Planners: The Good, The Bad and The Aesthetically Pleasing

Like sleeping, reading and studying, planners are a facet of mainstream American education that undergoes change as we pass through the education system. These days, a planner can be a godsend for organization and double as a form of artistic catharsis. 

Usually, our first introduction to the concept of the planner is in elementary school. I can distinctly remember my first planner, a Sweetbay supplied flimsy cover notebook with a picture of the school superimposed on the cover. Back in those halcyon days before Canvas deadlines, a planner was a chore. In my experience, planners were to be written in every day, and if that requirement was not met, the result would be a bad grade or a “conduct cut,” as my elementary school called them. 

Photo courtesy of Ayesha Faisal

As we progress through academia, planner regulation grew sparse, and thus agency came. Now, planners come in different sizes and shapes, quality and creed. Planners have become more personalized and intimate. A planner became a place to take out your frustrations of the day and enjoy a form of artistic expression. 

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

With this new development of personalized planners, an online community flourished. The rise of the study community on platforms such as Tumblr and Pinterest allowed this community to thrive. Yet with the rise of this community came the desire to make these planners more aesthetically pleasing. This meant hours could be spent over the production of weekly and monthly spreads. While some found this part thrilling, there came a pressure to buy into the aesthetic senses of the study community, and these supplies weren’t cheap. Washi tapes and stickers alone could cost upwards of $20, and don’t get me started on the cost of the planners themselves. 

Photo courtesy of Ayesha Faisal

The appeal of the study community seems to be the autonomy it gives the student, in a sphere of life often dictated by deadlines. The planner is a creative outlet for the stressed soul.