What To Do When Your Planner Isn’t Working For You // #8 of Blogmas ’16

I have a confession. I haven’t touched my Filofax in over a month. I mean, really I haven’t properly used it for a good couple of months now. My weeks kept getting left half done, without even the dates written in…

What To Do When Your Planner Isn't Working For You // #8 of Blogmas ’16

It’s an odd one really. I’ve had so many things to note down recently. I work two jobs, and with one of them my hours change weekly. I had been writing my hours down in my planner, but then I wouldn’t go back to it. Instead, I’d pull up the email with our rota on and look there. I’ve actually gotten pretty good at remembering all my shifts. Don’t ask how, I don’t know.

Anyway the point is, my lovely Filofax has been sat at my desk all lonely because I haven’t been opening it. I kind of miss it. Sometimes we put a lot of effort into keeping a planner and it just becomes a chore. Anyone felt this?

Why Is My Planner Not Working?

I have realised three things. For one, it was because I never opened it up. Simple but true. It sat closed on my desk and was just forgotten about. Two, I stopped taking it to work. I have actually been using a filofax, but it’s more as a notebook. I use it for my web content job to take notes. I didn’t want to take both, so the planner became unused. Three, time. I just didn’t set aside any time each week, or each day, to look at what was coming up.

The below is how I left my planner. The dates are from October, but I hadn’t written the month in, nor did I have enough paper printed to complete the other side of the week. Sad times.

What To Do When Your Planner Isn't Working For You // #8 of Blogmas ’16

How Can I Make My Planner Work?

I’ve sort of come to a conclusion whilst writing this up from my draft, and I think I now know why it isn’t working. It’s because I have been so busy. I’m working two jobs, attempting to keep fit and trying to keep up a social life. I thought I was busy when I was in university, but really I had all the time in the world. It was easy to waste a couple of hours writing in a planner. Now, it’s the last thing on my mind if I’m being honest. I do want to change that though.

Whilst doing Blogmas, I’ve realised that I waste far too much time online doing nothing productive. In December so far, I’ve hardly wasted any time online because the time I have spent on my laptop I’ve been writing blog posts! I mean I did waste a good three hours searching for a Christmas party outfit the other day, but we’re pretending that didn’t happen.

The main things that I need to do include making sure it’s always visible and taking time out to actually look at it. I bought a book holder last year for this exact reason, but never used it. Time to get it back out and keep my planner opened on the right page so I can always see the week at a glance.

As for taking time out, the plan is to try and take some time out to have a bit of ‘me’ time at least once a week. I get my work rota on a Monday evening so either then or on the Tuesday evening I aim to grab the planner, write down all my shifts and add in anything I want to do around that.

Future Planning Plans

I’m going to give my planner a little revamp when I’ve got time. I want to change the diary up a little to include space for fitness on my weekly so I’ll do another post on my planner’s contents for 2017. If I get to February and the planner still isn’t working, then I think it’ll be time to stick it back on the shelf! I feel like I just need that one last attempt at keeping it all up to date. I do love planning and writing lists after all.

Anyone else struggling to keep a planner?


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  • maybe you should switch your planning style up…to something that is just day of listing? it might help

    • Yeah I’m definitely going to switch it up some how. Something needs to change! (:

  • Shantel

    I was using my planner daily but was trying to keep up with 3 and it was stressing me out. Now I’m down to 2 travellers notebooks and I’m much happier and less stressed. Good luck figuring out what works for you! BTW love your blog. I look forward to reading it!

    • Thank you! Oh I definitely couldn’t keep up 3 haha! I think I’ve settled, should have another post about it soon!

  • Suus S

    My planner is my brain. I put EVERTHING in it: notes, appointments, lists. This way I use my planner as both a tracker and also as a calender. I need this, as I work full time, mom of two boys and I have also the household, fitness. By just putting everthing in my planner I know I will not forget things and I have a lot of peace of mind. I know it is written and out of my head and I can focus on the hear and the know.
    Does this make sense??

    • Oh yes definitely! With so much going on, I wouldn’t cope without a planner either!

  • I could not get a planner to work for my daily life – just didn’t have enough things that I needed to write down. I’ve been a little more successful at using planners for specific things – like fitness tracking and some list making – like Christmas presents.

    Tanya Patrice

    • I think this is definitely where I was struggling – now I’ve incorporated more fitness it’s working better!