Switching Planners

by Minerva Ravenwing

September 2017

I have always been a list person, as is my daughter and oldest granddaughter. If I write it down, I remember it better and it doesn’t nag at my mind robbing me of the quiet space I need for creating. No, it doesn’t stay quiet in my head. On the contrary, it thinks about everything and anything. I have found that the “creating” helps focus for the “ruminating and meditating” and they in turn help focus for creating.  I think most humans and practically all women are multifaceted. I do need a way to keep track of those ideas, like all of you.

A few months ago, I began [again] another planner. I had recently found the planner community on YouTube. I watched and I watched…like you did, I’m sure. I got confused, and then it mostly coalesced in my brain. I thought I needed to use that nice leather ring bound 5×8 planner I had bought years before because it sat unused and dusty in a corner. I knew already that it was too big to carry, but resolved to do so. I bought new inserts, tabs, dividers, made dividers, bought a laminator, washi tape, pretty papers, etc.  Probably just like you.

Even as I set it up, I knew it wasn’t right. But I persevered, because I’m stubborn that way. I learned again that it was too heavy to carry everywhere. I also learned that in spite of its large page size, the rings interfered with writing and best of all I learned that I was learning!  During my YouTube binges, my inner eye kept going to TN’s and bullet journals. I originally ignored this because I thought I just wanted to make another new thing…booklets, fauxdoris and all the trappings of it. I had been trying to edit myself, and found that I was ignoring my critical eye. See? Never too old to learn.

Before I began anew, I gathered up all of my previous attempts at planners. I found most of them were a notebook with lists, ideas, drawings etc. I had 11 notebooks of differing sizes and I knew were they all were because I still used them…one had recipe ideas, one had crochet info, one knitting, etc. Continuing in the spirit of learning about myself, and hoping it would lead to a mostly definitive planner, I sat down with one of the notebooks and played around with different set ups.

It didn’t take long to find that, while I like the idea of stickers and washi tape, in daily use, I just want to write it down and be able to read it later. I wanted a place to practice hand lettering. I want the freedom to change a layout without buying a new set. Financial considerations are high on my list as I live on less than $800 a month. I use page flags and tabs, paper and binder clips.  These are all in an effort to make it more practical for me. I want it pretty, but for me, pretty translates to hand lettering and colors. Also for me, I can make another fauxdori down the line. I love the process and am most comfortable with fabric anyway.  I just LOVE some of the leather TN’s I have seen and kudos to the makers, but they don’t work for me financially. I can also make them for gifts as the materials are really very low cost.

In a bit more than a month, I believe I have settled on a TN. I like that I have no rings to get in my way and that I can make my own booklets or buy them. I am still not sure about the size.  My first effort was personal size that was wider than 3.75. I made my own fauxdori that I just LOVE. I do carry it with me…from room to room and from place to place. No more forgotten grocery lists! That is really big for me. Because I now have it with me, I can record those ephemeral ideas and find them because the page is numbered!

So what advise do I have? Using the Konmari method…sort of… gather up your planners, sit down, go through them and decide what it is you like about it. Maybe it’s the size or the inserts or page set ups.  Maybe you like it because it’s bright pink or because it’s plain white. Then sit down with paper, ruler and pencil and see if you can come up with a layout you like, how many sections you want. Will you be carrying it with you or not? Whatever method works for you and your life is perfect..weather it is a beautifully leather bound planner or a stack of notebooks. There is nothing wrong with those notebooks. It’s the system most students use and that is not an accident.  Pick one or a couple and begin using them. Time will tell if it really works. There is no way around this because the way is through it.

Last tip is it’s okay if what you decide on changes. That means you are learning about yourself. In the grand scheme of life, that is very big.

Oh… does anyone need a black leather ring bound 5×8 ½ inch planner cover with pockets, and folders?

A very quick peek at who I am… Pagan 63 year old Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma. Retired alterations specialist…sorta.  Before I was a seamstress, I was a cook for years. Crafts and interests had to do with using my hands…knitting, crochet, sewing, jewelry making, beading… the list goes on. You can spy my handcrafting projects on Ravelry.

7 thoughts on “Switching Planners

  • September 10, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    This was a year where I should have switched planners midway through, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. (I do a DIY planner based on an XL Moleskine book) I have lumbered forward with my system and am now finally finding my way back into it again. I never quit using it completely but I would say how I used it dramatically changed for awhile.

    Now for 2018 I am thinking ahead….switch or stay, switch or stay? I have been continually smitten with dori type books.

  • September 11, 2017 at 4:51 PM

    Hi Carie!
    This was my first chance to view/read one of your digital magazines, and I wanted to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed it! I especially enjoyed the mid-year planner review, as well as the article by Jason…it’s nice to hear the male viewpoint for a change. Aside from that, I also wanted to thank you for putting all this together! I’m sure it was a massive amount of hard work…you,and the authors, should all be very proud of your accomplishment!

    • September 14, 2017 at 5:06 PM

      Thanks for the compliment Meline (that IS how you spell your first name right? 😉 )

  • September 11, 2017 at 5:09 PM

    Sorry, I misspelled my last name…it is Meaux!

  • September 12, 2017 at 11:53 AM

    Hey Minerva, love your surname – very earthy! Being a tight-arse (penny pincher) i’m also very impressed that you get by on less than USD1k a month.

    As they say necessity is the mother of invention and not having spare cash to waste is no bad thing when it comes to planners – amazing how much people will spend when they get “in the zone” with an idea.

    I think a lot of us – and i’ve got to hold my hand up here – watch too many youtubes and decide that we HAVE TO HAVE the same TN, Midori, FiloFax as one we’ve seen because its all signing all dancing, brings cake etc and then sadly realise its not suitable for us in our personal/ work life.

    At the end of the day your planner works for you not the other way around so only you can decide whats practical/ functional.

    Good article 🙂

    • September 13, 2017 at 11:34 AM

      Thank you! It’s one thing to spend lots on a system that works, but to do it with one that ends up stored away, well, no one can really afford that.

  • October 31, 2017 at 7:57 PM

    I would love that black leather ring planner. I’m in desperate need of one and I’m not on such a tight tight budget… I’m just looking for some planter piece not it would be amazing if I could take that off your hands 🙂
    -nadia Alawi

    Email: nadiaalawi143@gmail.com
    Please please feel free to email me!
    I look forward to hearing from you and thank you so much for this great article!


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