Today, rather than post some links, I want to discuss something dear to all of us who love stationery: Planners. Those notebooks, loose-leaf or other types of notebooks designed to track, log and calendar our lives. The ones we were told in the 80’s and 90’s that all successful people had. Those things.
I first started carrying a planner in the late 90’s when I went back to college, was working a full time job and interim pastoring a small church. I found sites like DIY Planner and began messing around with things like the Hipster PDA. Through those I found out about Fountain Pens and the rest is history.
I was pretty active in using them through the early part of the 2000’s until Google Calendar became a thing (Yes, I actually went through a paperless phase in my life. It was a mistake. I won’t talk about it.) Even though over the past several years, I have made an effort to return to a low fidelity type of lifestyle, one thing has remained electronic – the calendar. Due to a busy lifestyle, my wife and I need to be able to share those with no fuss.
Because of this, I had decided a few years ago that I really no longer needed a “planner”. Sure, I journaled and bullet journaled but I didn’t mess with what we call planners. I drooled over a Hobonichi Techo but I sure didn’t NEED one (of course, when did I ever worry about NEEDING any stationery item). I picked up a Star Wars Moleskine planner to use as a journal, but that didn’t really work out either.
Then, over the past couple of weeks, it dawned on me – what I really need is a planner. No, not a calendar, which is what most of what we call planners really are. No, I need a planner – something that will allow me to plan out 2016 and potentially beyond. So, I printed off a 2016 monthly calendar and went to town. From there I filled in the blanks so I could know when I need to start a project.
All this is to say this – what I realized is that planning isn’t the same as journalling nor is it the same as calendaring. And this created a bit of an epiphany in my life. I realized my calendar was pretty solid. My tracking of events throughout the day was pretty good. But I always felt like I was catching up because I didn’t know when things were due because I never planned due dates and couldn’t adjust.
One of my goals in January is to develop this system a bit more. I probably will blog about it a bit during the process. My hope is to help others to learn the lessons I’m learning now: It’s not enough to know where you’ve been or where you want to go. If you don’t have a road map and deadlines, you’ll never get there.
So, go get a planner – something that helps you plan out your days, weeks, months and years. Get something that not only helps you capture your dreams and goals but helps you develop the road map to get there.