I just recently bought myself a new daily planner. Although I own a phone capable of holding calendar-like properties, I have never been able to give up a regular, paper, daily planner.
My sister and I were at the store together, and I think I shocked her with my obsessive planner needs. There are very specific things I require out of a planner, including labeled days and months and tabs to quickly flip to the month I need. I couldn't actually find a planner that met all these requirements for me, and I had to make my own flip tabs. I like to think that my sister was impressed at my level of organization and ingenuity rather than scared at the thought of how much genetic material we share. Her fear wasn't just due to the tabs; it came in when I started actually filling in the planner, as well.
Previously my sister had wondered why I could possibly need so many different colored highlighters. She soon was witness to my obsessive habit of color coding the various events in my planner. I use blue for anything involving my son, Silas, orange for automatic deductions that come out of my bank account, yellow for work, green for appointments of any kind (that do not involve Silas), and pink for the events I'm looking forward to. Almost everything that's going on in my life falls into one of those categories.
I've always loved having organized, color-coded notes and planners. When I was in high school I remember sitting at my desk with a huge pile of pens next to me, ready to take notes. I don't remember if I had an actual system of color coding during those days, or if I was just amusing myself by randomly switching my notes into glittery purple and green.
When I went to college I finally found a benefit to taking well-organized, readable notes. I was the "note taker" for one of my classes. This was pretty easy; it just involved making a copy of my notes and keeping the copies filed at the student tutoring center. Being a note taker allowed me to register early for classes, which was great, but I only remember being disappointed that the student tutoring center would only allow me to copy my notes in black and white; I felt like a large component of my note taking skills was due to my use of color coding the information.
Now, in my job as a nurse, I continue to take notes. As with other nurses, all my information for the day is written down on a piece of paper we call our "brains." This leads to fun statements like, "I can't find my brains, oh wait, here they are in my pocket!" Or, "Darn, my brains fell in the toilet."
The other day at work another nurse was covering my lunch break and during that time wrote on my brains. I almost exploded in a fit of repressed rage. How dare she! She used the wrong color pen, wrote in the wrong little square and then folded my paper up the wrong way! And yes, I do actually have a very specific way that I like my paper to be folded in order to fit in my pocket. I took some deep breaths and calmed myself down, repeating to myself, "Just because I am ridiculous, does not mean other people have to be ridiculous."
One time I wrote out my grocery list, and then rewrote it to be in the same order that the items would be in as you walk through the store. My dad caught me doing this and warned me that my note taking obsession was getting out of control. I've managed to never do that again.
Zoe Abel is looking forward to the next pink event in her calendar. You can contact her at email@example.com,