Ever had nightmares about showing up at the wrong time for a class? That was me, in college. I’d dream I’d lost track of one of my classes, and realize I hadn’t attended it the entire semester and was failing!
Time is something I’ve always had difficulty with. In school, I did the work early so I didn’t have to worry about the deadline. I’ve also worked a lot with memory because I’ve had trouble making planners work. They’re made for left brainers. I like to see my calendar parts in big chunks so I get the bigger picture, but a lot of the planners put the days in a more linear lefty format that hides them from me. Those that give me the bigger picture are often insanely tiny, assuming that I will write neatly in pencil in very tiny letters. I’m lucky if I can find a pen in the same color twice in a row, and besides pens are fun!
Most planner advice focuses on being efficient. Liz Davenport advises, “Write EVERYTHING down, not just “really” important things, not just business things and not just what is convenient. Write down EVERYTHING!” If I did that, I’d survive a week (maybe), and then I’d put the planner out of my misery.
But I’ve accepted (grudgingly, she admitted) that I have to keep one. The convincing reason was when I scheduled two doctor appointments on the same day at the same time. I’m currently using Day Runner’s Poetica. It’s my fifth planner this year (yes, it’s only February!). The feel of the cover appealed to the kinesthetic me, and the page design appeased the visual spatial me (which is the more fussy part). I was very glad their 5 1/2 size left off the numbered appointment slots!
My immediate goal is getting into the habit of looking at it. I’m only recording things that I will need to have with me (i.e., hotel confirmation number), things that I will forget, appointments, and time spent writing.
What’s your experience with planners? Do you have any tips for the planner challenged like me?