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Planners are always a good idea in theory. The prospect of organizing your life at the top of a new year holds promise—maybe now is the time you'll finally become a more put-together version of yourself. It's the same excitement as entering a new relationship or buying school supplies for the first day of school. It's a fresh start full of new perspectives, goals, and a life that feels like a blank slate.
I'm actually a big planner fan. The Notes app and Google Calendar are great and all, but I happen to like the old-school process of writing things down (there's also evidence that doing so improves the likelihood you'll actually achieve the goals you set for yourself). I invest in a new planner almost yearly. But then, almost like clockwork, I stop using my planner a couple of months after buying it. I'm not proud of this, it's just that, over time, keeping up with my planner feels like a gargantuan task. That initial surge of "determined to get my shit together" energy eventually fades, and I end up resenting the pressure to plan my life 12 months out. Which is why I was immediately intrigued when I came across a planner that only tackles tasks one quarter of the year at a time.
As the website explains, the first few pages of the Q Planner are where you outline "what you want to do, achieve, and experience" over the three-month period. The first page includes five bullet points for you to list what you want to make happen; below is a section to jot down things you want to focus on, while the adjacent page is for your "experiences." Whether that's something you fill out as you go or a place where you write what you want to do, well, that's up to you.
The remaining pages are for you to plan your day-to-day. First, decide what the most important task is, then there's a timeline for you to figure out how to spend your day hour-by-hour. There's a section for personal life stuff and another for three good things that made you smile throughout the day. The final corner area is there for you to summarize everything that happened in one succinct sentence.
The planner is only meant to cover three months, so you'll have to continually repurchase it, but it's a better, more digestible, and practical way to get organized in my eyes. Tackling three months of plans rather than quadruple that is less overwhelming and allows you to reevaluate your goals as the year progresses. Your aim for winter might be different from that for spring, and the Q Planner forces you to think about that. Also, since it does only cover roughly 90 days, it's compact, so you can travel with it in your bag or leave it on your bedside table without it taking up too much space.
It's only my third day out here, so the first few pages of my planner aren't filled out just yet, but that's okay. Who says planners need to be started on January 1 anyway? Start it three months in or skip the first two quarters altogether. The advantage of this planner is that you can pick it up or buy a new one when you're ready. Start it when your life speeds up and you begin to crave structure, or when it slows down and you have more time to sit with your intentions. The pages are undated, so if you do miss a day or a week, you don't have to feel too guilty. Face it, you're probably not part of the 8 percent of people who actually achieve their New Year's resolutions, and that's fine! Take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. We're all failing at this huge undertaking together. The beauty is that we're at least trying.
The WW Club, The Q Planner, $15, available at The WW Club.