Oh Wow! Planners are my most favourite thing to talk about!
How do you like your layout? A week on one page with To Do list on the other side? Seven days divided over 2 pages, or are you an hour-by-hour type of girl????
What I currently use
I’ve used loads of planners in the past. But most of them don’t make it past the 3-6 month mark. For me, customization is a huge plus. I like creating my own pages & keeping everything together in one place.
When I was attending Occupational Therapy she suggested I think about a planner. Once tasks are written down it frees your brain from having to remember things all the time & always being ‘on guard’. My brain works overtime trying to remember school lunches, to do lists, cats, finances, etc. Writing it down means it won’t be forgotten & I can come back to it when needed.
Personally, I don’t like writing down my to do list on a certain day as often things change & then I need to write it down over multiple days which leads to guilt cause I’ve not gotten around to completing anything. I love the MAMBI Happy Planner Mini that has the week days on the right hand side (plus a handy meal planner) & then on the left theres space for emails, to do’s, to buy, etc. This works best for me.
As its a disc planner I make loads of my own templates that I punch & get to keep everything together on hand when the need arises. Some of these are available in my Shopify Store. Budgeting is one of those things – tracking what I’ve spent when because its so easy to forget. I also add pages for social media posting, blog ideas, house projects & loads of blank pages for note on the fly.
Step 1 : What is the purpose of your Planner/Diary?
Decide what you’ll be using this for. Is it for daily or monthly use or to plan an event? Will you need a whole year or only a few months?
- Daily planner
- Monthly planner
- Student planner
- Diet & Wellness journal
- Fitness journal
- Wedding planner
- Pregnancy journal
- Event planner
- Family planner
Step 2 : Choose the type of binding you like
Ever have the problem that no planner/diary ever fits all the things you want in it? Do you want to modify or customise the planner to suit you? Then these are best ..
- File System : Eg. The Filofax is a 6 ring binder where you can rearrange pages, buy add ons or print your own & punch them.
- Disc Planners : Mushroom shaped pages that can be rearranged, buy add ons or print your own & punch them.
- Bullet Journals : Blank bound book for you to create your own sections by drawing headings & tables. Usually in black pen.
These are printed & bound planners …
- Book bound planners : Usual planners you’d get in the shops around New Year.
- Book bound Family planners : UK companies making offering types of layouts – Mum’s Office, Boxclever Press
- Wire bound planners : Preprinted but can choose different layouts within eg. Erin Condren, Living Well Planner
Step 3 : What Layout suits you best?
Page-a-day : This is great for appointments and being able to track minute details of what you’ve been up to.
Week over 2 pages : Each day gets a single block
Week over 2 pages : Horizontal week broken down into 3 blocks, usually morning, afternoon or evening blocks. These can also be customised eg. “kids”, “me”, “business”
Week over 2 pages : Horizontal week broken down by hour. This can be great as a visual block of each day.
Step 4 : Does Size Matter?
Of course! It depends where you’re going to use it. I prefer something thats big enough to write down all my weeks to do’s but small enough to fit in my handbag. (Okay, who am I kidding, I rarely use a handbag, but at least its small enough that I can carry it & my phone together without dropping things!).
It all depends on what you’re going to use it for. Each company seems to have their own sizes. Basically you need to decide if a full sized sheet of paper (US Letter or A4) suits what you want it for or maybe half that size suits you better and can fit in a handbag. Once you have a rough idea you can start looking at what company offers the layout & binding you prefer.
Step 5 : What about add ons?
Customisable planners like ring binders (eg. Filofax) or disc planners have a variety of add ons available. These range from the following :
- Christmas Gift Guide
- Budget Sheets
- Notes (we always need notes!)
- Recipe Cards – you could always keep this as a planner on its own
- Perpetual Birthday list
- Stickers … don’t you love stickers? These can really add personality to your planner