31 Days of Learning to Simplify: Rethinking My Planner

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Are you a list-maker? Do you have a planner that’s worn from all the use it gets? 

I totally am and I totally do. Probably because my brain has left the building since I became a mom. (It is a thing. For sure.) So, lists and planner notes are essential to remembering anything these days.

I know a lot of people rely on apps like Google calendar now, but I am old school. I need a tangible calendar in my hands. Bonus points if it’s pretty. 

I almost always have my Planner with me. Unless I forget it or I’m on vacation, it’s usually in my bag or at least in my car. My inner nerd comes out over my planner. Sitting down with a fresh new planner, armed with pens, highlighters, and tabs is one of my very favorite things. It’s slightly alarming, the joy this brings to me. I told you, #nerdstatus.  But here’s why: my planner is my life tracker. It is way more than a place to fill in my work dates or make an errand list. It’s a sort of memory book of all the mundane in my life, like a regular old Tuesday at work, paired next to a memorable event like my wedding anniversary. As much as I try to avoid hoarding important mementos, I keep most of my old planners. I just can’t part with them. Especially the ones from significant years in my life. Every once in a while I will flip through an old calendar and see important dates from my life: 

Engagement day!, April 2007. 
Adopted our boxer Hudson, September 2010. 
Aven Harper’s birth day,  9 lbs 4 oz & 21 inches, February 2014. 
Aven’s first steps today!, February 2015.



I love the Gratitude box at the end of each week; it’s an intentional way to reflect back on the blessings from the week.


So I would encourage you to grab a new planner or open the one you already have and write in it every day. Use it as an abbreviated journal where you can track your special moments, sweet memories, prayers, and goals. Planners by nature are meant to simplify your life, but you can really capitalize on it’s uses:

– Get rid of your Post-It notes and keep track of small reminders on the pages of your planner.
– When you get a party invite, copy the address and all other pertinent info into your calendar and then toss the invite itself.
– Or if you want to keep that invite for sentimental reasons, tape it into your planner. You can even do this with keepsake notes from your spouse or doodles from your child, which prevents them from piling up in a storage container in the attic. 
– Have a master to do list on one specific page of your planner. Add and check off items as you go. 
– Meal planning. 
– Blessing counting.

It’s a simplified way to track the every day, the significant, and the significant found WITHIN every day. You don’t have to be confined to the typical ways a planner is meant to serve and simplify your life.

On the first empty page of the planner I doodled a brainstorm of personal goals for the upcoming year. This is the page I flip to when I need a reminder of my purpose or if I need to think through a decision I’m having a hard time with. 


My current planner is a thin and simple version of the Day Designer. It has a section for to do’s every day and a gratitude box at the end of every week.  I’ve also heard great things about Erin Condren planners

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