by Cori Large
Carie Harling said it best: if you have a system in place that works, it doesn’t matter what size or style of planner you choose to use, that system should still work. To paraphrase Karine Tovmassian’s remark on Planner Peace: it’s that is working for you at that moment. Depending on what Season of Life you’re in, your planning system may change over time. But that’s okay, because planning’s personal, people!
The planning system you had when you were in college, working in a high-stress corporate job, had new baby, etc. may not be appropriate for whatever is going on in your life at this time. If anyone’s checked out my blog and YouTube channel over the last couple of years, you would have followed my journey to find a planner that works for me (for now).
My Monster Flex (aka Franken Flex) is exactly what I need at this moment. My traveler’s notebooks were great when I was traveling and carrying a million themed booklets around with me. The ringed binders (of various sizes and formats) served me very well during their usage. I still adore my DayTimer portal/personal size Malibu in Rose Gold and caress it every so often (while my husband laughs at me).
What I’m getting at is, it’s okay if you need to change things, whether by necessity or you just want to. Below are five things I’d like you to keep in mind for any future planner adventures you go on.
5 Things to Remember about Planning or Your Planner
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Things
Life happens! Sometimes what’s worked for you for the previous [appropriate time frame] no longer works. Oh well! Change it up! Try a new insert layout, insert size, or system if you need to. There’s no shame in that. Don’t feel bad if you attempted a new planning style/system for #OneBookJuly, which didn’t work, and now you have a setup you’ll never use again. As long as you feel learned something valuable for your time, who cares?
2. Don’t Have Stuff in Your Planner Just to Have It There
I’m guilty of this myself! I used to carry misc. lists and notes around in my planner that I didn’t need to carry with me. Having a reference file at home can lighten your load immensely. If you’re afraid you’ll forget what’s in that file, keep a single (1!) piece of paper in your planner with a list of what’s in that reference file.
3. Don’t Have Stuff in Your Planner Because Everyone Else Does
Also guilty of this! I tried the whole tracker thing. Whether it was self-care tracker, exercise tracker, or daily task tracker, I couldn’t stick with them. I also don’t have a financial section in my planner anymore. All the money stuff is digital now, and having to keep track of a shared account is more difficult on paper. Just because we see what everyone on YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest doesn’t mean we need to have in our respective planners what they have in their planners.
4. Bare Minimum Contents is A-Okay!
As much as I love my setup, there are days when I really feel like emptying my Monster Flex of everything except the calendar pages, my Collections/Categorized To Do’s, and note paper. There are days when all I want to carry around is a small notebook! So if you don’t want to carry around ALL THE THINGS and just have a calendar and some note paper, that’s okay! Sometimes less is more. Having the bare minimum also allows you to carry a smaller planner, if you’re not the type of person to carry around a large bag.
5. You Do You!
What works for you, may not work for someone else. And what works for someone else may not work for you. We all feed off each other for inspiration, but we shouldn’t strive to be someone else. We need to be us. I need to be me. You need to be you. When it comes to your planner, planning system, and your life, you need to do you because no one else can. So if you function best with the basics or need stickers, washi, and no white space, you do you! And that’s perfectly fine.
For those who are overwhelmed with everything planners and planning on the internet, take a breath and remember: Planning is Personal, and there’s no wrong way to do it.
Cori Large is a blogger, YouTuber, writer, knitter, and librarian. Writing is her passion, she hopes to one day publish a book, and thus achieve a childhood dream. When not writing blog posts, filming YouTube videos, writing fiction, or knitting, she is taming research dragons as a librarian. She can be reached at her blog, YouTube Channel, Knitting Podcast, and Facebook Page.