Thursday, July 30, 2015

So that new planner you thought would make your life perfect...didn't. Here's what to do next.

It's happened to all of us planner people at some point, myself especially. You thought that new planner was going to make your life absolutely awesome. Maybe you fell for the hype of the latest planner fad. Maybe you got sucked in by users' testimonials. Maybe you wanted it because it was Just So Pretty! Maybe you needed a change and this one looked like it would do the trick.

Whatever your reasons for trying a new planner, you were disappointed when you finally had it in your hands or had been using it for a little while. It didn't make your life as effortless, organized, or awesome as you expected it to. What now?

First of all, do a reality check. It's easy to get excited about a new planner, but it's less exciting when your planner is full of reminders for work, carpooling, giving your pet their flea prevention, and all the daily details of our routines. Yes a fun planner can make planning more fun, but the reality is it won't make our actual work more fun. If that's what you were expecting, give yourself a healthy dose of reality and move on.

Maybe you really thought the planner would work for you in your circumstances. You saw the how-tos on their website. You read customer testimonials. You joined the Facebook group. You stalked Pinterest and blog reviews. When the planner finally arrived, you were rarin' to go.

But then...deflation at the realization it was a Planner Fail. Been there done that, my friend. Like about a billion times. Here's what to do next:

My Find Your Perfect Planner page has links to lots of posts I've written on how to, uh, find your perfect planner. That's assuming your Perfect Planner is out there. Maybe it's not. Maybe you can create your Perfect Planner. Maybe not. Maybe you don't have the time or energy to create it yourself. Maybe you can't visualize what your perfect planner would look like. That's completely okay.

First of all, keep an open mind about what you think your planner should be. Don't jump into the latest fad just because everyone else seems to be loving it. Unless you have an unlimited planner budget (who does?) and all the time in the world to fart around with your planners (again, who does?), try to be more selective with your planner choices. Focus on formats and functionality first, and aesthetics second.

This is my favorite post for walking you through planner choices: Planner Quagmire. It asks you questions about what you really need and want from your planner. There are links to other posts to help you through the process to determine how complicated or simple you need your planner to be, what you want it to look like, etc.

So there's a start to help you find a planner that will actually work for you. And remember, resist the hype!

21 comments:

  1. So true, Laurie. I've done that several times in the last few years and felt exactly the way you described.

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    1. Thanks Patty. I know you know what that feels like!

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  2. Ooh, just did it a couple weeks ago. I love my personal size FF Saffiano, but between my wallet and the planner, and all the other stuff I carry, my purse weighed a ton. Bright idea... bought a pocket Saffiano to be my wallet and capture device. Ugh! Total fail. 1) Clear pouch means my money is visible to whomever. 2) The coins are too heavy for the plastic pouch. 3) Most frustrating, can't stand coins and paper bills together. In retrospect, I could have just bought another zip pouch and made a sleeve to hide my cash, but it gave me an excuse to buy a gorgeous little Finsbury. So not so bad.
    Hope you had a great vacation, or are still. That transition back has always been a slippery slope for me. The planner helps though.

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    1. Thanks Carla! We got back Monday and are still struggling through jet lag. I have to admit the post-vacation adjustment, multiple projects and impending start of the school year all have me in a bit of a planner quandary!

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  3. Laurie,
    This is the single post that should be BLASTED all around our entire planner community. A planner is NOT a personal assistant. With that being said, the links you posted actually help you get a grip on what comes next for planner fail (or planner disappointment.) 9 times out of 10, the planner isn't the problem.
    It's the expectations we put on the planner. That's the real problem!
    :)

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  4. Great post! I wonder if you could please write a post on how to resist actually buying a planner that you think probably won't work for you, but you can't stop thinking about because it's pretty or cool? Thanks!

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    1. Yesssss! That's what we need to focus on.

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    2. If I knew how to do that, I'd have saved hundreds of dollars over the years! I think all you can do is look past the appearance and focus on whether it would actually work for you: draw up example pages and use those for awhile before you purchase.

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    3. Or you could just have some ice cream and try to forget about it.

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  5. Laurie, we need an updated post of what your currently using :-)

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    1. Hi Cassandra, the short answer is: after lots and LOTS of switching around, I have hand-drawn an 18 month version of my Plannerisms planner into a notebook. It took a lot longer to do than I expected, but apparently I can't function with any other format and I wanted an 18 month planner this year so that's what I did.

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    2. I've been hand drawing months, weeks and trackers into a moleskine for long enough that I go cross eyed just thinking about it. I cannot imagine how you lined in an 18 month planner. You deserve an award.

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    3. Thanks Christine. I had been hand-drawing weekly pages in my Bullet Journal as I went, so I was used to doing that, but I decided to do it all at once into one notebook for the whole 18 months. It took me an entire day to draw all the weekly and monthly pages and fill in the dates and days of the week, plus more time to fill in my info and scheduled events, holidays and birthdays, etc. It took such a long time, I don't plan to do that again. However, if I don't find a planner that works as well for me next year, I might have to. I guess one day of my life is worth having the perfect planner for the next 364 days, right? Also how much time have I wasted searching for and trying planners that turned out to be wrong for me?

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  6. So your hand drawn Plannerisms for forward planning and are you still using another notebook for dailies?

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    1. Yes that's exactly right. I use my notebook for dailies, notes, lists etc.

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  7. I designed my combined month diary and week on two pages layout for 2015. I finished it earlier this year and continued to make some changes. It was easy to edit because I used a pencil. It is not so easy to switch to a different insert since I drew every page. Also I use a Franklin pocket binder that is not as wide as some of the other Franklin pocket ones. The pocket binders of other brands do not have the same spacing between holes and the pages are smaller. These factors deter me from purchasing another product.

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  9. Great post Laurie! I have decided to downsize to a pocket (not using it as a wallet) because I want the portability factor. I have decided to accept whatever inconveniences it has, because every size has inconveniences. So that is my peace, accepting inconvenience!

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