From Where I Sit – Can’t Wait to Start

We’re now four months into 2016. If, like me, you began the year with a pristine new planner, how’s it looking now? Are there entries for every day? Is it serving your life and your purpose? Is it a glorified daily to-do list? Is it a record of your life for posterity?

Planners are available in all styles and price points. For recording the bare bones of my wedding bookings I use a month-at-a-glance dollar store version. Investment: $1.25. In the past for my main planner I’ve used the leather-bound zippered binder style with refill pages. It’s an expensive professional look with pockets and space for business cards, clippings, more. However, it’s not very practical when at year-end you’ve got 365 loose pages to deal with.

Gradually I moved to a coil bound, large format book, by Brownline, because there was plenty of room and the book lies flat. It was in the thirty-five-dollar range. This year I hesitated buying anything because I never last all year making entries. I waited so long, though, that my preferred planner was sold out at Staples. Finally, I plunked down more than forty dollars for the hardcover Brownline executive quotidian one like Roy has used for years.

And so far, other than for the two weeks we were away, I’ve made entries. Other than those pages done with coloured pens or stickers as a visible reward for exercising, it’s ho-hum?utilitarian, but oh-so boring.

However.

In late December I clipped an Edmonton Journal article about the planner obsessed. There are many Pinterest boards (#plannernerd, #plannerlove, #plannerobsessed, #plannerjunkies) dedicated to the subject. One woman has turned her interest into a business. Erin Condren believes there’s a market for “a colourful approach to not only scheduling every day but truly celebrating every day.”

I am thrilled with the possibilities for combining my need for an artistic outlet with the necessity of managing a busy schedule. I already have an arsenal of tools: coloured pencils and felt pens, a collection of stickers, a leopard-print roll of washi tape, rubber stamps, several books of quotations, and a creative eye.

Pinterest examples show dozens of options. Inspirational quotes like ’You’ve Got This!’ or ’Just Start’ or “Get it Done!’ or ’You’re Running Out of Time’ are peppered across many planner pages. Planners, printable stickers, or margin strips are available for sale. Of course I see the crossover between scrapbooking, adult colouring books, and journaling. There’s also a crafting aspect to it. Paper clips embellished with colourful ribbons are fun and practical for marking special pages.

In one example someone is using her journal as a sketchbook by drawing glasses to track her water intake. Someone else is recording her measurements in a fancy table during a weight loss journey. Another identifies “Habits to Break”.

So, my lovelies, if ever there was a reason and a way to make scheduling fun and creative, it has arrived. Grab some supplies and take some time to play. I can’t wait to start, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.

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