My Daily Planner Needs…and Fails


I did a really lousy job of picking out my daily planner this year.

I wanted something different than the student planners I usually use. I wanted something that allowed for some color and creativity, something to draw me back to my planner after creating my to-do list in the morning. I researched planners and stumbled across pins and videos on The Happy Planner. The pages people shared were so cute! I got suckered in by that cuteness and bought one, without thinking about all the things I really need/want my planner to do.

I need room to keep track of appointments (I will forget without seeing it in my planner) and create to-do lists to remind me of what I want to focus on each month, week and day.

I want room to journal my daily activities, jot down inspirational quotes, write down things I want to research, keep a list of books I want to read, write myself reminder notes about photo challenges, keep track of the activities that I’m trying to turn into habits and keep a record of other odd stuff like the weather and moon phases. I also want room to doodle, even though I’m not very good at it.

Recently, I’ve felt the need to have a place to record the contents of my conversations with my mom. We’ve been having more and more conversations like this:

Mom: “I found another creature in my pond! It’s just like the one I found the other day.”

Me: “Um…(trying to remember hearing about a pond creature), I don’t think you told me about the first creature.”

Mom: “I’m sure I did!”

It’s a toss up on which one of us is confused, although it seems like I would remember a pond creature! (The creatures turned out to be salamanders.)

The Happy Planner simply doesn’t have room for all that. Each day you have three skinny boxes, one for morning, one for afternoon and one for evening. There are no pages for lists, reflections or trackers. Sure, you could probably buy some to add. That’s the other thing about the Happy Planner: To keep the cute going, it could easily become a money pit requiring the frequent purchase of stickers, washi tape and other supplies on the ever-growing list of products they sell for it. It’s probably a great planner for scrapbookers but I don’t want to buy or store that kind of paraphernalia.

Since the Happy Planner doesn’t have the spaces I need it to, I have another notebook to write down herbal and aromatherapy recipes, one to collect inspirational quotes, another for doodling and a pile of notes scribbled on papers of different sizes and shapes. Looking back on my notes is rarely helpful because the notes have a hodgepodge of numbers and writing that generally doesn’t make a lick of sense, even to me. Here are a few examples of the gibberish you can find on my notes.

A bunch of numbers then – Pick Decembe.  Decembe? Is that different from December? And why would I pick it? When? Out of what?

Sneaky Squirrel – then a bunch of numbers. No idea.

Orange, Orange, Normal Orange – written in orange.

Friday, March 18th, after 2:00 – Whatever it is, it’s coming up soon!

Not February 19th – I hope I didn’t do whatever it was on the 19th!

Phone tree sunset – Maybe something to do with an iPhone photo?

srenstt – That one’s a real head scratcher. I have no idea what I was trying to spell.

Because of my ironic unhappiness with the Happy Planner and my difficulties with organization, I was intrigued by Cee’s mention of bullet journaling in her Share Your World post earlier this week. I followed her link to Boho Berry! and was so inspired by what I saw/read there that I ordered the journal Boho Berry! uses.  Since then, Cee’s partner Chris has written several fantastic posts on bullet journaling. You can check out the latest of those here.

My new journal is supposed to arrive on Monday. I can’t wait to get it! I do feel kind of guilty for ditching the Happy Planner after only two months. It’s probably a great planner for people who enjoy scrapbooking and people who are capable of remembering at least a few things without writing them down. I just can’t take ten more months of those skinny boxes though. I need room to make lists, write and doodle to my heart’s content!


8 thoughts on “My Daily Planner Needs…and Fails

    1. I’ll post updates on how the bullet journal system is working for me. It may not be as cute as other planners but I think I’m going to like it better because of the flexibility.

  1. I’m going to get my bujo set up this weekend to officially start on the 1st of the month. I am also using the same notebook the Leuchtturm1917. Make sure you have fine point pens because their lines or dots are thin for writing. I also bought the same Staedler pens she did because of the colors. I used them to day for journaling and they are wonderful. We should keep in contact with other regarding our designs and what we find works or doesn’t work. But it is exciting.

    1. My journal and the Staedler pens came early!!! Yay! So, I will be setting mine up this weekend too. I was surprised by how thin the paper is and how small the lines are. The small lines are actually good for me because the smaller I write, the neater my handwriting is. And the thin pages have a nice texture, I just won’t be able to use my gel pens on them. I’m so glad I splurged and bought the Staedler pens too! I think for all the actual writing I’m going to stick with the Pentel RSVP ballpoint pens that I usually use. My handwriting is the neatest when I use those. Enjoy getting all set up. I look forward to reading about/seeing what you’ve done!

      1. Have fun. I’m using the Staedler pens. My Zebra pens that I like are just to thick to write that small. It will be fun to be working on these at the same time. Chris and I just had a long planning session on how to set up and what I want in my bujo….so now all I have to do is start drawing and writing it all in.

  2. I have yet to find a planner that works, even a smart phone altho it holds all the different apps in one place is useless because I want to physically write. Am interested in how the new journal works out for you.

    1. I will do a couple of posts on it soon. It’s so versatile! I love that I can journal if I feel like journaling and, if not, I can start the next day’s entry.

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