I love planners.
Notebooks and planners are like my kryptonite. Every time I walk into a store with decorative journals and planners, I stare at them for a long time, caress them, and then eventually guilt Dan into buying me (at least) one.
Ever since I was a child who enjoyed writing, I was drawn to certain notebooks, and I just had to have them, even if I didn’t have anything to write in them. My grandmother used to laugh at my journal-collecting habit and say that her father was the same way. Every time he went to the store for something for my grandmother and great aunt, he would also get himself a journal to write in.
I know what you’re thinking, “Renata, there’s no way that you use all of those notebooks and planners!”
To which I reply, “HOW DARE YOU! I effectively use one page of each notebook and planner before deciding that I don’t have anything else to say and never using it for anything else again, like any other normally functioning person!”
Even though I keep all of my appointments in my calendar on my phone and use Google Docs for the majority of my important documents, I still prefer writing things down first. Most of my blog posts are written solely in Google Docs, but for work notes, I prefer the extremely efficient method of writing them all down in one disorganized notebook then never being able to find them again.
While I have journals and planners of all different types and colors, different types have stood out to me throughout the years. I want something colorful that makes me feel happy, as well as something with lines (because while I embrace some chaos, I am not a sociopath who can freehand writing in a journal without lines or with dots).
Now, in my old age, I look for pretty soft-cover notebooks that will lay flat. Especially as a leftie, it makes my life far easier when the notebook that I’m using will lay flat on my desk as I use it. And let me tell you, there are some fabulous, whimsical, life-giving journals that have the lay flat binding.
Like everything else in life, I tend to obsess over notebooks and planners until I get them. If I see a nice expensive one in the store and don’t buy it, I will think of it nonstop until it’s in my possession.
Enter my new “You Can Do Hard Things” planner.
Yes, yes, I know…
This planner (right here) was one of the cutest planners I had ever laid eyes on. Definitely made for a younger girl than I, it came complete with pastel colors, inspirational phrases, and black-and-white pages to color on. It was every preteen girl’s (and Renata’s) dream.
But alas, dreams don’t come cheap…
The planner was more than $30, and I simply couldn’t justify it. Not when I have the (once again, TOTALLY NORMAL) tendency of only using a planner for one day or one week before casting it aside. However, I had recently started writing and rewriting my to-do list for the week every single day in order to keep the work for all of my different accounts straight, which I thought might be easier in a planner.
Eventually, I decided to go for it (read as: I whined about it and waffled back and forth until Dan bought it for me), and was excited for this fresh start. New planners mean new beginnings after all, everyone knows that. And not only that, but that Monday was the first day of August…sounds like fate, right?
Suddenly, I was excited for Monday morning! I was ready to start my week with that new planner smell!
When I hopped out of bed on Monday morning, I opened up the planner to get started…how would I organize it!? So many options!
I started flipping through the planner to find August. It was an academic planner so I hoped it would start there and I wouldn’t have to bypass any pages of my sweet, new, beautiful planner. But alas, it started in June. Seemed a bit weird for an academic planner, but I soldiered on. I know, my bravery is the stuff of legends.
Get it? Planner? Legends? Heheh.
I continued to flip through the pages…June calendar, June goals, weekly appointments for June, then I hit…
Wait, that was weird. I flipped back to June then forward again. June then May?
I kept going. April…March…February…
This is where, in typical Renata fashion, I blame myself. Did I forget how to read a calendar? There’s no way this planner was going backwards!? It has to be me, right?
This was about when some of the pages just started falling out of their own accord. Apparently understanding that the planner had something seriously wrong with it, they couldn’t abandon ship fast enough.
I kept flipping through and more pages kept coming out. No, this was definitely backwards. Then I took a closer look at the two-page spreads. Everything that should be on the right was on the left, and vice versa. The calendars were nonsensical.
At this point, I’m laughing out loud to myself. Needing someone else to join in on the hilarity, I ran down to my dad’s at-home office and showed him.
“Oh wow, you ordered this online?” He asked, aghast as he looked at the pages.
Then I had to tell him the WAY more embarrassing truth: I bought it in store, and just hadn’t noticed that literally nothing looked right in the planner.
“Well, they didn’t get the calendar part right, but it looks pretty, and that’s what’s important, right?” Gee, thanks, Dad. Can’t you see my heart is breaking!? No one needs your sarcasm right now!
After work, Dan and I took a ride to Target to return the clearly defective planner. At the return counter, when I explained the issue and showed the associate the planner, she said that she had actually gotten a calendar like that with the months backwards, and she found my experience validating.
So, you know, at least something good came out of it.
I purchased the exact same planner on the Target app as I left the store (because learning your lesson the first time is for squares), and so far so good! I am happy to report that June is back to coming after May as opposed to before. Calendars are not backwards. Order is restored.
Now comes the even more daunting task of actually using this very cute, very expensive planner.
But, if the writing on the cover is true, then I think I’ll be able to stick with it! As anyone who has ever used and abandoned a planner knows, the only thing harder than tackling your to-do list is actually using the planner that you intended to use to keep track of your to-do list.