There’s an exhausting amount of content out there about how to be happy. I can’t claim to possess any expertise on the topic, cuz – psshhh – I certainly haven’t figured out the secret, but I have figured out *A* secret. Just one. That perhaps, if you are like me, having a planner and using it might make you feel a bit happier.
(Disclaimer – this statement has not been evaluated by the FDA, the APS, Gretchen Rubin, any other authorities on the topic, or anyone at all other than my dog Huxley – who just cocked his head at me which I interpreted as skepticism.)
(Another disclaimer – this time real – the header image of this blog post isn’t mine. My own planner would hurt your eyes from it’s lack of cuteness or visual appeal. I’m working on it. Here’s the real artist.)
I propose that the practice of maintaining a planner results in focused intentionality around one’s life, one’s priorities, and one’s commitments. And to me, an intentional life is a more satisfying life. A more satisfying life is a happier life. You with me? Hope so.
Growing up I would get so jazzed about back-to-school time because it meant new pens, notebooks, and a NEW PLANNER. Filling the pages created a sense of accomplishment. An empty-looking month meant I might need to drum up some plans. An alarmingly full month meant I needed to cancel some plans. My planner made me feel creative. Purposeful. Organized.
Since college, I’ve been inconsistent in my relationship with planners. Sometimes I had them, sometimes I just managed my schedule and responsibilities through my phone. Through the ups and downs – the breakups and the reconciliations, I realized that me and planners… we’re just meant to be together. So a couple of weeks ago, in a flurry of “MUST PLAN” panic, I trekked up to mall during rush hour traffic and dropped a wad of cash for a pearly pink planner, stickers, and pens. And basked in that familiar rush of organization anticipation.
Have you guys ever SEEN the output from the planner community on Instagram?! It is insane. Look up #planneradict. #plannerlove #plannergirl #bujoweekly (I don’t even know what #bujo stands for, though I assume it is related to bullet journaling.)
Anyway, some of these calendar spreads are MASTERPIECES. I felt so inspired scrolling through some of these feeds – at the talent and commitment of these journalers.
Take a look…
If those photos alone aren’t enough for you to sign up for a local calligraphy class or to invest your entire saving account into stickers and washi tape then… well, I don’t know what to tell you. I think you might be a robot.
Who out there is planner (bullet) journaling? How does it affect your life? For me, crazy as it sounds, it gives me a greater sense of control over my own life. I get to pencil in what I want to do. I get to cross things off (either completed or no longer important.) I look at my day, my week, and my month – daily – and assess whether I’m on the right track.
At the risk of sounding like a slightly deranged person, the planner actually motivates me to do more social things (which, as an introvert I’m not always naturally inclined to do), because I GET TO WRITE THEM IN MY PLANNER.
As I’m getting back in the habit again (and feeling seriously pissed that my planner spreads look nowhere as beautiful as what I’m seeing on Instagram) I poked around for some good products that could give my spreads some sizzle. And I had to dig through a bunch of very FUGLY stuff. Dang. Pumpkin stickers that look straight out of a Charlie Brown comic strip? No thanks.
But, as is usually the case after digging, I found some good stuff. Here’s a sampling.
Don’t go spending your money all in one place, now.
May you all find happiness within the pages of your new planners.