I don’t know how many I have – lots. And lots. I like them so much I began to make my own. Electronic ones, leather-bound ones, small ones, skinny ones, hole-punched, disk-systems, traveler’s notebooks, monthly, weekly, daily, annual trackers… you name it, I’ve planned in it.

I love seeing a picture of my life on paper.

A planner is a thought-wrangler. All of the bits of information and worries in my head spin and fight for my attention regularly. I lie awake at night and helplessly watch the lists and ideas collide with each other in a raging storm. With my therapy of choice open on the desk and my pen in hand, one by one, I pluck the thinkings from my mind and place them gently in their assigned boxes and rows. Gradually, the swirling grows less congested, like an air-popper with those last few stubborn popcorn kernels.

I like color-coding, too. Red is for medical. Lime green marks my running miles. Yellow is for connections with friends and family.

I discovered erasable pens and markers last year, which eases my angst about “messing up” a beautiful, pure, white space. Tabs, stickers (I prefer an elegant style), and dot-grid paper are a few more of my favorite things, along with brown leather notebooks tied up with strings.

January brings an opportunity and a wonderful excuse to stock up on planners. Really, it brings me so much joy. I love a quiet new year, with time for reflection, fireplaces, and, if I’m lucky, a softly falling snow. Peace. Clarity.

I use my planner for so much more than planning. It’s a scrapbook of my past, a schedule for my present, and holds my goals and dreams for my future.

If I spent as much time working on my tasks and goals as I do documenting them, I just might get something done someday.

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