Love at First (Planner) Sight

When I first met my husband, we kept things very casual for several months. We would go out to dinner, movies, and play some mini golf. But things didn’t start to get serious until later on.

I don’t remember when I first met his mother, but I do remember the day. We got along right away, since we both love to read, among other things. Also, as I always say, my husband came to me well trained, since my mother-in-law is also very organized. Unlike me, however, she’s not necessarily so OCD about it, but organized she is. I knew this before I ever met her, considering my husband mentioned it to me upon learning how organized I am.

One of the first things I noticed about my mother-in-law’s organization method was her big fat planner in the kitchen. From the moment I laid eyes on it, I knew I would marry her son (well, not really, but it certainly helped).

I was enthralled by her planner because at the time, I was using my spiral bound Old Faithful. I had looked at ringed planners, but they weren’t for me (obviously, I was so wrong). To see her binder, stuffed with papers and mail and reminders and greeting cards waiting for the right moment to be mailed, not to mention all the daily information she kept, was just a curiosity to me. Picture it, here I am, dating her son for only a few short months, wanting to delve into her planner, but not wanting to invade her privacy, and too shy to ask her or her son if I could, because, sheesh, what would they think of me, this nut case who is obsessed with planners of all things?

Here’s the breakdown:

She used to work for a big company and everyone got a Franklin Covey planner. I don’t know what the exact name of the binder is (or if it’s still in existence), but this one comes pretty close. She used the vertical weekly inserts. I don’t care for those inserts—while I see the benefit of the vertical layout, it’s just not my style. If I’m using weekly inserts, I prefer to have them laid out horizontally. But that’s just me. Many years later, she left that company but still used “Franklin,” as she lovingly referred to him. She bought new refills every year.

Since our initial meeting, she has downsized. She no longer uses Franklin, and I have no idea what happened to him. She travels quite a bit and, Franklin being the stud that he was, was too heavy to haul everywhere. Now she uses DayRunner’s Executive Planner, which is very similar to my Old Faithful. Being a spiral bound planner, it’s much lighter and thinner than Franklin, so it’s easier for her to pack up and take with her when she’s traveling. Funny, how in the years we’ve known each other, we have switched preferences of planners.

Even to this day, I still take quick peeks at her planner when we’re visiting her. I still have not asked to discuss it thoroughly. I know that neither she nor my husband would question the reasoning behind this request. They both know how obsessed with planners I am. However, I guess it’s more of a respect kind of thing. I don’t want to invade her privacy, mainly because she’s not obsessed about planners. I have no problem asking those who are to look at their planners (hence the NYC meet up, though that was also about meeting the people behind those planners). I’ll probably always admire her planner from afar.

Looking back, I should have known at that very first meeting that this was the family I would one day be a part of. With a planner like Franklin to guide the way, how could I not?


  1. Don't ever cure yourself of your planner obsession... you won't be the same person!

  2. I don't plan on it, Steve. I'm just going to stop bombarding other (uninterested) people, now that I have the proper outlet to do so. ;)


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