Confessions of a Paper Planner Addict

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

I may not be tech savvy, but one thing I know intimately is the style, feel, size, weight and functionality of almost every paper agenda on the market. I have tried them all – held them in my hands and asked myself (to quote Marie Kondo), “Does this spark joy?”…The outside has to be aesthetically pleasing, but that’s just the beginning…

Vertical planner or horizontal? Hourly or blank spaces? Bright colorful motivational quotes peppered throughout or simplicity and structure? Stickers? Spiral? Bound or Binder? Big or small? Pockets or no? The possibilities are endless.

The promise of a planner is that of an organized life, a place to keep notes and record memorable moments. A brain dump and a memory jogger all in one.

I am so particular about my planner that one of the biggest fights of my life was with my friend Pete – we were both abroad our junior year of college and met in Italy for the weekend. All I wanted to do in the glorious city of Florence was search for the perfect Filofax. After about 3 hours at an outdoor market he left me alone and stomped away to explore what he considered to be the real treasures of Florence (fool! Nothing beats the supple leather Filofax I got that day…).

As Annie Dillard famously said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” and a planner reminds me too that each day is a blank page, fresh and full of hope.

With the advent of ical and a gazillion planning apps why would anyone still use paper? Turns out I’m not the only one. Two friends of mine and I actually planned a “Plannerpalooza” so we could compare all of our planners and discuss the virtues and missteps of that’s a party! Want to come?

I’d love to hear how you plan your day! Do you write down your schedule and “to dos” or do you prefer technology? Please share your tips and tricks for staying organized and planning a meaningful life!

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