36: Why Can't I Stick With One Planner?
Welcome to episode 36 of Permission to be Messy. I'm your host, JoAnn Krall and today I'm talking about planners. The question is why can't I stick with one planner? This is planner season. I'm recording this in September. Some people have already grabbed their planners, but, the marketing efforts are off the charts. In fact, I. I made a post on Facebook about planners and now my entire feed. Both on Facebook, Instagram, and pretty much everywhere is filled with planners.
Now before I get started. I want to know who has a stack of planners. Somewhere tucked away that, they're half filled out or they're never filled out or that you just. You got them because they looked great. You thought, ah, this is going to finally work for me. It's finally going to get me organized. And it didn't.
You're not alone. And, what I see happening is there's a lot of. Shame is a really strong word, but it does feel like shame because it's, or defeat or, I'm not sure what the exact word I'm thinking of, but we feel discouraged, That we tried these planners. They don't work for us. and some of them can be very expensive. we waste a lot of time. And I'm here to tell you this is completely normal. So what causes us to be pulled towards a new planner? All the time. first of all, there's us desperately trying to find a solution to get us organized. There's the shiny object syndrome where, you see a new planner and you're like, that looks great. Like I talked about. and some people are pulled in by pretty planners. it's it's all all those office supplies that make you feel really good, the colored office supplies, and, it's like that fresh starter school and you think. I'm going to get organized and everything's going to be great and there's nothing wrong with that. so when somebody creates a planner, Usually it's based on what's worked for them.
Sometimes it's worked for them and some of their clients. So I'm not worried about putting anybody who has a planner out of business. Everybody who has a planner? It's for somebody. The problem is when they market it and say, it's for everybody.
So because I'm being served, all those ads about planners. I got one recently and, I've gotten this before. the person is very much against lists and.
She's against lists, but I have a feeling she teaches about lists, but I'm not sure because I'm not going to buy her program. But she'd probably be teaching a different way to make lists or, way to do things. And I'm sure it's valid and I'm sure it's helpful to some people. but I can pretty much guarantee that there's people out there that struggle with it. but again, she's marketing it as, Nope. This is it. this whole. This will fix it all. And, she, and she's saying runaway from this person and this person. And, I don't necessarily think that's a way to go about it.
Now I never tell anybody to run away from somebody's system. What I do say is runaway from anybody who says their system is the end all be all. Because if a system, if you're watching something. And it resonates with you. And you truly believe it's going to work for you. Go for it. I'm not going to tell anybody to not do that. But I'm very protective of people who feel disorganization and struggle with it.
The important thing with a planner is, or a planning process because you know what planner is one thing, but having a planning process. It has to fit your habits. And yes, you could make small changes. But if you've heard me talk about this before, I'm a big believer in not making drastic changes when you're trying to get organized. Because often it sets us up for failure.
So, if you haven't found the right one yet, It's because it just doesn't fit your needs. And how really can it, it's really hard to take a template to templated planner and, have it have it fit the way we work. I really love planners that are more flexible. that would be like, using like the bullet journal system. I tried it for a year. I gave it a real good go because I wanted to understand who would work for and who it wouldn't. And it turns out it didn't work for me. And now I wasn't doing all the beautiful bullet journaling, the coloring and all that. I was doing it straight from bullet journal.com. Simple, doing the the table of contents, the list, the calendar, and all of that. the only thing that I really resonated with was having that table of contents and then lists. So I just went back to my old methods of using my calendar. I obviously do use online calendars because I schedule with clients. So I use Google calendar with my scheduling calendar. And then I also have a paper calendar because I'm very visual. So I use calendars and lists. What I've noticed that with some people is they'll get a planner and then there's all these things to fill out on each day. And it, and they start to stress about it because they're like, why did I didn't feel the sin? I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. And in reality it's because they're not meant to be doing that. They're not meant to be doing all that extra fluff that works for some people.
And sometimes planning. Isn't what we need. We need action. I have an actual program that I have built in now to my one main program. And it's creating action plans for getting organized. And it's my process that I use to help people. But not everybody wants to start there and that's okay too. Sometimes it just have to start with action. So if you're managing your tasks, you can certainly use a project management software, like a Trello. Asana ClickUp or anything like that. Or you can keep it real simple and use a notebook for your lists or use an app for your list and then use a calendar, whether it's paper digital or a combination of both. if that works for you. That's great. I think that what happens is a lot of time, a planner won't. it's okay, you're going to do these three tasks for this day. And then, we don't, if you don't get them done. You're like, oh no, I have to put them over to the next day. And you just keep carrying things forward. if that motivates you, then that's awesome. But if that stresses you out, you have to be aware of that.
So what I you urge you to do is think about what types of planners you've gravitated towards. Think about why, what it is about them. Is it just the look of them? Is it, some of the content you're thinking, oh, I really do need to practice gratitude. And I need to write that down every day or, I need to have my calendar. on the page and I need to see what actual tasks I need to do for that day. So if you find yourself. Say on Facebook, maybe you're in a Facebook group. maybe it's with, other business people or it's just a Facebook group for organization and productivity and you see some, or even just a friend asks. what's the best planner. You're going to see a bunch of different answers. Everybody loves the planner that they love. But that isn't where we want to start
And you can go back and listen to my episode on number 11 on choosing a project management software, I think you can apply a lot of the same principles to, planner, because, we do a lot of planning, project management software. But,, you can apply some of the similar things with that. what I would recommend is if you're looking at a specific planner, And they have any kind of digital download of it. maybe try it out for a little bit, give it a spin because you don't want to be spending a lot of money on planners. Cause it's not usually a free, at least with a project management software, you can usually get a free. trial version. Test it out, but with a planner, that's not really the case. Start with the planners that you've already have. Look at them. Maybe if you have a whole stack of them, And they're partially used. See if you can see a pattern of the pages that you did fill out, because chances are, those were the pages that you enjoyed doing, or they worked for you. And if there's a consistent theme,
you can use that as a basis for the next planner that you may choose that may have more of a combination of what you need, or at least it's more flexible. Because I really think that's important, to have the flexibility. I know for me, when I buy calendars paper calendars, I only buy the ones with the months and the, big blocks. I don't do any week. Cause I don't do anything by week or day. I'm very much a,I wake up in the morning and I have my certain things that are scheduled to do. On my calendar. Whether it's appointments or, calls with clients. And then in between then. It's really for me, it's I know what I need to get done. So what do I feel like doing that day. And some people will say, there's no structure to that, but I have to be flexible because my energy levels can shift from one day to the next. And if I said into my schedule that I have a certain number of tasks to get done in a day, And I don't get them done that frustrates me. So I like to pick from my list. And don't go with you must I mean, unless I'm under a strict deadline. I go and I look through and I say, okay, what could I do today? And I've talked about this before. Sometimes it's okay. I only have the energy to do this. It's easy, but it is going to help me because if I can get this one task off my list. Then I'll free myself up. And when I'm feeling more energetic, hopefully the next day then I can get more done.
I can pretty much bet though, that if you're listening to this episode, you have tried a bunch of planners. So do that evaluate what you've purchased. What's worked for you in the past. What hasn't worked for, you try to find one that fits your needs. Dare. I say, even build one yourself. with Canva, we can build pages that fit our needs.
So if you can look at a planner that you liked. and you can pull ideas from that. If that helps you, you can do that as well. And if you're like that, I love the beautiful planner you can find a really nice binder to put it in.
And one thing I will say is before you go into try and planning everything. Think about where you can let go of things. Do a brain dump. Look at it. See all of the things that you've you're wanting to do that you have to do. And see where you can let things go, whether it's just not doing them. tucking them away. You don't know if it's ideas for the future. It's okay to tuck those away. Or if it's something that you can delegate. Because reducing and reducing the amount of stuff that you have to do is really going to make a difference when you start to go into planning mode. And if you're curious on how I plan for organizing projects, my, my flow of doing that. and you're looking to get organized and either of your home, your business or your life was there at your paper, your digital, your photos, or your office. check out my Sensibly Organized program.
I'll have the link to the sales page. If you have any questions, never hesitate to reach out to me. My contact information is always in the show notes as well. And happy planning. I am wishing you much progress, peace, purpose, and the permission to be messy. Thanks for listening.