Has this ever happened to you:
You get so bogged down in planner frustration that you want to give up on planners altogether. Maybe you've had an epic Planner Fail or two. Maybe you've even tried calling the dog, to no avail. The whole aggravating experience has put you off planners, and now you're struggling through your days, plannerless.
That, my friends, is a Planner Quagmire. And let me tell you, it blows.
So how do you haul yourself out of a Planner Quagmire?
The key is to figure out what you want and need from your planner. Do you need mainly to schedule appointments and events? Or do you need to write your lists alongside your schedule? Do you want to record things in your planner too, or just plan?
Once you've decided your planner's main purpose, you can think about what the planner itself needs to be. It helps me to make lists.
Which format do you need? What size do you need? What else do you need from it? Fountain pen friendly paper? A ring binder system? Write it down.
Then, go a little deeper. What would you LIKE your planner to be? Pretty? Professional-looking? Cool? Cute? Fun? Serious? List the characteristics of your ideal planner.
Then, list features you would like it to have. International pages and maps? Goal-setting pages? Lots of pages for notes? Or do you want a streamlined planner with none of these?
Then ask yourself some hard questions. Are you in a Planner Quagmire because what you REALLY want is too expensive or otherwise out of your reach, and nothing else will do it for you?
Or do you need a professional planner for work, but what you REALLY want is something cute and fun or otherwise more "you?"
When you have figured out what you actually need and want from your planner, then you are ready to search for it.
Look through the reviews here on Plannerisms for ideas. Google. Go to the bookstore if you are lucky enough to live near one that stocks planners.
You might find you need to make your own planner. Draw it up in a notebook (I recommend a Leuchtturm dots notebook, that's what I use for making my own planners). Visit DIYPlanner.com for ideas. Check out Steve and Ray's plethora of printable planners on Philofaxy.
And if you still can't find what you're looking for, email me! I don't know all the planners out there, but I know a lot of them, and I'm bound to have suggestions for you.
Whatever you do, don't despair! A Planner Quagmire is not insurmountable. With some thought and maybe a little planner research, you'll find the perfect planner for you. Or if you don't, you can make it yourself. :)
Have you pulled yourself out of a Planner Quagmire? What got you out of it?