“Plans are nothing, planning is everything”
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”
~ Benjamin Franklin
For all of my life I’ve been one of those “list people”. Since I was young, I get some kind of thrill or self-satisfaction from writing down what I need to do and then checking it off as it’s done. Sometimes I write things down on the list AFTER I’ve already finished the task, just so I can get that little boost by checking it off as being complete. Yeah, I’m weird that way.
I have also been a scrapbooker since I was a young teen. That hobby/craft/obsession has morphed over the years from my teenage photos, memorabilia, and magazine clippings stuffed into magnetic albums, to the scrapbook rage that was popular 10 years ago, to doing it digitally, to stopping altogether. Here are some of my digital art layouts from about five years ago:
When I was working as a software engineer, I worked for a company that was really into the Franklin Planner. Everybody had to have one, everybody had to go to training to learn how to write their to-do list down the left hand side of the page and how to take decent notes on the right hand side of the page, everybody had to learn how to set goals and then plan tasks in which to accomplish those goals. It was a bit elementary for me, who took pride since I was young in taking great notes (normally color coded) in my classes, setting goals, and planning my day down to a tee. The planners were boring and uninteresting ~ totally utilitarian ~ so I would jazz mine up by doodling in mine and trying to make it more interesting with creative lettering and colors. Regardless of how it looked, however, one thing has been consistent for me. Whether it’s taking notes or figuring out what needs to be done, if I write it down, I remember it, and if I remember it, I do it.
So fast forward many years. I’m high tech now. I use Google Calendar and I have it integrated into my website so that my customers can see when I’m available. I use Google Drive for spreadsheets. I use Wunderlist for my to-dos. Unfortunately, none of these tools, while extremely easy to use, give me the satisfaction that I used to have by writing things down and seeing them on paper. This fall, as Mauri was getting ready to leave for college, I bought her an Erin Condren Life Planner. She’s always been a “write it down on paper” kind of girl and this suited her perfectly. And so while I didn’t think I’d use it and thought it redundant and a step backwards to go back to a paper planner, I bought myself one too. It literally sat on my desk looking pretty for nearly two months before I cracked it open. And then one day I cracked it open and now there’s no going back.
I have now found that happy medium that tickles my need to plan and check those boxes off, with my love of paper, scissors, and creative efforts. My planner has now become my creative outlet for planning and simple journaling, while filling in that gap for the scrapbooking itch that I have missed. A few weeks ago, Colin was over and helping me edit and he saw my open planner on my desk and said “OMG, you’re such a sorority girl!”. Well…as a matter of fact, I AM. I might be an old one, but I’m still that ΔΔΔ, and I’m still that scrapbooker that I was when I was 12, 22, and 42. Every Sunday afternoon I make time to think about what next week’s plan is going to look like. It’s productivity and planning combined with creativity and crafting, and for me it just doesn’t get much better than that.
Mauri loves her planner and I love mine, yet they’re so very different. She has encouraged me to share mine on my blog so here goes. Be warned, there are a few colorful words along the way, because that’s just who I am, it’s how I roll.
What I’m creating now is nothing like what I was doing five years ago, but it’s more functional that’s for sure and I enjoy it. I plan my planner planning every week. I have truly become a planner geek at heart.