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Every so often, when I decide that I’m going to get my life in order, I go out and buy a planner. They’ve always been a sort-of staple in my life, from 5th grade onward. At that point, it was both a cool way to express yourself through stickers and also keep your life in order. Supposedly.

The issue is I’ve never fully been able to commit to a planner. I’ve flirted with them. I get the idea at a base level, and I know that writing things down is incredibly useful for me, so why can’t I use them like my friends? I mean, I have one friend who has their entire life written down and would be lost without it. They go through every day, once they’ve completed a task and crossed it off when it’s done, providing a further sense of accomplishment and organization.

So why can’t I commit to a planner? I’m not someone who typically shies away from commitment or routine. And I want to be the type of person who has universal access to her schedule at all times, instead of constantly needing my boyfriend to remind me, “Actually, honey, you already have something that day.”

The truth is, planners give a sense of self confidence. Which don’t get me wrong—having confidence is great—but after using them for a while, I internally think, “I got this, I don’t need to write everything down anymore!”

We know this is a lie.

I’m getting so much better at organizing and prioritizing my days because I’m writing everything down. I now have a visual way to tackle my day, week, and month. Which can either be extremely comforting or downright terrifying depending what’s on my docket. But at least the framework is there to remind me that little by little, I can get things done—without falling into the trap of overplanning everything.

Of course, because I have so many things and work with so many mediums (digital, paper, Facebook, Evernote, and Wunderlist to name a few), I am constantly looking for the master app to combine it all. Then, maybe, I’ll be able to constantly plan my life from start to finish. This will make me someone who people look at and go, “Wow, how does she do it?’

But when it boils down to it, it’s not really about the tools we use to accomplish tasks or organize our lives. Even if I’m using planners sporadically throughout the year, the fact that they help bolster my self-worth, confidence and can-do attitude is something I’ll take any time of the calendar year.

Jessica Lulka

Jess Lulka is a Boston-based creative. When she's not writing or editing, you'll find her at any bookstore, art museum, or looking at cat pictures.

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