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It’s that time of the year again. When I scour the internet for planners. My needs for a planner has changed slightly so I’ve been trying out some new options. As you know, I love my paper planners. Being able to write things down and see it on a sheet of paper works for me. Finding the perfect planner can be a neverending quest.
How to find and use the perfect planner:
- Decide what you’ll use the planner for. I mostly use my planner to keep track of my work, such as editorial calendar for my sites, my to-do lists and project management. For all events school, kid, or family related I use Google Calendar. Cozi is a free and popular electronic calendar for the family too.
- The perfect planner is the one you’ll actually use. Be consistent in using it for at least 2-3 weeks before giving up on it. Transitioning to a new planner takes time.
- Check your planner before you go to bed. I take about 5-10 minutes and do a brain dump of all the things I want or need to do the next morning. This helps me clear my head and helps me to fall asleep without worrying that I’ve forgotten something.
- Prioritize your to-do list before diving in. After the kids are dropped off at school, I look over my to-do list while I have breakfast. I pick the 3 most important things to tackle first since I’m only kid free for about 2.5 hours in the morning.
- Don’t make it complicated. Sure it’s fun to use different colored ink pens and markers for each type of event or action item, but this will get old very quickly. You’re spending all your time on busy work instead of getting your to do lists done. In a perfect world, everything in my calendar is color coordinated, crossed off when done, and decorated with pretty washi tape. In real life? Scribbles in whatever color ink pen the kids haven’t made off with.
- Don’t give up on your planner. If you fall off the planner wagon, just hop right back on. No need to backtrack. Just start where you are now. When life gets crazy busy or if I’m traveling a lot, my planner gets ignored. But it’s never judges me and is happy when I return to it.
Contenders For The Perfect Planner
While finding the perfect planner can be elusive as finding the perfect pair of jeans, here are some that I’ve used (and loved) or come highly recommended by friends. Buy your planner now before the holiday rush sneaks up you!
Erin Condren’s Day Planners are definitely worth the cost. Of all the planners I’ve owned, I’ve used this one the most. It’s colorful, bright, and made with high quality paper. The grids are roomy for my not-so-tiny handwriting. Everyone one of my friends who has purchased an Erin Condren planner loves it. Here’s my video review of my 2014 Erin Condren planner. She’s also expanded the collection to include notebooks, stickers, and planner accessories.
Desire Map Day Planner from Danielle LaPorte: I’m a big fan of Danielle LaPorte’s philosophy. The focus of The Desire Map book is how to create goals with soul, meaning that we set goals that are fired by our passions and intentions. Danielle has completely revamped her planners with 3 different formats: daily, weekly, and journal.
Several of my friends swear by their momAgenda day planners. These stylish planners aren’t just for moms either. Their planners are available in two different sizes and various colors. I love that their weekly pages have different rows so you can track of all your projects, each kids’ activities, or even meal plan.
Want to DIY? Try Printable Planners
I like printable planner pages because I can add a couple of months pages at a time. It keeps my planner from becoming too bulky. Here are some I like.
I fell in love with the bright colors of the Everyday Planner from Miss Tiina after downloading her free planner printables. I liked it because she offered a monthly grid in portrait instead of landscape orientation (only the landscape version is free now). Her full planner offers 8 different sections for your menu planning, journaling, to-do list, appointments, books to read, etc. She also offers the planner in several different sizes.
NEW: I love the cute but minimal feel of The Ultimate Life Binder from Secret Owl Society.
I’m currently using my DIY discbound planner with printable calendar pages. You can see my complete setup in this post. This will be my third year using a discbound planner. It’s the most flexible one for me. I can easily change up page formats if one isn’t working for me. I can easily hole punch notes, reminders, etc to put right into the discs.
One new addition to my planner repertoire is this beautiful red Pilot Retro Pop fountain pen. I love how it writes. If red isn’t your style, it comes in other colors too.
I am also in love with the Pilot Kakuno fountain pens. My friend Lisa gave me one for my birthday and it writes beautifully! The smile on my nib always makes me smile.
What planner are you using?