Currently, I am in what I like to call, "a season of crazy". I just have a lot of things on my mind, a lot of personal stuff going on, and it seems like I have very little free time to deal with it. Over the past few weeks I haven't been getting much enjoyment out of planning. (Gasp!) I think we all go though "ruts" like this with our hobbies. It's nothing unusual and it tends to sort itself out in the end, but if I happen to notice I'm in one of these seasons, I like to try and do my best to ease out of it.
Planning helps keep me sane. It helps me to feel a little control over the chaos. I am a firm believer that God is going to take care of me, but I don't think He sees anything wrong with me scheduling out my time so that I can be a better servant of His. With that being said, I am at a point where I'm just living day-to-day, trying to make the best of it.
But that isn't good enough.
I want to be a better steward of my time and I want to get back to the nitty gritty of planning. One of the main things that trips me up, when it comes to planning, is the multitude of choices.
Do I want spiral bound, hard bound, disc bound, ring bound, or strings? Do I need monthly, weekly, or daily layouts? Or maybe all three? Vertical, hourly, or horizontal? Or maybe a bullet journal that I can just freestyle with?
Is your head spinning yet? Because mine sure is!
As I write this blog post, I am actually processing how to fix this situation that I find myself in. Planner confusion. It's real, y'all.
But here's the thing: buying ALL the planners is not the solution. Trust me. I have tried that. Now I have a lot of different planners and I am no closer to planner peace than when I just had one personal size, Filofax Original.
I just need a fresh start.
So, let's break this down together.
Here are a few techniques to help you defeat planner confusion:
1. Use anything and everything that you already own.
This may seem counterproductive, but sometimes the best way to defeat planner confusion is to embrace it with open arms. Let yourself try different sizes and styles. Switch up your inserts. Break out a planner you haven't used in awhile. I do want to emphasize the importance of using what you already have. Like I said before, you don't need to buy every planner. If you are a planner newbie there are still great ways to try different styles without breaking the bank. There are free printables all over the internet and there is always bullet journaling, which only requires a blank journal and a pen. I have actually jumped from one planner to another from week to week just to figure out what works best.
2. Narrow down your needs.
Once you have spent some time trying out different planning styles, try to figure out what you need your planner(s) to accomplish for you. Do you need structure or a creative outlet? Do you need portability or a lot of space? Sometimes the answer is both and you may need more than one planner. That's okay too! One thing that I do encourage is to try not to have information overlap. If you are recording the same thing in more than one place every week that will most likely add to your confusion.
3. Make it work for you.
Customize and personalize your planners. They don't have to look the same as everyone else's. You don't even have to plan the same way every week or month. The whole purpose of a planner is to help you get more accomplished by organizing your life. Don't feel like you can't change something up. Our lives don't always stay the same so why should our planners?
The longer I have been involved in planning and the planner community, the more I have come to realize that planner peace isn't something that stays the same. It's the feeling you have when your system is working for you, right in that moment. It might not work for you two months from now, and that's okay, because you can adapt and find planner peace again.
It's easy to get overwhelmed with the options out there. It's also easy to see pretty pictures on Instagram that make you want to have six different planners. If you are able to make six different planners work for you, then go for it, but if you are like me and it causes you more stress and confusion, it might be time to take a step back and evaluate your situation.