February Planner Update: Taking a Planner Break

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My planner system got overwhelming. As it usually does this time of year. So I am taking a planner break.

planner update stack of planners text "february 2022 planner update - taking a planner break"

February Planner Update: Taking a Planner Break

I decided that I’d really like to try to do a planner update more often. Hopefully once a month, but as things settle into a nice groove, there may be less and less to report so I may drop it down to less frequent. We’ll see how it goes.

But for now, there’s a lot of new things to report. So much seems to change with my planners during the beginning of the year.

I don’t know if it’s because of having ADHD, or just getting used to a new change in my planner and planning system, but I do this every year. I should just expect it now.

And it makes me so sad because I really love a lot of things about my planner, and my whole planner system. But something about January just makes me unsettled with my planner. Really. It happens every year. Sometimes in January, but always by March. I could point you to specific blog posts where I’ve done this before even. *insert eye roll here*

I’m Overwhelmed By My Current Planners

In this case, it’s trying to figure out how to use the pages of essentially three different planners. So taking a planner break seemed like the best idea while I figured out what to do next. And it has been so helpful to just be able to step back for awhile.

What Went Wrong (aka what’s stressing me out)

You may have seen that I decided to use both the weekly Erin Condren LifePlanner, and the MakseLife Planner. In the same book.

Really, I should have known better. I’ve tried this before. Not exactly, but I know that I don’t do well trying to combine multiple planners. Apparently this is true even when I don’t plan to use both of them.

If you ever see me try to do this again, remind me that it never works. I’ll probably still tell you that it’s different this time, but at least then you’ll be able to say “I told you so.” 😂

The struggle for me is that there are different things that I like about each one. And I couldn’t figure out how to have all the features I like in just one planner. Going back and forth just ended up making me much more overwhelmed than any planner should. I mean, planners are supposed to simplify our lives, not make them more stressful.

And then I also was adding in the EC Daily Duo. Which I’ve been using successfully for months now. But having an additional set of monthly notes pages, combined with my struggles about the lack of weekly notes pages, just made it one of the enemies too.

I finally had to just put them all away. I still love them and want to use them. But it’s just not working as is right now. And I don’t have any more energy to think about it right now.

So I went back to the basics.

What I’m Using Now

I went back to a bullet journal.

I use a very basic version of a bullet journal. It’s mostly a to do list, with other random pages of notes mixed in. It’s cute, but not highly decorated like most bullet journals you’d see on Instagram now. I have a set way I title each page with highlighters and a Papermate Flair (I like that the line is thicker), and I might add a sticker or two if I’m feeling bored. It’s much closer to the original version of a bullet journal, just with some extra color.

This is an old picture, but it’ll give you a good idea of how I use it. My style hasn’t really changed since then. Like at all.

To do list in notebook

This has helped me a great deal with keeping me (mostly) sane, but also allowing me the break that I needed from a traditional planner.

I don’t know how long it will last. Generally I will use it for a few weeks, until I can figure out what needs to be changed with my system, and then I move out of it. It’s still sitting right next to me, but I find myself reaching for it less and less.

Changes I’m Making

While I’d love to just get a new planner that’s “perfect,” that’s not really the best idea. Plus, it probably doesn’t exist.

For one, money. There’s no need to buy a new one right now just because what I set up isn’t working. I’ll be much better off readjusting with what I already have. Plus one of my goals this year is to use what I have.

And two, I really do love the planners I have right now. It’s just the system and how they are setup that isn’t working. I still believe there is a lot of potential in what I already have.

Sometimes I just need to step back in order to figure out what to do. Living in the planner the way it is (actually was- I’ve already changed things) was overwhelming. Putting them both (the weekly and daily) away for a while gave me the chance to think about it without the pressure of trying to use it at the same time. And using the bullet journal lets me still have a place to write down the things I need to remember and do. So I don’t go crazy.

Undoing What I Did

Like I mentioned earlier, I thought it would be a great idea to bind the ECLP and MäksēLife Planner together.

Well it wasn’t.

So I uncoiled them again, and rebound them as separate books.

I added the second half of 2022 back into the ECLP (complete with purple vegan leather cover) along with more extra notes pages like I inserted into each month for the first half of the year.

And I coiled the MäksēLife pages with an extra EC metal coil I had from an old planner, and added an EC interchangeable cover to it.

I’ve been using the Erin Condren LifePlanner as my regular weekly planner. With appointments, events, and to do lists.

The MäksēLife is currently being used just as my goal planner. I use the weekly planning pages to plan out when I will complete certain goal related tasks.

I still love both planners. And I don’t think this system is sustainable forever, but it does seem to be working for now- allowing me the benefits of both while I continue to think about how I will plan in the future.

I know that planning is an ever changing system. I’ve accepted that and I don’t mind.

What About the Other Planners

Yes, I still have other planners. The daily I haven’t quite brought back yet, but I don’t think it will be long. I miss it. It was one of my most helpful tools.

Honestly I haven’t touched my content planner this year. I really haven’t been producing much content. There’s a lot that’s up in the air. But that’s another story. I’ve got a bunch of “in progress” blog posts with matching YouTube ideas. But that’s the short version of what’s going on there.

I’m still using my Powersheets and about to sit down and set up my goals for February. I don’t normally look at my Powersheets everyday, so about once a month is what I expect from it. I set up my goals and do reflection. But then my goals go into my MakseLife, where I can reference them more regularly.

And my budget planner is still the same and doing well. I have no intention of adjusting that. I’m really going to try and get a flip through of that planned (and written) for a soon-to-come Youtube video and blog post.

Sometimes Taking a Planner Break is Necessary

Overall, I had a shaky month, and lots of overwhelm. I wouldn’t say I’ve fixed all my struggles- that’s a constant battle- but at least I seem to be making past my traditional January slump.

Do you do this too? Does it take an adjustment period before you get settled into a new planner? Let me know in the comments if you are thinking of taking a planner break too!

My Something Beautiful Life

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