Kitty McSlutterson
It Slices! It Dices!

Planning for a Planner


I love planner-y type stuff.

At one point, the company I worked for decided that everyone could order a Franklin Day Planner. One of my coworkers swore by hers, so of course I jumped right up on the bandwagon. I got the binder; the pages; the ziploc pouch for keeping various things like paper clips, pens, and whatever; the five-year foldout calendar; the combination ruler and bookmark; the special punch for punching holes in random papers that you wanted to keep in your Franklin Day Planner. Some people got the ornate flowery pages; others got the inspirational sayings pages. I got the jokes pages.

It was supposed to make my productivity shoot through the roof.

It did help me keep track of shit I had to do and meetings I had to attend. But all in all, I actually spent more time keeping up with the planner than doing work. Then came the Palm Pilot. Oh brother! I learned the whole new way of writing so that the Palm understood what I was putting in it. Again, keeping up was a bore. Ah, Outlook, which not only has email and a calendar to keep track of messages and meetings, it also has Task Lists, Contact Lists, Notes, Color Coding for everything, blah blah blah. I keep trying to use it, but I always flame out after a few weeks.

I've experimented with organizer pads of paper, special notebooks with "Subject" and "Action" columns, other notebooks that have funky plastic disks for the spine and myriad add-ins like the Franklin.

I finally gave up.

But I've also been thinking about the coming year, as you tend to do when December closes in. This year has been fine -- but it's also been kind of a placeholder. I think I'm going to try to make 2016 more intentional and less accidental.

So what did I do?

I ordered a planner, of course.

This one, though, is not fancy. It is not littered with roses and chintz and inspirational quotes (not that there's anything wrong with that). It's quite plain, but... it has weekly pages, yes; but it also has pages for your yearly theme, monthly goals, and accomplishments. It's not lavishly illustrated. It just has areas to write in. And, you can make work any way you want it to work: orient it toward career and work stuff, keep track of personal stuff, write down meetings and appointments, capture your deep innermost thoughts, or simply scribble. It's not a kit and it doesn't have add-ins or expansion packs.

The simplicity appealed to me.

I don't expect to use it for work. I'm hoping that, by writing shit down, I will pay more attention to my life. I'll let you know how it goes.