My planner and organization system is really important to me because it truly affects my productivity. These past few months have been a strange time for me because I have mostly been at home, but am still busier than usual. I have tried a lot of different planners and systems recently and wanted to share my thoughts on each of them just in case any of you were thinking about trying them. Note: Just because these did not work for me, doesn’t mean they won’t work for you! I think it really helps to try out different planners and setups for yourself before making any judgements. Your setup will also change depending on the time of your life and what is going on, so being flexible definitely helps.
May Designs Agenda in Webster’s Pages Travelers Notebook
I liked this idea in theory because I decided that I like my calendar to be all in one booklet or book rather than on separate pages like the ring-bound system. However, after adding in all of my other notebook inserts, I found that the whole planner was too heavy to be comfortable. I also found it hard to write in the notebooks while they were in the cover which kind of defeated the purpose of using the TN system.
Sugar Paper L.A. for Target Agenda in Blush Pink
I really love the look of this planner as well as the fact that it is so affordable! I was kind of starting to hate myself for spending so much money on paper products and I liked being able to show spreads from planners that are more easily attainable. I loved the simplicity of all the layouts, but the horizontal setup of the weekly layout did not work for me. It was hard for me to organize information in the wide, blank spaces and I found myself writing on a scrap piece of paper instead. Also, I wish this planner had some sort of pocket!
Foxy Fix Notebook No. 2 in Butterscotch Wanderlust Leather
I had such high hopes for this little guy! I am a huge fan of the Foxy Fix brand and the leather of this cover is to die for. The main pro of this planner was the portability and the fact that I was able to really customize it in my own style. However, after using this planner and the previous larger Webster’s Pages planner, I realized that I don’t really enjoy bound notebooks for a lot of my notes and reference info. It drives me crazy that I can’t take pages out and rearrange them as I need! Although I am not currently using this planner, I did really enjoy using it as a wallet for a brief time for the compact size and fun customization.
Erin Condren Life Planner and MAMBI Happy Planner
Before anyone asks, my gorgeous matching covers for both of these planners are by the amazing Brittany from StylishPlanner on Etsy. I loved the pattern so much I bought it twice and they are both excellent quality as are all of her other cover options!
These two planners are probably some of the most popular planners that people use and for good reason. The two that I have both feature the vertical layout, but are slightly different in each. I have Plan With Me videos for both of these layouts on my YouTube channel! I love using these planners because it allows me to use beautiful sticker kits to decorate my weeks, however, I felt that when I was actually planning out my days in these, I was getting distracted with how my planner looked and even avoided marking things down to keep everything looking pretty! For now, I am using only my Happy Planner to “memory plan” my weeks which involves me planning with a sticker kit after the day is finished to use as a sort of journal and keep my spreads looking clean and pretty. Eventually, I think that I will stop purchasing and not accept weekly sticker kits (I still and will always love little icon stickers), but, since I currently have a lot to use up, I will continue journaling in my Happy Planner until the end of the year.
Right now, I am back in a system that has worked for me before which is using my personal size Filofax to house notes, info and my calendar. I am looking forward to 2017 when I plan to use a Hobonichi Techo (will share more about this later!) planner to be my calendar and then keeping my other pages in a separate ring-bound planner, but for now this works especially since I don’t need to have this planner on the go. I have actually also been training myself to use my phone calendar more since it is much easier to share events and it is in my hand about 95% of the time.
I know that this much thought into what planners I am using may seem trivial to some, but for me it keeps me sane, productive and creative. I am always attempting to reach a stage of “planner nirvana” where I don’t feel the need to try out any other systems and I am most productive, but until then I’ll keep testing new planners and setups and try to incorporate the best from each. I have learned a lot about how I think and work after trying out different planners and notebooks and I believe that everyone should try to find a system that works for them.
Have you found “planner nirvana?” I would love to know how you stay organized!