Managing a to-do list doesn’t seem like it would be Instagram-worthy, but for a community of people online, it’s downright artful.
Welcome to the world of planner addicts, a community of people who, even in a digital age with calendar and list apps, are obsessed with paper planners and notebooks. These women love to share their organisation tips, sticker hauls, and un-boxing videos with each other as well as on Instagram and YouTube.
“It’s a little bit like a compulsion,” Houston-based beauty blogger Kristina B. of the YouTube channel Pretty Shiny Sparkly and admitted planner addict says in one video. “There’s no reason for me to have this many planners.”
These tutorials are everywhere. Doing a Google or YouTube search of the word planner yields hundreds of thousands of results, from planner reviews to the best way to organise your planner.
Each video is typically shot from above to best display the perfectly organised notebooks. The women in the videos decorate the booklets with stickers, homemade borders, cut-outs, and drawings.
The focus is less on the actual to-dos of the day and more about how good your planner looks. Events and meetings are written in sweeping calligraphy with cute drawings and stickers. Instagrammers and YouTubers are often proud to show off past weeks that illustrate their deft formatting skills.
The end result is both oddly satisfying to watch and astoundingly twee with colourful animal stickers, glitter, and lots and lots of pink.
These planner-obsessed videos can range from 10,000 views on YouTube to over 100,000.
“I don’t know why, but I’ve watched this video at least 12 times,” one commenter wrote.
“I can watch this over and over,” said another.
Just like with Instagram trends like knolling, the planner trend is all about encompassing a particular aspirational lifestyle — orderly, well-lit, and colourful. You can envision yourself buying a planner and living a better, cleaner, and more organised life.
Brands are also a major part of the planner community. Kikki.K, Erin Condren, and Filofax are all top planners that addicts swear by. Kikki.K and Filofax in particular are extremely expensive with a personal organiser from one of these top-tier brands costing between $US60-$US100, and that’s not including the refill pages, fountain pens, sticky notes, and divider tabs that are so essential in the planner community.
“I have been wanting a Kikki.K planner or a Filofax planner for a while now,” one planner addict said on her 10-minute unboxing video. “It looks so cute! They have so many other stationary and sticky notes and stuff like that that are just totally my style.”
The trend has even sparked planner-oriented meet ups like Planner Palooza for obsessives to share tips and tricks and meet other organiser fans. One of the headliners of Planner Palooza, Vienna Ortiz, even started a Birchbox — esque company called The Planner Addict Box that ships a curated box of stickers and gear to fans around the world.
Some planner addicts told Mic’s Theresa Avila that they have seen an increase in the planner movement in the past year and the trend only seems to be growing larger. Even with the myriad calendar, organisation, and list apps that the tech savvy swear by, the planner community remains charmingly analogue. Though they may love to post about their planners on social media, when it comes to actual planning, they prefer to work on paper.
“I have an iPhone, iPad and work in an IT department in front of a computer all day, but there is just something about writing a list and checking it off that works best for me,” one planner fan wrote. “My phone can do a lot of [planning], but it doesn’t show it all on one place like I prefer. And yes, it helps that you can make it cute and find custom inserts or covers.”
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