Return to the Paper Planner

Return to the Paper Planner

I’m going to start using a paper planner again.  The only time I’ve really used a planner was while I was in school to keep track of assignments and work schedule.


Those of you reading this probably fall into one of the following two camps:

  1. Why?  Don’t you have a smart phone?  You know there are digital calendars, right?
  2. You don’t use a paper planner?  I’ve never stopped using one.  I couldn’t live without it!


Well to those of you in camp #2, I understand…now anyway.  Apparently, this is a thing! I am not sure how it happened or where I have been, but I ran across a YouTube video of Jennifer Ross talking about how she used her Erin Condren (EC) Life Planner. Which then sent me into watching video after video of many others utilizing their EC planners or other brands of planners. And I realized…It has been 10 years since I used a paper planner! Basically since I graduated college…(ahem…yeah). I guess I went into the corporate world (in IT) and everything from then on was digital. My work schedule & meetings were all digital and even my personal life (not that it needed a calendar) was digital (thanks Google!).


I loved getting a new planner for each school year. I loved journaling. And just so you know, journaling is not something that’s ever really went away. I have had some lulls but I have kept up journaling since I was a teenager.


But y’all….I am in desperate need of organization! My life has changed now. I am no longer working regularly, I am taking care of my family, and there are many things I need to keep track of.


In watching these YouTube videos and Instagram photos of other people using the planners, I realize that there is such a need for this in my life.  They track EVERYTHING people!  Steps taken, amount of water to drink, standard appointments, the weather, meal planning, To DOs, laundry, house cleaning schedule, etc.

Note: I wanted to include photos in this post, but I prefer to use my own photos.  And since I don’t have a planner yet, I don’t have any of my own spreads to share.  So here’s a link to a Google Search for “Planner Spreads” and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.


Ever since I had my first son (I now have 2), my life has been…how can we say it….chaotic? Oh what an adjustment parenthood is. And I feel like I’ve been in full reactive mode. I’m constantly just waking up every morning and wondering what that day is going to bring.  These videos and photos have really got me thinking of a new way to attack and prepare for my daily life as a mom.

#1 Have a plan!

#2 Keeping it all in one place is key!


So I know many of you are still wondering, why not just use your digital calendar?


Well, I will (there’s definitely a use for it)…but visualize this scenario for a moment. I’m having breakfast and I go to my phone to check my digital calendar and see what’s going on for the day. (5-minute task, right?) The next thing I know, 30 minutes have passed, I’m watching a hilarious lady in a Chewbacca mask, my toddler has torn the house upside down, and the baby is screaming.  I’m sure many of you can relate.


I think any mother these days has had the conversation with herself about am I using my smart phone too much? And I think we all yearn for a bit of a non-digital life. So that is why. I have already put things in place to stop looking at my phone so much and this is just another layer. But more than that, it’s something that I want to do for me. It’s something that I look at being fun and it will also tie into my journaling and creative side.


I used to love scrapbooking. But I haven’t worked on a paper scrapbook since my first year dating my husband and getting engaged which was basically 10 years ago this coming October. I view this planner as


  • Functional – a single place to keep track of the Williams household.
    1. Schedule of appointments & activities
    2. Dinners for the week
    3. Chores around the house
    4. Honey Do lists
    5. TV shows to watch
    6. Times we will be out of town (or the husband will be out of town)
    7. Important dates to remember (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
    8. Tracking my child’s health/sickness
    9. ETC…
  • Scrapbook/Journal/Memory Keeper – a place to remember the fun things we do. On my wish list is the Polaroid ZIP photo printer that can easily print photos that will fit perfectly into the EC Life Planner. I look forward to tracking things like:
    1. The first time my baby did something (IE: first tooth, first steps)
    2. Photos of my boys doing special things – first day of preschool, yearly birthday photos, etc.


And to go along with the scrapbooking side…STICKERS! Okay – so I don’t know if these didn’t exist when I was in school (haha – of course stickers existed) but the idea of using them in a planner?? I never thought that way. I was a pen & paper all the way kind of girl. But there are tons of stickers out there and most of them designed to perfectly fit in many popular planners now. They make the planner so beautiful. And I think my downfall in planners in the past has been that it just looks “boring”. I think if I take the time to “pretty it up” it’s going to stick with me that much more. And that’s also a reason to use paper. Simply the act of writing something down in pen will help me to remember it and put more importance on getting it done. No one necessarily sees my digital calendar so there’s no accountability. But someone might see my beautiful new paper planner, and I wouldn’t want things on there that I didn’t actually do, would I?


I am completely on board with this idea and looking forward to a one-stop place to organize my family’s life. I’m so looking forward to this journey and will share some spreads with you along the way.


Do any of my devoted readers currently use a paper planner? If so, comment below!  I’m not aware of anyone except maybe one person.  I remember when she talked about needing to check her calendar at home and I thought, “how funny you still have a paper planner”. And now I completely get it!


p.s. The new EC Life Planners for 2016-2017 launch on June 1st. That’s when I’ll be ordering! If you’re interested in ordering anything (note: they have more than just planners), feel free to use this link and get $10 off!



Also – Here are a few links, just so you’ll know what I’ve been watching:

Jennifer Ross –

Jennifer Ross – baby planning (I wish I had this idea when Austin was born) –

Jen Dufore – this one speaks right to me! I think this is how I will use my planner. It’s mostly functional with a few cute stickers and washi to jazz it up.

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  • I use my calendar in Google. But when I’m overwhelmed or I have tasks that don’t really fit into the google calendar, I make lists. I have lists on my counter for the day or the week, depending on what is going on. There is much gratification in marking something off my list.