Most people using a paper planner have gone through one or more frustrating phases of planner fail. I dont have all the answers and I can’t say that I have reached complete nirvana, but I do have some thoughts on making the experience slightly better. So here goes…
1. Power Through
The mist obvious tip is just to power through times of crisis. Whenever I go through really busy spells during my life or when I am stressed, I think my planner isn’t working for me. I always feel like I need a change. I soon realise that it’s all in my head and my planner is fine. I just needed to deal with other issues.
Re-arrange could mean changing up your sequence of inserts so it’s easier to write, like moving the diary to the middle of the binder so rings don’t get in the way. It could also mean changing formats of your inserts, like using a Day per Page instead of WO2P. It depends on the time in your life. Something that may have worked well in the past may not always be suitable for right now.
3. Switch covers
The best paet of using a Filofax is the ability to switch planner covers. Most of us own more than one binder and we can just open the rings and shift the whole bunch to a different binder. This always gives me a sense of renewed novelty and takes away my itch to change planners.
Sometimes this is very important. Personalising your planner can give you a sense of belonging. There are many great blog posts with lovely pictures of how people have decorated their planners. I am not that artostic and I use my planner for work so I’ve kept my decoration to a minimum. But, I have put in pictures of my loved ones and it feels quite like home.
5. Re-think, Re-start
Sometimes we have to give in and call a spade, a spade. If you keep experiencing planner fail, chances are you actually have got it wrong.
Sit down, take a deep breath and start from scratch. I always like to write down my issues. So take a blank sheet of paper and write down what you want from a planner. It doesn’t all have to be realistic or makes sense. Just write everything that comes to your mind.
Once you have that, start prioritising your items. See what’s most important and what you cam live without. With any luck you should arrive at a good list that should help you make a choice.
You may get it right, you may not get it right, but you will be one step closer to finding the planner you want.