Plannering 2016

Here we are, only two days away from a brand new year, and I do not have a planner yet. Neither do I have a wall calendar. I stopped using desktop calendars a few years back, because, well, I didn’t use them in the first place. I had grand ideas about using the daily pages in art, but I very seldom did, so phased those out, and don’t miss them.

Being without a planner, though, that makes me itchy. For the last two years, I’ve used pocket sized planners by Paperblanks. which are, hands down, the most gorgeous exteriors I’ve found on any planners (or notebooks, for that matter.)


Green book is last year’s planner, black and silver was for 2015, and I would be happy to get another Paperblanks for this year, though I haven’t seen any at the Barnes and Noble where I usually get them. My original plan in going for the pocket sized planner was that I could then carry it around in my purse and/or computer bag, to have it at the ready at all times. That did not happen, either year. Each time, the book lived on my side table, next to my comfy chair, with occasional sojourns to my office desk. So, I’m thinking larger planner for this year.

Before I started with Paperblanks, I liked spiral bound planners with lots of images and quotes inside them. A New York themed planner turned into one of my first art journals, and an Irish themed planner, the last spiral bound (I think) one I purchased, is still waiting for its next use.  I’ve looked at a few of those this year, but haven’t found anything to my liking. The closest I’ve come is a Walking Dead planner, and even that registers meh on my planner scale.

Though I love Moleskine notebooks, and have an as yet unused hardcover (purple!) hanging around, I’ve never used a Moleskine planner, which may be something to consider. Thinking about Moleskines also got me thinking about their cousins, Markings and Picadilly, of which I have several hardcovers. Add to that the brave new world of the dot grid softcover Moleskine I like a lot more than I thought I would, and I’ve started thinking of potentially DIY-ing my own planner from one of those.

Do I have any idea how that would work? Not a clue, though if I’m going to DIY a Moleskine, I could as easily DIY a larger Paperblanks, thus getting the gorgeous cover. Problem there is that I’ve only seen lined Paperblanks, though the website says there are some unlined. With my lack of depth perception (truly, it could have its own show on the comedy network) I need some guidance if I’m going to mess around with the format of a page. The dot grid in the softcover Moleskine is perfect for that, letting me divide the page into whatever boxes I need for a particular use, while not cutting through the words and images (because I am learning to use images now.)

I’ve found I am far more visual than I had previously thought, and I really do need something going on with the page for my brain to stick with it. Much as I love the Paperblanks, if I do go with another of those, I’ll need to alter the innards in some way. Which means I get to tinker with my existing supplies and expired planners to see what might work. A light wash of color on each individual day, so my eyes can easily pick them apart should do the trick. We’ll see how that goes.

For now, I’m still in the discovery stage. Maybe this year will be a different sort of planner, a fresh start to which I can apply more layers. Maybe I will find a way to DIY an existing notebook into a planner (have any of you had experience with that? I’d love to pick your brains) and maybe I’ll find the perfect premade. While I am antsy that I’m not moved into a new planner already (a perfect tucked-away week activity if ever there was one) I’m also pleased that waiting until after the first of the year means getting exactly the same planner I could have purchased before Christmas, at a hefty discount. I have fond memories of the other Barnes and Noble we used to frequent (now closed) and the Moleskines we’d often find on clearance there. I have to admit I almost got a Peanuts Moleskine planner, on sale there, a couple of years back, but couldn’t commit to a whole year of Peanuts. If the planner is themed, it has to be something I love-love, not merely like.

As for wall calendars, I’ve learned that those often have to wait even longer. Last year, I lucked out early and found a calendar by a photographer whose work I admire (and frequently appears on Studio Oh! notebooks) but have not seen this year’s version, so no clue what I’ll eventually pick. Real Life Romance Hero has asked for an Old New York calendar for the kitchen, which Housemate and I both second (and third?) so that’s likely what we’ll be getting for family use. I’ve made some halfhearted attempts at making my own wall calendar from blank versions bought at craft stores, but have never made it past January with one of those, so not pinning my hopes on a homemade calendar this year.

Maybe this is all part of where I am creatively as a whole. I’m much more focused on keeping the camera, as it were, on the romance when I write, because that’s what makes me happiest. No matter when or where, it’s the love story that counts the most. Everything else has to serve that, from setting to tone to supporting cast. Getting to that point took me several years, and novels-that-wouldn’t, so maybe it’s the same thing with planners this year. Maybe it’s time to kiss a lot of figurative frogs before I hit upon The One this year. Maybe I’ll stumble into something I never thought about before, and find it’s a perfect fit. Kind of ironic (cue Alanis Morrisette) that I’m not able to plan my planner purchase this year, but it’s also fitting for the creative life, so I’m going to go with whatever comes and see where that takes me.


Random Skye shot for readers (:cough: RLRH :cough:) who said they missed “the writing cat.”