If you’re not using undated planners what are you even doing

Daily expressions of gratitude are important. Studies have shown that those who express gratitude on a regular basis are happier and healthier. Faithful folks profess the power of prayer, and as atheistic as I am, I have to agree: taking a moment every evening to profess to God, Allah, or whoever may be within earshot that you’re grateful for the specific things that you are is worth the time and effort. So today I want to say that I am grateful for undated planners.

The paper planner is what led me to become a pencil nerd in the first place. It was proof positive that writing things down with a pencil makes me more likely to stay on top of them than relying on a website or phone app to keep more organized. If you’re not using a paper planner, I highly recommend it.

But here’s the problem. Typical paper planners start on January 1, or thereabouts, and run through December 31. This means that at the beginning of the year, you can plan twelve months ahead. When summer rolls around, you’re down to six months. By Thanksgiving, why even bother? You’ve only go a month left; you might as well plan using sticky notes. Or maybe just write it in ball-point pen on the back of your hand, since the year will probably be over before it washes off.

Of course you can always buy a planner for the next year early. You can even switch mid-year to an “academic” version of your favorite planner so you always have at least six months lead time in reserve. The problem with that is that you have to carry two planners around — 24 months worth of paper. Pretty lame.

You don’t have that problem with undated planners! You can start them on the day you get them. I started a new one this week, in the middle of November. Once I’ve got it all filled out, I can just throw the old one away. I only have to carry one planner around, and I can play buying a new one by ear: as soon as things start going on in my life that fall off the end of the planner I’ve got, it’s time to buy a new one. That can be whenever. It doesn’t have to be on a publisher’s timeline.

I like the Midori Traveler’s Notebook 018 weekly “free diary”. It covers 28 weeks — about half a year. I’m a Traveler’s Notebook nerd so obviously it’s great that it fits into my TN cover, and the paper is exquisite (I wish their ruled notebook inserts used this paper stock, but thankfully I’ve found some great ruled inserts on Aliexpress for peanuts). My partner bought the Moleskine one this year and I really like the way it looks too; it’s kind of like the Midori, but a full-year stand-alone version. I’ve seen some others that I really dig too.

On the flip side, the more often you change planners, the more often you have to fill out all of the little date spaces. If you start a new planner before the old one ends, you also have to go through and transpose any information you’ve entered. No worries, though. For one thing, I think it’s fun. For another, it’s a good chance to pause and review what’s going on in life over the next six months.

So free yourself from the papery shackles of pre-printed planners. Go undated!


3 thoughts on “If you’re not using undated planners what are you even doing

  1. tecknishen November 26, 2019 / 7:27 pm

    May I also suggest William Hannah notebooks? They have dated refills for their notebooks that you buy 6 months at a time. You specify your own start date for the packs. With their notebooks, you are able to remove pages once dates pass so you can add more dated pages to the end. This way you don’t have to re-write anything in your planner!



  2. Markcotter November 28, 2019 / 11:13 am

    And William Hannah notebooks are the most gorgeous in the world! (I have 5 – all for different purposes but the system means that I can do anything in the notebook I have with me and then file stuff in the correct place when I have time.)


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