Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What to do when you Hate your Planner

Hating your planner is a tough situation. When you hate your planner, you don't use it, which causes your schedule and tasks to fall down around your ears. If you are hating your planner, let's see what we can do about it.

Planner hatred is actually caused by one or both of two separate situations: hating the planner itself, and hating what you write in it.

Hating the planner itself is solvable, although many people have a hard search for their Perfect Planner. The first place to start is my Planner Quagmire post, and then my What do you want your planner to do for you post. These will help you determine what you need and want from your planner.  When you have figured out what you want your planner to do, you can look at the other posts in my How To Find Your Perfect Planner page to see what type of planner fits your needs.

Maybe you are stuck with a planner you hate. Maybe you are required to use a certain planner for work, or your budget doesn't allow you to get the planner you want right now. That's okay. Decorate your planner, get a new cover for it, or otherwise make it more "you." If it's lacking features you need, check out my Bound Planner work-arounds series to get ideas.

Hating what you write in your planner is a different situation. If you hate what's written in your planner, you won't want to open it and you definitely won't have good feelings about using it, which won't encourage you to use it on a regular basis (which you need to do).

There have been plenty of times when I've looked at my to-do list and thought, "I really don't want to do any of that stuff."  There's a certain amount of drudgery in all our lives. Bills and chores won't take care of themselves. But if you are dreading everything written in your planner, it might be time to re-evaluate your life situation.

You can write up some life goals and start thinking about how to go about getting where you want to be. But in the meantime, purposefully write fun things into your planner. Schedule in time to read a good book or go out with friends. Schedule a short trip or fun activity, and plan for it. Do a countdown if you like. Looking forward to activities increases our overall enjoyment of them.

You can also increase your enjoyment of your planner by recording fun things you did, adding your gratitude list, positive quotes or other things you like. Anything you would enjoy seeing day to day will help you like your planner better.

Don't let your planner become a reminder of things you Should do but don't want to. Then it will only be a source of annoyance and shame. Make your planner enjoyable to use (whether with excellent writing paper, fun decorations or a nice texture) and write fun things in it and events to look forward to.

Have you ever been in the situation where you hated your planner (itself, or/ and what you wrote in it)? What did you do to get rid of your Planner Hatred?


14 comments:

  1. While I've never dreaded using my actual planner, I did have a pretty long period of time where I was super stressed every time I opened it up. Then I realized - seeing my work appointments and tasks constantly when I wasn't at work was driving me mad! It's very hard to relax on a Saturday or Sunday when I can already see everything I need to accomplish on Monday once the work week starts back up again.

    The solution ended up being pretty simple - I just moved all work appointments and tasks to a different planner!

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  2. Which planner? Well, it hardly matters, I feel a certain revulsion for all of them, or rather for myself for not being able to settle into a size or format. I know this presages another year of chaos. The only answer is to grab a notebook and design my own. I can't afford another year like 2013!

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  3. I hate, hate, hate the hideous colours in the uncalendar planner.. but love the layout. I figured it wouldn't bother me that much, but over the months I realized that I couldn't stand them. I left the blue and green, then covered up the yellow and red with thin washi tape. It was time consuming but I love the results. Here's a link to a photo of what the layout looked like before: http://instagram.com/p/fNlkmFjWoT/

    and what it looks like now: http://instagram.com/p/i1i4Q6DWnM/

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    1. Stephanie, I love what you did! I would have taken the lazy route and just made copies, black, white, and greys would be mine. Yours is very pleasing to the eye.

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    2. Ooh those colors are so pretty and soothing!

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    3. I remember that planner - I just could not figure out how I would use it so I never bought it. It still looks uncomfortable to me. But glad you like it and I love the way you fixed it up.

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  4. Interesting! I used a Franklin planner for six months last year, and went from loving it because it worked so well to hating it because I found it to be ugly. The binder was fairly inoffensive but the pages... all that green, and not a good green either. The fonts were the height of cheesy. The daily quotes started to grate and eventually made me furious. The excessive margins seemed wasteful. And yet, the format worked so well...

    Thankfully, I was able to replicate most (though not all) the features I liked about this planner without its most glaring faults by switching to the more minimalistic daytimer design.

    Planners are not particularly cheap, and it seems like the prices of several planner brands went up quite a bit for 2014. But I think it is money well spent to buy one you like. I have six months of Franklin Covey pages going to waste but I feel peaceful because I was able to work something out that works for me.

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    1. Did you look at the other Franklin Covey designs. They have several that are not all that boring like the plan green one or the plain blue one (Monticello I think it is called).

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    2. I think that I want them to be boring! I just don't want them to be ugly. I like my planner pages to be extremely minimalistic. Laurie did a fantastic job of this in her Plannerisms planner

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    3. Thanks Josh! That means a lot to me coming from you!! :)

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  5. I have been stuck in "planner hell" for all of January... switching back and forth ad nauseum. Right now I am in a personal Filofax, and it does work (it really does), but I splurged on an Erin Condren Life Planner since I had a coupon. I want color and enough space to write (but I hate fiddling with washi tape etc) and I think I've come up with a workaround for keeping all my lists. I had an EC in 2012 and I just remember being so *happy* when I used it. So we'll see!

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    1. This year I again have multiple planners - as with Lays potato chips - I can't have just one! I bought a Franklin Covey Cover for my Womens Success Planner wire-bound which not only holds the quarter, but the Choosing Joy journal as well. When my Plannerism finally showed up -- there was room for that plus an extra pad of paper and the WSP address book as well! Lots of space in the extra wide. Space I don't really need as that makes it too heavy when I fill it up. I might as well be carrying the full year of the planner instead of just one quarter. I found out the the wire-bound cover comes in two sizes - regular and extra wide!

      But I was also forced to remember why I hate wire-bound products. The wire comes loose!

      So I have my WSP, Plannerism Planner, Planner Pad, Levenger Circa planner (in 2 sizes!) my digital planners (there are several that do not work!) as well as a small At-a-glance that takes up no room at all. It has my check book register, the monthly calendar, and an address book with a notepad on the back inside cover. I also have a larger version that includes the 2 page per week. No wonder I am always broke!


      I had better not buy another one.

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  6. I cannot write in any of them; it is all too overwhelming. Just the thought of it does me in. I have bought tons of them, online things, Strava and Gramin for my workouts, etc., and filled in nothing. I might add that I am a single mom of three, work as a marketing consultant for a large health system, and run trail ultramarathons for fun--so I'm not a couch potato loser! :0 I've just never, ever been able to journal/download/write in planners no matter how beautiful they are. I have managed it for a day or two or three--then I decide I'd rather just read to my child, or talk to my teenager, or water the flowers, and then it's 10:30 and I have to get up at 4:30 to run before work. I have written poetry, short stories, and well-received blog posts, but mostly when I was looking for work and had time on my hands. I wonder if others suffer from planner-a-phobia...

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    1. Some people just don't need a planner. It sounds like you're doing fine without one. Personally I have to use a planner or my life completely falls apart. But for some personality types, it's just an added, unnecessary step.

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