Since middle school, I’ve really been into planning. At first, I liked being able to plug in important due dates of my classes. But by my second year of college I wanted writing to become my job full time and to be be self-employed. To succeed I had to create a schedule for myself.
My life has changed a lot since 2010. Back then I was much more obsessed with my iPhone than I am today. I also thought that the “getting things done’ (GTD) or similar methods were the only way to “productivity” and the attitude and mindset of being productive. I spent $100-plus on an app compatible with all of my Apple products, called OmniFocus. OmniFocus is a productivity app based on the GTD ideas. I won’t go into details because, hopefully, you know by now that I’m all about using and/or doing things as they work for you, and not worrying about anything else.
At the time, the app really worked for me. I loved having a digital planner. I loved having everything right there as a reminder on my phone, computer, tablet, smartwatch, etc. It was great! I’d constantly research the latest productivity methods, always tried new things, and listened to a ton of podcasts about it. I told everyone I knew about what I was doing and I swore this was a lifestyle.
For many people it is. But, as it turns out, it wasn’t for me. I don’t know why, but it just stopped working for me, almost as if I outgrew the process. I don’t think I did, though; I just think it wasn’t for me. It didn’t work for my life or my illness. It was kind of difficult, to be honest.
About a year ago, I started seeing my favorite YouTubers talking about using planners with all these cool stickers. They were like scrapbooks or journals, and they looked so much fun! I consumed the content that my favorite people were producing, be it video or blog post, about their planners. I also was seeing people I loved creating cool scrapbooks and I considered getting a Polaroid camera. Then the bullet journal craze came about. All of these are things I could get really really into.
So, I bought a $10 planner at Target. I went to Michael’s and bought a cart full of stickers. I went home and explored a few dozen Etsy shops (that have now become my favorite.) and I shopped there. Since October I’ve been experimenting with different layouts and styles for how I organize my planner for my week to look.
However, there’s a twist. The past few months have been very difficult for me. There have been so many huge changes in my life, caused by my symptoms, and my planner has really held me together. I stopped looking at planners as productivity hacks.
Remember earlier when I mentioned loving scrapbooks and journaling? Well, I’ve been using my planner not only for planning, but as a scrapbook and a journal, too. This has been a super-fun way for me to keep track of my symptoms because it makes me more willing to record them honestly.
This also has been key to keeping myself and my life with cerebral palsy on track. It helps to hold myself accountable for important things like deadlines and appointments, but also for everyday things like stretching and self-care. It’s been such a fun thing to do!
Do you use a planner? Would you like to see a planner video from me?
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.