If Madonna’s Material Girl were to be re-written for 2017, it’d undoubtedly include a lyric change to “Cuz we are living in a digital world…” (I’m still a material girl. @ me.) In a world that is abuzz with Google Calendar notifications, invite synchronicity, and Siri’s automated reminders, it seems that date keeping has gone digital. I’m one of the last true holdouts of the paper planner – at least, it feels that way. Of course, there is a cult planner community that is obsessed with stickers, doodles, and pens… but at a certain point, if it takes more time to draw my to-do list than to-do-it, I’m out.

Queue the Passion Planner. This isn’t a sponsored post – although, I’m available, Passion Planner people – just a genuine love affair with my little black book. Which is actually a huge black book, that is slotted with post-it notes and color coded appointments.

Instagram: @PassionPlanner

I love having a paper planner because it gives me a tangible place to write down all of my appointments, so I remember them better. I can get all of my personal, work, and volunteer events in one place. There’s also enough goal setting spaces and positive reminders in the Passion Planner that I have genuinely used it as a “life planner.” It’s corny, but stay tuned.

Between volunteering and a lot of auditing additional education courses, I have a lot of goals. It helps to make all of them tangible – even things like drinking more water or meal planning. I have a real spot in my heart for this massive stack of paper that helps me keep my mind on track. (My brain is one big Chrome browser with way too many tabs open). Aside from just plugging a planner that I like, I wanted to write this post to emphasize how to tackle a schedule when even your schedule has a schedule.

  • Color code your life. Yes. I said it. I love Sharpie colored pens, and I have a separate color for different areas of my life. My 9-5 job, my freelance, my volunteer work, education, social events… at a glimpse, I know where my time is going to.
  • Post it notes are your friend. Easily removable. I use them to block out time for events that are TBD. (Looking at you, Bumble dates…)
  • Use both the monthly and weekly pages of your planner. I will write down dates twice – once the day it happens (on the weekly view) and in the monthly view. It helps me be able to take a quick glance at the whole month and determine when I’m free (or when I have time to retreat into the zen abyss that is my apartment and turn off my phone).

I’ve already pre-ordered my planner for 2018… and sue me, I’m excited about it.