A few years ago, I wrote this post about my simple version of a bullet journal that worked wonders for me at the time. Since then, we’ve added 3 more babies to our family and have learned what it means to actually be busy.
Something happens when you’re so ridiculously busy – planners kind of stop working.
I’ve always had a planner addiction. Let me loose in the planner / office supply section of any store and I feel like *this* is the planner I’ll actually use.
It’s so pretty, I would never waste this one like I’ve wasted all the others.
A few weeks later, that pretty planner has met the same fate as all the others that came before. A few well-intentioned days filled in, then…
Finally, I took a good, hard look at what I need in a planner and had a sort of epiphany.
First of all, I needed a planner that would actually remind me of things. I already have my hands full with our babies.
I simply can’t be counted on to remember to take a planner with me everywhere I go or even to look at one every single day.
Second, I don’t want to forget birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates. If I’m not completely dedicated to a planner, I’m going to forget those things.
Third, I need to not feel like such a planning failure. I would sit down, write out all of the things I wanted to get done in a given day, get to one or two of them, and start adding things I HAD actually accomplished, just so I could mark it off and feel like I actually got something done.
If this sounds like you, I want you to hear me out for a minute.
I think we’ve been using planners wrong all along.
If you’re addicted to buying planners and planner accessories, it’s probably because you love the feeling of hope that comes with it.
Hope that you’ll finally get organized and feel productive.
Then, you make outrageous plans as though simply having this expensive planner is going to magically add more time to your day.
The end result is basically a log of all of the things you failed to get done.
What if instead, you only recorded things you do?
Here’s why this method works so well for me and why I think you’ll be blown away by it too…
That awesome feeling you get when you actually cross something off of your to-do list? You also get that feeling when you write down a finished task in your planner.
Make your planner a place to record all of your accomplishments.
What You’ve Been Forgetting to Write in Your Planner…
What should also count as an accomplishment?
- Time you spend with your kids.
- The fact that you went grocery shopping or ordered groceries.
- Talking on the phone with a friend for an hour and a half.
- Taking a long bath and reading a book.
- Anything that fills your cup up – that goes in your planner.
Now, instead of a bunch of planners full of empty pages except for the first few days or weeks full of mostly unfinished business, I have a log of everything I got done that also acts as a sort of diary.
If you’re as addicted to planner stickers and pens as I am, the great news is that you still get to use them!
Only you’re not putting a cute beach sticker next to a beach day you had planned that gets cancelled.
End of Day Review
How I like to use my planner is to keep it on my island and add to it throughout the day as I get things done.
If I have some alone time at night after the kids have gone to bed, I will sit down with my planner and a cup of tea and de-stress by adding stickers to my planner and doodling.
What About Birthdays?
The only way I can remember birthdays is if my Google Calendar reminds me.
It’s that simple.
I add anyone and everyone’s birthdays into the calendar on my phone, set it to repeat yearly, and move on.
If it’s someone that I need to remember to buy a card or a gift for, I’ll also add a reminder for about a week ahead of time.
This works beautifully for me – way better than going through each month or year and writing everyone’s birthdays into a paper planner that I’m just going to stop using anyway.
Do you have a planner system that works for you? Do you think this after-the-fact log system could work for you? Let me know!