Jan 2, 2018

I’ve been using planners for almost a decade now. My planner was like my best friend. It knew where I went, when I went, and who I went with. It knew my schedule—that I had a long exam on Tuesday, a paper due on Monday, and a party on Saturday—it basically documented my life.

Like those people you see on your feed nowadays who put so much effort into their planners or bujos (bullet journals), I was pretty committed to filling out my planner-slash-journal, too. But somewhere along the way, life just got the better of me and I stopped updating. I haven’t been able to fill out a planner from January to December since.

nolisoli fixture planner
I tried several ways to get back into the habit. I traded my usual coffee shop planner for a local, witty one in hopes that I’d open it more often (given that it was fun to read). I failed. Then I went for this cute, imported planner from a popular women’s brand, thinking that I’d be more inspired. I failed again.

I almost considered giving up on planners altogether. After all, with apps like Google Calendar, mobile to-do lists, and other time management apps, I figured maybe it’s really just a sign of the times. A sign that I ought to shift to a completely digital, and not to mention virtually weightless day-keeper.

But because I’m weak against notebooks, paper, and stationery, I ended up buying yet another planner. Unlike your standard planners, this is a 16-month one. And so far so good—I haven’t skipped a week yet, since buying it in October 2017. Looks like there’s still hope for those with planner commitment issues like me. And I think it all just boils down to going back to the core of what a planner is and should be.

nolisoli fixture planner
Out of these, I only managed to completely fill out three. Shame. (Please tell me I’m not the only one with this problem.)
nolisoli fixture planner
My current planner’s layout. Simple, straightforward, and small. If you gave me this kind of planner years ago, I would’ve hated it because it’s so plain. Now I think it’s very practical.

A planner is meant to keep your schedule. Everything else is secondary.
When choosing a planner, make sure it has ample writing space. After all, you’re going to do a lot of it in there. You know your schedule best, and you know your handwriting best, too. Choose a planner that you think will let you see your daily or weekly activities easily, and will also be easy for you to fill out. Alternatively, you can choose a planner that has limited space. This way, you’ll be compelled to write succinctly and neatly. And there’s nothing better to look at than a well-organized set of notes, right?

A planner should be brought with you at all times.
What use is keeping a planner—a tool meant to remind you of your tasks and events—if you’re just going to leave it at home or on your desk? It should be something you can easily whip out when you need to check your schedule. So a small or lightweight planner might be best. Something that doesn’t take up much space in your bag—or one that, if it does take space, is for a good reason.

Before heading to the check out counter, be sure you’re ready to commit to your planner.
nolisoli fixture planner
My current planner is tiny, but has a zip lock-like pocket for pens and other knickknacks. Now I don’t have to bring a pencil case.

So what if it looks boring?
The problem with planners is that it’s also become a status symbol. We’ve all heard about how time is currency and how being busy now equates to being important. I think that also plays a role in how we’ve looked at planners. Aesthetic over actual function, just so people would see that hey, we have planners! But really, don’t judge a planner by its cover. If this boring ass notebook can keep your schedule in order, then that, my friend, is exactly what you need.


Read more:

Ten time management hacks I wish I’d known sooner

The simple reason you should keep a weekly journal

How to manage your time in three easy steps


TAGS: 2018 planner fixture nolisoliph planner planners time management