You Don’t Need A Pretty Planner

If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, Tumblr, or any site like that, you’ve probably seen gorgeous planners. Ones with washi tape on every page, color coded with 16 different colors, adorable little drawings and other things like that. They are perfect and pretty and amazing.

If you want to spend a lot of time on your planner, that’s great! It’s a great creative outlet, and you may be more likely to want to use a pretty planner. But for most of us, we simply don’t have the time (or mental energy) to devote to decorating our planner.  And that’s okay! It’s easy to get discouraged when you see pretty planners everywhere, but here are some reasons your plain planner is just as good (or even better)!

Why you don't need a fancy planner: 5 reasons your plain planner is just as good as (or even better than) the pretty decorated ones!

1. A plain planner keeps you just as organized.

Honestly, as long as you are writing down the things that you need to do and it’s legible, your planner is doing its job. A calendar is still filled in whether that’s with a pencil or a set of twenty fancy colored pens.

2.You can spend more time actually doing the things in your planner.

Every minute you spend decorating your planner is time you could spend actually doing the things written in your planner. It’s fine if you plan to take the time to decorate as a way to destress, but it’s way too easy to fall into the trap of procrastinating the real work by spending time in your planner. You feel productive because you’re “organizing” your life, but really you’re just wasting your time.

3.You are more likely to write things down if they don’t have to be pretty.

If your professor announces an upcoming assignment, you want to make sure that you write it down so you don’t forget. However, if you use a fancy system, you might not want to write it down right away if you don’t have the right color pen with you or enough time to make your handwriting perfect. By the time you can adhere to your system, you might forget about it. It’s much better to get something written than to forget about it for the sake of looks.

4.It’s much less pressure.

If you’re worried about your planner looking good, you might not even end up using your planner because the pressure is just too great. You don’t want to mess up, so you don’t end up doing anything at all. If you don’t care too much about your planner looks, you can write things down without fear.

5.You can experiment with what works best for you.

If you set up an elaborate color scheme, you’re going to feel like you have to stick with it. This is fine if it works for you, but if your planner is less structured, you’re free to try lots of different formats. You can try out different ways of color coding information, using bullet points, writing information is different places, whatever you want until you find what works best for you. There is no pressure to use the same system from week to week or even day to day. You might end up finding something that works best for you.

My planner is definitely on the not-so-pretty side. What does yours look like?


  1. Kim

    January 19, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    I am envious of people who can keep their planner pretty and decorated because I’m not motivated enough to do that. I use to love writing in my planner with different color pens to coordinate with the category. But sometimes I wouldn’t write something down because I didn’t have the right color pen. Through trial and error, I learned that my favorite way is to write everything down in blue ink and then highlight accordingly. That way, I can just write it down in blue pen at the time and highlight the tasks later.
    Great post!

    1. kymberlyann

      January 23, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      Oh I love the idea of highlighting in different colors later! That’s genius!

  2. Madison

    September 20, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I’m so totally with you, I don’t understand how people can update their planner with stickers and doodles in the margins on every single page! The most I do is color code my class assignments just so I know what class I’m looking at. I’m glad I’m not the only one who just wants to write stuff down and get it done!

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