Happy Little Things—Planner Madness

November 03, 2017

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when the air is cooler, the days are shorter, and those of us who use paper planners are inundated with possibilities! You might recall, as I wrote in “Paper or Plastic,” I am a paper planner kind of girl. Since I wrote that post, I’ve retired Old Faithful (at least for now), dallied with the Happy Planner (how could I resist given the name?), and finally committed once more to a binder-based system, this time the Franklin Covey “Ava”. (I have no affiliation with any of the brands mentioned.) 

When I was deciding what my next planner would be, I spent a ridiculous amount of time stalking planner binders on eBay, reading planner reviews, and visiting various and sundry stores that carried ones I was interested in. I discovered there’s a whole planner subculture, and spent hours watching videos of true planner addicts going through their planners section by section. Some of those planners were works of art, and while I loved seeing them, I had no desire to work that hard over my planner pages.

This may sound like a whole lot of fuss about nothing, but I use my planner heavily, and would find myself lost without it. It’s one of my most important tools, and it matters to me that my tools be both functional and pretty, given that I use them every day.

Choosing the tools we use on a regular basis can be a simple pleasure—and I take full advantage of that. While also trying not to become obsessed and waste large amounts of time…

So here we are again in Planner Season, and I have a decision to make. The Covey system worked well, but I wish the paper were a little thicker, and last year it took some doing to find a refill with my preferred vertical orientation. I admit I’m tempted by some of the other beautiful brands out there…

Uh-oh. I feel planner madness coming on again!

Do you use a paper planner? Which one is your favorite? Are there any other objects of daily life you obsess over?

You Might Also Like


  1. Kathy I have used the Franklin Covey planner for years but have taken to making my own the past couple of years. I am addicted to paper planners as well. Thinking though that I might do an art themed one in the coming future. Take care and have a wonderful weekend. Hugs!

    1. Debbie, I would love to see your customized planner! Too bad we don't live close enough to have copy and compare paper planners.

    2. That was supposed to say "coffee"...

  2. I started “bullet journaling” this year. I had taken Joanne Sharpe's Artful Life classes for the past few years and found that I really enjoyed jotting down my thoughts at the end of each day. And while I enjoyed her method for awhile, eventually it became more work than I wanted. I am also a list maker (I know you are too), so I decided to combine my list making with my journal keeping in a bullet journal. So far it’s working well for me; I really love my bullet journal. Right now I’m using a Rhodia Webnotebook. When it’s full, I have an official Leuchtrum bullet journal that I will try. The paper is fountain pen friendly, but wouldn’t be good for watercolor. But that’s ok, I’m not painting in it.

    1. Cheryl--I'm intrigued by the whole bullet journaling thing, but have never tried it. It's really a challenge not to make any system you want to continue for the long haul into too much work. Isn't it fun to choose different notebooks and pens to list and journal with? A simple pleasure, for sure.


Look for my travel writing here