I have had a love/hate relationships with planners for YEARS. For a while in college I used a Franklin Covey Planner to document pretty much every day of my life. I wrote down what happened every day for like FIVE years. INsane! Its fun to go back and read through those gems let me tell you.
Nowadays, I'm just looking for a way to PLAN my daily life and stay more organized. There are so many options for planners out there and throughout the years of using a wide variety of different styles, certain aspects stand out as highly useful for me and others remain wasteful and unused. I could never seem to find ONE planner that had it all. It was either too big or too small or had one section of perfect pages and another large section of useless pages. I've even tried taking everything online by utilizing a combination of Google Calendar/Evernote/etc...Nothing gelled. Nothing just...works. Sigh. Is a good system even out there?
Small business owner life is busy though and I no longer have the structure of a 8-5 workday to keep me more on point. Therefore, I need to find a planner option that will fit my new flexible life. In my quest to stay organized I researched a TON of current planner options out there. I watched youtube videos and read online reviews. Fortunately, the planner options ARE getting better than just your regular 'ol day planner you can find at Target/Staples etc...
The most popular option that I seemed to find was the Erin Condren planner. Other options included the Whitney English Day Designer, the Simplified Planner, The Plum Paper Planner and the Ellebook Planner.
Out of all the planners listed above, the Ellebook Planner was probably my favorite. Lauren is an incredible designer and I love her style. Not only do I love the overall style of the planner, I especially loved all of the designs of individual pages. I also loved how everything was printable so you could just print out the pages you liked or wanted to include and leave the ones that you didn't. This exact thing however is also the one thing I can't get over with this planner. I just can't have a planner that is 8 1/2 x 11 and I can't have a planner in a spiral notebook. I really like to fold over my planners so I can write on both sides of the page without the metal binding cutting into my arm. Its a small detail, but one that REALLY affects me. I thought long and hard about using her planner anyway and going somewhere to have it bound (which I would have to drive out of town to do) but the size was still an issue. Back to the drawing board.
I ended up with the Plum Paper Planner. Out of all the options, it had the most versatility. The planner itself has multiple layouts/designs and then there are tons of add ons that you can order to essentially craft it exactly the way you want it. I am a huge note taker and need to have just lots of blank pages around to take notes on and you could add an option to add note pages after each month and also in the back. There are blog planning sections, meal planning sections, checklist sections, to do list sections...all of which you can add pretty much wherever you want throughout the book. The cost (after all the add ons) ended up being right around the same as any of the other pre order planners that I researched so in the end I really felt like this was the best option.
Another feature that I loved is that you can start at any month you want. I ordered in late January and knew it would take a few weeks to arrive so I ordered it beginning in the month of March. Brilliant.
I picked my cover and personalized with a cwp for Cinnamon Wolfe Photography. I added a blog section an extra notes section and added notes and checklist pages within each month. I also got the "Family" style planner and each week has days broken out into different "areas" instead of listing out the day by time. I've never been a big fan of listing out my day by time so this seemed like a good idea to me. There are 7 areas and I left 3 blank and labeled the other four: Family, Blog, Workout, Dinner.
I received this planner last week and have been busy getting it updated and so far so good. I really like the size and it fits in my purse nicely without taking up too much room. I enjoy everything being all in one book with the ability to have all of my notes with me as well.
Could this be the perfect planner? Only time will tell! I will update in three to four months with thoughts on how I am liking it.
What planner do you use?