s block. I’ve just never been good at planning things out.

So how do I fix this? How do I become a planning goddess? Give me your tried and true tips and tricks to planning. It doesn’t have to be writing-related. Just how you plan…well…anything!