The Planner Rebel: This One’s for You!

By In-house publicity still [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


You’ve tried planners before, and every time, despite the best intentions, you find yourself slowly but surely rebelling. Oh, it does not start out as rebellion. It starts out when you have a day that throws you for a loop, than another, and another and so on, and so on, ad nausea. Soon, you look at the planner sitting on the counter with resentment. You blame the planner. It’s easier that way. You fold your arms and glare at it. If only it were a __________________________ (enter magic planner that you believe will solve all your planning problems).

Just in case you haven’t realized this yet, I am gonna set you straight. Because I am a bit of a rebel myself. Excuse me while I drag my cigarette (cough, sputter, choke). The planner is not the problem and YOU are not the problem (ha, you thought I was gonna lay a guilt trip on you, didn’t you?). The problem is in your thinking. We need to straighten out your thinking and then those planner problems will take care of themselves.

Planner Rebels need to sorta pave their own trail. You need maximum flexibility, or you will …well, rebel! Yet, most Planner Rebels do crave structure, so there is a bit of dichotomy here. There are many good planning systems available. But not all of them are good for YOU! Additionally the one system that is right for you for a season, might not be right for another season or time in your life.

I have an exercise for those who are planner rebels, or those who have fallen off the planner wagon, and are screaming from the road, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up! ”

Instead of quitting altogether, Try the blank notebook challenge. *I have been wanting to film a video to show this, but have not yet, still working on details. It’s coming- I promise!

Before spending anymore money on a planning system, before printing more pages that you do not use try using a blank notebook. Any notebook will do ( I will show a couple of samples when I get video up) , and you can  figure out what will be best for you, eventually. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but basically, you take a page or two and track your time, appointments and to do’s on a simple page. You hand date it (even as you go). This will allow you to loosely sketch out your day. Do this for 7 days. After the 7 days, look at what was most important. Did you add decoration? Did you list appointments on one side and notes on the other? Did you doodle, brainstorm? What was important enough for you to write?

I trained many weightlifters in my life. One of my favorite sessions was taking an athlete seeking my assistance, and showing him the ineffectiveness of his movement. Of course that was only half of the lesson;  it was when I demonstrated a more efficient movement that would equal more strength, more efficiency, more power BUT  cost the athlete something. His ego. Because usually we had to drop that weight, correct the mechanics of the movement before the result could be attained. Sometimes to make progress, to move ahead, we need to go backwards first -or so it appears. But what are we losing really? For the athlete, potential injury, inefficiency and limited strength gain. For we planner peeps? Similar things. Sometimes simplifying, getting down to the most fundamental aspects of our planning (and training) is when we can ultimately get ahead of the game.

So my dear rebels without a cause, don’t give up!


A Practical Tip: Your challenge for the week? Simplify. Assess what is working for you in your current planning system, what is not? What do you feel you need? What do you need to let go of or what is not serving you? Some things are good in theory, but in practice not so much. Restrict yourself from buying or seeking out the next best, latest, greatest planner page or system. If something is not working for you, eliminate it. If you feel there is something you need, write it down and at the end of 7 days if you still feel you need it, then by all means (perhaps) get it.


Quotes to Ponder: 

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” ~William Arthur Ward

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucious


A  Prayer for  Today: Dear Lord, all wisdom, knowledge and understanding comes from you. With you all things are possible. Help me to not throw the baby out with the bath water. Lord, sometimes small changes, can make a big difference. Remind me how you are in the smallest things, and allow me to release things that are not useful to me, whether behavior, attitude, habit or excess belongings and material possessions. Help me adjust my steps according to your wisdom. Help me to align my attitudes and actions with your good and perfect will. In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen.




This is Day 20 of the series Planning with Purpose: 31 Days of Planner Tips

I wrote an INTRO POST here explaining everything!

I have also made designated a PAGE for it. Hope this makes it easy. I am happy to tackle a topic, or issue with regard to your planner habits.

Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. 

final with bigger31

I pray this series is a blessing to you. 


Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is a life enthusiast who loves to juggle words, chug coffee, and journal excessively. You can find her gathering stones on the beach most mornings. She enjoys hanging out with her hubby, daughter and family pets in Narragansett, RI and shares her passion, poetry and prose @Enthusiastically, Dawn.

7 thoughts on “The Planner Rebel: This One’s for You!

    1. Ugh! I did three videos and had to delete them all! Will try again today. The voice and film keep going crazy…I almost sent an unedited one to you for your opinion, but then decided to delete – so disgusted! Thanks, hope I can get this done today!


  1. Dawn- this post was for me! I am a planner rebel…I keep multiple calendars…this post gives me freedom to plan the way that works best for me for the season that it works…I have a more free flowing season now, than when I had kids at home or when I was in school, when I kept a more detailed planner. Nowadays, I doodle my plans in my journal, keep a calendar on my phone for appts, and a calendar on the wall to just see what day it is 🙂 plus I have my multiple art journals, too…I think I just like to document life all over the place… a bit crazy, but at least I know it! (And amazingly it works for me! Ha!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a trusty unlined pink journal that I turn to every time my other planning systems appear to complicated. This is where I plan day by day, until I get myself out of the planning slump.


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