Do planners really work?

Do planner journals really work??

I’m about to find out for the umpteenth time.

Usually I buy a planner in January with high hopes for any miracles that will happen to my time management for the new year. This year I tried something different: I wrote my schedule and daily to-do’s in one of my old half-filled journals: perfect for saving money and trees. Only problem was that I couldn’t easily find it when I needed it: several journals were in circulation.

This was my dilemma: I was saving paper but losing precious time searching for whichever journal I was using.

Resolved to reuse and save paper I continued this unproductive habit. Then back-to-school shopping hit stores in August. If you love stationary like me, going to Target, Barnes and Noble, or an uppity stationary store around back-to-school shopping is pure joy but a nightmare trying to choose The One.

Shelves are stocked with colorfully vibrant planners in a variety of sizes and fonts catered to all sorts of busy people. I’m beyond happy and can’t walk away without flipping through each planner with anticipation. Anticipation that I might find the perfect planner that appeals aesthetically, is practical to use, and makes me feel like an organizational whiz (even temporarily).

Questions I ask myself: Does this planner feel good in my hands?; Are the colors motivating, calming?; Does the front cover make me feel like Jane Austen sitting beside a lake pondering about life?; What about the font and illustrations?; Is there enough space under each calendar day to write legibly?; and, Will it stand up to wear and tear?

August 30th, I stood in front of the planner section at Barnes and Noble for more than half an hour. I carefully examined planners with hardcovers and narrowed down to 2 choices. During this time many people came and left this section with a planner in hand. I was shocked that choices like these could be made so quickly.

I took a deep breath, walked up to the Information counter to re-review my 2 choices, and contemplated which one made my heart happy. (It’s embarrassing how obsessive I get over these things).

I chose the brighter, floral one.



Not bad so far. It hasn’t been cast aside yet. I’m realizing how helpful a planner can be: I’ve had to reschedule a kids’ lesson, remember an upcoming flu shot appointment, jot down reminders for upcoming things, and record kids’ learning progress for homeschooling accountability.

Each month is categorized with tabs and comes with reminder stickers to mark special occasions (must use before kids discover and these stickers end up on the refrigerator or couch).


Whichever kind of planner you use (paper or electronic), I hope you enjoy your time doing things that bring you joy and have great stories to tell about them.