Hey Now! Planners: Anne's Planner Struggle

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At Hey Now!, we love our planners. They guide our workdays, motivate us, and remind us exactly what needs done. In this series, we'll spotlight each staff member's planner and give them a chance to tell you what makes it great. This week's focus is on our Creative Director, Anne's, internal planner war and interest in bullet journaling.

I have a love hate relationship with planners. I’ve always had a really hard time staying organized. Even taking medicine daily is a struggle. I’m the kind of person who functions in creative land, flitting from topic to topic mentally, and when I was younger, I had people around me who helped keep me on track when needed. Now, I rely on pieces of paper.

BUT, even though I have issues with planners, I LOVE notebooks. As a writer, I cannot overstate the love I have for notebooks of all kinds, shapes, and sizes. It’s just the whole organizing part that I don’t like. 😊

These are all the notebooks I’m using at work for one thing or another right now (there are seven of them).

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As I moved into #adulting I really needed a better way to stay organized at work. Then came my daughter and a house and it’s just too much to keep straight in my head or only on my phone calendar. I’ve gone back and forth between planners that do a lot of organizing for you and ones that are just a notebook, tried bullet journaling, and now I think I’ve settled on a mix. However, my quest for the best way to organize myself is never over, and each new job or life role brings different challenges.

I’ve always liked writing things down, and I find I remember a lot more if take the time to do that. I started 2018 with a beautiful new planner. Amazon recommended it. It had a mix of creativity, quotes, little boxes, and overall bells and whistles.

See here:

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I was super excited to dig in. I filled out a couple things and diligently planned out my week.

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However, after 3 months the action plan was still empty, and weeks went by without even one plan entered into it.  So, with it getting barely any use, I gave the practically new planner to my co-worker and moved on to my latest planner discovery. 

My current planner is a notebook I found at Marshalls in the clearance section that is designated as a “travel diary” (it's fake). It has a beautiful cover that is soft, and most importantly it’s spiral bound.  I’ve learned that if I have to fuss with it too much and it won’t stay open, I stop using it. 

The first pages have a calendar spread for 2018 and 2019.  Other than that, it’s just a plain old notebook.  It’s become a mix of bullet journal theme pages, general to-do lists, meal plans, and notes from client meetings.  While it’s not traditionally “organized,” having all my stuff in one place that I can refer to seems to be the best solution for me.

When you bullet journal, there are some long-term goal pages that you create in the back of the notebook, and this format has worked really well for me.  I noticed I was making lots of little lists each weekend for things I wanted to get to around the house, so I took all of that and created a “Home fixes” page in the back of my notebook.  Now, I know where it is and can add to it and refer to it when I have time to complete some of these things. 

I have so much to do, but it feels more manageable when it’s pretty.

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When I’m working from blank pages I feel free and I can express myself creatively and keep tabs on things I don’t want to forget and need to do.  So, for me, the “planner” isn’t quite so traditional, but if you are a creative person who needs space to think and stay on task, you might consider this approach! Scrap the traditional planner and get a notebook with a calendar.

Here's a look inside my brain:

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