For the longest time, I feel like I’ve been stuck in a planner rut. How can I be that serious about pen and paper? For me, it’s more than that. It’s all about finding some solace in my day to day. My mind is all over the place when I don’t have my thoughts on paper. I may be a millennial, but for me, there’s nothing like a blank piece of paper and my favorite pen. To get out of this planner rut, I would need to implement a system that would become a central location for all things me.
As always, be sure to click the links throughout this post for related posts and links to purchase items/similar styles featured.
Landing in a Planner Rut
This time ever year I get into this FOMO (fear of missing out) mood. I know I’m not the only one that scrolls through Instagram and looks at what everyone else is using. If you’re into makeup, you’re looking at the latest trends. If you’re a sneaker head, you’re vying for what no one else has. You get sucked into a rabbit hole of trying to fill this void that you created for yourself.
For me with planning, I’ve always been an impulsive shopper. Since I found the planner community in 2015, I always wanted what I saw. It became a game of cat and mouse. I’d see what someone else hd, most importantly what they wanted and what they couldn’t find and get it for myself. I look back at all the items I’ve purged or even thrown away. Was it really my style? Nope. I was just trying to keep up.
Being in this FOMO phase, I have an urge to just try out what other people are using in hopes of being in the loop. Plus, it’d look great for pictures, right? News flash, planning is not meant for pictures. It’s meant for function. I had so many planners in my 2019 lineup, with only one I was using. What’s the sense in that? It was time for a consolidation and to really write out what it was that I wanted in a planner.
What I Want In a Planner
Here I am trying to figure out just what I want in a planner, but I’m still overthinking it. As for just what I wanted, well thought I did, here’s a full list:
- Cover pages for each month + Calendar
- Weekly pages (maybe daily)
- Gratitude Log
- Monthly Brain Dump
- WWE PPVs
- Countdown to Planning a Better Me Retreat
- Weekly/Monthly Meal Plan
- Lists – Reading, Netflix Watchlist, Movies to See, Music
I think it’s a great idea to write out what you want in a planner. I mean, write out every single detail. This way you can have a concrete place to start when before you set it up. For me, I knew that some of what I wanted to add would and would not work. Still, having all my ideas out there was the ideal starting point.
Switch from B6 to an A5
From December 2018 to May 2019, I used a B6 Stalogy. I’ve consistently been using a bullet journal since the summer of last year and I am content with that style of planning. I prefer to create my own spread. Another thing I’ve realized about my planning style is that I don’t like to be tied down to having to plan daily. Weekly works better for me, simply because I don’t have much going on.
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Almost time to start journal #3 ☺️ – I’ve been using a bullet journal consistently since July of last year. It was more of a log to keep up with my mental health, now it’s an all in one for planning, journaling, etc. Best part is I don’t stress over daily planning because truth is, some days I do and some days I don’t. On those “don’t” days, I just move on to the next.
The main reason I switched from a B6 to an A5 was solely because of the size. I was doing daily pages in my B6 and for some time I was happy. Again, here we go with the FOMO. My B6 was pretty chunky and I just wasn’t inspired to use it anymore. Although I wanted to fill in all the pages, what’s the sense in using something just to use it? To be truly productive, you need a system that makes the process easy. So, while I was in the process of setting up my A5 Stalogy to use in July, I decided to jump ship and start new.
Change of Plans
I moved into my A5 Stalogy and I was happy with the change. I even went and jumped into creating a content calendar for the month of June. Then within a week, I decided that it wasn’t working. It wasn’t the size or the weekly layout I created, both of those were fine. The issue was I didn’t have any sections. I had tried to avoid creating any, but I needed division for more clarity. That’s when I decided to move back to discs.
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I’ve been loving my discbound bullet journal. I was in a bit of a planner rut for quite some time. Well, to be honest, a rut in general. – Planning gives me a peace of mind. I’ve learned to plan in the moment and not just write down loft to do’s I know won’t get done. – I used regular grid paper, some labels, @the_happy_planner discs and a @staples Arc cover to assemble this planner. I used what I had in my stash and this is by far the most functional planner I’ve had. Maybe it’s because I’m solely focused on what I can accomplish minus it looking pretty & picture perfect. – I’ve found planner peace with this size, but it’s okay to switch things up every now and then.
With this I created sections for my personal planning, content calendar, freelance, my podcast, and all my lists. It was easier this way and it helped my brain. To create this I took a part my A5 Stalogy. I know, shocker. I reused the covers in my new system. Still, there was a problem, the paper quality of the Stalogy. The paper is really thin and when I hole punched it, it just didn’t work out. Plus in my other sections I had just used regular computer paper. The system was working, but I wasn’t happy with how messy it all looked.
So, time for another changed. I ditched the Stalogy and computer paper and went with grid paper. Yes, the Stalogy had a fainter grid line, but I personally don’t mind seeing the grid. Now, all my paper is the same and it’s easy for me to create my weekly spreads.
Interested in making my new planner? Here’s what you’ll need:
- Grid Paper
- Tabs for Dividers
Lucky for me,, I had all these items in my stash. I lucked up with the grid paper and got it from my sisters. Hurray for the school year being over. You could really make this planner for less than $10 with these basic products.
My New Lineup
So, have I finally found planner peace? Planner peace is you being content with whatever planner you’re using. It works for you and only you. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. So, what is in my lineup?
- Catch all, Half Letter Discbound Planner
- Budget, Classic Happy Planner – Budget Extension Pack
- Faith, Mini Faith Happy Planner
- Mental Health/Wellness, Pocket Traveler’s Notebook
- Memory Planning, iPad – GoodNotes
As I finish this post, I can honestly say that I am finally content with planner. My everyday planner is what matters. The others in my lineup, I use interchangeably. The most important piece to this system was my catch all.