Life

Planners & Organization on Paper

My Day Designer

As an introvert, I suffer from probably what a lot of people suffer from. I have things going on in my head ALL the time. I am constantly thinking. It’s very hard to stop it. In my head, I basically have a constant to-do list. And it’s not even things that would normally go on a to-do list, really. It can be anything from picking up something that’s out of place in my house to blogging to watching a certain TV series I heard about on Netflix. It’s actually pretty ridiculous and can drive me pretty crazy sometimes. I like things to be neat, orderly, and under control, at least in the little part of the world that is mine (and if not that, then at least inside my head!). That’s one reason I like having a relatively clean house. When it’s not as clean and orderly as I’d like, or when this list gets so big that it feels out of control (which can easily happen), I get a bit stressed and feel overwhelmed. I absolutely hate that feeling.

I like to-do lists, but only sometimes. For the last several years, any time I make a to-do list it’s usually been on my computer or phone (or syncs between both – thanks to iCloud). I spend a lot of time with technology, so it always made more sense to me to use it for those things instead of paper. Recently I’ve started to reconsider this some…

I had seen on Instagram where a friend had bought a paper planner called the Day Designer. This friend is always buying cool stuff, so I thought I’d give it a look. I checked it out online, and it actually looked like something I thought I might like to use. Given the time of year (this was back in April, I believe), they didn’t have any new Day Designers in stock, but I hunted around online and managed to find one on eBay, so I ordered it. And I’d have to say, this thing has changed my life a bit.

A habit of mine when I buy something new is to check around online about it and read reviews and see who else is using it and sometimes how they are using it. This new purchase was no different. Upon searching for “Day Designer”, not only did I find plenty of people using it, but the way they used it was all different. From just using it as is to people customizing it with stickers and tape, the variety of things to do with a planner like this seemed to be huge. There is no end to the things you can buy to customize your planner. And not just the Day Designer – I was finding there was really a whole huge planner culture out there of people who organize their lives in different ways. And here I thought everyone was just using their computer or smartphone. I was SO wrong.

Honestly, as a kid who really got into her pens and pencils and markers and notebooks and folders in school, I have to curb myself a bit to keep from spending to much because if you are an office or school supplies nerd, there’s no limit out there to what you can buy. There’s even a couple of other planners I like even better than the Day Designer. One is called the Erin Condren Life Planner. I love how colorful and pretty this planner is, but it just doesn’t work for me for the day to day. I need a full page for each day for both my schedule as well as work and personal to-do lists, and the Erin Condren planner fits a whole week into only two pages, with just a skinny box for each day. But I like it enough that I’m now using one as a blog planner, which actually works pretty well. (Now hopefully it will get me to blog more too!)  There’s also another daily planner very similar to the Day Designer that I like and might get for next year called the Simplified Planner.

I’m just getting into this whole planner thing, but I’m kind of enjoying it. Not only does it give me a chance to go back to being a kid and hoarding school supplies, but it actually does help me cut down on stress a bit by getting everything out on paper as well. I feel a bit less flustered about getting everything done when I can see my whole day or week in front of me on a piece of paper.

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