Is Planning a Hobby?

I read on a Facebook group sometime back that someone mentioned she has lost interest in using a planner because she has fallen out of love with the hobby. You may shake your head at the poster’s naiveté and ask, “since when did planning become a hobby?”. But I can definitely understand where she’s coming from.

plannerbug - is planning a hobby or tool

Before I got on this um, planning fever mode, my idea of a planner was a boring black or brown agenda consisting of even more boring and plain pages. It wasn’t until I saw a few pictures on Pinterest that it occurred to me that you can actually decorate a planner with different stationery and accessories.

Many people use a planner as a creative outlet in the form of decorating, doodling, painting, journaling and heck, even scrapbooking in a planner. They enjoy making their own dividers, inserts, bookmarks and colour-coordinating to a theme. So there is a crafting element involved. I like adding washi tape, stamps, stickers and using lots of colourful pens in my planner. I can see where the hobby-ish aspect comes in.

It is easy to get carried away by all the cuteness and artistry but the primary use of a planner must not be forgotten. And that is to plan. It is a tool that should help organise your days and to keep things in check. You can plan in digital form or using paper but the basic practical usage is the same.

I think many of us are caught up with achieving “planner peace” and finding a “unicorn”. I really feel that we should take a step back and assess why we needed a planner in the first place. I’m guilty of hoarding planners and stationery but it’s not for the want of fulfilling some sort of inner bliss. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “perfect planner” but use what works for you and don’t forget that it’s a scheduling and tasking tool.

If you don’t find joy in your planner or planning process, I’d suggest taking a break. Try to explore something else and not worry too much about leaving your planner aside. It will be there for you when you’re ready to go back to it.

Have you thought about what you want a planner for? Do share your thoughts as I’d love to hear them.


  1. Havok says:

    Planning, on a basic level, can consist of nothing but sticky notes if you so chose.
    While it can make life easier, using a ringbound planner, with all different kinds of inserts and dividers and sections, it can also complicate things. And when things get overly complicated, its easy to fall out-of-love with it.
    I do think, though, that you have to enjoy using your system. If that means you have to add pretty colors, go for it. If that means you have a million different kinds of calendars, go for it. But you will get the most out of it if you enjoy opening it up to see what you have to get done for the days. 🙂
    Havok recently posted…Hobonichi Techo 2015My Profile

    • lyn says:

      Your comments are spot on! I think if folks use what works for them, they will enjoy using planners more. But I think some focus on the “pretty” and hobby side of things more that the functionality kinda gets lost.

  2. Paris B says:

    I knew I couldn’t do cute and pretty but I’ve got myself a planner which I’m trying to stick to for at least a month (I’m realistic!) and I have to say that thus far, it is working. My concession to some order is a multi coloured pen so I can easily highlight important things (like public hols yay!) or important things to do on a day, and some sticky notes. Fingers crossed I make it 🙂
    Paris B recently posted…For a limited time, and if so inclined, get Naked, on the Run with Urban DecayMy Profile

    • lyn says:

      I never thought of planning as a lifestyle but you may be right. Blogging may be a hobby for some but it can also be a source of income for others, so it really depends on where the person is coming from.

  3. Brenda St says:

    I love having a planner. It is the one thing (unlike journaling) that I manage to keep up with daily. It had never occured to me to decorate it until my daughter bought her first planner this year and has gone all out with stickers and washi tape. Frankly I think it is a bit too crowded visually for my taste but she enjoys it and it has become a bit of a journal for her as well, which makes me happy. Is there a name for people who plan? We deserve a nifty one.

    • lyn says:

      Thanks! When I started out with planners, I felt the need to decorate to keep things interesting. Nowadays, I don’t bother decorating my planner anymore but I do a lot of ‘art journal’ type stuff in my traveler’s notebooks, which are journals to me. My planner is quite boring and functional these days 🙂 I think it’s great your daughter enjoys her planner. And I think we call ourselves “planner nerds”?

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