How do you planner?

So I watched the planner stream and I’m totally fascinated, this is a Whole Thing. I want to know moooooooore~

But first, maybe a silly question: how do you, personally, use a planner? When do you write in it, when do you reference it? What do you include? (I’m especially interested in your answer if you have ADHD.)


I’ve kept a planner since 6th grade. (I still own them all, they survived all my waves of minimalism). Year to year basic academic planners, broken down by week. How I use them now- my husband and I both have weird and variable schedules. For example this week, I have-
Monday: SirB, (event) (place) (time). My study interview call (time).
Tuesday: SirB, (event) (place) (time). Imperfect box arrival reminder.
Wednesday: SirB, (event) (place) (time).
Th: SirB, (call) (time). Reminder to schedule Latte’s upcoming 2 year old appt.
Friday: reminder that fridge will be delivered today.

On the right hand column for every day, I track the amount of time we spent outside that day, in pursuit of my “1000 hours outside” goal. Every Sunday I have the week total and YTD total on that.

I have a small set of pens I keep nearby and I color code some basics. Orange for SirB events. Dark green for dr/dentist type appointments. Bright green for Lil Pup appointments (this helps me easily spot, say, when I last took her to get her nails clipped). Red for “pay attention”. Pink for social, ie, remember that your in laws are coming Saturday, self!

I hope that helps? It’s not particularly cute. I used to do a lot more to do items, when I was a student and took it with me everywhere, but now most of those are voice reminders or on our white board in the kitchen, because my life is not my own haha.

Feel free to ask any Qs. :woman_shrugging:


i love having a planner, and it helps me, but i am an inconsistent user. my life is not that busy so it mostly helps me focus on what i want to do each day/week.

in 2021 i’m using a weekly planner from appointed and i have enjoyed using it. i used a hobonichi techo cousin for a year or two previously. usually i just keep a notebook (i like these the best) where i make a barebones 2-page spread by hand (most weeks) and in between write a lot of lists and make notes in an extremely free form fashion.

i saw that there is a hobonichi techo cousin without dates available now, so i ordered one for 2022. with the appointed journal, i have needed a separate notebook for notes and lists anyway, so i think the more free-form hobonichi techo will work well for me.

when i’m in a good place to be using my planner, i tend to sit down with it on sunday afternoon or monday morning, and think about what i want to focus on for the following week – actual tasks as well as overall themes like “be trustworthy to my body.”

during the week, i keep it on my desk as i’m working and jot down stuff i need to do or follow up on. i love
crossing things off as i complete them!


I too am on the Appointed train! They just released their 2022 offering. Not sure which one I want. In general I’m more of a weekly to-do list, monthly activity view person. The daily pages almost always go unused.


so do people do the planning in another spot, and then do the final documentation in the planner? if so, where/how do they do the planning?

Like, I try to plan out my menus and groceries every week, and there ends up being a bunch of rethinking and trying new ideas so I’m not triple using certain ingredients, or leaving other things to be wasted.

It seems like what goes into the planner is the outcome/output, not the work of planning


My planning process is entirely about planning. If the plan evolves, sometimes I update the written plan, and sometimes I don’t.

I think some planners can be pretty easily set up so that you can both plan and document – the Hobonichi Techo is good for this just cause there’s more real estate. For instance you could plan on the weekly pages and document on the dailies.


If I know it’ll be insanely messy and I don’t care to preserve the process, I’ll use scratch paper and a pen.


On planners:

I tried Happy Planners for most of this year, but found that there was too much daily space, but not enough monthly/weekly planning. But, I was proud of myself because I consistently used them for most of the year.

Prior to this, I kept a joint notebook for notes and lists. I found that I took notes too frequently and spent a lot of time copying things over and finding my to-do lists between days of meetings.

In the last two weeks I have started trying out bullet journaling so I have more space/real estate. I want to try it as it seems like a more organized system of what I naturally have done for years.

I bought myself a new nice bullet journal notebook because I wanted to. I keep a separate planner for work and another one for personal/small business with my husband. I also still have yet another notebook (I use these from Walmart) for work notes from meetings.

Right now I’ve set up these spreads in the work journal:
Intro section - bullet journal key, table of contents, calendar through the end of the year
September - monthly master task list, weekly “rolling” log for planning task throughout the week and then daily task lists.

I’m trying out the rolling weekly that Claudia Kai does here at 11:34:

Still waiting on my personal/business journal to arrive but am planning/thinking about what spreads I want to lay out.

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I’m currently using this planner I like the set up, weekly to-do list, block scheduling, meal planning, etc. I also really like that it’s a big hardcover planner.

I try to fill in my “blocks” the night before. Her system is really helpful to make sure certain things happen at certain times. Like I have an AM work block where I check and answer emails, tackle high priority items, etc. Then on Sunday’s I do my weekly to do list (later I plug in these to do lists items in my blocks for the week) and also my meal planning.


Also, I do the majority of my weekly planning on Fridays so I’m ending the work week knowing what the next is like. I also often plan my personal stuff (like grocery shops and meal plans) too if I have time. I normally do monthly stuff on the last Friday/weekend of every month

I try to end each day with making the next day’s list as well.

I keep my work planner on my desk within reach most of the day. Personal planner floats throughout the day but when I wasn’t working from home I kept it in my work purse.

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I have a bullet journal. Sometimes I use it and sometimes I don’t.

It has an annual overview I drew up but I use a wall calendar mostly for that kind of thing so the family can reference it too, it is helpful to have a calendar in the book to see dates and whatnot.

I write the date at the top and make a list when I use the bullet journal. Sometimes I make notes in it too or plan out specific projects. Sometimes I use pages for meal planning and groceries, I like these pages because if I’m unenthused I can copy a previous week.

I like having a blank journal for this so it doesn’t end up with gaps and I don’t have lots of loose sheets around. I don’t bother indexing stuff, I throw a sticky page marker on the pages that are most relevant at the moment. Sometimes I do a running todo list on a sticky note and move that around instead of rewriting the same things I’ve failed to do over and over :rofl:

I use some kind of fancy Japanese notebook that has hundreds of very thin pages. They are luxurious to write on with a fountain pen and it feels like there are endless pages.

Edit: when I’m using it everyday Friday works for me to to a week overview but I mostly just use it on individual days when I need a bit more structure.


My planner mostly corrals my endless lists, though I still have some separate notebooks of lists.

I dunno. I feel like I need a different planner now, and I haven’t found anything that appeals. My life has changed and my planning is different, but I don’t know what would work better.

My number 1 requirement is heavyweight paper.

Also, planners give me a place to use stickers.


Personally, I buy Happy Planners and lots of accessories.
They are so pretty.

But then I never use them for more than 1 or 2 weeks.

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Okay, I’ve been thinking about this a lot :joy: because the ad-hoc system I’ve cobbled together is definitely not working.

Rubber duck with me, if you will. I think my system needs:
:white_check_mark: A calendar. I’ve got a Leuchtterm1917 that I like and am using for this, it’s one week + one blank page. Would be nice to color-code events, but I will inevitably lose track of the pens. Is there such a thing as a good one of those super fat pens that’s like 8 different colors?
:question: Also a giant year-at-a-glance wall calendar, for marking out PTO and travel and so forth. Love giant calendars. Need a good one for 2022.

:question: A running to-do list… or, series of lists, which I can see all of at a glance?, because there’s the stuff that’s time-bound, like “do laundry this weekend”, but then there’s also less time-bound stuff like “everything I need to do for the next [event]” or “everything I need to implement in [random creative project],” which I don’t like copying over and over from week to week.

:white_check_mark: Diary/sketchbook/brain dump. I’ve tried keeping this all in one notebook (is this bullet journal style? Must have read it SOMEWHERE) and it turns out I rather hate having my to-do lists mixed up with my random ideation. I apparently really like the Leuchtterm1917 form factor apparently, cuz I’ve got the dot-grid for this and dig it.

:question: a book of lists. Currently these live in Evernote, but I’d rather have them all in one, physical, place. Things like: bucket list; yearly goals; books to read; games to play; movies to watch; etc etc. I could just do another dot grid for this sure, but I know if it takes too long to set up I will abandon it.

Thoughts? Recommendations for :question:s?

More details about my specific scene

For reference, I’m chiefly managing:
-> day job, which is quarantined in its own little system and is working fine. Not a complicating factor
-> organizer role for an annual event
-> organizer role for a community group with irregular activity
-> zero or more creative projects of varying scope
-> my household of 1, which, boy, domestic shit is waaay at the bottom of my priority list


I bullet journal and use a bunch of collections, as well as monthly spreads, meal plan spreads, and dailies.

I have little pieces of paper that move from journal to journal with me. One has the list of everything that a monthly spread needs, one has the list of everything for a daily. (I actually need to rewrite them because they are out of date and scribbled on.) Mostly, this involves checking other collections. Then I just have to rely on myself to keep my collections updated—for example, when I think of some task I want to get done eventually but not on a specific date, it goes on a running to-do list.


This is so interesting! As a beginning bullet journal person, I’d love to hear how people set everything up.


I just ordered a Mossery twinbook! I was looking for a planner with a place for daily notes for work, sometimes multiple projects at once, and decided that keeping the planner and the notes separate but in the same book is worth a shot.


I’m an inconsistent planner user too. I have one I designed that I never really. made, so I didn’t use it. The best one I found was a Mom’s planner, but I couldn’t find a new one the following year… bummer.

Do you folks know about the diy planner? There are printable files there for you to make your own, customized planner.

These days? What I mostly do is write notes on my daily online calendar of what I did or need to do, no paper. The last paper planner I had I used library pockets and cards. As I filled the cards, they were filed with the day’s page when it was filled. I had cards for my ongoing topics: Things I had to remember to do were filed in the day before’s pocket.

Outstanding “to dos” (single tasks)
Garden chores
Housekeeping (Divided onto 7 cards)
Food which needs to be dealt with.
Appointments I need to make
Long term chores I need to remember to work on. (When I worked on it, like raking part of our acre lot, I’d give myself credit for the day)

I managed this for about 5 months, then my PTSD got het up and I quit. That’s the real problem with planners for me I only use most of them for a short time.


The planner that started me on my planner journey over 20 years ago was Polestar Press’s Family Planner. I should have bought stocks in the company (though I’m not sure it’s public), I introduced it to so many people!

I quit using it when I started my business in 2012. At that point I was experimenting with business planners from Staples and reading and trying to follow “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. But David Allen was a bit of overkill for me as an artist, soooo….

I moved on to bullet journaling, which was a new thing at the time. I was attracted to the artsy stuff, of course, and tried to do fancy spreads. I realized I just didn’t have the time for that.

I discovered Ryder Carroll was the genesis of bullet journalling, so I watched his videos and ordered and read his book. That helped streamline things tremendously. At first I was using Lechturm journals. But I didn’t have time to rewrite collections spreads every new book. I have a lot of collections! So…

I went to a Traveller’s Notebook style planner, with inserts that could stay or be removed, as needed. But…eventually I found I had too many inserts in it, it was too bulky, and too costly to replace them each month. I know I can make my own inserts, but that would require outlay for a long arm stapler and again, time. Soooo…

Now I have a hybrid system. My collections remain in the Traveller’s Notebook bullet journal, and my schedule and “to do” lists are in a Dollarama planner I picked up for about $3.00 CAD.

So that’s where I’m at now.

I think everyone will have something unique that works for them. We are all different in how we think and remember things. (I forgot to mention my brief foray into mind mapping as a daily planning tool.). We also all have different lifestyles that require different memory aids and notes to capture thoughts/ideas/appointments/etc.

I’m off to check out other planning threads here. :slightly_smiling_face:


I want to know how this goes for you! Share on How do you planner? please! I have one for 2022 and I’m pretty in love with the hobonichi but I’m so curious about it