Creating a Beautiful Planner

What is the point?

Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash

My daughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I shrugged. I didn’t want much, but I said I could use more stickers for my planner. She’d once told me that she couldn’t understand why I bothered adding stickers to my planner and making it look pretty. “What a waste of time,” she said. “It’s a lot faster to just write in your tasks than to search for the perfect sticker.”

Sure, she was right, but it’s pleasurable to take time to create a planner that looks nice. I also find that while it does take longer to search through stickers and place them in just the right spot, slowing down isn’t a bad thing. It helps me to think. It’s a bit of a meditative activity.

My routine

I use Sunday mornings to plan for the coming week. If the days are nice, I sit outside by my firepit or on the back patio with my planner, stickers, phone, and a cup of coffee. I breathe fresh air, listen to the birds sing, absently watch the dogs run around and inspect the back yard, and think about my goals for the week.

I begin to add it the repetitive activities that happen every week like teaching classes, going to the gym, walking the dogs. I have stickers for each of these. Then I add in other things that are unique to that week, like meetings or creating videos, or going somewhere with my family or friends.

I’m not an artist, so my planner isn’t a work of art. I can’t draw, unfortunately. Those lovely planners you might have seen on Pinterest full of doodles and cute pictures is not what mine looks like. The only markers and colored pens I use are purely functional. I box in, occasionally, teaching blocks or writing blocks to make it easier for me to see. I especially do this for my quarterly breakdown of goals and tasks.

It takes me two or three hours to get my week into my planner. Then I move on to having breakfast, cleaning, or doing whatever else needs to be done on Sunday.

Not a scrapbook

For me, my planner is not a scrapbook, so I don’t feel the need to add things like movie tickets, or other mementos to the pages. However! For others, it can serve this function. Some people find inspiration by adding photos, or clipping messages or…