Forum Topic: Browsing planners: is it just me?

So I love my Circa planner. Love it to death. When I get the urge to rearrange it, I can do so very easily thanks to my collection of Circa covers, discs, and DIYP pages. In other words, I need absolutely nothing planner-related.

So why is it, when I have what really is the perfect setup for me, I browse the planner section of every store I go to that has them? Even the pharmacy carries some of those Franklin OneNote planners, and I flip through them every time I go there even though I've seen them a million times. I just like holding and touching planners. They're inspirational. They're oddly comforting. And they're just plain cool.

So am I the only one who does this? Or am I a complete freak?

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I do it all the time! Even at the pharmacy just like you! I know every single planner out there, but thumb through every one every time I see them. It's crazy, so if you are a freak, so am I! :)

Oh good.

I'm not alone! Yay! :)

Definitely not!

I've done this for years and years--and I _never_ buy what I'm browsing--unless I'm actually in the market. I don't really know why I browse, but I always do. I never really thought much about it until now--other than my wife _always_ rolls her eyes at me. ;-)


yep me too...

I am oddly reassured that I am not alone. I always thought it was just me, that nobody else could possibly have as many different planners as me. I went through so many each year until I found Circa. I love it, but like you I still find myself having the incredible urge to look at other planners. I feel like I am cheating since I am finally happy with one. I spend so much time looking at them in stores for no reason since I have so many already. My fiancee says that I have an "office supply fettish". I am not going to dispute that since I spend more money on Circa items than I do on many other more important things.

Yeah, it's a fetish.

I have a couple of boxes of previous planners. I really should get around to selling some of it here. I have so many binders and blank forms lying around...


Hi. I do the same thing. It's almost irresistible to scout out whatever there is. I have a soft red FC classic planner cover made of leather which I also love to smell !!! There's nothing like real leather and as you say, it's comforting for some odd reason. I am always looking to update or change mine in some way. Keep on alookin' !!!!

Yah, I browse


I browse too, but mostly I come away with a disdain for preprinted planners and gratitude that I'm out of that race. Too much clunky stuff. Even otherwise pretty planners are too heavy and bulky for me now that I've become used to the junior leather foldover from Levenger.

I still like browsing the office supplies. Flags and clips and pens and stuff, Oh my. I did find a nice pen that way when I was trying to replace my extra fine blue G2s.. My new love is a TUL medium in blue. It floats across the page, without the directionality of a fountain pen. And I'm getting used to the heavier ink flow.

Anyway, yah, I browse. Maybe not in the drugstore, but every time I'm at walmart, target, or any office supply store for sure.


Same obsessions

And, TUL is my new favorite over-the-counter pen too. Found them at Office Max. Are they elsewhere?



That's where I spotted them too. I would never have picked one up if they hadn't had a testing station out so I could try them. I was so mad I couldn't find any extra fine blue G2s, but the TUL is working out nice.


House Brand

TUL is OfficeMax's house brand of pens (and some other stuff, IIRC).


count me in

I browse all the time too. I try to think of it as research for my ongoing, constantly evolving planner. At least I'm rarely bored.

browsing is normal

Don't be worried about browsing. After all, we all know enthusiasts of other things who like to browse.

Would any of us tell a car enthusiast, who owns their dream car, that they can't look at another car? Or an art collector, who owns the art they like, that they can never go into a gallery to look at other art?

I suggest that we think of the planner section as our personal art gallery. So we can enjoy the stationery but we sensibly buy very little.

So, has anyone found their Plannning Picasso or Diary Da Vinci yet?

More like a Diary Dali

Sometimes my days are surreal, but at least it's all surreal in one centrally located place. :)

Surreal planning

A Diary Dali sounds like fun.

Although melting clocks might be confusing in the calendar :)

Of COURSE we browse

Why would we be a part of the DIYPlanner community if we were not always looking for that next incremental improvement, that spark of creativity that will move us towards our own personal perfect planner?
So, of course we browse. It is part of our DNA!

The Passionate Pilgrim
-- Excellence through Simplicity

I agree, its inspiration for

I agree, its inspiration for continual improvement of the system. But maybe also just a little cold turkey.

think of it this way...

My mom used to say "you stop looking when you're dead" ... of course she meant looking at attractive people who catch your fancy BUT i think planner browsing is a good fit for the saying too ;P

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Well put. BTW, glad to see you back Sara! I've only just joined but have missed reading your posts while lurking...


recent life changes have left me without free time and floating in organizational absence... partner moved in, 6 month old puppy in the house, work going haywire lately...

but i do try to lurk around these here hallowed halls... and i do really miss my more regular visits :) hopefully things will reach an apex and ill be back to a more regular online routine :) (I go thru withdrawls from this place) :P

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We do miss you. :)


we are working on our aim.

Just kidding. I miss you, too.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Planner Issue

I cannot believe that there are others out there like me. I am always on the quest for the "perfect" planner: form, function, style, size, etc. I too have many discarded planners that I should sell some day, but I may want them once I get rid of them.
Whenever my life is in a crazy stage, I think that the perfect planner will help to organize me.

What happens when you upgrade

I was one of the 8,000,000 who downloaded FireFox version 3 yeasterday as part of their attempt to get in the Guinness Book of Records. :-)

Anywho, as I was looking at the browser tab for this entry in said version 3 I thought the thread title was "Browsing planners: is it lust". ;-))

No, that would be "planning browsers"


"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

...not just you...

When does it start? Does it ever end? Today I even grazed the office supply section in Walgreens! I seem to rotate among my planners: a mood thing, I suppose.
Too much of everything [I love] is just enough.
~Calvin & Hobbes

I have been using calendars

I have been using calendars and planners for over 20 years and have been using
the Day Runner planner for most of that time. I am obsessed with different systems
and have even sued the Anthony Robbins OPA and RPM systems, probably the
most complicated and expensive I have found.

You are not alone. I was at the $0.99 Store here in Los Angeles buying some
candles and couldn't resist looking at the tiny little year at a glance pocket
planners. Every time I go to Target or Staples I have to browse the planner isle.

I have sat online looking at systems, pages, leather, etc and two stand out
besides the Day Runner. The Franklin Covey and the King Ranch. Covey
because of its thoroughness and King Ranch because of its beauty.

Again - You are not alone!!!!

you're definitely not a

you're definitely not a freak... I do this too.

browsing paper, pens, office supplies

I think it is like the enjoyment some people get from going to the hardware store, even when they have all the tools they need. Certainly knitters and sewers are known for having "stashes"! I think partly there is a pleasure it--I've always loved looking at stationery, pens, ink, notebooks, etc. And there is the thought that you just might find something new that is just right for you. People DO keep reinventing planning tools, too, or at least changing the packaging. I just found out I'm ADD, so now I look at planners in a whole new way, trying to figure out which ones will better help me use my strengths to deal with my weaknesses. And as you can tell from all the templates and photos of different systems, one size/system does not fit all!


What is this "have all the tools they need" of which you speak?

Heresy! ;)

Obsessive Planner Disorder neurosis

Wow, there are other obsessive planner disorder folks like me!

I've been fascinated by planners ever since my sister bought her first DayRunner more than a dozen years ago. When a company develops a new product line or an entrepreneur creates an award-winning system, sometimes my fascination becomes an obsession.

-Sense of control. This the primary reason I'm obsessed with planners. Occasionally when I feel like my life has entered chaos zone, it doesn't matter if I already have a working planning system: I will spend half a day looking for the "perfect" one or creating one myself. Very rarely will I buy a few different formats at a time and leave them unused. It's purely a psychological need to feed my desire for structure, since a planner symbolizes order.

-Archtitectural value. Planning systems are like buildings; they have functional and artistic value. Their main purpose is to hold valuable information but are also an expression of your taste and lifestyle. Like Goldilocks in the Three Bears' house, I will scrutinize a planner to see if the design and modularity are well thought-out so that it's "juuust right" for me.

I just bought my July 2008 - December 2009 18-month planner. So far it's serving me well. But I couldn't resist the design of the WeekDate, so I'll see report on it sometime after it arrives in the mail.

All this felt good to let out!


Welcome, welcome, welcome! :) I love your Goldilocks story - sooooo right!

Let us know about your different planners!

nay nay

My planners neurosis

I am currently using:
-Moleskine's black soft-cover 18-month weekly planner, pocket-sized
-A monthly wall calendar at home

I ordered and am waiting to use:

My last calendar before my Moleskine was:
-a two-year horizontal monthly calendar from KMart that I purchased on sale for 11 cents

I have sitting at home, unused:
-another two-year monthly calendar
-two pocket-sized Moleskines I hacked into weekly planners

Like I said, neurosis.

Also, I tend to go through planners like socks because my life and work aren't always routine or consistent. Personal goals, projects and plans change depending on how busy or simple things are at the time, and I need my planning system to reflect that. Simply put, I gravitate toward monthly formats the more routine my days are, and weekly (with daily time slots) when I get busy.

I know what you mean, I

I know what you mean, I think it's some sort of disorder that cannot be treated with medication.

We were in Goodwill last month and it just killed me not to buy a FC leather planner because it was a great deal (like 75 cents or something).

I know I wont use it, but just the gives me chills. Ack!


I thought I was alone in my disorder!! I thought I was the only one who could single-handedly switch from a pocket size planner, to a monarch size planner (because the other was too small) then to a desk size (because the monarch is too big) then to a pocket size to carry on a plane trip to a personal size because the pocket is too small and the monarch is too big but I hate having to fold paper in half to make fit in my desk but the larger sizes are just too big to carry around but........... frustrated...spend more time actually trying to find the best fit than actually getting stuff done...gasp...sputter..gasp....panting...

And all this in a 3 day period.

Oh yeah...then there is deciding between a week view which gives me all the planning that I need but not enough space hence the monarch size but that's too big so I switch to a desk size 2-day view which makes it difficult to plan around but gives me the writing space I need...

I envy my wife. $1.25 planner from Dollar General. Lasts her perfectly for a year.

Which reminds me...does anybody know if there is divorce insurance for people with our disease? She gets AWFULLY mad at me when I spend $100.00 several times a year for binders, refills, punches...(and I don't blame her) :-) And I won't even start discussing the issue of pens...

I need help. AARRGG!

Well, at least now I know that I'm not alone in my Obsessive Compulsive Planner Disorder...



You'll fit in just fine here. We're all like that, to some degree or another. Think of it as a hobby and you'll be less frustrated. :)

is it just me - divorce insurance

I know YOU were joking about "divorce insurance" but apparently these guys aren't. Just thought you'd like to know. ;)


That's sad...

I'm sadly not surprised to see that website. It's called "job justification" for attorneys.

As you said, of course I was kidding. My wife and I both have "hobbies" that cost more money than we should be spending; her's is a lot more of the "less expensive" stuff (like nails, and pedicures, and massages (she had back surgery in January, and it's not medically necessary but definitely is therapeutic); all things that guys generally have difficulty understanding the cost/benefit ratio of. My tastes are for fewer, but more expensive stuff...Fly fishing, Computers, and Planners, all things that she doesn't "get" either. So, we've learned over the past few years, the fine art of the "cease fire". Most of the time, anyway. :-)

That's the key

You're not going to share every interest, so the best thing possible is to indulge each other without being critical. Sometimes though, you can find common ground. For instance, my wife is a seamstress and I just happened to have this pile of ripstop nylon for rocket parachutes... :)

You sound just like me!

I have several planners I use and switch all the time a monarch to a classic to a compact to back again. And why? Just I love them, my husband thinks I am crazy he says I am addicted that nobody needs 6 different planners! No one in my family likes to go the stores with me because I always end up looking at the planner section and the pens. I can't help it I love to look at all of the planners. I thought I was just weird, but good to no there are other people with the same "addiction".

For some of us

Six or more planners is perfectly normal. And all the normal people in the world gather here.

I'm addicted to planners so much ...

... that I created a Facebook group called "I have a thing for day planners."

Whew! There, I said it.

I just joined!

I just joined!

"I have a thing for day planners" Facebook group

Thanks for joining my group!

Hi I'm Michael and I'm obsessed with planners

Since we are having true confession time...

It all started when I reached planning nirvana in my freshman year of high school. I devised my own calendar/task tracking system with a blue plastic padfolio and a graph paper pad. (One page per week, one line per class, a 5 star four pocket folder for each class...good times!) By the end of the year, I had black electrical tape holding the padfolio together, but I never missed a beat.

Ok...who am I kidding, it all started in the 4th grade when I got my first Trapper Keeper. I bugged my mom and dad for 2 weeks before they gave into my constant rationalization for why "I needed a Trapper Keeper". By the end of the year I had clear packaging tape holding it together, but I never missed a beat.

Wow! I feel great now that I've been able to trace my obsession back to my childhood! Sigmund would be so proud. I do really need to explore my somewhat related obsession with taping things. That will go on my someday/maybe list...

I have one other confession. Today at work, I caught myself discussing a coworkers 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper that he had hand written two months worth of dates on as his system. I couldn't help but remember (what appears to be) my "Rosebud". I told him about this website and even printed a 2 page per year calendar for him. I'm such an enabler!

Trapper Keepers

I loved office/school supplies as a kid. I remember begging for a Trapper Keeper, too! They came out when I was in fourth grade, and my mother thought they were hideously expensive. (Which, for a fourth grader's school notebook, they were.) If I remember correctly, I didn't talk Mom into one until fifth grade -- when I went to middle school. I felt so very grown-up... Funny memory. Thank you for reminding me!

Warehouse club


I was at the warehouse club getting groceries the other day and spotted the new foldover 3-ring binders. I had to stop and look. There were also some planner iterations on the same rack, so I had to look at those too.

In the end I didn't buy anything, but I have to stop and look.


lol your not weird!! i do

lol your not weird!! i do the same thing! my planner is the franklin covey day one that you mentioned and im always on the website looking for stuff to add to it! i agree that its comforting!

You are definitely not alone.

I'm trying to reduce volume down to the little super thin moleskins and I still look!

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job- Douglas Adams

You're not alone

While dropping off some film at the drug store today, I "happened" to wander into the paper and planner aisle. All the school supplies are out in force (In July? Really?) so shelf space had to be found and *glee* colored index cards were marked down 75%.

Was it wrong to snatch up ALL the remaining packages of cards? I mean, seven packages of 70 cards is... umm... (counts on fingers) a lot more cards than any normal person needs, right? I mean, who in their RIGHT MIND would just up and buy nearly 500 colorful, happy little index cards?

Oh no. You're not alone.

What's wrong with that?

I'd do it. :)

me too

always stock up for rainy days when you NEED index cards in a variety of colors and you don't feel like running to the store ;P

Honestly i have WAY too many index cards... picked up 4x6 on sale... 3 packs. and then my BF found an old pack from his school days - Guess who he gave THOSE to ? hehe.

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Although I don't need to know what your boyfriend does with a hose... :-o

ANYHOW, now they can join the 400 lined white cards and 100 blank cards I have stashed in a box... hmmmm... box is full... no more room for cards...

I'm gonna need a bigger box.

Stumbled onto this thread...

Totally commiserate with the other comments in this thread. I use a BlackBerry mostly but I feel like I can't cut the cord to my paper planner(s). I just went to a Franklin Covey store and bought a refill for the current year because I felt like I could get more done when I used a hybrid paper/PDA system... but I am not sure, because now that I use the PDA so much more and have ignored the paper planner for so long, I find myself forgetting to write down things in it like I used to, and not wanting to carry it with me, since I have gotten so used to carrying just the BlackBerry.

That said, I have a tote bag I have been carrying this week along with my laptop bag (I'm in sales, and travel locally quite a lot) so that I could "experiment" with my systems -- a Levenger compact system in leather, a Levenger letter-size system, a FC classic planner, and a FC compact planner. I even went to the FC store and changed my ring size on the classic to a 3/4 inch size from its former 1.25 size... thinking maybe carrying less weight would encourage me to use it more. I like the size of the classic pages, and the compact feels too small to write tasks in, but the classic is so... well, massive. So I have tried the Levenger compact system because it's small and svelte, but I hate their (a) weekly format, and (b) insistence on not separating out the months with blank pages or separator pages... the months run together and overlap, so you can't easily carry "just" one month or two at a time... you end up carrying part of the last week of the prior month too, and there's no "index" page. Also, I looked at the FC wire-bound system, which is a pretty slim system but doesn't allow for much flexibility, and I saw that the FC store sold rollabind stuff but it's kind of crappy quality. I was also one of the first people to prototype the "Circa PDA/hPDA system"... so I have tried almost everything. And yes, I've tried the dynamic templates here... that's how I got to this thread.

So I have begun to think that maybe my obsession with these planners is my own quirk, and maybe an anxiety thing. I actually feel an urge to change planners or "experiment" the most when I am feeling like things are chaotic. Oddly, I also feel a need to change up my entire system when a manager comes in to work with me... which is usually a time of some stress, so I think it is a stress-response. But even so, I can't go past an office supply store without needing to suppress the urge to go in and look to see what is new in planners. It's an addiction of varying degrees.

Does anyone else reading this have the anxiety thing? Like a need to suddenly organize and change your way of getting stuff done when the pressure is on? And why can't I just stick with my BlackBerry solution and be happy, or the Circa compact system, which should work just fine for what I use it for?

I hear ya!

Everything you said above pretty much summarizes my "planning" life and obsession. Let me put it this way, I just went to the grocery store to grab lunch and I left with a notebook. Ummmm, that was not the point of the trip nor do I need another notebook!

I am in the same situation as you with the blackberry and paper. Trying to "connect" the two is a difficult process. Do I write this note on paper or should I put it in my phone? I think I have found that I ALWAYS have my phone with me or sitting next to me, so that is the most convenience. And since it syncs to my computer at work, I feel like I am not missing anything (like before when I would write a note and then leave it at home or something). So, I have decided to carry a notebook around for quick jots, reminders, or notes (like in a meeting) and then I come back to my computer and enter them wherever they are supposed to be. So, my notebook is small (4X6) and I can throw it in my purse if I am leaving the office for a business mtg or something, but otherwise, it does not leave the office because I have what I need on my phone. Think of it as a capture device and nothing more...

Not sure if that helps, but just wanted you to know you are not the only one out there with this obsession or the need to change up your planners! (I have a box of old planners, actually there are probably two boxes now!) Best of Luck! :)

Capture device

I am heading in this direction. I have the electronic notes, memos, to dos , contacts, etc. on my Palm smartphone but I miss the quickness of writing things down on paper. I teach grad school and after class I end up with at least 6 things to track before the next class for my students. I just ordered a shirtpocket briefcase (WHY does it take so long to get stuff from Levenger!) for just this purpose. Then in the sanity of my office, I can sit down and put all the reminders in the proper place to deal with them. I really never thought I would need anything past my cellphone but.....I do.

BTW...the video on YouTube about the Shirtpocket Briefcase is way too inviting. The young man is so articulate!

"To fly, we must have resistance."


i have the same problem. when things are getting stressful i slip into any store on my list of errands and browse notebooks, pens and crafting stuff. many things i have purchased were not needed. luckily my financial woes have limited things to the occasional pack of pens (dollar store finds are not uncommon).

most recently- i have a takeout box shaped package of paperclips... a takeout box.

my planner changes have been more subtle lately but i have the boxes and boxes of things that are constantly urging "try me again - this time ill work perfectly".

Too bad we cant dump them all in a machine, press a button and out pops the perfect system with all the great aspects of each rolled into one.

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