Planner Love, #plannerlove for #plannernerds

#plannerlove. A hashtag for planner love.

Believe it or not…There are tons of #planner hashtags and people like me, #plannernerds, notice.

It wouldn’t be the start of a new year without everybody, from Facebook to Instagram to Wal-Mart, talking about what kind of planner they are going to use. There are so many to choose from! You may know that I love books of all kinds. Planners are no different. It is really hard for me not to buy them all.

But wait. Am I the ONLY person who didn’t order a Quilter’s Planner? They are all over Instagram this year, and though I didn’t get one, I am so tempted. It looks beautiful! There are calendar pages, of course, pattern pages, project pages, and so much more. It is really impressive, is spiral-bound, and has a laminated cover. Yep, it’s a beauty, alright.

I’m seeing a lot of really fun projects pop up here and there, all have the Quilter’s Planner hashtag (#quiltersplanner). Those projects alone make me want one. But no.

I just can’t bring myself to buy one. It’s not that I don’t think it’s worth it. Actually, I do. The price, at $39.95 (with free shipping), is very reasonable. There are some sweet bonuses too. And it is so pretty to look at! I don’t have a photo to show you because I didn’t buy one, but hit the link above and you’ll see what I mean. Β It truly seems to be filled with tons of cool stuff. But no, sadly, I’ll have to pass.

I have tried them all, I swear. I did the Franklin way back in the day, spent some time with an Erin Condren, and even gave the Passion Planner a whirl. All of them are lovely in their way, and they all have very specific things that I love. But. They are not the problem…I am.

You see, I get so excited with a new book. I fill in all the important dates, make lists, even maybe decorate it a little here and there. I work with it for quite a while. In the beginning. I might even keep it up for a couple of months. And then…nothing. I miss a day or two and then feel terrible for not using it. I get sick of it, I resent it, and I stick it on the shelf, reverting to my time-tested (and no longer reliable) method, my own memory (and sometimes, my phone). You can imagine what sort of trouble this leads to.

Enter the Bullet Journal. I told you all about this last year when I first started reading about it. To quote Ryder Carroll, who is the mastermind behind it, it’s “The analog system for the digital age.” All I can tell you is this: It works for my brain. I keep it pretty simple and don’t spend too much time decorating it like some of those you might see on Instagram or Pinterest. To me that defeats the purpose of the thing. If I am spending all my time doodling in it, then I’m not doing the things I got it to remind me to do. Does that make sense? I’m not going to say I never doodle in it, but I do not spend hours drawing cute little animals or fish. Those who do make some really cool things, but that’s just not for me. Mine, in fact, gets pretty darned sloppy looking, but it works for me.

Planner
A page from last August shows a bit of what all goes into my daily pages: to-do’s, expenses, notes from books I’m reading or TED talks, all sorts of things!

What I love the most about my bullet journal, though, is that when I skip a day, or a week, or even (gasp) a month, I don’t feel guilty about not using that thing I spent good money for. I am not wasting all those pretty, pre-numbered pages. My bullet journal just sits there, waiting for me, until I am ready to come back. And when I do, I just turn to a fresh page and continue as if I’d never ignored it. I can keep absolutely everything thats in my brain in it. No guilt, no worry, no nothing, just a fresh page awaiting my marks. And so it goes. I buy a new one when I finish the old, not on any preassigned date, so as it turns out, I am still using a book I started last year and will just continue it until I hit the last page. That might bother some people, but not me.

In all fairness, the Quilter’s Planner website has a link to an article about how to use their book to bullet journal. It has possibilities. I would probably have to whiteout the preprinted dates, but it could work. For now, though, I have a shelf full of notebooks, journals, sketchbooks, junk journals, and more awaiting my scribbling. The photo above is only those that are either in use, or completely empty. Those will do me for a little while.

You may think I am deranged. Maybe I am. Maybe next year I’ll think about buying one. They look awfully fun. Did you buy a Quilter’s Planner? What kind of planner do you love most?

  • Wendy Tuma

    I did get a Quilter’s Planner, which is laughable because I am 1) terrible at keeping journals/planners, and 2) I really don’t have much to put in the planner. My life is pretty low key right now, so it’s kinda depressing to have all that blank space. I really would like to do a bullet journal (have gotten a few friends very into them), but I get so overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to make it work for me and I don’t want to mess up the pages. Haha — nothing perfectionist here!

    • Lori East

      The QP looks so cool, but…I know myself and my record with planners. I am not at all consistent.

      I understand the fear of messing up the bullet journal pages. When I first started, I used a half-worn-out old notebook I had, just to get the feel for it. It didn’t take long until I was hooked. And the beauty of it is, if you do make a mistake, you just keep going. If it really drives you crazy, you can glue the pages together. And as for the low-key life, you can put ANYthing in it. I keep a daily log as much to remind me when I last did something as anything. But I keep book notes, lists of books, ideas, all that stuff in there. I still keep a separate book for sermon notes, but as soon as I’ve finished the notebook they’re in, I will start putting them in my bullet journal.

      I just love having all the pieces randomly floating around in my brain in one place…except those darned shopping lists, which never make it in (or off the counter).

  • Teddy Pruett

    Right this moment, my ideal planner would be an empty one. M-T. Blank pages, no commitments, no stress. Nowhere I have to be, nothing I have to do, no one to answer to. Nothing to write down. Freedom from “have-to-do’s” and the ability to do whatever I darn well please. Please?

    • Lori East

      Wouldn’t THAT be something? I would love one of those. If I could only create it! But you are making all the right moves to get yourself there, Teddy. As the saying goes, “Just Do it.” Sounds so simple…sigh.

  • Chloe

    You know what? You hit the nail on the head… all these beautiful books to doodle in? How can they possibly make you more productive when your work becomes the book itself? Me, I stick with a pretty notebook with blank pages… I’m addicted to buying them and at some point I may find the perfect one which will encourage me to keep them all in one place on a shelf, but until then I scribble at random on random surfaces at random times. I do not need to buy a pretty package of guilt to plague me to write on specific days in specific spaces, however beautiful it looks! Like you I’ve tried and failed at diarising (no it’s not a real word, I know), it’s just not my thing: I’d rather be actually doing than planning to do the doing. πŸ™‚

    • Lori East

      Wow, Chloe, you said it so well.

      “I do not need to buy a pretty package of guilt to plague me to write on specific days in specific spaces, however beautiful it looks!”

      Spot on.

      We have to do what works for US.

  • Nann Hilyard

    I’ve been a Daytimers user for years though my calendar is more “appointments and to-do’s” than a record of what I’ve done. I changed from Daytimers filler paper to Uncalendar filler paper but I still order the two-page-per-month DT calendar.

    • Nann Hilyard

      I don’t use a planner for quilting, though.

      • Lori East

        I rarely do, mostly because I am afraid to write down all the projects! πŸ˜‰

    • Lori East

      Hi Nann,
      My husband is a Daytimers fan from waaaaay back. I can definitely see the appeal…especially with uncalendar paper. All those dates drive me crazy. πŸ™‚