Planners? Or Scrapbooks?

Photo by cloudplanner

I’ve noticed something recently that has me bemused. There has been a trend of what I call planners as scrapbooks. People are taking the simple Bullet Journal format and changing them into artistic works.

It’s like the scrapbooking trend that hit about 10 years ago. The craft stores now have aisles devoted to planner inserts, stickers, border tapes, markers, stencils and such.

The ones I have seen are beautiful. But I’ve noticed that many of the people who use these planners put an awful lot of time into the planner itself.

I come from a camp where a planner is a tool to help you get things done; and one of the primary rules is you don’t spend more time maintaining the system than you do doing the work.

As inspirational and beautiful as these planners as scrapbooks are, they are doing a disservice to the world. First of all, people realize they can’t make theirs look that way and don’t even try using a planner. Second, because they are pushing the idea that a planner has to be beautiful rather than functional. Third, because all it takes to do a DIY planner is a notebook and a pen.

I went completely digital last year for my planners. I use software that gives me a picture of a paper on which I can draw. Like having a notebook, but I can remove and reorder pages at will. And yes, my personal planner has some decorations – mainly lines and boxes that I use to corral things together. And I will admit to putting Winnie the Pooh pictures in it as a reward for doing my exercising. But my work planner? Nothing but text. And it works really well.

Planners are for planning. Everything else is frosting.

Photo by cloudplanner


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