Seven years ago I was struggling to use my Filofax as my everything-in-one planner and reference book. I was desperate for ideas on how to make it work.
Nobody I knew even used a planner, so I couldn't ask my friends. I searched the internet desperately for information and inspiration. This was back before Steve joined Philofaxy so posts there were few and far between (which didn't keep me from checking every day in hopes of new content that would bring me enlightenment). Quo Vadis Blog was one of the very few planner blogs I knew of, and I read it regularly. But that still didn't give me what I was searching for.
Not long after, Steve and I both were invited by Nan to join Philofaxy as regular contributing authors. Soon after that I started this blog as a further planner outlet. There were a few other planner blogs floating around the internet, some came and went.
Fast forward to now, when the internet seems to be flooded with Filofax blogs, videos, Facebook groups, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Everywhere you look you can find content showing how people set up their Filofaxes, how to print your own planner pages, decorating, use ideas, etc etc. If you are looking for planner advice now, it's easy to become overwhelmed.
I'm seeing this more and more these days: people go on buying sprees and shell out massive amounts of money hoping to find their Perfect Planner, only to have buyer's remorse and turn around and sell their new, unused binders shortly after.
Or people get overwhelmed with printing their own pages, ending up with reams of unused pages and having spent loads of money on printer ink.
Or people get sidetracked with decorating their pages and end up frustrated with their planner not actually working for them, despite how beautiful it is.
Or people go into a downward spiral of switching between Filofax/ Moleskine/ Midori/ Hobonichi/ whatever other brands of planners they try and fail to click with.
The real problem begins when people try to figure out what might work for them and they spend hours watching videos and reading blogs and get overwhelmed by all the possibilities. This causes people to spend way too much time and money (and frustration) on things that might be great for other people but don't work for them.
A better approach is to figure out what you actually need your planner to do for you. Don't watch any more videos. Don't read any more testimonials on how wonderful Planner X is for someone else.
Once you think you understand your own needs, focus your search on what would fit those needs. This will limit your search and help prevent overwhelm.
I've written several posts on how to find the right planner for you. First you must remember there's no Perfect Planner. You need to find something that works and that you generally enjoy. If you need help figuring out what you need your planner to do for you, take a look at my post on this topic. This will help you focus your search. If you need more help, take a look at the other posts on my Find Your Perfect Planner page.
Remember, what works for other people might not work for you. And what worked for you in the past might not work in your situation now.
Step away from the You Tube videos and the Facebook planner groups. Take some time to decide what you really need. Experiment a bit with different types of planners. Hand-draw your own planner pages in a notebook or on pages that can go in your binder to try a format before you spend the money on it, or create your own pages.
Have you become overwhelmed by the flood of planner videos, posts and groups on the internet? What has helped you step away and decide for yourself what you actually need (and don't)?