The agony and adventure of choosing a planner (and how it changes me each year)

Meredith Cummings
5 min readDec 31, 2021
Some of my planners through the years.

I should have found my voice by now. As I creep toward the second half of my life, I guess it’s no surprise that I feel like I haven’t. I’ve been telling the stories of others far longer than my own.

But a writer’s voice is ever-changing. The voice I had at 21 is not the voice I have today.

Red is my favorite color, reflected in my 2009 planner.

This occurs to me as I search for a 2022 planner. This is a job I take seriously. I’m not one of those bells-and-whistles type of planner people. I don’t line up various colored pens or have a system. Although I do have conditions: It must not have spiral binding. It must be smaller than a sheet of paper. It must lie flat as well as fit into a laptop bag easily.

I have not kept a diary since I was 10. A cartoon of Garfield decorates the front of that one. What I do, friends, is keep a detailed planner.

The year I started college my cheesy, Hallmarkesque “What is a friend?” calendar served as a planner. Soccer games, babysitting, Latin Convention (I own my geekiness) and the like scrolled into each tiny square. Notes like, “Jen’s birthday!” and “To Atlanta” pepper the pages.

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Meredith Cummings

Freelance journalist, Teaching Assistant Journalism Professor at Lehigh University, Essayist, Book reviewer