Back to Blog

3 Personal Planner Fails

plan your life planning Sep 06, 2022

Do you feel like you just can’t get this planning thing down? Like everything you try just doesn’t work out for you?

Planning is forever evolving. In my opinion, there is no such thing as the perfect planning system. At least not in the long term. Because our lives, circumstances, and priorities are often changing, especially when you have a growing family. At least, that’s been my experience.

Don’t beat yourself up over not getting this planning thing perfect. Even for a seasoned planner, planning is never perfect.

Let me share 3 planner fails I've experienced over the years. I hope that by sharing some of my own experiences, you'll discover new ideas for your own system.


1) Too many planners

One thing that I’ve often struggled with, but has recently become a big focus for me, is keeping things simple. I get over excited about wanting to try new things and often do things in excess and then, slowly but surely, it gets to be too much and makes me feel like a failure.

One of those things has been using too many planners. One for everyday, one for home stuff, one for goals...the list goes on and on. 

I love journals and planners, so in the past, I would find any excuse to use a new one. The only problem is, you can plan until you’re blue in the face, but unless you are consciously setting goals that matter to you and doing the actions you need to accomplish them, it really makes no difference at the end of the day how many planners you're using..


2) Too much fluff

Whether I'm using a bullet journal or a Happy Planner I can sometimes get carried away with the decorating. I don't really consider it a planner fail though, unless it gets in the way of my purpose of having a planner in the first place, which is setting, tracking, and achieving my goals.

I get that having a planner can be a creative outlet for some. You just have to look on Instagram or YouTube to see the immense creativity that some people have. Makes me a bit envious at times but when I try to add that type of creativity, it starts to feel like a chore after a while.

When I feel this way, it reminds me to get back to the basics and refocus on achieving my goals. And to keep my creativity to my art journals.


3) Not goal-centered enough

I've had times when my planners seemed to be focused on what’s going on in the now and not so much about planning very far ahead. I mean, sure, putting “get groceries”, “get new shoes”, and kids’ doctors appointments are important to have and remember on a day-to-day basis. But thinking back, not much of my daily lists had much structure as far as goals went.

Sure I wrote goals down here and there and would try to figure out how I could reach them, but there were times when I just didn't put enough effort into them to make them a reality.

I have accomplished a lot in my 49 years and maybe I’m being a bit hard on myself here. But let’s just say that I really want my planner to have more of a goal-oriented focus.


Failures are lessons

Being clear on what hasn't worked in your planning system in the past is a good opportunity to replace it with something new. 

If things aren't working, consider going back to the basics in your system. Whether it's in your bullet journal, or pre-printed planner, it really doesn't matter. If you feel the need to get back on track with your planning, check out my post, 3 Easy Steps To Get You Back On Track.

Weekly check-ins are also great as they help you stay on track with your goals and are a great addition to any planner. Review your week and outline your successes, challenges, what worked + what didn't work, and what you want to accomplish in the coming week.


What are some things that have failed to work for you in your planner? Please share in the comments or send me an email at [email protected].


*This blog post contains affiliate links. See Earnings Disclaimer for more info.*

Like this post? Pin it



Access the FREE Life Design Library!

All the tools you need to design your best life ~ free ebooks, worksheets, challenges, and more all in one place!

I promise to stay in touch with inspiring and motivating content to help you design + live your best life!