This Simple Planner Feels Like a Fresh Start Each Year

It’s so much more effective than any New Year’s resolution.

January 26, 2022
Photo by James Ransom

I have never been one for making New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s something big like writing a novel or as small as drinking more water, I’m not great at establishing and sticking to a new routine. I actually find the whole idea of resolutions to be a bit daunting, like it’s just waiting for me to give up—which about 80 percent of us do by the second week of February.

Instead, for as long as I can remember (okay, since college, but trust me, it’s been a while!) I’ve started each year with a brand new planner. On syllabus day—my favorite of the semester—I’d pick out a new one at the bookstore and fill in all of the assigned reading, tests, and important due dates. But it wasn’t until 2015 when I bought my first Rifle Paper Co. planner after my final days of graduate school that I realized how important a planner was to my personal and professional success.

Photo by Rifle Paper Co.

The first time I picked up one of the brand’s floral print 17-month planners, I was hooked. The planner goes from August of one year until December of the following year, so when a new one is available over the summer, I’ll pick it up and start filling it in with fun things only (dinner plans, weekend getaways, etc.) while my OG planner continues to house everything else.

There’s no getting around how beautiful they are, but at almost $40 full price, they can be a bit of an investment for something you might forget to use after January. Between how much I love the floral print and how little I want to waste money, I not only use my planner all the time, but I actually look forward to it. As someone who isn’t very organized, I’m so grateful for the effortlessness that this planner has brought to my life. If a date, event, task, or reminder isn’t in my trusty book, it basically doesn’t exist to me, and knowing that I immediately add all of my to-dos and to-remembers in there brings me a sense of calm like nothing else can.

The Rifle Paper Co. planner has a nice weight to it, thanks to hard exterior covers that protect my precious information on sturdy, lined pages. However, it's not too heavy for my tote if I need to commute. I love that there are sections at the beginning of the planner dedicated to setting long-term goals and the action items for accomplishing each one, as well as a spot for listing out books I want to read and places I’d like to explore. The kid in me delights at the pages of stickers for birthdays, celebrations, vacations, and reminders in the back, and there are also two built-in pockets to house loose papers and baseball tickets (yes, my planner has been to Citi Field).

At the end of the year, it’s achingly difficult for me to part with the planner that saw me through countless story pitches, grocery lists, work projects, dinner plans, and freelance assignments, all with the lovely cover still intact and pages crisp and not dog-eared. The only thing that helps is a brand new one for the year ahead—there's just something about starting a new planner that feels like a fresh start.

For me, a fresh planner takes the place of that New Year's resolution I refuse to make. It's a promise to myself that I'm going to be organized and productive enough to fill in this gorgeous book—which is a resolution all its own.

What are your best tips to streamline and organize your life? Let us know below!

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Ariel Scotti

Written by: Ariel Scotti

Writer who’s never met a book, pasta or pup she didn’t love.