NEW YORK — Keeping a to-do list or a schedule is much more than time management for a dedicated group of calendar keepers. They're using colored pens and pencils along with scrapbooking materials like stickers and washi tape to track appointments, reminders and milestones.
Look no further than social media. The "planner community" likes to share photos of layouts and entries on sites like Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram, using hashtags like #plannernerd, #plannerobsessed, #plannerjunkies and #plannerlove.
The planners under discussion can be desk or pocket notebooks, journals, inserts into binders — any planning tool that can be decorated.
Erin Condren of Los Angeles introduced her LifePlanner in 2007, providing templates with a range of designs and fonts to customize a planner, and has turned it into a business at ErinCondren.com. She says there's a market for "a colorful approach to not only scheduling every day but truly celebrating every day."
Initially, she thought her customers would be "45-year-old women who couldn't grasp digital technology, but that's not the case."
She especially enjoys watching her 14-year-old daughter, Kate, use her planner. "A Sunday night for her, she's got everything colour-coded. She's got stickers that say, 'Math exam!' She's ready to conquer the week," says Condren.
"To be honest, my community has taken it to a whole other level," Condren says. "It's inspiring me. I'm a little embarrassed to open mine."
Katy Halliday of Chicago, the mother of a 2-year-old son and a 3-month-old daughter, considers herself part of the planner community. She uses hers as a way to be artistic.
"I used to be in a choir and that was my creative outlet. This is something I can do at home with the kids, and it's something for mommy," she laughs.
Halliday keeps track of meal planning and nap times with stickers in her planner.
Juliette Perkins of Hampshire, United Kingdom, says she puts "a mixed bag" of entries into her planner, including schedules, hours slept, steps taken, meetings, appointments, parties and lists.
It's also a way to connect with other people. Perkins is part of Facebook groups dedicated to the love of planning.
To get started, she advises, be conservative with supplies like colored pens and stickers.
"Try to avoid buying all the cute stuff you see," she says. "If you buy too many stickers or too much washi early on, you'll inevitably get overwhelmed."
"The great thing is, there are no rules."
Alicia Rancilio, The Associated Press