This is not exactly my wheelhouse: writing a very bloggy blog which could appropriately occupy space on Pinterest (though, it shouldn’t. Seriously. Don’t pin this. You will lessen the credibility of your board.) BUT I have been asked by several people about planners because I’m neither shy nor subtle about my obsession with them (a good portion of my Instagram is comprised of photos of coffee and my planners). So! Here’s my quick and dirty *planner post.
How I Use My Planner
- Certainly to schedule – I don’t trust my technological abilities enough to rely on my phone and I thoroughly enjoy the act of writing by hand.
- To center – I’ve used my planner in a daily ritual, first thing in the morning, to set intention to my day and get centered on the Good Stuff.
- To express – I played around with stickers a little bit last year (2017) and while it felt frivilous, it also felt fun. Something about decorating my planner was so satisfying!
Now, Onto the Planners!
Um…. maybe I’ll review-ish. You can click on the titles to dive into the overwhelm.
Day Designer by Whitney English
It’s FABULOUS and I love it. Here are some wonderful things about it
- Generous daily pages with hours listed
- Spaces for daily gratitude, meal plan, budget, top three priority tasks
- Big ole honkin to-do list space. Giant. You can see it from mars. And if you’re like me, it’s incredibly gratifying to check off the things you get done so you feel somewhat useful and productive even if the list includes “take shower” and “read”
- It’s so pretty.
- The daily page was developed with the influence of Storyline which is a fantastic tool for living intentionally and achieving goals.
- Hardcover keeps it safe in my bag and provides a very sturdy pocket.
- Goal setting pages in the front are incredible. Life changing.
Things I wasn’t crazy about:
- Cannot see a week at a time. It has daily, it has monthly, it does not give you a week.
- The hardcover and the many days makes it pretty heavy in your bag.
- Not many pages for notes. And because I am neurotic I rationed out my note-taking so my limited space would be available when I’m having a note emergency (which, what?) meaning I didn’t even use the pages provided.
- No color. Which might be a plus for someone more committed to decorating it themselves, but it feels a little plain to me.
- It’s expensive. Which isn’t even close to a deal breaker (HA! Like I would allow economics and responsibility to impede on my stationary needs), but it’s a factor.
I want to add that the Day Designer helped me create a ritual with my planner. It helped me begin the day with intention and expression. Even if it’s just a few minutes of jotting down a tentative plan, it keeps me accountable and feeling more “in front” of my day so I feel good about what I get done even if it’s not everything in my list. It’s very structured which was helpful in developing a habit.
Update: I went back to this after going about halfway through the year with my Happy Planner (more on that below) and it felt like going home. 🙂 I also wanted to note that the habits the Day Designer helps you create are easily used in other planners. I am also crazy about the goal-setting pages they have in the front of their planners.
Life Planner by Erin Condren
This one’s not even fair because I’ve never actually owned one, but what the hell? It’s my blog.
Some pros (from all I can gather out of the plethora of far more qualified blog posts than this and hours of awkward YouTube footage AND looking at my friend’s EC several times like a psycho):
- Weekly layout! Yay!
- Customizable covers
- Shit ton of stickers, dashboards, bookmarks, elastic bands to secure (Etsy is evenathing because of Erin Condren)
- Note pages
- Has space for all the things I loved on the DD pages, but without the structure. I feel pretty confident I can keep my habits though. 🙂
Things that seem less than awesome:
- To-do list space seems sort of small. I’d have to be more discerning as to what to include as a legitimate task. Ugh.
- Shit ton of accessories. It seems overwhelming and stresses me out a little.
- The cover is laminated vs something sturdier
- Very expensive for something you can kiiind of make yourself with a printer and a few bucks at Staples.
Update: This is my planner of choice for 2018. Without having used it much I can say that I heart all the little extras that come with it (gifting stickers, a clear pocket, and some other little goodies) as well as the colors! I chose the hourly layout vs the block layout.
Happy Planner by MAMBI
(Woah, I just got what MAMBI stands for. You have to figure it out now. Don’t be a jerk if it only takes you a second.)
This is the planner I ordered this year so I’ll update if I hate it. Here’s what I liked upon investigating:
- Basically the EC with thicker paper and more custom options and for a fraction of the cost.
That’s pretty much it. You can also get it (and all the accessories) at actual stores (Target, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby) which is just refreshing in the digital age, amiright? Oh!
- Also has a cool “currently” space I’m pretty stoked to have since I save these babies anyway.
- I’m kind of nervous about the plastic disc system. But for $10 (discounted for this weekend) I figure it’s worth a shot!
- Is a fraction of the cost so I’m a little expecting it to be too good to be true and fall apart or give me typhoid or something.
Update: Those plastic discs did end up being a pain in the ass. I really really really loved the layout, the art, and the space provided for actual planning, but those discs kept breaking (apparently I’m harder on my planners than I realized) and the cover (which is not cheap) just made it too big and clunky. If this were something I kept on a desk it would work perfectly, but I need something more mobile.
The bottom line is that there are SO MANY planners (and my ego wishes to inform you that I have always been a planner nerd, even before this was hip and trendy; I was the gal with the glasses toting around my A5 binder in fourth grade, kay.). They range from standard calendars to basically scrapbooks. I use mine to, ya know, plan, but I also love the idea of using it for expression. It’s sort of the truest form of a diary.
At Target or Office Depot you’ll find many much options – the binder option is kind of cool because it’s easy to customize it. My advice is to just start with something you can afford and find out what your needs are. I can’t really recommend the Day Designer enough even though I’m not getting it this year because it really did help me form some valuable habits and I deeply appreciated the structure. So if you are totally unsure, start there. 🙂
Hopefully that was fun and somewhat helpful! Happy planning! And comment, we can talk planners. I won’t even begrudge you for not commenting on my normal posts where I bear my heart and soul. Promise. This is basically that anyway. 😀
*It should be noted that this is not about actual, boring date books. Those are available at drug stores and are perfectly fine options for keeping appointments written down. Disregard all previous content and enjoy your fake leather maroon cover with a gold embossed year in the corner. ?