tl;dr Get a planner. Use it as a brief journal too. See pics.
I bought a planner in December with the intentions of starting off the year on a new foot.
I’ll go ahead and say that some may prefer their smart devices to keep life organized. I’m just not one of those people. Maybe it’s because I’m too old (almost 30=ancient). I don’t like having to set 30 reminders on my phone. I don’t like feeling frustrated as I’m trying to search for what keyword I could have possibly used for my midwife appointment when the search turns up nothing for both “midwife” and “appointment.” Plus you know Karen is going to be all judgemental if it looks like I’m staring at my phone at the playplace. I’m just checking to see what time Poptart’s optometrist appointment is, Karen, geez. (This is also why I prefer paper grocery lists. Susan is over there looking at me like, “Hey did you come here to shop or ignore your child and play Candy Crush?” I’m just tying to figure out how many onions I need for this week’s recipes, chill.
A planner though… that makes you look like you have your ish together. Karen approves. *Hi, my name is Daisy and I’ve been a people pleaser for.. my whole life. There is also something to be said for the smell of paper and pen, the therapeutic properties of writing, and being able flip through pages as I please. Oh, and don’t try using your phone to fan yourself at a Texas park in July. Break out your 8.5 by 11 inch planner and boom; breeze baby (which still feels like a gorilla breathing in your face since it’s 100 degrees).
Fast forward to May… Planner not in use, life= still a hot mess.
I must have had some good coffee one morning because I decided today is the day. I’m getting this thing out and I’m going to adult. I started by going through the whole year and recording all of the birthdays and anniversaries I had kept in my phone. Then I added appointments, trips, upcoming play dates. I started filling in the weekly “things to do” section with reminders of stuff I needed to get done, e.g. clean fish tank, put away 3-6 mo baby clothes and replace with 6-9 mo, order K’s bridal shower gift. After a few weeks of using the planner daily, I had no idea how I got through life without it.
Adding in the journal piece
I’ve started many journals over the years, but inevitably, I’ll write a few days in a row, then there will be year gap before I remember or find the time to do it again. My husband’s grandmother, whom I admire and adore told me to journal and write down one thing a day. Just one sentence. Seems easy enough and I would love to have those memories to look back on and share with my kids someday. I just have not been able to pick up the habit. I thought well, the planner has become a part of my daily life, why not just jot something down each day. At at the end of the day I look over what was scheduled, then add little something about how it went.
For instance, Father’s Day. Underneath I wrote what we did. Went to church and then headed to watch motorcycle road racing. Poptart loved watching the motorcycles. “Look mama, look daddy! There’s a super fast blue one.” Another example, 11:00 Toddler time @ Library. Underneath, something memorable. e.g. Poptart found a chewed piece of gum and put it in his mouth. I almost threw up. True story, y’all.
I cannot take credit for the whole idea of planner journaling. There is definitely a cult following for people who have elaborate planner/ diary/ sketchbook things. You can find tons of ideas on pinterest and spend outrageous amounts of money on planner materials (custom stickers, sketch pencils, etc.) Lookin at you, Happy Planner cult followers. It can become a great hobby and mode of self-expression. I personally was not looking for something that intense. I did not want to have to build my own planner or have the level of scrapbooking commitment something like that takes.
The planner I used is a full length (8.5 x 11in) I picked up for under $20 at a big box store. I also got a cool daisy cover because I like to say I’m on a budget and then buy unnecessary items- 0% impulse control. It has a zipper pouch built in which is great for keeping a pen handy, tossing in business cards, paperwork etc. from appointments.
Are there any other planner mamas out there? What works for you? Please share in the comments below.
Go forth and get your life,