I’ve always enjoyed organization and taking notes. The place where I really shone was school, because I was great at tracking many things at once. I worked my way through college with a highly detailed system that kept me up on my classes, assignments, work schedule, piano lessons, LARPing, hanging out with friends and a boyfriend, and I wrote my first novel during NaNoWriMo.
(Looking back, I wonder how I did it all, because I didn’t even drink caffeinated beverages at the time. I don’t miss that level of activity at all.)
Today, I don’t have much of a social life or college classes, but I do have a family and a home to help take care of. I have doctor’s appointments and physical therapy exercises. And of course, I have my writing along with everything that comes with running my own business as a self-published author. I want to keep track of everything so it doesn’t fall through the cracks.
I’ve tried a variety of planners, schedule books, and bullet journals over the years. The one that got me through school was the Unplanner. Two years ago, I bought a Happy Planner and loved it. My first one filled up, so I just got my second. Guess what design I picked?
What I love is that it has lots of space and it’s flexible to use for different things. I have the big picture in the monthly calendar so I can schedule future dates, and I have weekly spreads to track each day at a glance. I like to fill mine with stickers and decorations to make it bright and colorful.
I have too many stickers. Some of them have been in my collection since I was a kid. I really need to use some of them instead of hoarding them (or throwing them out when they get old and wrinkled). So a planner with stickers was a great choice for me. Of course, this was also a ploy to buy more stickers. Some of them I get from the craft store, some of them I downloaded online and printed, and some of them I designed myself.
For a while I spent so much time on the stickers that I wasn’t getting to all of the things I actually planned to do. These days, I try to keep it quick and simple. Enough to see everything at a glance but not spending hours on a layout.
Even when a week has passed, it’s fun to look back and see what I did, so it’s like a record of my life. I’ll keep the old one for the memories. And I can’t wait until July when I can start to fill up my new planner.