“Who among you is wise? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom.”James 3:13
Most people are busy, and we all struggle to keep track of our various appointments, events, deadlines, and holidays. This juggling act is made a lot easier by using a simple tool that I think is somewhat underrated in the people community and should be utilized to keep track of all of your essential things.
This wonderful invention is called…..
Wait for it….
You might think I am joking and being overdramatic, but I have met people in college who do not have some sort of place where they keep track of all of their important dates. They are scattered across their emails, syllabi, and random discarded and misplaced sticky notes.
And I CANNOT tell you how many times classmates of mine have had to beg their professors for extensions on important assignments because they forgot the day the assignments were due.
Sometimes, though, it is hard to know exactly what kind of planner is right for you.
This is a bit different from my usual posts since this is not exclusively applicable to people with mental illness but to anyone who has trouble staying organized, mental illness or not. However, I have seen that people with anxiety, ADHD, and depression struggle to find either the motivation or knowledge to find a planner that works for them. Therefore, I am making this post to help those like me who initially had no idea where to organize my life.
Here are the 3 types of planners I have either used in the past or I am currently using. I have discovered that planners are kind of like shoes, different kinds fit different people.
Pre-Made Yearly Planner
These kinds of planners are readily available at office supply stores like Office Depot and Staples. They put them out in December (I think) for them to be ready to use as soon as the clock counts down to the new year. These planners are the most common ones that I have seen the adults in my life use, with pages outlining their various appointments, daily routines, and meal planning for the week. These planners often go for anywhere from $13.00 to $35.00 on average and considering all of the content included in these pre-made planners, and this seems to be a reasonably good deal.
Here is a link to the Office Depot website’s page dedicated for planners if you feel this kind of planner is right for you.
- Already ready to use upon purchasing
- Include pages like appointment, birthday and health trackers
- Often have pages like meal trackers and recipe planning
- cannot customize very much
- limited room to add events to calendar and daily schedule
ADHD Rating – 4/10 Not a lot of opportunities to add our creative flair that our ADHD brains are so focused on. This often leads to losing interest in the daily upkeep of the planner and making sure everything is written down properly and in a cohesive way.
Anxiety Rating – 8/10 There is something rather soothing about being able to open your planner when you are feeling very anxious, lost and overwhelmed and see your day all ready to plan out in neat little sections. This helps to bring things back into perspective and makes everything feel much more manageable.
Depression Rating – 7/10 It is hard to find the motivation to construct elaborate pages from scratch when you are feeling very depressed and apathetic about planning out your month and your weeks. That is when these pre-made pages come in handy and help make it easier to plan everything out.
Bullet Journal Calendar
This is the kind of planner I am currently using. I started using a bullet journal at the beginning of 2020 with my mother’s prompting after I missed several assignments that I would have been able to complete on time if I had written down these dates in an easily accessible place. As a result, I made beautiful, unique monthly calendars, habit trackers, weekly schedules, and scholarship entry logs that I know definitely would not be included in a pre-made planner, at least constructed in the way I needed it to be.
These are available on Amazon in a variety of styles and sizes, just look up “bullet journals” and you will be provided with a large variety to choose from if you want to try this kind of planner.
- Extremely customizable
- Many different size options
- Good bit of work making the pages
- Have to seek out tutorials and examples
- Rather time-consuming
ADHD Rating – 10/10 OH MY GOSH. I love love LOVE to work on the pages in my bullet journal. There is always some creative new design or layout to make and I get to intertwine fun handwriting and my colorful pens. The only problem is, sometimes I get carried away with the creative aspect and forget to make it practical.
Anxiety Rating – 7/10 For some creative people like me, it is actually soothing to make these pages in a bullet journal and do something physical with my hands that yields really pretty – looking results. However, if you are not a creative person, it can be stressful to have to make a bunch of new pages every month just to stay on top of your appointments and activities.
Depression Rating – 6/10 This rating is low for mostly the same reasons as the Anxiety Rating, it is hard to find the motivation to create your planner pages and since they are not pre-made, you just have no calendar or trackers, which you need to stay effectively organized for the month.
I also use a digital planning app and computer extension called Notion to organize my online stuff, like blog post ideas, recipes, and my go-to packing list. There are also options to download templates (like the one above) to your tablet or iPad if you prefer a more traditional layout for your planners.
Here is the link to download Notion onto your computer for free, there is also a free mobile app that you can download so that you can edit and view your digital planner on the go.
- Can add aspects that cannot be added to physical planners
- Tons of ways to customize and theme your planner
- Cannot use without an electronic device
- Not really able to use creativity with the organization
ADHD Rating – 4/10 Hard to focus on because there is no physical copy and it is super-easy to get distracted by other things on either your computer or cell phone that seem a bit more interesting. Plus, you cannot make anything stand out with unique colors or handwriting.
Anxiety Rating – 6/10 It is super simple to point, click and drag things in your digital calendar so there is not a lot of stress involved, plus if you have an app you use along with a computer program you can insert your appointment or due date as soon as you get it and can check it on the go.
Depression Rating – 5/10 There is nothing incredibly motivating about digital planners, at least in my personal experience, and I also do not use my digital planner a whole lot so I do not know if they are easy to use when you are feeling depressed and unmotivated.
Anyway, I hope this post helped, even though it was a bit different from my normal content.
Please like, comment and subscribe if you connect with my post and would like to see more of my crazy, exciting journey with Christ and mental illnesses. Every interaction I receive here means a lot. Thank you and God bless you.
Until next time!
For someone who loves using planners and journals, this was good to read. I have been thinking of a midyear planner and was thinking of the digital route, so I’m glad you talked about that.
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Thank you so much for your comment! Digital planners are definitely not for everyone, but luckily there have been a lot more created in recent years with all kinds of designs and purposes, so there is something for everyone! My favorite at the moment is Notion because of all the cool layouts you can implement and the fact that it is completely free is such a blessing for a broke college student like me, lol.
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I love planners! I am so obsessed with them. I used planners all throughout college and have continued to use them during my first year of working full time.
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I started using one the first year of college and now cannot imagine living without one, lol
Great post. I have been just writing everything I need to do on a piece of paper which isn’t too helpful. I fully intend on buying a good planner. Also, I wanted to comment on how awesome your website is. It’s very clean and professional!
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A good planner is a must-have for everyone, not just scatterbrained people. I really hope it helps make your life a bit more manageable. Also, thank you for the compliment! I appreciate the positive feedback about how my blog looks to my readers. 🙂