Planners & To Do Lists 

A few weeks back I sat down on my typical Sunday to create my weekly planner spread for the week and I found myself frustrated with the functionality of the spread. Since diving into the planner community and purchasing planner kits, I have struggled to balance the practical and the pretty (thus the reason for this blog). Sitting there that Sunday, putting down full boxes, checklists, and headers I had that moment of why am I spending all this money on kits to put down in a planner and then have no space to write? Don’t get me wrong I do love the pretty full kits but I keep struggling with how to fit my daily plans in them without creating a mess and being overwhelmed. So my answer for that week…create two spreads. Since I have the happy planner and I have purchased the extension kit previously, it was easy to add in a second weekly spread. In my head I thought, “this will be the perfect balance! I will have my pretty weekly spread and then my practical spacious spread for writing my daily lists of to dos.”  When the week was over I was really happy with the results but still the cramped space columns of the Happy Planner didn’t leave me enough space some days and other days there was too much space. The following week I went back to one spread but this time leaving more space by just using washi tape. 

So this past week as I was creating my current weekly spread I started thinking about why I seem to struggle with feeling like my planner isn’t making me the most productive and I started listing the reasons:

1. I want it to look pretty so I put down stickers but then they end up taking up a lot of space 

2. Because I now share Instagram spreads of my planner (which I love doing) I don’t feel like I can write sloppy or write too much details such as names and phone numbers

3. I work as a manager and although I love the stickers, opening my planner in a business meeting somehow makes me feel like I am twelve. 

So I started to think how I could fix these and make my planner more productive. I know when it comes to the sticker kits and using them I have two choices, continue to use the kits whether it be no white space or white space and find a way to make it more productive or stop using them all together. I really have only three choices when it comes to the Instagram issue as well. Continue to Instagram and not include the info, include the info and be ok with people seeing personal info or dont use Instagram at all. As far as using the planner in my management meetings I really don’t think I can pull it out in meetings. 

As I started thinking all these issues, I started to think about what would make me the most productive. What do I need to make me feel like I have control over the events and daily lists of my life? Cause really if we all think about why we plan it is so we feel like we have a bit of control in our lives (but that is another story for another day). For me what I need at home and what I need at work are two different things. I don’t tend to plan my daily to dos at home such as laundry, cleaning, dinners, etc. I do that stuff whenever I feel like if. Half the time I put it in my planner I don’t end up doing it on the day I planned. However I do want to get better at it and be more productive at home so I do want to continue to put it in my planner. However at work (which is where I spend 80% of my waking hours) what I need there is different. I am in charge of my day and the day of thirty other people so my day has to be planned out. Unfortunately at the moment things change day by day so I can’t plan too far in advance. I think one of me issues for my planner was I was trying to turn it into a running to do list. I was used to using my planner to list out all the stuff I had to do in the day. That is how I was using my Day Designer but my issue with that was I couldn’t see the whole week at once.  I think I have been trying to find this all encompassing planner and maybe it doesn’t exist.  

This past week I watched a YouTuber discuss having more than one planner and how she is sometimes judged for it. In the past I would catch myself thinking about the cost and wastefulness of not fully using a planner but then I thought even though my planner is a useful necessary tool for me it is also a hobby. It is something I enjoy doing and whether I have one planner or ten it is my choice for whateve makes me happy and productive. 

So this week I have planned my week in my Happy Planner and started using another notebook for my daily to do list. In my head I am coming up with a notebook/planner system for my to-dos but I haven’t fully figured out the set up of it. When I do I will be posting my system along with how I develop it. For now for those who are struggling to make their planner system work know what I have learned these past few weeks; don’t be afraid to switch things up, to enjoy what you love and make it about you and what works best for you. 


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