#PlannerAddict: Daily Planner Conversion and my 2017 Planner

We’re three weeks into 2017, which means if you’re a planner person, you probably already have a planner for the year. But if not, today I’ll tell you why you might want to try a daily planner layout, and which planner I’m loving this year.

I switched to a daily planner about six months ago. I had tried some daily printables in the past, and had a sneaking suspicion that I would love a daily planner. I wasn’t quite ready to pay $50 to try one, so when I found the Day Designer + Blue Sky planners for $10 at Target, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for a test drive.

My suspicion was right. I’m officially a daily planner convert.

If a weekly planner works for you, I say go for it, but a daily planner has turned out to work so much better for me. A couple reasons why:

  • Seeing a spatial representation of my daily schedule gives me a better grasp on my time, which helps me use it more efficiently.
  • I’m less likely to overestimate what I can get done  when I am making a to-do list on a daily basis rather than weekly.
  • I keep my planner open on my desk each day, and I love that I can see everything I need to for today (no flipping around to find a meal plan somewhere else), without getting distracted by yesterday or tomorrow.

I did really love the Day Designer layout. Their planners are great if you want a sleek and minimalist daily planner, and I had planned to buy one of their regular Mini Editions when my Blue Sky version was done.

However, before I got to that point, I learned about the Anchored Press Devotional Planner. Like the name implies, it has the features of a regular planner, plus daily devotionals. It comes in a daily and weekly edition.

I admit, when I first looked at the planners online, I wasn’t totally sold. Each devotional is pretty minimalist, with one or two verses and a short commentary (in the daily edition). My approach to Bible study in recent years has focused on the Biblical narrative as a whole, and what each book says within that narrative. I get concerned when we pick out just a few “encouraging” verses and use them as our only or primary exposure to scripture.

But as I read on the Anchored Press website and Instagram, I realized that Deana (the owner of Anchored Press) is on the same page with me. I don’t think it was her intention that her planner be someone’s only access to God’s word. In fact, her company also makes a quiet time journal for more expanded time studying the Bible. She also understands how crazy life is for many women, and wanted to create a planner that would help us focus on what is most important.*

I ended up buying my planner on the last day for December 31st delivery, and I’m glad I did! The way I’ve been using the devotionals is as an addition to my regular Bible study. The verse is on my desk all day long, so it helps me meditate on scripture, and the devotionals often prompt more personal reflection and prayer. The Wednesday devotions in particular ask you to pray over a specific attribute for yourself (this week was “kindness”). I find this helpful because I often have a hard time knowing how to pray for my own spiritual growth. I then typically write in the journaling space each night as I plan for the next day. I appreciate that on Saturdays, there is a place to write ways in which God has blessed you this week; this helps me maintain a thankful attitude, and I look forward to being able to flip through my planner at the end of the year to see how God has been at work.

If I have any complaints about the planner, it’s only that the to-do space is a little small, with only 8 lines. I like to write down everything I have to do, and I mean everything, like responding to emails and sub-tasks for projects. I’ve gotten around that somewhat by writing reminders in the schedule space, which usually has plenty of room. But, no planner is perfect (I’ve tried so many!), and it’s not enough of a problem to keep me from using it. Overall, I’m so looking forward to filling my planner with schedules and reflections all year long!

If you want to get your own Anchored Press planner, you’re in luck! The pink daily planner (like mine) is still in stock (I actually wanted aqua but just missed them!), along with both versions of the weekly planner.

Do you have a favorite planner you stick to? Or are you trying something new this year? How do you stay focused on God throughout the week?

*At least, this is the impression I get from her. I don’t claim to speak for or on behalf of someone else.

How I’m reclaiming my attention span

Attention spans aren’t what they used to be. At least, I know mine isn’t.

I find myself struggling to pay attention, even when I want to. At plays, watching movies, hanging out with a friend. At school.

I was diagnosed with, treated for, and subsequently “undiagnosed” with ADD when I was young, but a short attention span followed me through high school and college, and really started to catch up with me in graduate school.

I’m sure that modern technology hasn’t helped. Scrolling through social media, jumping from one app to another, having text messages pop in every few seconds… none of these things are conducive to focus. I’m not proud of it, but I know that I’m seriously addicted to my Facebook feed, Netflix, and the smartphone that I carry from room to room in the house.

I don’t like the way this lack of focus on my part has kept me from performing my best at school and at home, and from making more progress in my goals for myself. So, I’m trying to work on it, and these days I’m choosing some specific habits to help reclaim my attention span:

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