I think we can all agree that as an adult woman it is hard to meet new people that we have a real connection with.
When I started searching out planner accessories, I quickly discovered how large the community is. Everywhere I looked there was another amazing woman, doing something I loved. The more hashtags I searched, the more I found. I really enjoyed liking photo’s on Instagram, commenting on cute spreads in Facebook groups, and ordering from the latest Etsy shop sale. That grew old when I learned about planner meetups. Immediately I knew I needed to find and meet other planner’s live.
My personal experiences haven’t included women working well together, let alone building each other up, and encouraging one another. I’ve spent the bulk of my professional life working with men, in male-dominated industries like technology and home improvement. I liked it that way, playing with the big boys, and avoiding the drama that can come with working with women. I look back and realize I’ve had months where I didn’t talk to female friends because I was busy focused on work, and family.
The driving force behind this site is the connection I’ve found inside my planner community. My passion and belief in this concept is so strong I’ve built this website. The goal is that many other women can connect locally with other Planner Girls and support each other in all the ways I see in our community. Each of us carries our own bag of rocks, we need other women look in our bag and say, “Hey, I carry that too”.
We were built to do life with other people. We all need each other, and we’ve already found a common thread to start in our planners. Here is the list in no particular order;
- Enabler Buddy – Ha! Yep! Here’s the thing, there is so much happening every day on multiple platforms in the planner community, so you need someone to tell you when things are happening. Who is doing a $2 Tuesday, who’s box is opening up new sign ups, oh the next Target dollar spot stuff dropped! Let’s face it, you can’t keep up with everything. Find a community or Planner Girl to participate in so you don’t miss anything.
- See It Before You Spree It – Getting together in a local Planner Girl Community you can get an honest offline review and an opinion by someone that you know. At a meetup or with another Planner you get to touch, feel, and yes, smell a product! I literally stood and smelled the Foxy Fix leather that Boho Paper Cottage had on hand at our last meetup! Before that we all smelled a KAT Binder. I love reading online reviews, but having an opportunity to touch and feel a product before you invest in it just feels better.
- Support – My mind is blown daily in this community when I see how women jump in and help each other. I’ve seen women giving business advice, for free! Other communities have raised money for sick children. I’ve even seen women supporting a Planner Girl when her mother passed away. In our first meetup, we had 1 brave woman share a deeply personal topic related to planning, and this allowed 5 other women in the room to comfortably share too. We had women tracking divorce, custody, anxiety, businesses, schedules, medical issues, scripture, and happy thoughts. I see women connecting the threads of their lives and going deeper, and the connection that brought us to the table is that we use planners. Also, you are able to get accountability. I have been on a no spend, I did a target haul video, and my friend reminded me of my no spend. I needed that kick in the butt to remember what I was hoping to accomplish! That kind of support you don’t get when you are on your own.
- Tips & Tricks – Engaging in the planner community will teach you so much. It also allows you to ask questions, and get answers. I had a simple question in my planner community “How do you store your stickers?” I immediately got 4 different suggestions and got to see what those looked like. I could ask about costs, and determine what I liked about them. I didn’t have to ponder search the internet or waste a bunch of money trying to figure it out.The Planner Community will allow you to move through any type of question like; how do I store washi, horizontal vs. vertical, ring our coil bound just to name a few. From a business perspective, women are also supporting each other to get started making stickers, or on business principles. While trade secrets are kept close to the chest like any corporation, common business knowledge is freely shared on Periscope, YouTube, live at meetups, and in Facebook Groups regularly. Being able to have a conversation with another Planner Girl, who has already been down a path, is an incredible experience.
- Planner Girlfriends – Having a shared hobby connects us, you can easily lurk online and never engage. Taking the step to actively seek out these groups and bravely put yourself out there can be scary. It will be worth it when you can find a local woman that you can run to the craft store with! Plus you never know who you might inspire! Don’t leave yourself on an island, you might be missing out on meeting a someone who you have a ton in common with. Yes, women can come with a hot mess of stuff, and none of us are perfect. Having a friend to build a relationship with may help you in way’s you don’t know. It may take a while to find the right woman that you can trust and open up to, but I strongly urge you to try.
While our community loves buying new things, we are so much more than that. We are not just a bunch of mindless consumers buying stuff. We are a creative community of women who are passionate about a broad range of topics that shape our lives. We have real problems, real businesses, and can offer each other real help.
Getting off your island and leaving the house is important. It doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, kids, no kids, retired, or are just out of college, you need to make a connection. You don’t have to have a magical immaculate house and perfect makeup to do this. You can go to coffee, in yoga pants, and run 10 minutes late and still enjoy the company of another planner. Yep, we plan, but that doesn’t mean we are perfect!
Take that common thread of a paper planner, and move it past just being a way to keep track of things or a craft project, and realize that it’s your life bound in those pages. Share it with other planner girls! We are so blessed to have this community of women who share a connecting thread that is so vast. If you haven’t already gotten off the wall and engaged, consider this your invitation to do so. We are waiting for you!
Contributed by Jamie Marquez-Bratcher lives in Gilbert Arizona with her life partner and husband. She has been in the Arizona Planner Girls community since the start.