Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Road To Planner Peace (If that exists)

Wow!! My last post was in December 2013. It couldn't have been that long could it?? There must be a worm-hole around here!!

Well, let me catch you up....

My last post was about my exciting rendezvous with a certain purple, full leather beauty (Filofax Malden in the Personal size).  I've has a few whirlwind and long term planner relationships since then.

I sold the lovely Malden after a few months of use and bought the same planner, but in Aqua, second hand. I loved the colour, and I loved the idea of the planner, but found that I was coming unstuck with the small size.  Once again, I was searching for something new. I wanted a one stop book that I could use as a planner, journal and still have a bit of creative outlet. 2014 was the year of attempted digital planning, glued together with sticky notes, wall calendars, and a first and failed attempt at a bullet journal in Midori Travellers Notebook......oh the chaos, and not to mention a year lost in the jungle of a busy life of a mom with 2 children and no solid planning/scheduling system in place......huh?!?!?  I wonder if that was the worm-hole year!

Purple Filofax Malden - Personal

Purple Filofax Malden - Personal
Aqua Filofax Malden-Personal

Midori Travellers Notebook - Regular

Being an active stalker on a long list of planner Facebook pages, I decided that 2015 was the year where an A6 Hobonichi was the answer.  I duely ordered the planner (in Japanese as I live in the Middle East and our weeks start on a Sunday, and this is a hard pass for me. My weeks must not be split!!), along with all the paraphernalia  including a cover, stickers, book marks, pen guys get the idea, one cannot simply just order the planner!!!

I made it nearly through the whole year in the Hobonichi as I was able to schedule, journal and "junk journal" all in one place....but who was I kidding, one tiny planner van only hold so much and it became impossible to use the last month or so as it was so gorgeously fat and filled and loved.

A6 Hobonichi Planner - Japanese version

By around November 2015, I found myself once again looking for planner peace. I came to the realisation that; 1, size matters (cute & comapct isn't always the answer), and 2,  there was nothing out there that was reasonably accessible to me that would fit my needs.

I pulled out my trusty Cinch punch and accessories and spent a couple of days designing and printing my ideal planner, combining aspects I liked from several of the store planners I have used over the years.  The result was a fantastic A5 ring bound beauty that I engineered to have an interchangeable cover to satisfy the gypsy in me, as well as the ability to add in those loose leaf bits of correspondence that often escape from you if not secured using a DIY coil clip system.  I found this particularly handy as it was a very busy academic year for my daughter and there were many date specific letters that came home from school.

Then....I felt stifled by the lack of available real estate to put in random bits like to do lists, notes from the day, etc.,etc.  In April this year, I decided to jump on the Bullet Journal Train again.  An impulsive person, I used what I had on hand which was a Large Moleskine soft cover in nude/beige.  I hung out in this for a couple of weeks then got myself a hard cover Moleskine in purple.  I moved what I had in the soft cover over and was blissfully on my way to planner peace....YEAH RIGHT!!!

Moleskin Hard Cover Grid Notebook

Month to View

The Bullet Journal Notebook ticked so many boxes!

Everything in one book.
Great size.
My layout, my way.
Can change layouts any time (be still my Gypsey heart!).
Can appease my creative side by adding a bit of something artsy.

And then.....the great big "elephant in the room" unchecked box.....Manouverability. I was determined to have only ONE BOOK (I mean, that's why I started the Bujo, right?)

So, last week, I did what any self respecting stationery addict does when they fall from the bliss of planner peace and need to lick their wounds.  I headed off to one of the stationery stores near me, and went to go hang with the beautiful stuff and fill my soul with the heady aroma of pens, papers, books, pens and paints.  Ok, that's a bit dramatic - my kids were at holiday camp and I jumped at the opportunity to go to a book store in solitude!

So, while I was strolling the aisles and admiring the wares, I found myself at the Filofax display case....I've done it before, I've glanced at the beauty, admired the elegance, and just walked by.  But this time, it was different....

You know the scene, a glance across the room, the mystery of the unknown behind the glass....I just had to see for myself. Could I just look at the teal beauty beckoning me through the glass, just feel the texture with my hands. Just a quick fix, then walk away and feel empowered by the ability to resist.....

I FAILED!  Once I had this beauty in my hands, I was hooked!! In mere minutes I was at the checkout counter, handing over the cash and was out the door before the guilt of "cheating" on the Moleskine could consume me!!

I got home and within a couple of hours, I'd pulled out the inserts that the A5 Filofax Domino had come with, cut down some Rhodia grid note paper to fit and was moving over my August setup and other long term collections into my new planner.

Filofax Domino in Teal-A5

Month to View

I did things a little differently this time.  I've thought long and hard as to how I envisage the planner to look, how I think it will best work long term, as well as keeping it light enough to keep it semi portable.  It's larger than the Moleskine, yes, but I don't carry my planner with me all the time anyway, and if, for now, it's functioning for me, the size is something I can work around.

Have I got planner peace?  Well, I believe planner peace is a unicorn.  After many planner attempts and journeys, I have come to the conclusion that planner peace only happens for as long as the system you have works for you.  We change, our needs change, and so should our planner systems change accordingly. A new job may mean the need for more structure and a more solid long term planning system, and that's OK to move away from one style and onto another.  The bottom line is that we plan so as to be more organised more productive, resulting in a greater quality of life, with the mental ease that our lists, appointment, to do's, etc. are in a safe place, scheduled for when needed so we can free our mind to enjoy the right now!

Your planning system doesn't need to be pretty, or like someone else's.  Planner envy is counter productive and goes against the purpose of a planner. It's purpose is to be useful to YOU.  If you spend more time trying to pimp out your planner, and doing it over and over to get it perfect, you are defeating the idea of freeing up your time by being organised.  Sure, draw from others, get and share ideas with the planner community and then enjoy the peace that comes with the being organised. Now that's what I call Planner Peace.

NEW: I've just started a dedicated Instagram account and will be posting pictures of both my Moleskine planner as well as the progress in my new planner. 

Follow me on josocrafty.