Why I Had to Ditch Pretty Planning

by Brooklynne Michelle

September 2017

It was Sunday evening and it was time to do my planning for the week, a vital task for my ADHD brain. I carefully cleared off my desk and pulled out my Happy Planner, got out my 3 boxes of stickers, and my rainbow pens. I was ready, but now I was bored; pretty planning was what kept me going, except when it wasn’t.  Lately it was becoming more of the latter and less helpful. Some weeks I couldn’t be bothered clearing my desk, then gathering the supplies. Sometimes I didn’t have a sticker for something so I didn’t put it down, and instead it went into my very fallible memory.  Worst was I didn’t have space for things I wanted to plan yet felt I had too much space at the same time.

It was clear to me, I needed to ditch pretty planning. The cost and pressure of stickers was getting overwhelming and sometimes I would want to wait till after the Instagram post to put down sensitive info, which meant it didn’t get written down. I was missing things that should have been in my planner. But the question was where do I go from here? I do I want and what do I need?

My natural place after pretty planning seemed to be Bullet Journaling, as it was creative yet required very few things. It was good for about a month, but again it required a lot of energy to do and more so it required it daily. I also felt that I was having a harder time doing forward planning, and the BuJo system just didn’t really work well for me. I was not defeated though onwards and upwards.

In a moment when I was trying to make Bullet Journaling a system I could use, I thought about doing it in my A5 Kikki K, which is how I discovered DIYFish inserts. It was these that I eventually switched to completely. In the beginning though I had only intended to use DIYFish inserts for monthly inserts and use standard grid paper for weekly and daily logging. Quickly that changed, I now have a system I use and enjoy with DIY version 3 monthly and weekly inserts along with Do2p inserts in a different section.

Fish’s inserts come with so much in them I found myself not needing that much more in terms of space for information. This also gave me back what I missed the most when in a bound planner: the flexibility to take things out. The weekly had plenty of space for me to put down addresses of spaces and with a simple colour coding system (the one thing that has never left my side) I can easily see at a glance what is happening when on the month.

Now my planning takes me on average about 5 to 10 minutes and I am not forgetting anything. I have a place for notes and daily tasks and can carry things over easily enough to the next day.

At the end of my journey do I have any tips or suggestions to those thinking of changing their system? You bet!

  • Don’t rush into it, think about what you need and what you want, more importantly what is missing.
  • What systems have you already used, and what is bothering you? What have you learned and liked from each of these systems?
  • Trials are your friend, you don’t need to invest in a whole new system right away. Try it out for a month or two.
  • Don’t be afraid to go back to what you had before, just because it didn’t work then doesn’t mean it won’t work now.
  • Ask for help and advice from the community, many individual sellers also have their own Facebook groups, these can be very helpful.
  • Remember the most important thing is that you have documented what you need and have the things you need organised, organised.

Brooklynne Michelle is an American living in the green wonderland that is New Zealand, with her dog and many friends. She is a Life and Creativity Coach who also works at a temporary housing non-profit for single low-income women in need. When she is not at work, playing with her dog, or at the gym, she can be found on YouTube ,Twitter, Instagram, or her website.


One thought on “Why I Had to Ditch Pretty Planning

  • November 13, 2017 at 6:29 PM

    Thank you for this lovely & fun read, Brooklynne!


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