The Planner Conundrum

Dwight D. Eisenhower once said that “plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” So what, I have to wonder, would he make of planners?

I am planner obsessed. It is more than a schedule for me–it is a roadmap. Happily, I have other friends who share the “what will be perfect for this coming year” focus, and we exchange flurries of emails this time of year. I used to love the Franklin Covey system, and still use the ideas behind it, but it is too bulky.

I have a large Planner Pad, which I’ve decorated. The smaller size is too small for me to see, but the larger size is to big to haul around in my purse, so that isn’t working as well for the day to day. I take the T and walk everywhere, so transportability matters. I’ve also used the Passion Planner, with same too big/too small issues. I use my google calendar all the time, so time scheduling isn’t the issue. It is more prioritizing my time that I have been wrestling with of late.

I use and like the Bullet Journal system, and use it for taking notes. But I need a bit more order in my life.  The lists are long–how to get them done? Maybe there wasn’t the perfect planner for me? That’s what I was thinking when my friend Jessie wrote to me about her latest planner discovery.

The Volt planner is new on the market. The focus of the planner is on goals and achievements. Every month you set up a goal. There are even boxes on the bottom of the month for you to check off whether you met the goal.

There are also weekly goals, and a place for you do to check-ins with yourself.

The “schedule” portion of the planner breaks days into three blocks–morning, afternoon, evening–without specific times. I love this. When I am trying to block times to write, or do yoga, or deck the halls, I need a big picture “Tuesday Night” vibe.

I did order the Volt, and received it yesterday. It looks to be sturdy, nice layout, dark print, heavy pages. Simple yet (hopefully) sufficient for my needs. I decided to hit “order” after I’d downloaded their 2016 planner from their Facebook page, and taken it for a test drive. I also got a new notebook to bullet journal in. Both fit in my purse.

In 2017 I have two books to write. Plus everything else. Let’s hope that the Volt is up to the challenge of my life.

Dear readers, are you planner obsessed? What are you going to use for 2017?


J.A. Hennrikus and Julianne Holmes are the same person. She writes mysteries.

30 thoughts on “The Planner Conundrum

  1. Yes I am! And I working with the Tranquility Journal/Planner from Kimberly Wilson for 2017. Fingers crossed that it works for me!

  2. Hello Julie! I am so pleased that you have received the Volt Planner and think it has a chance of working for you! I am looking forward to using mine and have already started blocking out preliminary plans in it by writing possible goals and habits as well as deadlines and events on sticky notes and placing them on the monthly pages. That leaves me able to start zeroing in on things without committing yet.

    Consistently using a planner along with the Personal Kanban system,, has dramatically improved my ability to manage all my obligations and even more importantly, those goals that slip away so easily when crises born of chaos take over.

    Here’s to a happy, healthy and productive 2017!

  3. I need a lot of space to write on the day in question, so I use a boring got it off amazon planner that has a huge 11 inch columns without times. I list my writing goals and accomplishments, marketing, reading, as well as what I am homeschooling the kiddo with that day and how much time we spent on it. And still have room to pen in actual appts. But I never need to take it with me so it can be big.

  4. If I tried to use a planner, I’d forget to write anything in it… and then I’d forget where I’d left it, and eventually I’d forget I even had it. The “problem” isn’t that I forget too easily; the “problem” is that I don’t write things down to remember them — that’s not how my brain works.

  5. I used the bullet journal system in a regular notebook from June to December, but didn’t really do much in it for December. I’ve now invested in a ring binder from Kikki-K for 2017 and am currently working on setting it up as my ideal planner and setting my 2017 goals.

  6. Oh, this might be one to try next year, looks good! I went for the big passion planner this year – I won’t be able to bring it with me but I also have a small portable “generic” planner that I can keep in my purse to make sure I’m not double booking myself.

  7. Pingback: Writing Links Round Up 3/6-3/11 – B. Shaun Smith

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