Welcome back to the blog!
Are you a boss?! I’m not talking about just managing people, I’m talking about handling your business and wearing multiple hats! Do you struggle to plan your days out so that it is organized? If your answer is yes, then it’s time to get a planner. If you have one and still suck at organizing our day then….. you need a new planning method sis. Your method isn’t working and it’s time for a change!
It’s almost officially summer, school is out in Georgia, and in my personal opinion, it’s the perfect time to search for and buy a new planner! My current planner ends in June 2019 and I would hate to be a week or even a month without a planner. So I will be buying a new planner sooner than later.
You see, I’m that person who feels more put together and organized with a planner. I LOVE getting out of the dentist chair (or any appointment) and walking back to the receptionist to schedule my next appointment. I love how it feels to pull out my planner and see what dates will work best for me, based on my schedule that I’ve already written down. It makes me feel a sense of importance lol. ( Does that make sense lol)? Sometimes I don’t have my planner though, and I rarely can recall every appointment or commitment I have scheduled. I usually have to go back and reschedule an appointment because it’s conflicts with something else on my schedule.
Planning your day is extremely important! Everyone needs a little structure in their life and a planner can help. How would you feel if your boss didn’t have a plan or schedule? Do you think they’d be able to help run the organization in a decent manner? (Maybe you have a boss that needs some structure…. gift them a planner lol).
Need other ways to stay organized? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Staying Organized.
I can (and I do) try to think about what’s going on at work that week or that specific day before I schedule something, but relying on my memory isn’t the best way to stay organized in my experience. I like to know in advance if Kali has an appointment that may conflict with my appointments or lunch dates, etc.. It just makes me feel “together” and mature lol.
I know what you’re thinking. Just use the calendar on your phone, you always have it anyway. I use the calendar or my phone only when I don’t have my planner near me. I am a physical planner type of chick. I’m not a huge fan of relying on my phone for every single event or appointment. Don’t get me wrong, I do try to have my meetings and appointments in both so that I can know when to leave my current location and know how long it will take me with traffic. I just don’t rely solely on my phone.
I’ve ALWAYS had a planner, but my problem used to be that I would stop using them. This happened in high school and college. Do you remember getting those free, cool, school planners?
Do they still do that?! Geesh I’m getting up there in age.
I used those school planners and if my memory serves me correctly, I don’t think they had a lot of options or ways to customize them. If I recall correctly, they were small and had horizontal layouts.
I’m more of a vertical layout kind of gal.
I’ve tried so many different types of planners over the years. I’m extremely picky.
- The Plum Paper Planner
- Erin Condren’s Life Planner
- At a Glance
- Printable planners
- others whose name I can’t remember
Things I need in a planner
I’m very particular about my planners and the pens that I use in general. Pens are important because I like to write neatly in my planners.
I follow Planner gals on Instagram, and some of their handwriting should be published as a font! @jen_plans is one of my favorite people to follow regarding planning and budgeting! Let’s go ahead and jump into the characteristics that I need in a planner.
I like planners that have a specific layout. My favorite is the vertical layout. I like it a bit more of it hourly. That way I can write down any meetings or appointments. I find that it’s easier for me to stay organized and see my day in a vertical layout. If I don’t have the hourly layout, I can still write in the times that I have meetings, appointments, to-dos. I am not a fan or horizontal layouts at all.
In addition to the vertical layout, I prefer my planners to have monthly spreads on two pages and weekly spreads on two pages. I like for each day to have their own equal space. Some planners have the weekend in the bottom corner and I don’t like that.
I absolutely have to have room in my planner to write random notes. Some planners have a designated notes page after each month ends, which I find extremely beneficial. Some planners also have pages in the back specifically for notes.
The Erin Condren Life Planner has pages on the back for notes, and dotted pages for whatever you may need them for. I used my dotted pages for graphs. I made a bar graph to show how long it may take to pay off my debt. (I’m on a debt free journey – read more about it here). The EC Life Planner also has pages in the back for coloring or to do whatever you like. Each page has a different design.
Space to list things out
In addition to note pages, I like to have space on the side of the monthly spread and weekly spread for lists, notes, reminders, etc.
I love to write down my to-do lists.
I like to have items that will compliment my planner and make it look nice. For example,I have a pen bag that I carry all of my colorful Papermate inkjoy gel pens, highlighters, and white out in it.
I’m a pen fanatic! People who know me well, know that I do not play when it comes to writing tools. I don’t want to sound bourgeois but I do not wrote with ball point pens. If you hand me one, I’ll probably reach into my bag and pull out my own gel pen. Or, if I don’t have a pen on me at that time (tragic right?) I’ll make a face that will show how much I hate writing with the ball point pen you handed me. Hiding my facial expressions aren’t one of my strong points right now.
Pens that I enjoy using are rollerball or gel pens. I don’t like pencils unless I’m drawing which isn’t often. My favorite brand right now is Inkjoy papermate. They dry quickly so I don’t have to worry about smudging or smearing. My second favorite (only because it takes longer to dry) is Pilot G2.
I don’t like 0.5, its too thin for me. I prefer 0.7mm sizes and sometimes 1.0. Pens that I like but don’t use that much anymore are
Post it notes
Sometimes I like to write notes but not directly on my weekly spread. I like to keep random notes, reminders, grocery lists, etc on post it notes. I also like to adhere the post it notes pack on to the backside of the cover and create a dashboard of items that I use frequently.
Stickers and washi tape can really make a planner pop! There are loads of stickers on Etsy, you can make your own, or you can buy them from Michaels, JoAnns, or even Walmart. The Happy Planner has booklets of stickers that you can buy and they are themed.
Besides washi tape and stickers I like to use different color pens for different days and activities.
Erin Condren also has a like of accessories for her products. She sells notebooks, invitations, acrylic items, wedding planners, and so much more!!
She has her own pens and markers that work great with her paper products, snap on dashboards so that you can write lists, and add items to the coils of your notebooks or planners.
I like to have a way to easily flip to the current week. Some planners come with rulers that snap in and out. You can use cute paper clips with ribbons to hold your spot in the current week or use magnetic clips.
Erin Condren Life Planner
As you can tell, I keep referring to the Erin Condren Life Planner. It’s because it’s my favorite planner to use. I mentioned a lot of planners that I’ve tried on the past and none of them compare to EC Life Planner. Time and time again, I’ve said, I’m not going to buy the Life Planner this year, let’s see if another one will work. Later that same month, I find myself on the website selecting my planner and customizing my cover for the year.
Why I love the life planner
I love the EC Life Planner for many reasons. The main reason is that I can tailor it to my liking. It’s customizable and I can really give it the look I want it to have.
Do you like vertical, hourly vertical, or horizontal layouts? You are able to select the layout of your choice. You can also select the start month of the year. Do you want your planner to begin in January or July? Do you want it to end in 12 months or 18 months? You can choose for your planner dates from July 2019 to June 2020, July 2019 to December 2020, or January 2020 to December 2020. Great right?! Note: 18 months cost an additional $5.
You can customize your cover. They snap in and out. You can change your covers for each season or whenever you want a change. Or you select the hardcover version if that’s your style. You can have your name printed or whatever you want on the cover? Are you just using this specific planner for school or work? Get name and school on it if you’d like or if you’re an entrepreneur, use the name of my company.
Photos can be added to the cover (front and back). Using the Life Planner to keep your home in order? For example, are you keeping track of everyone’s doctor appointment, cleaning, etc? You could add a family photo to the cover and give it a title. This is an example that I created:
New binder option
Erin Condren just launched a new binder option for the Life Planner. Are you familiar with the Filofax planners’ construction? Well this is similar. It’s too bad that it’s not the same size paper or format, but she probably did that so you have to keep coming back to her for inserts.
If you really want a binder option but not her style, you can take out the coils and then hole punch the paper and insert it into the binder of your choice. The Life Planner comes in the size 7″x 9″.
You can choose to have the colorful layout or the neutral one. I always opt for the colorful theme.
You can select the color of your coil if you don’t select the hardcover binding. They come in four colors, silver, gold, rose gold, and black. If you choose any coil color besides silver you will have to pay an additional $10.
Erin Condren has a plethora of accessories that go great with her products. She has markers and pens, tote bags, planner bags, stickers, you name it! She also sells customizable items like acrylic products, invitations, notebooks, teacher planners, lunch totes, gift wrap, budget books, etc!
Other items that are included in the Life Planner are goal setting spreads, Year at a glance, and places to keep track of birthdays.
Do you want to try the Erin Condren Life Planner? Let me know how you like it!
How I use my planner
As I mentioned previously, I use my planner to keep track of appointments, meetings, and lists. But, there’s more things that I use it for which makes it really beneficial to me and worth the price (prices begin at $50).
Don’t let the price keep you from ordering this planner. I used to let the price stop me, and I’d buy a different planner and what sucked was that it didn’t meet my expectations. Then I would go and buy the Life Planner in addition to the other planner and wasted money on that planner. $50 for a year or 18 months of planning is $4 or $2 a month which is your Apple Music subscription if you’re a student.
Let’s say you spend $75 on the planner and extra accessories, can you compare that to your phone bill? $75 for a year or for a 18 month planner is about $6 a month. That’s like having one Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks a month. How many are you getting a week?!
If you buy it and hate it, let me know in the comments. Do you have a favorite planner that you think I should try? Let me know!
I use the monthly spread and the note pages after each month to write down my monthly bills and any unexpected bills that I may have like car maintenance and tires. I make sure I have the bill listed on the monthly spread on the day that it’s due. In addition to he my bills, I map out the days I plan on going in the office (we are allowed to work from home a certain amount of days of the week). Then of course I add meetings and appointments to the monthly spread.
On the weekly spread I add more details. I like to split up my to-do lists by location (work & home). Using different colors for the two subjects help so that the planner is color coordinated for the week and more appealing to look at.
There’s also a section for “Blog” so I can keep track of what I’ve done for the week and what still needs to be completed. If you can’t tell, I’m a “lister” (that may not be a word but so what). I like writing lists and checking off items. It makes me feel super productive.
Other things that I like to keep track of are my vitamins, my tv shows, water intake, etc. As you can see above I like the shows FBI, 9-1-1, and Pretty Little Liars – The Perfectionists ( I watched the old PLL too).
I’m excited for the Erin Condren updates this year and can update you on which kind I decide to purchase this year. I’m thinking about grabbing an 18 month planner. What are the characteristics of a perfect planner?
Do you want to try the Erin Condren Life Planner and let me know if you like it? Click here to check it out!
Catch you guys in my next post.
In the meantime, join the Royal Family!