Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Very Long Post About Day Planners

It's +2 today, which is equal parts fantastic and straight up dumb.

It's fantastic because it's warm, because frostbite is unlikely and the ice on the roads might melt a bit. It's dumb because I already ventured out to do my errands earlier this week when it was -40 with the windchill. I got rear-ended, and had to stand out in the cold talking to the guy who rear-ended me and taking pictures of our cars—my damage, his license plate—and wouldn't that all have been so much funner in +2 weather?

But I can't complain, really, because it's +2 now. And Saskatchewanians who complain about the weather when it's +2 are the actual worst.

I talk about the weather a lot on my blog. Probably because I think, somewhere deep down, that simply existing in -40 degree weather makes me a tough person (this is categorically false, though, because a lot of people exist in -40 degree weather. Some of the wimpiest people I know live here—due in part to the fact that most of the people I know live here. I'm digressing wildly).

So enough about the weather. But what else is there to talk about in January? Oh, I know: day planners!

Because in January, most places put their day planners on sale—up to 50% off, as though because you've missed the first few days of January, the value of the whole calendar is depleted by half. It makes no sense, but it's my favourite time of year. 

Is there anything better than a brand new day planner? (Yes, technically, like a billion things.)

But for the purposes of this blog post: NO. There is nothing. 

I took an entire evening last week to peruse the Chapters website in search of the perfect one. There were no less than 500 to choose from (which is kind of silly, Chapters), so it took a while. Lucky for me, I am super picky about planners and have a mile-long list of criteria (below):

1. Has to have a closure of some kind. A bungee cord that wraps around the front, preferably. I saw a few that zip shut like wallets and I thought that was a bit of overkill. Unless you're actually keeping change in your day planner. Which...actually...isn't a terrible idea? Is it? Pockets in the front for your cards? A wallet/planner hybrid. I could get on board with that.

2. Tabs for the months.

3. Lots of room to write—planners with tiny squares are stupid. What, do I only do one thing every day? Half a thing? Come on, Planner People.

4. Lays flat.

5. Month view and day view.

6. Doesn't have a stupid 'inspirational quote' on the front in gold foil. I am over being inspired, and I am over gold foil. (I don't understand 'inspiration culture' to begin with. Am I supposed to feel motivated in my work and personal life just because my planner, who has never met me in real life because it is not a person, says "YOU GOT THIS GIRLFRIEND" on the front of it? That's ridiculous. If one of my actual 'girlfriends' says to me, "You got this," in reference to something they actually believe I've, you know, 'got,' that's one thing. This is another thing. A ridiculous thing.)

7. Doesn't cost $65. I don't understand how a day planner can cost that much. It's a book with nothing written in it. A pretty, hardcover book with lots of well-thought-out, edited to bits words costs about $20-$30 brand new. I am supposed to pay twice as much for a book I have to write myself? 

I probably have other criteria as well, but I whittled down those 500 choices quite quickly using this list.

The one I finally settled on kept almost all of my rules beautifully, but it breaks #6 throughout. It's unfortunately bursting with 'inspirational quotes,' nattery BFFspeak, and has a secret code and a flow chart in the back to help you decide if you need bangs or not (I already know I don't). I feel like it's probably geared toward high school students, so whatever. It's fine. I'll probably take whiteout to some of it, to be honest.

But it's got good bones.

What it lacks in professionalism and bored indifference toward me and my life, it makes up for in functionality, pretty artwork, and a heft that feels very legit, if you know what I mean. And, like, there are two pages of stickers. You're never too old or stoic for stickers. ...riiiiiight?

It's this one here, and here are some pictures of it:

And now you need to tell me about/post links to your day planners, because I love talking about day planners. This is how you can tell I'm thirty.


  1. I love having a planner! Because it replaces the parts of my brain I lost through various concussions and also raising 2 babies with not enough sleep. And also stickers. Yay stickers!! I also dislike ones with wistful quotes like "anything is possible. Believe it," which is a bold face lie. It should say "Anything is possible, but a much smaller percentage is actually probable." I would buy that planner.
    I have been known to take scrapbook paper and cover over silly quotes. It makes my heart happier than some holographic quote telling me that "The best day to start something new is today."

    1. I was feeling so obsessive and silly about whiting out the ridiculous quotes in this book! I'm so glad you do it too. Scrapbook paper is a better way to go about it. Good thought.

  2. My phone/Google calendar is now my day planner, but when I was in school, I used to have a small pocket sized calendar. It had one page per week and each day had enough room to put everything relevant to me at the time. (That was basically due dates for assignments/quizzes since I didn't have a social life.) They were always completely practical business style calendars. I think the fanciest I got had a perforated corner you could tear off at the end of the week so you could easily find the current date. At some point I switched to a larger weekly calendar with pretty pictures on one side and lots of space on the other. I really didn't need the extra space though.

    1. College was my intro to day planners too. I shudder to think of the pages and pages of lists of assignments...

  3. Definitely see the positives of this planner. I'm also not a fan of the inspirational/cutesy sayings. I like plain. I weirdly can't have a planner with the spiral rings. If I HAVE TO, then I could do it, but I choose not. I agree with having both the month and day view. I opted for the moleskine planner this year, a bright red one. I like small planners I can fit in my purse, but have all the necessary pages. The moleskine is interesting because it has all the days of the week on the left page and then a lined page for notes on the right, which is kind of nice for weekly to do lists. The pages are extremely thin, however and I had to get new pens that didn't bleed through. Also the months are not in front of the week/day view for each month, they're all clumped together at the front. So I still haven't found the perfect planner. If you have suggestions, I'll take them.

    1. I had a moleskin one a few years back, and really liked it—but it was just a little *too* plain for me. I'm somewhere in the middle on the decor issue: I love a little jazz, but not cutesy, inspo-jazz (that is a thing I just made up).

      I'm enjoying this one a lot so far. I have taken whiteout to many of the little "OH GIRL HOW YOU SO CUTE?!" inscriptions throughout, but other than that it's cool. (There are some without binder rings!)

  4. I absolutely agree with you regarding the price of planners. It's INSANE. I get a new one every August, and I LOVE to make lists, cross stuff off those lists, and I have kept all of my planners since I was in 8th grade. But yes, the price for planners compared to those of books is ridiculous.

    1. I'm a planner-keeper too! The margins of mine are full of such random information and thoughts...

  5. I actually clapped at your rant about inspirational quotes and gold foil, because I could not agree more. I haven’t used a planner since college, but I’ve felt myself wanting one lately. I’m tired of using my phone for everything.

    1. Haha, thank you for agreeing with me on this issue. I loved gold foil when it first came out (heck, our book we published last year had gold foil right on the front cover), but it's eeeeevvvvverryyywhere now...

      And I've actually kind of been over the inspo culture since before I was born.

  6. I was literally just having a very specific planner conversation with Ryan the other day because I would not settle for anything but the Moleskine Wedding planner, which we had to order from the Moleskine website because they don't sell them anywhere in town. IT HAD TO BE THAT ONE OR NOTHING though. I'm a major planner snob.


Say anything you want. It doesn't even have to be relevant.