Even after 20 years of using a planner, you can always find newer and better ways of organizing yourself.
The people in the planner community are always looking for “Planner Peace”. Planner Peace is dynamic. It’s an ever changing state.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again… No planning process will work 100% of the time, because our lives are never static.
If you’re comfortable with your planner for even just 3 months, you should be happy.
Every time I look at Instagram, I have the urge to tinker with my planner. I’m always so tempted to switch planners.
In the good old days, we had a handful of options. Most of us had a Filofax and if we could afford it, a few different sizes and colors. It was easy enough to swap out inserts between binders and carry something different. At most, we’d take a bit of trouble to upsize or downsize.
These days the possibilities are endless. You have rings, strings, discs, coiled, bound books, and probably some I can’t remember. Don’t even get me started on the sizes…
So what do you do when you feel like falling down the rabbit hole and changing your planner?
Do it. Change your planner.
I feel changing up your planner during the year gives you a mini fresh-start and actually breathes new life into your planning process. Because what’s more exciting than starting a new planner?
So how do you go about satisfying your need to try out different planners without your life falling apart?
Maintain Your Core Set-Up
For the last 3 years, I’ve been using vertical weekly layouts as my core system and monthly pages for long-term and events. So when I recently wanted to switch to a Traveler’s Notebook, I decided to get the vertical weekly insert. It’s been much easier for me to switch because the visual layout remains the same and my planning system doesn’t change.
Don’t Change Sizes Drastically
This is an easy one. If you’re currently using an A4 or Letter-sized planner, don’t switch to a pocket or a Hobonichi Weeks. The change is simply too drastic and it will start to drive you crazy. The opposite is also true, don’t suddenly upsize. If you’re used to carrying around a pocket or personal, which is fairly light, suddenly switching to a heavy B5 or A5, can be a challenge. You will have to re-think everything you carry and your bag choices.
No one likes drastic changes, and it’s bound to make you uncomfortable and regret switching planners.
Use Post-its to Transfer Information
For the longest time, all my reference information was written on 3 Filofax personal notes pages. On the few occasions that I tried to upsize or downsize, it was still a Filofax. So, all I needed to was punch holes differently and I managed to find a way to move them between planners, until I started using bound planners.
Re-writing information is too much work, so I’ve started to put all reference information down on post-its and secure them with some extra washi tape. Now, it’s so much easier for me to just switch them between planners, bound or rings or anything else.
Don’t Switch; Just Add
I’ve come to realize that I’m a one planner person. Nevertheless, when I’ve wanted to try out a different planner, I’ve simply added it to my existing planner. I recently wanted to switch back to a Traveler’s Notebook, since the planner I was using during the lockdown was large. So I started using both. Soon enough, I migrated completely into the TN and I’m quite happy for now.
Another way to add a planner, is to use it for something else. I’ve really been missing my A5 rings. But, I know I can’t carry an A5 planner everywhere right now. So, I’ve decided to fill it with notepaper and use it as a notebook, instead of a planner.
Using these ideas has really helped reduce my anxiety of switching planners. I can now think about moving in and out of planners without feeling that my world might fall apart.
So the next time you want to change planners, I hope you’ll have an easier time.