Steve's Extreme Planner

Steve's Extreme Planner

Greetings and welcome once again to Steve's Weekly Column of Insanity (tm), where we discuss all things related to Paper Based Planning. As I discussed last week (let's not go there again), I've recently come to see myself as a proponent of extreme planning, paper-based planning, on the edge as it were, and this week's topic explores another aspect of extreme planning. I was looking at Doug Johnston's post where he detailed the contents of his planner, as well as where others did likewise. There are indeed many different and very specific adaptations of the basic planner, and it made me think that I should share the contents of my own.

I believe that a person should be ready for anything, and so should their planner. In this crazy world, you never know what you might be called upon to do, and so you never can be sure what you might need. This being the case, I take just about everything a person could ever need. So, without further ado, I present my extreme planner.

My feeling is that there is no need for me to appologize for my extreme planner. If people can't handle it, that's not my problem. I plan how I plan --to the extreme-- and everybody can just deal with it. I've tried all the standard planners and none of them pushed me to the extreme, pushed the limits of planning, so I've had to do some hard work on this myself. My extreme planner has everything you could ever need for planning, writing and reference, as follows:

  • Planner. In home-made leather case, slightly larger than 8"x10". (No, I didn't take the time to measure it exactly. When you're extreme planning, you don't slow down for anything.) Contains approximately 1275 template sheets, printed on Egyptian papyrus (for the esoteric appeal).
  • My extreme planner doesn't have a card identifying it as a planner, nor does it have an ID card telling people that it's mine. If someone finds my extreme planner, they'll know what it is and they'll know who it belongs to.
  • Two Dozen Pens. If you're going to do something, do it in many colours.
  • Complete Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Anderson. In case, during a moment of story-writing inspiration, you find yourself in need of that hard-to-remember Germanic fair tale reference. (It happens more than you might think.) Also useful for outwitting terrorists. You can read them a fairy tale to lull them into a false sense of security and then hit them over the head with the book and run away. Don't try that when you're trying to remember Cinderella by memory. Yeah.
  • Funk and Wagnell's Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend. Same reason, broader topics. You've gotta be able to reference, to the extreme. Can also be used to prop up the crumbling foundation of a sagging house.
  • Jerusalem Bible. Carrying the extreme planner around will make you feel much closer to God. Or at least to death. Anyone who meets you will immediately recognize you as no one to be trifled with. People take you seriously when you carry a 15 pound Bible and a large stick around.
  • Entire 1986 American Academic Encyclopedia. No fooling around.
  • Large Gargoyle. To protect your extreme planner from evil.
  • Sun Tzu, The Art of War. Planning for the apocalypse. Come on people: If we're going to plan, let's get serious.
  • Darth Maul Lightsaber. Mainly for the kitsch.
  • Large Teddy Bear. Extreme planners know that, sometimes, life is very, very hard.
  • Small Backup Teddy Bear. Can be used simply for added security, or also in your backup Hipster PDA Extreme Planner. My Hipster PDA Planner is in development. It will essentially be a smaller version of the main planner, with a smaller teddy bear, a small travel-gargoyle and only one volume of the Encyclopedia, number 11, N-O. Most of the good stuff's in there anyhow.
  • Large Padded Pack. To carry it all around in. Always be ready to go at a moment's notice, or else...uh, you might be late. Yeah. Think about it.
  • Classic Trivial Pursuit. Mainly for nostalgia really.
  • Almighty Tilly Hat. If you don't know what a Tilly Hat is, you're not ready for extreme planning.
  • Bicycle Helmet. Sometimes extreme planning is dangerous. Planning convention may be optional, safety never is.
  • Band-Aids. Carrying around the extreme planning will give you blisters sometimes. No pain, no planning.
  • Large Walking Stick. The extreme planner is heavy, trust me. You're going to need this. And a chiropractor. Can also be used to suspend your extreme planner off the ground, to keep it away from the racoons.
  • Cane. For afterwards. The extreme planner's hard on the body. Also, it will help you to get a prime seat on the bus, which is important, because you'll need one, carrying that big old planner around. Can also be used as an extreme pencil, to write messages in the sand if you get trapped on a deserted island.
  • Medieval Sword. When people see how extreme your extreme planner is, they're going to want it for themselves and you might have to defend it. Extreme planning requires extreme vigilance.
  • Large Fan. Extreme planning is hard work. Gotta keep cool.
  • 20 Pound Weights. Gotta keep in shape for the extreme planner. It's not for the faint of heart or the weak of body.
  • Acoustic Guitar. For those tender moments. We're not made of stone.

Well, that's pretty much it. Of course, the extreme planner can be adjusted somewhat for your own personal needs and taste, but the main thing is, it's never possible to take extreme planning too far. There is no limit for paper-based planning, only limits to our courage.

Until next time, keep your pen on the page and your planner over the edge.

Steve Sharam

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You forgot the most important thing! A Towel! Always know where your towel is!

didn't forget

Good observation, I was wondering if anybody would say that. Actually, I did think of that (I mean, how could you forget?), but on the second rewrite I decided to omit it to avoid getting sued by the estate of Douglas Adams:P
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err."
Mahatma Gandhi


I have been reading here for about a month now and all the ideas have been at least good. This one however is AWESOME! None of this sissy Franklin/Covey Monarch size planner . . . This Extreme planner fits my Extreme lifestyle to a "T"! Now I just have to find a Gargoyle and I'll be set to take on the world, and a medieval sword. Then I'll be all set! Thanks Steve!

My hero!

My hero!

And this is exactly why

my mini-van is my "other" purse.


planning rocks!


gosh, and dont that define my age.
and yeah, no idea what a tilly hat is. or how to play a guitar. you teddy bear the third is a great idea tho. I hand one for my planner now!
(imagine, a flat teddy bear that slips between your cover and first page, perhaps held by magnets...)

Tilly hat

I'm guessing that the tilly hat is the object hanging just under the bicycle helmet in the article's photograph. (The bicycle helmet is in the upper right corner.) It took me a minute to realize that the photo is not just a random shot of someone's storeroom -- it's the PLANNER.

Of course!

It's amazing and wonderful and never complete!


if only that were possible. Id like a bike in my coin purse :P


> my mini-van is my "other" purse.

Good lord! That's worthy of a bumper sticker.