Are you into planners? Not the digital kind. I mean the paper-and-ink kind you can flip through and doodle in the margins and are such a joy to write in. I just love them. Always have. Every year I choose a new one, something spiffy with a cool cover, preferably lined, with plenty of room to, well, plan.
I'm in love with the tactile things of the writing process; planners and spiral notebooks, composition pads, pens with pretty-colored inks that flow smoothly, highlighters and Sharpies and sticky notes shaped like cats. This stuff is just FUN. I'm delighted when I receive office supplies for Christmas presents. I really need a whole separate desk just to hold them.
(You too? Perhaps we're twins separated at birth.)
So every year I unwrap a fresh planner and think THIS year! This year it'll be different! I'll get scads and scads of things done, because This is the One. The One that will keep me on track, stay organized, identify my strengths and weaknesses. And I'll get so much done!
And every year I start out strong. As the weeks wear on, though, my resolve falters and I start to lag behind. I forget to check a day, or something comes up and forces adjustments to my carefully-laid-out tasks of the week. Then I forget a couple of days in a row. Then I can't find my planner at all. Then when I do find it, I've fallen behind the schedule that only last month seemed so doable.
Like last year I used a gorgeous rose-gold-colored planner that organized the heck out of me, with space for monthly and quarterly goals, breakdowns, results, charts for analyses, etc., etc., etc. Nothing against all this, mind you. If that's your jam, I salute you.
But for me, it's too much. It really is. It's exhausting. I lose my place. I lose interest. I lose the desire to record and analyze every little thing. By April it's not fun anymore. It becomes work. I refer to it less and less till about mid-year when I abandon it entirely.
And in December I feel bad about myself, that I didn't accomplish everything I carefully outlined in my pretty planner in January.
And, let's be honest, these things don't come cheap. Even the Christian ones, which actually feel to me like the most expensive. So I bemoan paying that much for something that whispered sweet promises only to end up on the pile of half-used planners in the closet.
Every year I go through this.
But this year. 2022!
This year I'm giving new meaning to the repeated-to-ad-nauseum phrase "I got this!" I bought a very reasonably-priced planner from Guideposts. No bells and whistles, no stickers, no sections for "reflections", no calendars up to 2095. It has an inspirational Bible verse for each day, uplifting anecdotes, a few lines for prayer, and plenty of room to write each day. That's it. That's all I need. I'm not overwhelmed with everything I have to plan and boxes to fill in. I can breathe.
So this is my new system. A simple planner, and a Peanuts calendar on the wall to see the month at a glance (because I still need to be reminded what month it is, never mind the day). I do also have a list of my novel release goals for the year, scribbled on the back of an envelope and propped on the window sill. So far I'm still smiling.
What about you? Do you suffer from planner overload? I'm getting into this minimalist thing. Accepting any and all tips and tricks to that end!
p.s. Not an affiliate of Guideposts. Just giving a mention to what works for me!