Firstly, let me just tell you I love you. There are few things more magical in this world than a new planner to start a new year. As I hold you in my hands, flipping through your pristine pages, I have visions of how you will look…
To-Do lists written neatly, color coded and meticulously annotated with what was done, what was skipped and what is rescheduled.
Jaunty asides (“Lunch vid call with Bronxie, YAY!”) and footnotes (“MAKE APPT! TUES OR WEDS BEST”) scribbled in the margins.
Maybe even a little note at the end of the day of something I’m grateful for, or a snippet of new writing, or something that made me happy so I can close out my day with a smile.
Beloved planner, you are the best of my best intentions.
Which is why I am so so sorry for treating you so poorly.
My go-to planner in recent years has been the undated Passion Planner, which is so much more than a planner. It’s a planner, a goal tracker, daily/weekly focus spaces, a gratitude tracker, a monthly wrap-up and progress check-ins – it is freaking PERFECT.
When I get my new planner, I lovingly set up my year, writing in all the dates in the weekly and monthly layouts. I go through the “how to” section in front and set up my goal breakdowns.
I’ll diligently set up my days a week at time, documenting everything in neat little hourly slots, with extensive to-do lists for my non working hours. I’ll prioritize and highlight and fill in all the little boxes and I’ll do the monthly wrap up/recaps.
And then I’ll start to see that my extensive to-do lists are mostly not being done, and my writing isn’t as neat as I want it, and somewhere along the line I fucked up the color coding or my halfassed Bullet Journal key, and goddammit, it’s just not PERFECT LIKE I WANTED IT TO BE!
Then I begin the neglect. I skip a month in review section, maybe because I don’t have time to do it right at the end or on the first of the month, or maybe because I’ve slipped so much through the month that I feel ashamed or like I have nothing to add.
Then I forget to update a day.
Which turns into a few days.
A month, until the guilt nudges me to pick it up and throw myself into planning, and begin the cycle again, until you slide into forgotten-ness and I’m flailing about to remember appointments and birthdays and all crap I need to do tomorrow.
My beloved planner, I keep losing time. We need a new strategy.
A month ago I started using my Moleskine Planner. It’s big. Its layout is minimalist. It’s undated. It’s the first non-Passion Planner I’ve used in 3 years.
I did a little bit of listing in the planning pages in the front, like my Big Goals, and titles for potential blog posts or stories I want to write in the planning pages at the back, but mostly? You’re empty.
I wanted so badly to write all the dates in and see just how long you and I are going to be able to work together, but I restrained myself. For now, we are going a day at a time.
In the morning, I add the day’s date. In the top section, I write “Grateful for:” and add notes throughout the day. The skinny column down the outside edge of the page is for writing notes/intentions for the day and the wide column hugging the inner edge along the binding is the To-Do section.
And guess what? I’ve skipped days. Hell, over Thanksgiving weekend I put you into my backpack on Wednesday night and didn’t look at you until Monday morning, and I didn’t feel a lick of guilt because I knew the page facing me on Monday wouldn’t have the angry glare of a missed date. It would be the pristine blank slate of a new day.
So I think this is how we are going to run things for a bit, my beloved planner. I have a set of 4 of the new daily layout Passion Planners coming thanks to Kickstarter (even though I didn’t get the early bird pricing which I’m still peevish about) and I am already in love with it. I don’t know if I’ll one on January 1 or if I’ll continue the Moleskine til it’s filled.
Thank you for continuing to be a learning tool, thank you for helping me keep a record of my days (even though there might be holes here and there), and thank you for helping me be the best Danni possible.
Maybe in the new year we can finally start tackling my whole “overplanning” thing.
Either way, I’m excited to close out 2019 with you, beloved planner, and I cannot wait to start January 1 with a fresh, clean new page to think on.
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