Figuring Out Your Ideal Planner
If you’ve ever looked up planner video on YouTube or are a member of any of the planner Facebook groups, you have no doubt felt overwhelmed by all the options out there—and I’m just talking about the containment unit itself; not stickers, pens, inserts, washi tape, etc. There are many blog posts and YouTube videos to help get you started.
There are brands from all over the world and at a variety of price ranges: Filofax, Kikki K, Erin Condrin, Kate Spade, Day-Timer, Day Runner, Franklin Covey, At a Glance, Bullet Journaling, Midori Traveler’s Notebook, Fauxdori’s, homemade & DIY, and many more.
In my opinion, the easiest place to start is deciding whether or not you want a planner that you can add and move stuff around in OR something that is bound together. A move stuff around planner would be a ring one, disc bound, and arguably traveler’s notebooks. A bound together planner would be a bound book or spiral/coil bound book.
Personally, I like being able to change the guts of my planner around as I please, so I use a ring bound planner.
The next thing to do is figure out what you want your planner to do for you. Calendar? To Do lists? Notes? Projects? Address book? What do you want from your planner? And how will you need it to function.
Your answer needs to be more than “I want to get organized.” Let’s start with a relatively simply example: calendars. Monthly, weekly, daily, or some combination of 2 or all 3? If you take each section and really think about what you want from it, eventually the planner you need, as well as the one you want, will come together.
To Do lists>>>brain dump/catch all’s or categorized? (You can have both! I do!)
Projects>>>work or personal. A page for each project with notes, timelines, etc. Alphabetical or by deadline?
A to Z file>>>also known as the Address book. There is a trend to store quick reference notes here, like clothing sizes or book titles or important notes you don’t know where to keep.
The thing to remember is that just because a planner comes with certain sections and inserts, doesn’t mean you are stuck with them.
If all of this information was overwhelming, I apologize. The planner world can, ironically, be overwhelming. How about something simpler? Get a cheap planner from the dollar store. Start using it. As you go along, if you find yourself wanting something different, like wanting to be able to move stuff, make a note of it in your planner. What do you like, what don’t you like? Write it all down.
There is no one right formula to figuring out what planning system works for you. A system that works for one person won’t work for someone else. It’s all about finding out what works for you.
This is a process that can take some time and it came be frustrating. But eventually, you’ll figure it out.
© Cori Large April-December 2015