Planner Peace… it’s something every planner longs for and something most struggle to find at some point. And unfortunately the only way to truly find it is try new things until you find what works. I know this struggle all too well and thought I’d share my journey with you.
When I first started planning, I was satisfied with just my Big Happy Planner. I had everything all in the one planner and it worked well for a while until I started using it for too many things and it was no longer big enough to hold everything (yes, really). I still love my Big Happy Planner and can say I found peace in that from the very beginning. It’s my other planners that I’ve struggled with. The biggest struggle being with my health/fitness planner, so that’s the one we’ll focus on.
At the beginning, I didn’t track a ton of health/fitness related things. Sure, I wrote down doctor appointments, but hardly anything else. But then I started going to the gym and wanted to track that as well as my overall journey to better myself. So I started having a second planner just for those things. When I started my shop, I had purchased a Classic HP expansion pack so I could take measurements, so I decided to start with those for fitness tracking since it was something I already had. A friend had a set of covers and discs she was able to send me so I assembled my own planner from those. I decided what I wanted to track in the planner and created stickers to fit accordingly. And it worked for a while, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with it.
When that expansion pack ran out, I decided I wanted to try the actual fitness planner. I had mentioned trying it to the same friend who had sent me the covers and discs and she sent me the expansion pack as part of a gift for my birthday. So of course with it being a different layout, I had to adapt the stickers I created for it. At the time I was more satisfied with this than the regular Classic HP.
Then came Christmas and my in-laws gave me a Big Happy Planner. Well, I had already purchased my new Big HP planner for the year, but I didn’t want the planner they bought to go to waste! So, what did I do? Yup… you guessed it. I turned it into my new fitness planner. I also had gotten a Fitbit that year so I had something else I could track in the planner. Really, it was just a larger version of the Classic HP that I initially used, but with a few changes. And let’s just be honest… I really didn’t need that much space. But it worked for a while and I couldn’t say I felt bad for not using the planner.
Then things changed. Going to the gym started causing my chronic pain levels to intensify and I had to stop going. I also found that I really didn’t care about tracking everything from my Fitbit. So, did I need a big planner anymore? Not at all. Even a Classic HP would be too big.
By this time I had already started using a B6 TN for one of my other planners, so I decided to try adding another insert in that for my fitness. It was a week on 4 pages insert. The columns were wide enough I could use the Big HP stickers and still have space. I actually don’t have any photos of that one to show you. Does that say something about how much I liked it? Yeah…. let’s just say it wasn’t my favorite. Did it work? Yes, but I almost gave up using a planner for my health/fitness stuff because I just couldn’t find peace and refused to continue to use a bigger planner and not even need half the space.
Then came the Hobonichi weeks craze. At first I wasn’t going to buy one. But I decided I needed to jump on it because everyone wanted Hobo stickers. So I ordered one in order to get measurements to create stickers for my shop, but told myself if I was going to do this I HAD to use the planner for something. So, I figured, what the heck? Let’s try it for my health/fitness planner! So in March 2019 I started using the Hobo.
A few months in, I remember thinking, “This planner is actually working well for me! Could this finally be my planner peace?” But I knew it would take a lot to convince me if it was my peace because of my history with my fitness planner. 4 planners in under 2 years? I wasn’t going to hold my breath….
When the end of the year was approaching and I was still in the Hobo (the longest period of time that I’d ever stayed in 1 planner for my health/fitness), I knew I’d found at least some level of peace. Peace in the layout. Peace in the size. The main difference was the horizontal layout. And while I’m a vertical planner for everything else, this is the one thing that I found the horizontal to work best for. And the planner isn’t too big for me either. I am able to fit everything I need to in there and still have a little space if I were to do a workout or have other appointments, etc. But (you knew there had to be a but), the one thing I wasn’t convinced on was the paper, so I wasn’t willing to admit to planner peace. The Hobo paper and I are not friends. It’s so thin and isn’t very forgiving. If I’m lucky, I can pull a sticker up, but I just struggled to get past the paper….
So I decided that going into 2020 I would try a B6 insert in the same Hobo style layout. B6 sized because I could add the additional insert to the TN I already use. I figured yeah, it would be a little wider but that should be fine because I’ll have the same layout and a better paper. This is going to be my peace because I’ll get the best of both worlds, right?!
I was so wrong! I wanted to like the B6 version. I tried to like the B6 version. But I hated it! The extra width is just too much. At the end of the week there’s still way too much extra space and I just don’t like it. By the time February hit I already started missing my Hobonichi (the shortest amount of time before I wanted to ditch a planner). It’s something I never thought I’d feel or say given my dislike of the paper. But I learned to live with the paper. For 10 months I dealt with the paper and was completely happy with the planner otherwise. Does the paper really matter as much as actual functionality of the planner? That’s what I had to ask myself.
I decided that from here I had 2 choices: go to a Hobo sized insert or buy a new Hobo. And while I could have put an insert into the cover with my PP Weeks, I decided to buy a new Hobonichi. 10 months in a planner says a lot when I’d struggled for so long. My planner arrived in 2 days since I ordered it from Amazon. Of course, I had to have the penguin cover. 😉 (You can find this Hobo in my Amazon store (paid link)).
My heart is so happy to be back in the Hobo starting this week! I can’t even explain the feeling. Can I tolerate the paper to have it function the way I need and want? Yes. Yes, I can. The paper and I will learn to be friends because the planner functions exactly the way I need it to and I feel like that is the most important thing.
This final experiment of trying just one more thing and then missing the planner has brought me to realize that I did in fact find planner peace in the Hobonichi. There. I said it. I found Planner Peace. Finally. It only took 2.5ish years, but I found it!
Have you found Planner Peace? If so, what planner(s)? If not, what have you tried and what do you need for it to function well for you?