I’m so happy to be returning to the blogging game. I’ve neglected this blog quite a bit this year, not sure exactly what I wanted to do with it. Well, I’ve had my light bulb moment, it’s a FREE online resource for you guys. That’s right! All my tips and tricks on planning, organization, and other “adulting,” is available at your finger tips.
As we’re gearing up to the new year, I wanted to bring back my Planning for 2020 series to talk all things planning and productivity. This first post to kick of the series is how to choose the right planer. While most things in life are digital, I’ll always love my paper planner. I’ve come up with 5 tips to help you narrow down your decision and work for any budget you have.
As always, be sure to click the links throughout this post for related posts and links to purchase items/similar styles featured.
While most things in life are digital, I’ll always love my paper planner. Since I found the planner community back in 2015, I’ve learned a lot from others about style, managing time, and staying productive. On the downside, I’ve bought a lot of stuff to “keep up” with what others have. Typical FOMO (fear of missing out).
So, as I was in the process of deciding what I wanted in a planner, I thought what better time than to share my tips. Let’s go!
1. Map Out What You Want in a Planner
Sounds simple, right? It is! Grab a piece of paper and write down everything. Yes, EVERYTHING! You’re not making any final decision, this list is just a brain dump.
What do you want to track?
What are your must haves?
What do you need on the go?
These are all things to consider when creating your list. For me, I knew I needed a daily section, a place for goals, miscellaneous notes, lists, and projects. I then created a sub category of “maybe” which I put down a monthly layout / calendar.
2. Determine Your Writing Style
Now that you’ve figured out what you want in a planner, let’s talk writing style. In determining what kind of writer you are, it is then easier to narrow down what kind of layout you should use. I came up with a list of 6 with more details on each here.
- The Long Winded Writer| Horizontal Layout
- The Listet | Vertical Layout
- The Time Manager | Hourly Layout
- The Goal Getter | Daily Layout
- The At-A-Glance | Monthly Layout
- The Customizer | Inserts
Personally speaking, I’m a lister, but I also like to manage my time and set goals. That clearly puts me in more than a few categories above. If that’s the case for you, you’re a customizer. You prefer a little bit of this and a little bit of that. In the daily layouts that I’ve chosen, I prefer to separate my page by having space for a running to do list and room for an hourly. It’s still in that vertical format, but I’m able to really target the tasks I need to accomplish on a daily basis.
3. Research What’s On The Market
It’s so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of what’s available in the planner community, but tips 1 and 2 give you a starting point. I remember when I first started in the planner community back in 2015, the only planners I had come across were a horizontal layout. I discovered the Happy Planner which was a cheaper alternative to the Erin Condren Life Planner. Now there’s endless options that you can access in store and online.
When researching what’s on the market, let social media and YouTube be your guide.
Both are great resources to see what’s out there and get ideas/inspiration on how to use it without buying it. There are also so many freebies that are available so you can test out if a layout will work for you or not. Popular planners include:
- Coil – Erin Condren, Purple Trail, Plum Paper, Day Designer, Michaels Recollections
- Disc – Happy Planner, Arc, Tul, Levenger
- Bound – Michaels Recollections, Erin Condren, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Burlington, Passion Planner
4. Stay Within Your Budget
Above everything else, this tip is the most important. There’s so many things I’ve purchased over the last 4 years for my planner simply out of FOMO. This person had it, so I wanted it to. That leads me to where I am now, purging and giving away what I don’t use.
Planners can get pretty pricey once you start adding on the extras. Don’t feel less of a planner girl or guy if you don’t have a planner over $50. Remember the goal, a tool to keep you on track and accomplish your goals.
5. Get Started!
Don’t wait until the new year to start looking for a planner. Start now! The end of the year has its advantages. You can find 2019 planners for low as $10 and under. Academic planners are another great option as you can test out more than one planner midway through the year.
Hopefully you found the tips useful and helpful. The whole point is to have a system in place that holds you accountable and keeps you productive.
Ready to get your hands on a planner for the new year? I’m giving away a 6 Month, Undated, Clever Fox Daily panner. Click the video at the top of this post (or here). Give that video a like and comment what planner you’ll be using in the new year. That easy! Good luck!
The planning fun doesn’t stop here!
Check out more ideas to get you started here.