• Marina


My year planner became an important discovery for me in 2020. With good intentions, I’ve started them before but the discipline fades. I tried to keep them neat and beautiful, but it didn’t work.

It was during lockdown that I finally dawned on me, the planner wasn’t about beauty and style, but time. When the days merged, the weekends blended and all that remained was one continuous working day, it became obvious. I needed structure as my time was slipping away.

Each entry in my planner is a ‘marker’ in the forest that does not allow me to get lost. In my clumsy handwriting I write everything: calls, agendas, meetings, deadlines, days for painting, days for varnishing, packing, logistics, etc,. I include my exercises, meditation and reading, all integrated so as not to go crazy, burn out or lose motivation.

Nowadays such things can be undertaken via an App but there you can easily slip into the trap of social media with cute animals and online debates. I find a paper planning system great because it helps me focus on work and stop procrastination. Recently, I even started a second one for creative work. There I only write things related to what I paint, creative plans, sketches and inspirational quotes.

At first, a creative planner was difficult to maintain also, but I now do everything as if no one is watching, because no one is watching! Once you banish this strange perfectionist in your head, the planner becomes a powerful tool and suddenly you are the master of your own time.

The planner also helps me to keep my impostor syndrome under control, because each day and week I see exactly how many things I manage to accomplish.

This photo shows a glimpse of last weeks business diary. Instagram is full of beautiful planners with vignettes and calligraphy. I decided to show my ugly planner to maybe inspire you to get your own. It doesn’t have to be beautiful, it has to be useful!

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