Friday, April 7, 2017

When Good Planners Go Bad

Were you aware that there was a 'dark side' in the planning world? Me neither!!! Until recently that is.

First, some background. I began using a Franklin Planner when I was 18. No, I am not kidding. Since then I have used them all, tried them all, and must admit, it is my 2nd favorite of all time. The 1st was my Believer's Life System from Moody Publishers (you can not get this anymore, anywhere, and yes, I have called Moody directly).

Last year I branched out, seeking a more laid-back, creative side to my planning. The Happy Planner was were I landed. This year I've switched about 5 times, and it is only April. I went from Happy to Recollections, to Heidi Swapp, to Carpe Diem, and now you and I are caught up.

Now is also where I discovered the seedy underworld of planners. It really does exist, I swear!!! It all begins when we attempt to locate what is referred to as 'planner peace'. This means we find a system, style, and whatever else, that makes us feel peaceful and organized. This elusive 'planner peace', rarely finds any of us!

Then of course you have a slew of decorations, stickers, stamps, and accessories do decorate, record, sort, organize and beautify our calendars. Plus, systems such as bullet journaling, schedules, dated, un-dated, etc....

Some planners have beautiful layouts and spreads, but few actual to-do lists. Some of us have to-do's so big, we couldn't decorate because there is no space for pretty!

Where does the 'underworld' exist then? Social Media!!!! It is referred to by a nicer name - 'Enabler Alert'. Planner addicts (yes, this is a real thing. No, we feel no shame - we're too busy planning!), post pictures of the newest finds, washi tape, pens, binders, stickers, and everything in between!!!

This leads to an entire group of women, who simply want to create an organized, well-planned life, rushing get to the nearest Hobby Lobby, or Michael's so all the good stuff doesn't disappear before they get there!!!

Confession time - I have gone running to HL or Michael's for the elusive roll of washi tape!!! I couldn't help it - it had coffee cups on it! And there were coffee cup shaped paper clips that matched! And they were 50% off!!! I may also have gone there for a few other when Carpe Diem and The Reset Girl hit Hobby Lobby finally!!! 30 minutes standing in front of a wall of beauty!

Years ago, a brilliant author coined the phrase 'Bad Girls of the Bible' and wrote a book about them. I will now be coining a term myself - "Planner Girls Gone Wild"! This is us!! True addiction in all it's forms converging in the aisle of a craft store, salivating over the new, grinning from ear to ear, and trying to get others to understand this obsession. Welcome to the 'dark side'.

While most of this post is written tongue-in-cheek, there is a certain truth in it all. We strive to find the 'thing' that will help us 'feel' organized. It shouldn't look boring or bare or like our life looks. It should look fun, energetic, and make us feel good about what we spend our time doing. It should also ensure that we don't forget what we're supposed to be doing.

All along the way, we tell each other and ourselves, that we really don't need one more new pen or that roll of washi, all the while, deep down, we know we MUST have it! I think that is why many of us never quite realize 'planner peace' or 'planner bliss'. There really is no good way to take a crazy, messy, chaotic life and world, and neatly fit them into any size binder, regardless of the extension packs offered.

Ladies, there is no perfect planner, just a planner that fits where you are today, in this moment. Maybe tomorrow you will be someplace else, and need something different. Pens and washi will come and go, and we will always chase the elusive planner peace!

By the way - I am in serious happiness mode over my newest planner, a robin egg blue Carpe Diem, with Reset Girl Faith inserts, and some Illustrated Faith sticky notes, and some Happy Planner Faith Planner Stickers. Sigh......

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