I love my planner

Confession: I am in love. It is the type of love that is passionate, fulfilling, and brings unimaginable contentment. It’s the kind of relationship that I don’t want to imagine my life without, for I would be lost without it. Year after year, I re-commit myself to it. It is, of course, the love for my planner. I can take on the world with her by my side.

At the beginning of each new year, I get downright giddy when the time comes to rekindle the old flame with my paper planner. I set aside a special time to carefully pick my perfect companion for the new year. I imagine all the fun times that will be in our future; meal planning, doctor appointment scheduling, keeping track of kid’s after-school activities, and penciling in work functions. Note: only mechanical pencils are allowed to touch my planner. She is to remain neat and blemish-free. No inky cross-outs allowed on her crisp pages.

My quest for a planner soulmate is less about my controlling tendencies (although let’s get honest, that’s part of it) and more about us being a perfect fit for each other. If she is too big to fit in my purse, she will be neglected and left at home during important moments in my life. If she doesn’t have a month at a glance page, how will we ever get along? And, if there isn’t a spot to plan out my meals? Well, let’s not waste either one of our time.

planner up closeWhile much of the world may have moved on to a digital form of life scheduling, I stay faithful to my old paper planner. I have been true to her since college. She has given me a sense of sanity and calm that other types of organizational methods just don’t provide. Sure I’ve occasionally strayed with a quick entry in my cell phone calendar, but I always come back to my paper planner. The satisfaction I get from placing a neatly formed checkmark next to the tasks listed on her pages is something I just can’t find from a cold, impersonal pop-up reminder on a mobile device. Not to mention, studies show that the act of physically writing something down helps you remember it better than typing it out. Not that I need scientific evidence to prove to me what my heart has known for years- my planner makes me a better person.

This year will be no different than years past. As I sit down with my planner on the first of January, I will have those same familiar butterflies in my stomach and look forward to planning out our future together.  I will be reminded of why I fell in love with my planner in the first place, and will be reassured that I am still her type as well; Type A. And, if you see me out in the world and it looks like I have it all together, just know that I would be nothing without my trusty sidekick. The peanut butter to my jelly. My ride or die. The wind beneath my wings. My fabulous paper planner.

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Karen Smith
Karen was born in Ohio but spent most of her childhood in Florida. She attended the University of Florida, where she met her husband, and she got her Master’s in Elementary Education at the University of South Florida. She taught first grade in Tampa until her oldest son was born. Her plans to return to the classroom changed when her husband’s job brought them to Pennsylvania where they welcomed another son. The following years brought them to Raleigh and then St. Augustine. After spending two years substitute teaching in St. Johns County, Karen is now teaching VPK at a local preschool. She enjoys days on the water with her family, reading “chick lit” with a glass of wine, pretending to be Ina Garten in the kitchen, and cheering on her Gators. She embraces all things #boymom and has never met a doughnut/taco/pasta that she didn’t like.