What makes us tick?

Hi Everyone~ I was just thinking about how much I enjoy my planner; although not giving it a whole lot of thought on a daily basis but nonetheless, I am very glad such a thing exists. I have been made fun of because of my love for all things planning, GTD and my 3x5 index cards but that hasn't stopped me in the least. My question is "Why are some of us totally fascinated by office supplies and planning items while others consider it goofy?" I just wonder if might have some common threads,no pun intended of course. Thanks.

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For me, it's the fascination of new, shiny, colorful, I think.

Colorful is especially nice. I have a pencil cup on my desk--it's a plain darkish wood cup in a rectangular shape.. But in it I have one highlighter in all the primary and secondary colors. :)

Lying about elsewhere on my desk I have blue pens and green pens and pencils and blue notebooks. I don't really want a lot of pattern, but the colors draw me like a moth to flame. Now I even have a planner that incorporates bright colors (sparingly). I should definitely have bought the lighter-colored version of the desk. This one is espresso and it kinda feels like a hole in the ground.

When I started my planner journey, it was all about being organized. Wanting to get things under control. After some 15 years of drifting between systems, picking them up and ignoring them by turns. Right now I'm feeling like less is more, honestly. I'm tired of fussing around with stuff, though I'm pleased I have the materials to make whatever I feel like making. I have some pretty papers, plastic pieces I can use for covers, paperboard pieces I can use for covers, discs, rings, binders, etc. Now I want systems that are easy to maintain (that is to say, require next to no maintenance), that don't go against my natural habits. So I am doing a lot less with my planner system now. Very very little, in fact. I have found a few things I really like that are worth the effort to keep, and a lot of things that were fun and cool-looking for a while but became too much trouble later.

I came here looking for forms and ideas. I shared some ideas and picked up a bunch. Tried a bunch of forms. I'm still here trolling for ideas, but they seem to be coming in more slowly these days. Or maybe I'm just choosing not to spend effort trying the new stuff out each time. :) Still looking for my magic wand, but honest enough to believe I probably won't ever find one. :)

I might be at the extreme end of folks hanging around here--I have debated dropping off the radar here. What once was a creative and energetic fire for me--the search for the right planning system--is now a flickering candle flame.

Dunno how common that is. :)

So, are you Heckle or Jeckle ?



I find that I share your fascination of the bright and shiny.

As far as the "fire dying out", I think that the initial wave of new ideas has passed and you just have to pick one that works best for you.

It would be a shame to lose you. Please hang around.
"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) ***


Hi ygor.

I remember those two. :) I expect I'm closer in disposition to the british one.

As far as planning systems go, I'm OK. What I have definitely isn't perfect, but it's pretty much good enough. I think when the kids start kindegarten in the fall I'll need to be more on top of things, but right now I can revel in my slothful lack of cohesiveness. :)

I didn't mean to hijack this thread into a 'convince shris to stay' thread. Just can't resist opening my mouth when I have something to say. :)

circac's idea of resurrecting old topics might be funny. I wouldn't mind dredging up some of my earliest planner summaries if the posts are still around. I can't even remember how many there were now, but there were a lot.. I am thinking a 'golden oldies' flag of some kind for threads with particularly interesting ideas..

I do remember going through:
* Sidetracked Home Executives 3x5 card box
* 7-ring 43 folders style with sheet protectors
* quarter letter disc-bound setup
...and a number of accessories and offshoots, like homemade accordion files, jotters, card boxes, origami pockets...
...and a zillion templates in several sizes..


I too

have gone through the Sidetracked Home Executives (absolutely ate up that book back in 1979!!!) followed by and currently read all things Flylady.
Don't worry Shris..You did not "hijack the thread". I find everything you say both past and present to be helpful and interesting.
Yes, I would love to see those old threads too.

Why I Hang Around

I first came to DIY Planner when the "Hipster PDA" was all the rage. The idea of carrying around a stack of index cards held together with a binder clip intrigued me. I've been hooked on this site ever since.

I've hopped on several bandwagons since my first visit, i.e. hipster, circa pda, moleskine, gel pens, fountain pens, etc. Each one has been so very fun.

At first it was about getting more organized. Now it is more about experiencing and enjoying quality products. The flow of ink from a fountain pen. The feel of quality paper. The look of fine leather planning products.

Planning / organizing for me is nothing more than keeping a calendar, a book of lists, a record of events, a trusted filing system, and an archive. These basics don't change, but the products I use evolve continually. I enjoy that.


Hi Shris-Please stay on the radar !

I sure hope you continue on here. I too have been a bit disappointed at the slow down of new ideas. Maybe it has just hit a plateau which will rejuvenate. I wonder if it would be a good idea to start up again with some older topics and "review". Just an idea.

Shris, you have been very helpful to me and I appreciate you very much.
I too am fascinated with color and even believe in a colorful wardrobe to brighten my and everyone else's day.

Roberto~ I also agree with your comments and am checking my own system with what you stated was important to you.

What Missing? Feature Articles!

I lurk a lot, but I comment only rarely. But I have to say, what's missing for me are the feature articles.

Innowen, for example, used to post a craft-oriented planning article, I think it was every Thursday. Steve used to post regular humor articles. And our Dear Founder, Doug, used to write killer reviews. I loved seeing the color photos and new titles up in this center column.

But everyone is busy now. Maybe it's time for some of us to man the breech. I'm not web savvy, but I can write well enough, and I'll be finished with my big work project in September...

Crafty Pagan Computer Geek

Shininess and an Excuse to Play with Print Shop

Like several of y'all, I like things that are shiny and new as well. But that's a very small part of why I love this stuff so much.

Since I was a teenager, I've recognized a need for organization because I am very scatterbrained and I'm pretty sure the only reason I'm still sane is that I write everything down. If I didn't, my brain would have been overwhelmed years ago. I looked and looked at planners and notebooks, but barely touched the planners I got and I'd have one novel with parts in about ten separate notebooks (notebooks that generally had pieces of more than one story/novel/poem/random thoughts in them).

I suppose it was five or so years ago that I was unemployed and in desperate need of something to occupy my mind. I'd always tried three-ring binders for keeping all my notes and novel pieces together (the operative word here being "tried"), and I realized it was time to update my binders. But then the idea came to me to do the organizational manuscript. This got me going playing with PrintShop and formatting my own pages for things.

It didn't occur to me to apply this to a planner until an online friend mentioned the she made her own planner. I had a "Well duh" moment and went looking for templates, which led me here. After seeing the different templates and ideas, I got my own ideas for custom pages to help me with my writing and with keeping up with general whatever. I'm a rebel, so anything that allows me to customize things to suit myself makes me very happy. Also, I love the fact that I can make things pretty and visually stimulating. I know myself, and if something isn't visually stimulating to me, I won't use it.

I would love to see what

I would love to see what you've come up with. I'm just getting started with Adobe Illustrator and might use a layout I found here from last year and tailor it for me, but I love to see other's ideas.

Too much stress and caffeine...

...and I get a horrible tick.


My workspace has no AC and there are workers gluing PVC pipe in the next room - serious chemical fumes. I needed to vent some way !
"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)

Nicely stated Ygor ! Re tick

Indeed you need to get away from those fumes!!! Can you work in another area until they finish? That's enough to make anyone sick. Sorry you have to deal with that.

I agree with circac, if you can, move out of the way.

I think the best way is to tell them that the fumes and no AC are bad for their computers.


It seems that the majority of posters enjoy stationery related items as much as I do.

It also looks like many of us are visual and color oriented which lacks in traditional organizing and planning systems.

Traditional ring binder planning systems (brand name we have bought and used) have expensive and heavy planners shells.
They load their systems with many paper refills that are unsuitable for my needs, not fountain pen friendly and tiny spaces left to write, I have a big handwriting.
In all those system it seems that the author's logo, signature border color, sayings and templates spaces which take concepts from their books are filling up the paper real estate.

I have given a look or a try to most of those systems and started D.Y.Ing when I realized, a couple of years ago that if I wanted a suitable system, I'd better make it myself.

I have been watching this site ever since and joined when I realized I needed a new Junior size planning system which would not weight a ton and suits me to a T.

Not sure

I'm not sure why I love stationary and anything office related. I just do.

Perhaps my fondness for these things is connected to or stems from my other love: administrative/clerical work. But they have always co-existed, at least as far back as I can remember.

I love formatting letters, resumes, APA style theses, etc., and I enjoy any task that is admin/clerical oriented (the more grueling, the better). I'm not a front desk admin. but a stuck in the back room with mounds of files admin.

I love to see black text on paper or anything in grayscale, especially if it was printed by a crisp laser printer. I use colour sparingly. I'm not artistic or what I consider to be creative--at all!

I'll pretty much write with anything but do have a preference for fat ballpoint pens with a cushioned/rubberized grip.

Perhaps "it is what it is" and doesn't need a reason or even to make sense.

what makes me tick

For me, the love of office supplies, pens, paper, planners is very much like my love for books and bookstores. I love the feel and smell of a new book and the bookstore. When I walk in a bookstore, I somehow feel that I will grow wiser and more erudite by osmosis.

When I have my planner all set up and organized the way I want it (which, btw, I'm never finished setting it up) I somehow feel that I will be more organized and efficient and effective.