The Case for the Ugly Planner | Giftie Etcetera: The Case for the Ugly Planner

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Case for the Ugly Planner

I love looking at pretty planner pages. The symmetry, the colors, and the loopy handwritings combine with clean lines, doodle art, washi, and stickers to make the best of planner porn. I could spend hours immersed in the world of planner blogs and Pinterest, just admiring the beauty of those carefully crafted planners.

I take a different approach.





Yes, some of my planner pages actually look like that.

Oh, and like this, too.





I asked in my Facebook group for pictures of ugly pages, where a group member named Kim came up with this picture of her planner in action.




And then, topping off the ugly, another group member, Karen, had this coffee-stained delight.




I loved these pictures, even more than the air-brushed beauty that I usually see in planner blogs.

The thing is that these planners are used. They are in action, doing the dirty work. Maybe they have stains, ugly doodles, and no color coordination. But they are practical. They are loved.

Philofaxy, one of my favorite websites, only allows pictures of planners in use - not decorations - in its Facebook group. I appreciate that, a lot, even though I love decorated planners, because it allows me to see actual planners in their native dress, as instruments for thinking and recording, instead of just beauty.

Also, I think Karen's picture above is beautiful, even while it's ugly. Sometimes, in the world of planners, ugly and beautiful can exist as one.

At least the outside of my planner is pretty, right?




Etcetera.

14 comments:

lyn said...

I don't think your planner is ugly at all. It's just very functional and well used :-) I like having cute deco on mine but I don't go overboard. I still value my writing space. I find myself being more motivated when there are cute bunnies or sheep frolicking across my pages. Hehehe...

Giftie Etcetera said...

Sheep frolicking made me giggle! :)

Kimmie said...

If the guts aren't a mess, I must not be using it. :)

Karen said...

I am a plaIn Jane I just like simple and functional. I don't even make fancy inserts just gird paper and a title. I do color code for each family member but that is only 3 people and only on my monthly pages.

Pam said...

Ugly planner all the way, baby! I did create my own inserts so I can control the chaos but my planner is there to be used. If I'm feeling really creative it gets a strip of washi tape on one page, but I need all the space I can get for keeping track of work, home, blog, homeschooling, meal planning...

Christine Cortese said...

My pages get so full that if I put decorations on them I'd be missing space to write.

Havok said...

I, too, need my pages to be functional. I love seeing all the pretty pages all done up, but for the most part, I need as much room to write as possible! Some times, I won't decorate a page until it's already been finished (mainly out of boredom, ha!). There is nothing wrong with not having a "pretty" planner. YOUR planner needs to work for YOU. That's what its all about. If you need pretty pages, go for it. If you can survive with just a colored pen, go for it. That's what makes it awesome :D

Carla P. said...

Beautiful KS Wellesley on the outside. Frankenstein, mish-mash on the inside. Plus, I'm switching to FC Compact, so throw in mismatched pages, and I have one hardworking "dudette". This just might be THE system, at least for this week.

Carla P. said...

And, you have a beautiful planner.

Homemakersdaily.com said...

I agree 100%. I think the "ugly" planners are just as beautiful, if not more. There's nothing more beautiful that a well-used planner.

Leslie Duffy said...

Pretty planners have no room for notes and, in my opinion, don't really show time management & priorities - which is what I look for when I watch planner porn (LOL!). A decorated planner is a whole different animal. I LOVE gift's planner and homemaker's daily planner because they're in use and well worn and offer the practicality of everyday life. Looking at mine - the handwriting is neat, the handwriting is mostly legible, and when I write quickly I can't make out what it says, it's color coded so that when I look at it - I know which kid I make appointments for - but that's about it. I'll post a pic on the gift FB page...Thanks for offering this discussion topic.

Susana Pa├žo said...

I always prefer use over looks :) My poor zipped holborn has quite a rough life and I love it :) A beautiful planner is a used planner, period :P

Anita Lim said...

Thank you, I love this post!
Maybe I should write a post about my 'ugly planner' for Philofaxy. I'm not really one for decorating, often have some pocket size inserts in there somewhere, scribble/cross things out, don't colour code & have A4 sheets of paper that get a bit bent... However, I like the simplicity of my system & it just works for me. I always have a nice picture underneath the flyleaf though :)

Kanalt-WellPlannedLife said...

I'm very behind on my blog reading, so sorry for commenting so late.

I love this post! I admit that something can be said for beautifully decorated pages. But I am a member of this community not for the decoration side of things. I like to plan and organize and my planner is the front-runner of tools. Sometimes it gets a little messy because life is messy. As much as I love a clean and organized page, I also love the scribbles and stains of a well-used page because it says something about the person's day or state of mind on that particular day. And if things are chaotic, more than likely a planner will reflect that. It's rare for my pages to be a mess, but I love it when they are because it makes me feel more "normal" and less "OCD" about how my pages look. :)